The voluntary severance offer (VSO) is available for certain management-level employees. AB InBev says the program keeps within conditions set by the South Africa Competition Tribunal as part of regulatory approval for the AB InBev/SABMiller merger in South Africa.
These conditions include that there will be no forced retrenchments in perpetuity in relation to the merger with SABMiller; employment numbers must be maintained for five years; and there may be no voluntary separation arrangements for employees at the bargaining unit level during the five-year period.
“The VSO, which is entirely voluntary, has been made available only to certain management employees and above, and not to those who are at bargaining unit level,” said Robyn Chalmers, head of media and communications.
“It is important to note that no employee will be forcibly retrenched as a result of the merger."
It is reported that the offer has been made to more than 1,000 employees, but AB InBev says that it is too early to know how many people will opt for the voluntary offer.
“Africa, including South Africa, will play a big role in the future of the combined company. We are introducing some changes to processes, ways of working and the structure of the business and roles. We understand that during this period of change some employees may wish to voluntarily exit our business, which is why we have introduced a VSO.”
AB InBev completed its takeover of SABMiller in October last year, championing the creation of ‘the first truly global beer company’.
The combination gives AB InBev strong growth prospects in the key emerging region of Africa, thanks to SABMiller’s presence in the region.