Retrenchment and Dismissal
What is retrenchment?
Retrenchment is defined as the cutting down or reduction of employees and this mainly happens when a company or institution is changing management or is in financial difficulties. In order to survive it cuts down the number of employees.
What is dismissal?
Dismissal is when an employee is involved in corruption or is underperforming hence he is dismissed. The Namibian courts use the principle of fairness in determining if a dismissal is lawful. Any employee, who is dismissed without a valid and fair reason and not in compliance with fair procedure, shall be regarded to have been dismissed unfairly.
What’s the right move on dismissal?
In order to be able to dismiss an employee the internal process needs to be substantially fair and this includes:
- An employee may not be dismissed unless a disciplinary hearing is held.
- The employee should be informed of the charges against him/her and be given sufficient time to prepare for the hearing.
- The presiding official at the hearing should be unbiased and should make fair a ruling on the matter and determine an appropriate sentence.
- An employee may only be dismissed if there are sufficient fair grounds therefore.
It should be noted therefore according to the Namibia Labour Law that employees who are on fixed term contracts, do not need to be dismissed on the completion of their contract period, as the employment relationship is automatically terminated.