Hi there and thank you for your question,
I will try to assist you with your legal question but please feel free to ask as many follow up questions as you like until you are 100% satisfied.
If it is a PROPER retrenchment process, then yes, the company can retrench anyone, even somebody on maternity leave.
BUT, if it can be shown that the company is not actually retrenching but is rather "pretending to retrench" in order to get rid of this specific employee who just happens to be on maternity leave, then the company is not allowed to do that and a dispute can be lodged by the employee with the company HR, or with the CCMA. This is an illegal practice!
You can't discriminate against pregnant people!
If my answer hasn't answered all of your questions, please send me a REPLY with follow up questions so that I can continue to assist you in this same thread for as long as you need. Let me know if you need more advice - dont just rate my answer as "bad".
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Good luck and best regards,