Labour Commissioner, Ivan Williams, shared the different provisions within he law that protects employees who find themselves in a situation like this.
“In the event an employer seeks to terminate the services of its employees then adequate notices must be given and for those employees who are there for more than five years the law requires an eight week notice so clearly the bank would have had to give its employees eight weeks’ notice of their intention to terminate the contract. In addition to that in 2011 the Labor Amendment Act No. 3 of 2011, provisions were made in there for a thirty day notice with full data of those employees who will be affected, the proposed benefits of those persons and it also makes provisions for the Labor Department to intervene to try and mitigate the adverse effects that the redundancy would have on employees and so clearly that is the legal framework. So there are laws governing that the bank, and the bank, just in the event and I don’t think that bank has any desire, because it wouldn’t serve the bank any good to pack up and leave; they have a reputation and they have everything to lose, but I had to remind them of those legal provisions which in any event they have to follow and the legislation goes further to say in a transaction where there is buying and selling, if the seller doesn’t ensure that their obligations are taken care of in regards to the employees then the buyer steps in and assumes those liabilities. We have provisions in the labor law for that.”
The two parties have decided to meet on September 28 to start the negotiations. Matura-Shepherd explained that not much would be divulge top the media while negotiations are ongoing but if it breaks down then they will take their case to the public.