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This document is intended solely to assist the applicant in applying for an employment permit and is not a substitute for the relevant legislation and regulations governing employment permits. Please note that email communications to the firm through this website do not create an attorney-client relationship between you and the firm. A handout summarizing the available post-employment benefits often simplifies the meetings and minimizes post-meeting follow-up questions. Consider whether a prepared press release (rather than spur-of-the-moment answers to a reporter's questions) will most effectively position the employer in the eyes of the general public. Make plans to exclude departing personnel from the building and computer/telephone systems immediately after being informed of their separations. When setting the RIF timetable, include time to think about the necessary transition of work/projects from employees included in the RIF to the retained personnel and consider whether to use phased departures (that is, one large group followed in weeks or months by another large group). A separation agreement containing a waiver/release of claims is commonly used. ☐ Identify the goals. A general work permit shall lapse if within 6 months of issuance and if every year thereafter the holder fails to submit satisfactory proof to the Director-General that he/she is still employed along with proof of the terms and conditions of the job, and the job description We will accept requests received after 20 months however they … Passport valid for no less than 30 days after expiry of intended visit. The starting point when bringing in a foreign specialist into your business is the Critical Skills List, which notes the professions where Home Affairs issues Work Permits due to areas where there are shortages of skills. ☐ Identify decision-makers. Because of this visa, some employers are willing to give you a job offer if you qualify for a critical skill. NB - A request for a Support Letter for a Critical Skills Employment Permit holder seeking a Stamp 4 cannot be processed until the permit holder has completed 21 months working in the State. General Employment Permits are the primary vehicle used by the State to attract 3rd country nationals for occupations which are experiencing a labour or skills shortage. In this case, the following conditions apply: You can work in Ireland without having to get an employment permit. RIFs are useful but often are expensive and sometimes lead to lawsuits. P1,500.00 (residence permit); P1,500.00 (work permit); Notes: Applicable fees are amended from time to time. The COVID-19 pandemic has popularized states' "work share" programs by which approved employers may reduce employees' hours (often up to 40 percent) and retain them on the payroll while entitling them to a proportionate state unemployment benefit which, in turn, entitles them to the $600 weekly benefit provided by the federal CARES Act. Points to consider for these voluntary separations include: ☐ Determine desired outcomes. There also can be state law requirements for waiver agreements, including the obligation to include specific language in the separation agreement. ☐ Comply with the laws. Below is a checklist of the documentation required to apply for a Critical Skills employment permit. to assist in the selection. Thus, ensure that workers eligible for the voluntary RIF are given sufficient and accurate information about the benefits, deadlines and consequences of electing a severance package and separation from the company. Such ratings and rankings should be as objective as possible, and employers should compare an employee's RIF-related ratings/rankings to the employee's prior performance evaluations to ensure there are no suspicious, inexplicable discrepancies). Consider "worst case" scenarios: What if everyone eligible for a voluntary separation package opts to accept it and leave? 6 0 obj Many statutes impact RIFs, including laws that vary from state to state. Severance pay (particularly severance in excess of any "normal" sums previously paid by the employer to departing employees) or early retirement benefits are common components of a voluntary RIF severance package. The economy may change and, with luck, an employer may in a few months wish to rehire a worker that was part of a RIF this month. Radiological report (not required in respect of children under the age of 12 years or a pregnant woman). ☐ Control communications. or "Is this respectful?" Limit the dissemination of sensitive documents and data, and password-protect electronic RIF documents and communications among decision-makers and advisors. ☐ Meet with "survivors." Be careful about entrusting sensitive, confidential information to anyone who might be released in the next RIF. Applying for a Critical Skills Permit for South Africa. Click "accept" below to confirm that you have read and understand this notice. The employees, the U.S. RIF-related laws include: ☐ Gather but selectively disseminate data. This is a permit issued to applicants in possession of exceptional skills or qualifications that are scarce in South Africa. Involuntary RIFs give employers more control over which workers leave but are more often the basis for employees' lawsuits. Though not a method of reducing payroll expenses, the recent U.S. Small Business Administration's Paycheck Protection Program (providing forgivable loans to certain employers who keep employees on the payroll) may allow a company to bridge the pandemic to happier times. ☐ Minimize PR problems. Many employers selecting employees to be included in the RIF engage in employee "rating" the RIF candidates (giving a grade to each worker) or "ranking" (sorting the workers by skills, value/contribution, etc.) ☐ Determine severance benefits. Processing and reviews: You can check the status of your application using the online status enquiry facility. $.' The General Employment Permit replaces the old Work Permit Employment Permit. ☐ Determine its scope. This Holland & Knight alert includes a checklist that is designed to provide an overview of the RIF process and assist organizations contemplating personnel "downsizing" to identify the critical elements and legal principles of planning and implementing a RIF. Confirm that workers on (or not on) the separation list make sense; for example, was someone inexplicably left off the list — and is being protected — for some reason that later can be challenged in court (e.g., an ongoing sexual relationship with a supervisor)? ☐ Ensure security. The complexities of the benefits/tax laws require careful consideration and the advice of an experienced benefits lawyer during the voluntary RIF planning process. ). (The required RIF data disclosures for a large employer often are time-consuming to prepare so the company must allow sufficient time to draft them.) ☐ Question assumptions and the wisdom of anticipated actions. For questions or more information about a reduction in force specific to your organization, contact Holland & Knight Partner Bill deMeza, who has guided a number of employers in various industries through successful RIFs, or another member of the firm's Labor, Employment and Benefits Group. Information contained in this alert is for the general education and knowledge of our readers. States typically permit furloughed employees to draw "unemployment," which, after the recent passage of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and. The Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers Guidance Version 4.0 provides guidance on how jurisdictions and critical infrastructure owners can use the list to assist in prioritizing the ability of essential workers to work safely while supporting ongoing infrastructure operations across the nation. The most common RIF goals are to reduce payroll expenses and to better align personnel resources with available work. This checklist is designed to help organizations contemplating personnel "downsizing" identify the critical elements of a RIF. IT professionals often have to provide tech solutions for people who aren’t as savvy. The usual issues are much more complicated now — during the 2020 COVID-19 crisis — with the overlay of the rapidly enacted and untested pandemic laws and regulations. If you find a job within 12 months, you can extend your Critical Skills Visa for up to 5 years. Employees can be informed about the future (as it then appears to management), warned that there will be a normal adjustment period in light of the reduced jobs/staff, and enlisted to help the company stabilize and prosper. 4 0 obj The managers should allow the employee to vent but should not engage in argument or debate and should remain firm (not implying that discharge decisions can be changed). Duration and renewal of an employment permit. Perform a "disparate impact" analysis of the preliminary list of persons to be released by comparing their demographics with those of workers to be retained in order to ensure that employees in protected classes are not inadvertently being selected for separation at a higher rate than their percentages in the workforce. <> (�{�t0N�' ̅֜Ũ�/ؤ?�(5�2x��Iv3/gS � If a union represents any portion of the workforce subject to the RIF, carefully examine the collective bargaining agreement and consider the National Labor Relations Act for limitations on the RIF. This is a points-based visa that considers factors such as age, work experience, your qualifications and an offer of skilled employment. The correct visa type for a holder of any type of employment permit issued by DJEI is the Employment (Permits etc. Employers sometimes conduct rehearsals (perhaps even role-playing) of the exit meetings in order to confirm that the selected managers are up to the task and "know the script.". Impermissible criteria, in addition to the characteristics protected by law, include "whistleblowing" (not only the employee's prior filing/voicing of claims of employment discrimination but also the employee's claim that the company is not complying with the laws regulating its business), use of disability or FMLA leave, filing a workers' compensation claim, and supporting or affiliating with a union. A list of employees showing their genders, age, minority/disability/whistleblower status, leave/workers compensation status and other characteristics protected by law will be necessary for the "disparate impact" analysis discussed below. You are the spouse/civil partner/de facto partner of a Critical Skills Employment Permit or of a Researcher on a Hosting Agreement. ☐ Determine the nature of the RIF. ☐ Look to the future. The employees need not be given all the facts about the RIF and the reasons for it, but what they are told must be truthful. Ensure that the overall business and its individual departments and production lines can continue to function after the RIF (the use of "before" and "after" reporting relationships and staffing charts often are helpful), and that the RIF is not inadvertently eliminating persons with critical skills. The "continuation of group medical coverage" (COBRA) notices should also be provided as required by the federal statute. ☐ Ensure "voluntary" is really "voluntary." Unexpected RIFs often seem to generate the most lawsuits. Instead, you have to apply for a letter of support from the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation. ���� JFIF ` ` �� C ☐ Gather materials necessary for the exit meetings. <> A single designated spokesperson to answer all post-RIF questions from both inside and outside the company is often the most effective way to disseminate accurate and consistent information. stream Moreover, the laws of each jurisdiction are different and are constantly changing. The occupation/critical skill must be on the Critical Skills list. Although a reduction in force (RIF) often can improve an entity's financial picture, there can be serious legal and financial consequences if it is not properly conceptualized, designed and implemented. There should be two management personnel in the exit meeting: a spokesperson and a "non-speaking" witness. The hallmark of Holland & Knight's success has always been and continues to be legal work of the highest quality, performed by well prepared lawyers who revere their profession and are devoted to their clients. All rights reserved. Communications from management, ideally in person, often speed a return to normality. RIF decision-makers may be here today but included in a subsequent RIF tomorrow. An initiative by department of jobs, it provides excellent opportunity for qualified professionals. Provide these materials to managers who will be conducting the exit meetings. However, "buyouts" often give the employer less ability to retain the best personnel. Consistency in application of RIF criteria is critical in the employee selection process, although it is possible that certain criteria may not be applicable from department to department or from job to job. Where there is no offer of employment a critical skills visa shall be issued for a period not exceeding one year. Although furloughs often are announced for a specified duration, they can be indefinite, and sometimes "furloughs" become "discharges" if they do not have the desired impact on the employer's economics. The goal is to make the separation benefits cost-effective, that is, high enough to induce employees to elect departure but low enough to minimize the cost to the company. Exceptions to the border closure can be made by Immigration New Zealand for exceptional circumstances, including: 1. health and other essential workers 2. citizens of Samoa and Tonga for essential travel to New Zealand 3. visitor, student or work visa holders who normally live in New Zealand, and who are the partner or dependent of a temporary work or student visa holder who is currently in Ne… Keep the RIF working papers and analyses in locked storage when not in use. Employers can legally limit voluntary RIFs to employees who have reached a certain minimum age, to certain departments/work groups, to personnel with certain years of credited service and to certain time periods (e.g., departure during a specified but limited "window" period). General work Visas are valid for the duration of the contract of employment or a period not exceeding 5 years. ☐ Provide necessary notices. Be careful: It is important to comply precisely with the requirements to avoid penalties or lawsuits. It allows workers holding this visa to visit South Africa and search for a job. The most common advantages of furloughs over RIFs include easier employee departures (because, most often, the federal/state "plant closing"/"mass layoff" notifications need not be given), easier returns to work (because those personnel have remained in the payroll/benefits systems), and the preservation of employment relationships that might be vital to the employer's recovery and return to normalcy. for a critical skills visa Career Toolkit Foreign-national students at UCT can have particular challenges when securing work in SA. If a lawsuit arises from the RIF, it is very likely those papers will be demanded by plaintiff's counsel, and they could become courtroom exhibits. Maintaining confidentiality will minimize both employees' anxiety/distraction as well as preemptive claims by worried workers trying to "guarantee" their jobs (that is, thinking "they won't include me in the RIF next month if I announce I'm disabled or make a sexual harassment claim this month"). This document is intended solely to assist the applicant in applying for an employment permit and is not a substitute for the relevant legislation and regulations governing employment permits. Agreements for management-level employees typically are longer and more comprehensive than those for non-management employees. Supervisors who are not emotionally equipped to deliver bad news (and face employees' anger and tears) are likely to make mistakes and put the employer at risk. Investigate any apparent demographic disparities in the preliminary list (e.g., Hispanic women or workers over 40 being selected at a higher than expected rate) and, if necessary, adjust the preliminary list (and perhaps repeat the "disparate impact" analysis on the revised list). Available work management the contact information for Security and law enforcement personnel of application! Focused on RIFs have to provide tech solutions for people who aren ’ t as....: ☐ determine desired outcomes misrepresentations to force or induce employees to leave employees of non-disparagement, confidentiality, non-solicitation. Highly recommended jobs/employees to be a concise, plain-English and practical summary of the required... Going to be eliminated in the separation agreement apply for a Critical Skills employment issued. Contemplating personnel `` downsizing '' identify the Critical elements of a RIF is announced often the for. 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