Module LABOUR LAW LABR05-OF WORKPLACE ASSIGNMENT 1 (US12139) Week 1 Answer the following questions: Question 1 (5 marks) Arrange a meeting with your workplace supervisor and have a discussion on the benefits of a structured grievance process for the organisation and its employees. (SO 1, AC 1–5) Question 2 (5 marks) Arrange an interview with your HR Department to discuss the process of monitoring compliance during a grievance process. (SO 3, AC 1–4) Question 3 (5 marks) Source the grievance procedure from your workplace (or any other workplace) and familiarise yourself with each of the steps. Identify the shortcomings within the grievance policy and procedure. You should review your policy and amend it accordingly, with clear indications on the policy and procedure that amendments were made. Upload this procedure, indicating the areas of amendment. (SO 3, AC 3–4) TOTAL MARKS: 15 Module LABOUR LAW LABR05-OF WORKPLACE ASSIGNMENT 1 (US12139) Week 1 Workplace name: Lassie Ltd Activity: Sale of electronic components Location: Cape Town Number of employees: 130 Number of departments: 5 (Sales, Customer support, Marketing, Finance, HR) 1. Twice a year, the company Lassie Ltd sets up a meeting with the HR and Supervisors to discuss benefits of a structured grievance process for the organisation and its employees. Meeting place: Conference room Meeting date and time: March 8, 2020 - 10AM Attendees: Human Resources and Management Supporting Material : Grievance policy1 The meeting started with a clear explanation of the company’s grievance policy supported by a copy of the Grievance Policy documentation (Annexure 1). A grievance policy and procedure gives both employers and employees clear guidelines and instructions. The meeting aimed at raising awareness on the benefit of a structured grievance process for the organisation and its employees. HR explained the participants that following a fair procedure raises the chances of finding solutions to problems and in the extreme cases where no resolution can be found other than disciplinary action or resignation, the Company can still be assured that by following the process the Company has acted fairly and every effort has been made to protect the interests of both etc employee and Company alike. HR then explained that having a properly written grievance procedure in place is to the advantage of both employer and employee so that it can be aired and hopefully resolved before they develop into more serious issues. 1 Annexure 1 Module LABOUR LAW LABR05-OF WORKPLACE ASSIGNMENT 1 (US12139) Week 1 Indeed, a good grievance procedure can help to avoid formal disputes and the need for litigation. They enounced the three stages of a typical grievance procedure: 1. The first is an informal discussion. 2. If this does not resolve the matter, the second stage is a written grievance with a hearing to consider all the evidence. 3. The third stage is a right of appeal if the employee is not satisfied with the outcome of the grievance. HR reminded the attendees that grievances must be put in writing if they are not resolved informally and minutes should be kept of all meetings, copies of which should be supplied to the employee. Employees have the right to be accompanied to grievance hearings by a colleague or trade union representative2. In brief, during the meeting with Supervisors, HR identified a list of the Benefits of a grievance procedure3: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. It creates the opportunity for upward communication from employees. It ensures that complaints are effectively dealt with by management. It creates awareness of employee problems or of problem areas that could be subject to further investigation. It prevents disputes from arising It renders the disciplinary procedure more acceptable, since employees also have a means of objecting to management performance. It emphasises management’s concern for the wellbeing of employees. These benefits will be achieved if the grievance procedure functions efficiently and is accurately implemented and utilised. 2 HCHR, nd, Grievance procedures and the benefits to businesses, (Online) Available from: https://www.hchr.co.uk/grievance-procedures-benefits-businesses/, Accessed: 04/04/20 3 Milpark Education (Pty) Ltd Labour Relations LABR05-OF 17a, Topic 1 (US 10985), Grievance structures and procedures (SO1), AC1-5, Pp 10-16 Module LABOUR LAW LABR05-OF WORKPLACE ASSIGNMENT 1 (US12139) Week 1 2. After making sure that the attendees had understood the benefits of a structured grievance procedure, the HR department then decided to have an internal meeting to discuss the process of monitoring compliance during a grievance process. Although “a the grievance procedure is probably the most simple of all procedures, it must be noted that the grievance procedure may not be used to address unfair labour practices, salary or wage issues, demands for other benefits, or as an appeal mechanism following a disciplinary hearing. The grievance procedure is the vehicle used by an employee when he has a grievance or complaint relating to his working conditions.”4 The HR department decided to sit as an independent function to review the process and ensure that the company is operating within a compliant framework. Let’s recall the implemented Grievance procedure of Lassie Ltd 5 (See below): 4 Labour Guide, nd, Discipline dismissal, Grievance Procedure, (Online) Available from : https://www.labourguide.co.za/discipline-dismissal/366-grievance-procedure, Accessed: 04/04/20 5 Saylordotorg, nd, Grievance process, (Online) Available from:https://saylordotorg.github.io/text_humanrelations/s15-03-grievance-process.html, Accessed: 04/04/20 Module LABOUR LAW LABR05-OF WORKPLACE ASSIGNMENT 1 (US12139) Week 1 In order to ensure that the procedure for handling grievances is as effective as possible, the HR management will6: • ensure that all employees are familiar with the procedure. • provide training and information as to how best to use and what to expect from the grievance procedure. This is done by: – – formulating the grievance clearly expressing what would be an acceptable solution. • avoid all forms of victimisation or intimidation. • encourage responsible use of the procedure. • assist both employee representatives and all areas of management to become fully conversant and familiar with the procedure: – – – – Listen carefully. Verify or investigate facts. State own position (if applicable). Elicit a suggested solution from the employee. Moreover, the HR should make sure that the process is compliant with Specific Codes of Good Practice and that the Grievance are handled in accordance to the requirements e.g.: Employees should be allowed representation in addressing grievances, particularly in formal processes. The parties involved must all have the opportunity to state their version of events and to hear the other side. Milpark Education (Pty) Ltd Labour Relations LABR05-OF 17a, Topic 1 (US 10985), Monitor the application of grievance procedures and adjust when necessary (SO3), AC1-4, Pp 28-31 6 Module LABOUR LAW LABR05-OF WORKPLACE ASSIGNMENT 1 (US12139) Week 1 Lastly, the Management must make sure that appropriate corrective actions are in place in order to correct, eliminate or minimise the amount of grievance. Trainings, or re-training stakeholders, Working, updating or correcting the grievance forms to clarify the nature of information required Updating or amending procedures to remove problem areas, Contracting experts to clarify areas of disagreement between stakeholders Focusing on case-by-case guidance for management and stakeholders by labour relations experts Once the HR management has confirmed compliance with the internal procedure and legal requirements, that corrective actions are in place, then the latest can inform the different stakeholders (trainings, meetings, task groups), and can be considered safe when handling a grievance. 3. We have sourced the Grievance procedure from Lassie Ltd and familiarize with each of the steps. We have then identified a few shortcomings that could be essential in the grievance policy and procedure. Lastly we have reviewed and amended the policy accordingly, with clear indications on the policy and procedure that amendments were made. Find attachment called Annexure 2 – Amended Grievance Policy Module LABOUR LAW LABR05-OF WORKPLACE ASSIGNMENT 1 (US12139) Week 1 References: 1. Annexure 1 2. HCHR, nd, Grievance procedures and the benefits to businesses, (Online) Available from: https://www.hchr.co.uk/grievance-procedures-benefits-businesses/, Accessed: 04/04/20 3. Milpark Education (Pty) Ltd Labour Relations LABR05-OF 17a, Topic 1 (US 10985), Grievance structures and procedures (SO1), AC1-5, Pp 10-16 4. Labour Guide, nd, Discipline dismissal, Grievance Procedure, (Online) Available from : https://www.labourguide.co.za/discipline-dismissal/366-grievance-procedure, Accessed: 04/04/20 5. Saylordotorg, nd, Grievance process, (Online) Available from:https://saylordotorg.github.io/text_human-relations/s15-03-grievanceprocess.html, Accessed: 04/04/20 6. Milpark Education (Pty) Ltd Labour Relations LABR05-OF 17a, Topic 1 (US 10985), Monitor the application of grievance procedures and adjust when necessary (SO3), AC1-4, Pp 28-31 Module LABOUR LAW LABR05-OF WORKPLACE ASSIGNMENT 1 (US12139) Week 1 Annexure 1 Staff Grievances and Dispute resolution Procedures Policy number 1234567890 Version 1 Drafted by Responsible person Human Resources Mrs Lapino Approved by Board on Scheduled review date 10/09/2018 10/09/2021 Introduction Open communication and feedback are regarded as essential elements of a satisfying and productive work environment. Lassie Ltd encourages its employees and volunteers to resolve any issues or concerns that they may have at the earliest opportunity with each other or, failing that, their immediate supervisor. The preferred process involves employees and volunteers resolving issues to their satisfaction internally, without feeling they have to refer to external organisations or to authorities for assistance. Purpose The purpose of this document is to provide an avenue through which employees and volunteers, and their managers, can resolve work-related complaints as they arise. Policy Lassie Ltd will establish mechanisms to promote fast and efficient resolution of workplace issues. Employees and volunteers should feel comfortable discussing issues with their manager or supervisor in accordance with the procedures outlined below. All formal avenues for handling of grievances will be fully documented and the employee/volunteer’s wishes will be taken into account in determining the appropriate steps and actions. No employee will be intimidated or unfairly treated in any respect if they utilise this Policy to resolve an issue. This Policy applies to permanent and part-time paid employees and to volunteer workers. Module LABOUR LAW LABR05-OF WORKPLACE ASSIGNMENT 1 (US12139) Week 1 Responsibilities It is the responsibility of Managers and Supervisors to ensure that: They identify, prevent and address potential problems before they become formal grievances; They are aware of, and are committed to the principles of communicating and information sharing with their employees and volunteers; All decisions relating to employment practices are made with consideration given to the ramifications for the individual, as well as the organisation in general; Any grievance is handled in the most appropriate manner at the earliest opportunity; All employees and volunteers are treated fairly and without fear of intimidation. It is the responsibility of Employees (including Volunteers) to ensure that: They attempt to resolve any issues through their immediate supervisor and through internal processes at the earliest opportunity. It is the responsibility of the Human Resources Department to ensure that: All managers, supervisors, employees and volunteers are aware of their obligations and responsibilities in relation to communication and information sharing with their employees; Ongoing support and guidance is provided to all employees in relation to employment and communication issues; All managers, supervisors, employees and volunteers are aware of their obligations and responsibilities in relation to handling grievances; Any grievance that comes to the attention of managers or supervisors is handled in the most appropriate manner at the earliest opportunity. Procedures Employment Practices All managers and supervisors should be aware of the possible ramifications of their actions when dealing with employee/volunteer issues. They must ensure that all employees and volunteers are treated with fairness, equality and respect. If there are any doubts or queries in relation to how to deal with a particular set of circumstances, managers or supervisors should contact the Human Resources Department for advice at the earliest opportunity. Where a grievance or dispute has been brought to a Manager’s attention, they should assess whether the employee involved is covered by an Award or Agreement, and if so should refer to that document for grievance procedures. If the employee or volunteer involved is not covered by such a document, the guidelines below should be followed. Module LABOUR LAW LABR05-OF WORKPLACE ASSIGNMENT 1 (US12139) Week 1 Grievances and Dispute Resolution An employee or volunteer who considers that they have a dispute or grievance should raise the matter with their immediate supervisor as a first step towards resolution. The two parties should discuss the matter openly and work together to achieve a desired outcome. The Manager or Supervisor should check for clarification of the issue to ensure they fully understand the complainant’s concern. Managers should follow the standard procedure of offering the employee or volunteer the opportunity to have an independent witness at the discussion, ensuring they follow the steps outlined below: If more than one person is present, establish the role of each person. Outline the process that is to be followed. Inform the parties that any information obtained in the conduct of the review is confidential. Listen to the complainant and diagnose the problem. Take accurate and detailed notes of all conversations (including dates, people involved) and attach any supporting documentation. If deemed necessary, provide the employee/volunteers with a written summary of the meeting and clarification of the next steps to be taken. The Manager must ensure that the manner in which the meeting is conducted will be conducive to maintaining positive working relationships, and will provide a fair, objective and independent analysis of the situation. All parties are to maintain complete confidentiality at all times. If the matter is not resolved and the employee or volunteer wishes to pursue it, the issue should be discussed with a Human Resources Officer, then, if necessary, the CEO. Again, the matter is to be discussed openly and objectively with management to ensure it is fully understood. If the grievance/dispute is one of a confidential or serious nature involving the employee or volunteer’s Manager, the complainant may discuss the issue directly with the Human Resources Department or the CEO.