Question posted in the General Law category relating to Gauteng
Question value: R 0.00
I trust that you are well.
I have a situation with my lawyer currently, I really need advice on how to proceed this matter.
I have been employed for a little over 4 years with my current employer as a permanent employee. On the 20th of April 2020, I received a email from my employer with the new contract attached and a notice letter to inform me about the changes of my current contract due to Covid-19.
The notice was just informing me that my contract would change from permanent to consultant, meaning that I will not get a fixed salary and would only earn based on the hours I worked for. I proceeded to ask my employer some questions and also gave my employer suggestions that would work for both of us. My suggestions were to take a salary cut of maybe 20% until everything gets back to normal. All my suggestions were not considered and I was told that their decision was final and they can't change anything on the new contract.
The other issue is that the new contract was sent to me on the 20th of April 2020. And they stated that it should take effect on the 1st of May 2020. They had only given me little over a week which was a short notice and I know that if I person worked more than a year, you should give them a month notice. When I explained to them that it was such short notice and I have financial commitments on my side. They then extended the notice to take effect on the 01st of June.
I didn't sign the new contract as I felt like I had no say in it and all the suggestions I made were rejected. All the employer wanted was for me to sign the contract without any taking at least some of my suggestions.
I do believe that there are other alternatives they could have taken to cut costs. And I even asked the employer and was not given a valid reason why are they not considering other alternatives.
After I informed my employer that I don't feel comfortable signing the new contract and explained why. The employer repsonde by giving me a retrecnchment letter.
The other thing is that when the employer sent me a new contract on the 20th of April, the employer stated that my UIF and Tax contribitions will stop on the 30th of April 2020. Before I even had to get a chance to accept terms and conditions on the new contract. I believe the employer breached the existing contract the we have by stopping the UIF and Tax contributions without consulting me first.
In the LOR(Letter of Retretchment) the employer emphasises the fact that I had to be retreched because I refused their alternative measures of assisting me which is not the case. Basically trying to point fingers at me so that it seem like I am the one with the probem. It cleary shows that the employer just wanted me to sign the new contract without asking questions or having any input so that both myself and the employer find a common ground.
Your assistance will be highly appreciated on how I should proceed the matter.
Answer to the Question
I see that you haven't made a payment for the question, but I'm going to assist you a little. If you want to ask a follow-up question, please make the required payment.
Your employer can't unilaterally change the terms of your contract.
The employer can't also just retrench you; there is a retrenchment process which needs to be followed.
I think that you need to go to the CCMA to lodge a dispute of unfair dismissal.
Please remember this is a dialog if you have follow-up questions please make the required payment, then use the REPLY button and ask your further question. I would like to continue assisting you, but I need to concentrate on people who make payments for their questions.