My daughter is facing what I think is an unfair retrenchment plus restraint of trade situation

Posted on:
20 May 2017
Personal, Workplace
Posted by:
Susan Nel

I’m acting on behalf of my daughter who is facing retrenchment. She is still working her last two weeks at the place that caused this grievance and so I don’t want to compromise her. She is a personal trainer specifically working with EMS training (Rustenburg). She has worked there for almost 10 months. The contract she signed had a restraint of trade clause in it (100km).

The owner has now said that he cannot afford to pay her. Then he gave three options: either close shop, outsource or retrench her. He has now started the retrenchment process.

She is a qualified personal trainer and is now in a position where she cannot do her job in Rustenburg because of the restraint of trade. She has also discovered via some of her clients that the person who is taking over (outsourced) has been in negotiations with the owners since the end of January.

The owner does not owe her a severance package because she has not worked there for a year, out of goodwill he said that he would pay her two weeks, unless 10% of his clients leave because of her leaving. There are currently just more than 50 clients and 10% have already said that they will leave if my daughter does not train them.

The whole retrenchment procedure unfolded this way: they spoke to her and said they have to have a meeting with her and told her of the three options. The following week they met with her and their labour consultant who drew up the employment contract and who also said openly that the restriction of trade clause was unreasonable because of where she lives. It is not as if she lives in Johannesburg where there are lots of gyms where she could be employed. They also suddenly registered her for the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) about 6 weeks ago and backdated, so they were planning then already. Is there ANYTHING she can do?

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