Monday 6 August 2012

Tips when dealing with misconduct

Two tips when dealing with misconduct:

·        Investigate properly – talk to all the staff involved. Where you can, 
         get written ‘statements’. Be able to paint a picture of the facts of 
         the situation.
·        Correctly identify the type of misbehaviour as it is not easy to add 
         further charges if a Warning is issued  or at a Disciplinary Enquiry.

An example of why these tips are useful:
A client has a driver who damaged the bucket of a front end loader – the client wanted to charge him with ‘damage to company property’ ; when we investigated it was further identified that he could and should charge him with negligent driving. 

Friday 13 July 2012

The Employment Relationship

The employment relationship is one of the most crucial ‘relationships’ to deal with, in order for a business to succeed.

Employers are bombarded with laws and Codes of Good Practice and sometimes are so afraid to make any decisions about a staff member in case it ‘back fires.’

Employers have a right to manage their business, and if they need to down size or discipline someone, they can do this.

Employers are allowed to have expectations from employees.

Employees agreed to offer their skills/time, in exchange for a salary.  An employee should always act in good faith, and in the best interests of their employer. 

Fairness is a key principle that labour law and case law considers from any actions taken in the employment relationship.

Diverse Human Resources, we provide an effective link, in the employment relationship. 

Misbehaving staff & tips on how to 'handle' these

Who knows of a business that has staff that misbehave?
When staff misbehave how does it make you, or a manager feel?
Probably Angry, Frustrated, Want To Take Vengeance, Indignation, Injustice
These feelings are real and possibly justified, however they can get in the way of you or a manager taking the right or appropriate action.
Over the next couple of weeks we shall give you some tips in taking the right or appropriate action with misbehaving staff.
The first tip is to tell you to put these feelings on a shelf and put on a new pair of eyes and deal with the situation OBJECTIVELY.

Diverse Human Resources, supporting you, to make managing  your staff, more satisfying.

Wednesday 8 February 2012

Choosing a Chairperson for a Disciplinary Enquiry - internal or external?

There are two schools of thought of whether or not the Chairperson for a Disciplinary Enquiry should be appointed from inside the company or outside.

An internal Chairperson should have a good day to day knowledge of the policies and procedures of the company and be in a supervisory or management position. 

An external Chairperson may not have a good day to day knowledge of the policies and procedures of the company. But this however may be overcome by obtaining a copy of the company's policies and procedures. The external Chairperson may also communicate with the person who is responsible for the Human Resources role within the company to find out what the company practices are. Over time, if the same external Chairperson is used, they would gain a more in depth understanding of the company and it operations, whilst maintaining their objectivity. 

Both the internal and external Chairperson should have had training or appropriate experience, in handling misconduct, and sufficient experience in supervising and disciplining staff. Ideally the Chairperson would have a proven ability to be objective and not be emotionally swayed to misconduct. 

Whether an internal or external Chairperson is appointed they should be unbiased and have no prior or very minimal knowledge of the situation and the evidence, that they are going to make a recommendation on. 

Sadly, what can happen with an internal Chairperson, is they have too much prior knowledge of the incident and  may become subjective and be emotionally biased toward or against the employee who has misbehaved. They may feel this way because they are swayed by an understanding of the company and how it and possibly other employees have been affected by the misconduct.

Whereas, an external Chairperson is usually not so closely connected to the company nor the employee and is therefore more objective. The Chairperson should ensure that he or she complies with a fair procedure and the reasons for the recommended sanction are substantive. It would be important to the external Chairperson to maintain their integrity in providing a recommendation of sanction as this may very well be tested at the CCMA, Bargaining Council or the Labour Court.

It should also be remembered that the company makes the final decision whether or not to implement the recommendation of sanction from the external Chairperson. The company reserves the right to manage their staff and the business and make decisions. Accordingly a  Chairperson may recommend dismissal, but however, the company may choose to rather give a Final Written Warning as the sanction, or they may also decide on dismissal.

I believe that if the above principles are applied and the company does not have a suitable manager to Chair a Disciplinary Enquiry then it is in the company's interests to appoint a suitable external Chairperson.