Telkom retrenchments on the way?

Telkom announced in a press statement today (11 March 2013) that management and bargaining unit staff will be afforded the opportunity of applying for voluntary severance (VSPs) and early retirement packages (VERPs) from 15 March 2013 until 31 August 2013.

Thami Msubo, Telkom’s Chief of Human Resources, said: “After the VSP and VERP window period closes, and if the process has not achieved the desired results, the Company may embark on retrenchments.”

“Future retrenchment processes and severance packages will be done in accordance with the Labour Relations Act,” said Msubo.

This is not the first time Telkom has offered such packages, having offered VSPs and VERPs in April 2011 as well.

According to Telkom, the move is aimed at letting it achieve its business objectives, secure its sustainability and commercial viability by rebalancing its workforce in line with its strategic imperatives.

“The VSP/VERP offer is necessary as there is an urgent need for the company to address its human capital requirements which impacts substantially and directly on the company’s cost base,” said Msubo.

“The VSP/VERP offer is the most efficient and non-invasive manner in which the company is able to begin effecting control on its headcount costs,” Msubo said.

Telkom said that this offer follows formal consultation with internal and external stakeholders, including the three recognised trade unions: Communication Workers Union (CWU), South African Communication Union (SACU) and Solidarity.

Msubo emphasised that the decision to apply for a package is at the sole discretion of every employee.

However, Telkom also has the sole discretion to accept or decline the application based on the business requirements.

The criteria that will be used in the approval of applications for voluntary severance (VSPs) and early retirement packages (VERPs) will be business and critical skills requirements.

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Telkom retrenchments on the way?