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Demotion of an employee

Demotion of an employee

An employee is demoted when their employment terms and conditions has been changed in such a way that the employees remuneration, status or responsibility is reduced. Even if the employee retained their salary and benefits, demotion still occurs when the status, importance or responsibility of the employee is reduced.

There are three instances where demotion of an employee can be justified:

  1. Demotion as an alternative to a dismissal in disciplinary procedures.
  2. Demotion of an employee outside disciplinary procedure (with written consent of the employee and fair procedure followed).
  3. Demotion as an alternative to retrenchment.

Demotion in disciplinary procedures can occur if the misconduct of the employee justifies dismissal and that the employment contract makes provision for demotion as a sanction in disciplinary action. The demotion is only valid for a limited period and if the employee refuses the demotion, he/she may be dismissed.

Demotion of an employee outside disciplinary procedures is of a permanent nature. Fair procedure (consultation between employer and employee) and the written consent of the employee are of high importance. Demotion as an alternative to retrenchment can be offered to the employee who would be affected by the retrenchment when conducting the retrenchment process.

Therefore, to avoid an unfair labour practice, a fair reason for demotion and a fair procedure for demoting an employee are essential.

 

ABOUT THE AUHTOR

The author obtained his Bcomm Law degree in 2009 from the University of the Free State. He was registered as a candidate attorney in 2010 with Vermaak & Dennis Attorneys in Bloemfontein. In 2011, he obtained an LLB degree from the University of the Free State and completed his articles of clerkship in 2012. In April 2012 he was admitted as an Attorney in die Free State High Court, Bloemfontein, where after he practised as an attorney for two and a half years before joining SEESA Labour Bloemfontein as a legal advisor in June 2015.

 

 

 

 

 

6 Comments

  1. Liisa 3 years ago

    Good day,

    As result of a restructuring i am being transfered from my current position to a trainee. Is that type of demotion fair? The demotion is as a result that my current position has become reduntant in that department and they are transferring me to a much suited department however there are currently no vacancies there. So i hav been placed on some trainee programme that is a duration of 12 months. Hopefully i will be absorbed as permanent before the end of the duration or they may let me go after that. As i do not know too much about restructuring and retrenchments i do not know what to be concerned about and what to ask. Only thing i can think of now clearly is my salary and whether it will also be reduced.

    • Author
      Tersia Landsberg 3 years ago

      Hi Liisa

      For legal assistance, kindly complete an enquiry on our Contact page and we will be in touch.

      Regards
      Tersia Landsberg
      SEESA Public Relations Officer

  2. loretta 3 years ago

    i was told yesterday that i will be demoted today i must move back to my old position
    which is call center agent.i was promoted 3 months back and i made one mistake
    and i dont have any records that shows i was not doing my job.i did not get any warning i was
    told my boss wants me out of the company .

    • Author
      Tersia Landsberg 3 years ago

      Hi Loretta

      For legal assistance, kindly complete an enquiry on our Contact page and we will be in touch.

      Regards
      Tersia Landsberg
      SEESA Public Relations Officer

  3. john 2 years ago

    Hi my name is john

    I was demoted in terms of wage but my rate still the same but they allocated me in different department and they paid me with the different rate not that is on my contract but on my payslips my rate still the same but what surprise me is that they keep on paying me with a rate of general worker of which job title is Forklift driver rate is R39.91 but they are paying me with a rate of R23.43.

    • Author
      Tersia Landsberg 2 years ago

      Good morning John

      Please note that SEESA protects the interests of the employer, and not employees. Please send me an email to tersia@seesa.co.xa with your enquiry, or feel free to contact the CCMA who will be able to provide you with legal assistance.

      Warm regards
      Tersia Landsberg
      SEESA Public Relations Officer

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