SKM offers a wide spectrum of comprehensive services of HR and IR services. Offering extensive support services, strong administrative skills, and personalised client relations. SKM endeavours to render professional and efficient services.
HR/IR policy development
HR policies and procedures are the heart of an organisation’s equitable treatment of employees and the basic starting point for employee engagement. Policies must be legal, fair, thorough and unbiased. Some of the benefits of having well drafted HR policies are: minimizing legal risks, avoiding expensive grievance processes, and preventing unionization. Regularly reviewing and adapting them, plus ongoing training of leaders, are critical steps.
A good employment contract is beneficial to both the employee and the employer. It spells out the rights and obligations of each party, protects the job security of the employee and protects the employer from certain risks such as the release of confidential employer information after the term of employment ends. Some jurisdictions require employment contracts for certain positions. Most employment contracts set a definite term of employment. This guarantees employees a job as long as they do not violate the terms of the contract, and allows employers to dismiss an employee at the end of the term in jurisdictions that restrict the ability of employers to fire employees. The length of this term should be carefully negotiated. Good employment contract will specify exactly what offenses can result in termination of the employee. This helps both parties, because it ensures that the employee knows which activities are required and which are forbidden, thus rendering a serious breach less likely.
Initiating cases of misconduct and poor work performance
Incapacity – Poor work performance:
- Poor performance relates to a person’s inability to deliver service that is of an acceptable standard thereby rendering him/her unable to comply with his/her contractual duties.
- Employers are entitled to set performance standards which employees are required to meet.
- These standards should be relevant to the employee’s job function and reasonable in terms of the operational requirements of the business.
- Employees should be aware of these performance standards.
- Failure to perform to an acceptable standard is an acceptable ground for a fair dismissal.
The process is managed by Line Managers.
Incapacity – Ill health:
- The incapacity: ill-health process has been devised in order to provide clear guidelines in terms of how to deal with matters of this nature in a procedurally and substantively fair manner, having due regard to the rights of employees, but also with consideration of the company’s right to expect service from the employee in line with his/her contractual obligation.
- The primary objective of this process is to effectively manage incapacity due to ill-health and/or repetitive absenteeism due to ill-health.
The process is managed by the Line Manager.
Chairing of hearings
Chairing of hearings/appeals/reviews and grievance enquiries.
A chairperson will chair Disciplinary Enquiries.
The chairperson will decide on the outcome of the Disciplinary Enquiry after due consideration of the evidence presented to him/her in support of the charge/s brought against the employee accused of misconduct
- Each company MUST have a grievance procedure. The grievance procedure has been devised to deal with situations whereby an employee expresses a feeling of dissatisfaction, unfairness or injustice. The feeling of dissatisfaction or injustice must have arisen out of the employment situation.
- The purpose of the grievance procedure is to address this feeling of dissatisfaction or alleged unfairness/injustice in an expeditious manner and with the aim to provide an acceptable solution, with the ultimate objective to promote peaceful and harmonious relationships within the working environment.
Investigating workplace misconduct
Investigation of workplace misconduct (fact finding).
This process will require the investigator to:
- Investigate the alleged misconduct
- Gather all evidence related to the incident
- Draft the appropriate charge
- Decide on the appropriate action to be taken, which will include the application of progressive discipline or the referral of the matter to a Disciplinary Enquiry (for potentially dismissal offences)
- Represent the company at the Disciplinary Enquiry
Relationship by Objectives (RBO)
Legislation makes provision for collective bargaining, which allows trade unions, under certain circumstances, to negotiate terms and conditions of employment on behalf their members / within defined bargaining units. The company has a duty to negotiate with the recognised Trade Unions.
Mediation, facilitation of negotiations and Bargaining Forums
Mediation – a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) used by agencies in employment related disputes. ADR choices include negotiation, which is probably the most flexible and informal of ADRs (as it takes place without the need for third party assistance) while, at the other end of the scale, there is arbitration. A mediation process has the aim of resolving a specific conflict among a limited number of parties and generate an acceptable agreement between them.
The role of a facilitator may vary, but in most cases they are responsible for keeping the conversation on track and communication open. The objective of facilitation has its
aim is to build trust and to find like-mindedness on contested issues among a group of actors. The role of a third party is precisely to facilitate the conversation, i.e.to create the enabling environment necessary to conduct a more formal process.
Mediation and facilitation – are the concepts used to describe different approaches to supporting peace processes or conflict management.
Collective bargaining – is the negotiation process that takes place between an employer and a group of employees when certain issues arise. The employees rely on a union member to represent them during the bargaining process, and the negotiations often relate to regulating such issues as working conditions, employee safety, training, wages, and layoffs. When an agreement is reached, the resulting “collective bargaining agreement,” or “CBA,” becomes the contract governing employment issues.
Collective bargaining – can be described as the relationship governing organized labour and employers, focusing mainly on the respective party’s interests.
HR, Employment and labour relations legal advice
This entails giving expert advice to the business to ensure that your business meets the legal requirements of employment law. It covers a number of areas from contracts, to wages to HR procedures.
These are all hugely important pieces of legislation that you need to manage your business safely and effectively. Having the right paperwork and policies in place ensures you adhere to legal requirements. This also ensures you benefit from assistance provided to help protect not only your staff, but your business too. As an employer, you need to be able to provide a contract to each member of staff to ensure factors like acceptable levels of pay and good working conditions are evident across your business. The contract should also highlight procedures, such as grievance procedure, health and safety, leave policy, workplace rules disciplinary processes, which you have put in place. Staff should be aware of these procedures and understand their role and how to adhere to them. This is commonly explained during a new staff member’s induction into a company. Having policies set out benefits your business primarily because it ensures you have the right legal documentation in place. This should help to protect your business in the event of an employee complaining due to issues arising from a violation of one of more of these policies.
Training courses and workshops
The objective of Labour relations training / workshops are to give an overview of labour relations and labour law. After completion of the workshop the delegates should have a better understanding of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act as well as the labour relation Act, including relevant regulations and codes of good practice. It is to capacitate managers who deal with day to day discipline of employees.
CCMA/Bargaining Council representation:
- Employees have the right to refer unfair dismissals and unfair labour practises to the country specific dispute resolution forum, e.g. the CCMA in SA, CMAC in Swaziland and the DDPR in Lesotho. Each country has legislation and rules which govern this right in respect of timelines and other requirements.
- If either party is dissatisfied with the outcome of matters at these forums, legislation provides for referral/application to the relevant courts, like the Labour Court in SA or the Industrial Court in Swaziland.