Thousands of employers every year land up getting the short end of the stick at the CCMA, bargaining councils and Labour Court, writes Ivan Israelsam. Primarily the reason is unprofessional management of employees at the workplace.

With the onset of the QCTO and the use of the OFO (Organising Framework for Occupations) it stands to reason that HR departments will need to align or re-design profiles for all positions or occupations in a company as closely as possible to the description given in the OFO.

Although Minister Mdladlana is keen to do away with labour broking, employers defer, as "it is one of the last vestiges of flexibility in our labour economy. That is, employers are able to relieve themselves of some of the constraints of labour law by hiring workers through employment agencies and labour brokers," writes Ivan Israelstam.

Even those employers that have religiously and expertly carried out thorough employee reference checks are saddled with three problems, namely South Africa?s Constitution, the International Labour Organisation?s (ILO) Code of Practice and the Employment Equity Act (EEA).

Most organisations have some kind of policy or code of conduct that defines behaviours that are acceptable and unacceptable. Honest behaviour in the workplace means the extent to which individuals and groups abide by consistent and rational ethical standards, writes Des Squire.

A trade union will be successful in gaining recognition at your workplace if it can prove to you or to the CCMA that it has sufficient representation amongst your employees. The question is, what constitutes sufficient representation?

What should managers do in the event of a possible dismissal of an employee? First, establish substantive fairness, second send notification, and third permit reasonable time for the employee to prepare a defence - and to be assisted by a union representative or a colleague, Des Squire explains.

While the Labour Court is fairly flexible on an employer?s reason for retrenchment, the courts rigidly insist on adherence to retrenchment consultation procedure. Too often, Ivan Israelstam writes, employers suffer the crippling consequences of not following retrenchment law.

The shortlist of candidates for 2009's top female entrepreneurs has been revealed ahead of the Regional Business Achiever Awards, to be held in June. The cream of SA businesswomen were selected from emerging, established and social entrepreneurial categories.

Planning a career is about considering the future with an adult approach, writes Des Squire. Seek guidance from those who know you well, take inspiration from psychological tests and broaden your horizon through part-time and voluntary work.



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