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Third party consultation during a Section 189(3) process

I received a notice in terms of Section 189(3) of the LRA today.  Included in the notice under the heading "consultation and facilitation" was a paragraph that read as follows:

Please note that much of the contents of this proposal are confidential. The information is being shared with you as to place you in the best possible position to consult with us regarding the proposal. Any disclosure of the contents of this letter to any unauthorized third party could result in prejudice to the company and would be unlawful. Kindly respect the extremely confidential nature of the contents of this proposal and the discussions which will take place during the consultation process.

My questions are:

1. Who would be considered an unauthorized third party, I have a friend who is very well versed in labour law who has offered to assist me, the possible issue would be that she was a senior executive within the group that has retrenched me.  Am i allowed to ask her to assist me?

2. Who am i allowed to consult with for advice to assist me in responding to the notice?




Good day,

The purpose of a confidentiality clause is merely to ensure that any discussions between yourself and your employer are not disclosed to the public. In truth, you can disclose the information to anyone, however, if it is discovered that you have, your company will then have the right to sue in a court of law. The largest exception to this rule is those that hold the office of Legal Practitioner.

Note, that the Section 198 process is about openness and honesty. Its true nature is to find an amicable solution to retrenchment, even though this is often not what the process is used for. I would advise that if you are feeling nervous about the process, then be upfront with your employer about your assistance. If however, you do not wish to do so then I would advise that you seek legal assistance from a professional.




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