Posted by: Sideways | 2009/09/15

Is this fair?


I' m writing on behalf of my father. He is a site manager for electric powerline companies. He has worked all around africa and the world which has made him a master in his field. It has also earned international respect.

He recently decided to retrun to SA and try find a position here. A company recently offered him a deal and so he turned up for work on Monday as agreed. They sent him to do medicals which is standard procedure, and then he returned to the office before setting off to inspect various job sites and prepare for the work ahead. This morning, Tuesday, he arrived at work to be told by the manager here that unfortunately the Jhb office had informed him that they are about to retrench people and so they can' t take anyone else on and thus he must regrettably leave. He hadn' t yet signed his contract, he was due to do so today. He had completed all necessary documentation, had been made an offer verbally, had done and passed all medicals and had done a days work. What if anything can he do in this situation?

Thank you

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageLabour lawyer


It sounds like your father has been retrenched as he started. Even though it was only a verbal offer it is still valid and in fact he actually arrived on site meaning that he was already working there. I would suggest that you refer this matter immediately to the CCMA for unfair dismissal.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Linus | 2009/09/16

If they made him a verbal offer this is binding in labour law. They cannot now say that they can' t employ him for whatever reason. He should register a complaint with the CCMA asap and go for compensation. Also see if he can revive the other offer and if not look for another job.

Reply to Linus
Posted by: sideways | 2009/09/16

Another point here is that my dad had actually turned down another position offered to him in order to join this company. This is a major mess. I simply feel that this should have been handled better.

Reply to sideways
Posted by: sideways | 2009/09/15

Exactly? Surely they knew a while back that they were going to retrench or that they were in trouble? My dad is highly skilled and the salary they offered was great, the perks just as good and the reason for employing him is that they really needed his professional input and asistance to get a project completed on time. Now all of a sudden, after one day on the job just inspecting all the sites, they say they are actually in trouble and sorry. What the hell?

Reply to sideways
Posted by: Sam | 2009/09/15

If the company was doing so badly, then why did they allow the site to employ anyone? The only time that we, as a labour broker, have a situation like this, is when one of the site agents were half asleep and employed too many people, and then we simply send them home, or if the guy is put on site, and someone that matters decides that they don' t like the new guy, then we pay the guy out a week' s salary and send him home. Our contracts on the other hand are all open end contracts.

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