Workplace Dynamx provides specialized practical labour law training.
Our training material is aimed to strike a balance between theory and practical application of labour law principles with our material developers drawing from over 40 years’ experience collectively as Senior CCMA Commissioners.
Our courses are uniquely developed based on SAQA Unit standards and are regularly updated to incorporate the latest developments in the labour market. We also offer specially developed courses that meets your specific workplace requirement. The different courses can be presented in-house at your premises and current material can also be adjusted to incorporate your specific corporate needs.
We strive to ensure our users are professionally equipped to deal with the challenges they may face in the workplace.
For a full list of our training material or to obtain more information pertaining to training events please feel free to contact us today.
We can offer courses that are already developed according to recent case law, and we can also develop new courses to your required standards or adapt current courses to be in line with your unique workplace and codes.
Tell me and I’ll forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I learn – Benjamin Franklin
Some of our training programs on offer:
A proper approach to application of discipline in South Africa is one of the major challenges facing both employers and employees. There are a welter of legislation governing labour relations in the workplace and it is therefore important to keep abreast of statutory requirements and case law in order to apply discipline progressively and fairly.
To ensure that you are best equipped and properly advised as to the rights and obligations governing the workplace, Workplace Dynamx is offering a training program titled “Workplace Discipline”. This program is aimed at proving a practical approach to these important topic against the theoretical backdrop of the legislation.
The program overview consists of the following:
1. Legislative Framework:
- Overview of the legal principles governing workplace discipline and the right to fair labour practices
- Importance of the organizational policies and procedures
- Purpose of discipline in the workplace
- Substantive fairness in dismissal
- Procedural fairness in dismissal and applicable time frames
- Distinguishing between dismissal for poor work performance on the basis of incapacity and misconduct
2. Pre-Liminary Stages of the Disciplinary Hearing
- Factors to be considered when deciding whether or not to suspend an employee
- Rights of employees in relation to suspension
3. Investigating the Allegations
- Conducting a fair and impartial investigation
- The approach to be applied when interviewing potential witnesses
- Taking down witnesses statements that meet legal and organisational requirements
- Considering all relevant factors in deciding whether or not to proceed with disciplinary action against an employee
4. Preparing for the disciplinary hearing
- Formulation of allegations and legal requirements for amending allegations
- Verbal or written notification to the employee
- Informing the employee of his/her rights
- Providing sufficient particulars to enable him/her to prepare for the hearing
- Ensure human, physical and external resources are available and in place for the hearing
- Preparing witnesses for the hearing
5. Conducting the Disciplinary hearing
- The different role players in the hearing and the roles of each one
- Conducting the disciplinary hearing in a manner that meets both legal and organisational requirements
- Dealing with interlocutory issues:
- The right to representation during the hearing
- Is there a right to legal representation during the hearing
- Request for further particulars
- Application for recusal
- Non adherence to legal or organisational requirements
- Application for postponement
- Admissibility of evidence
Dealing with Evidence during the Hearing
- Rules of natural justice
- When should evidence be adduced
- When is evidence admissible
- Standard of proof
- Onus or burden of proof
- Different types of evidence
- Opening statement
- Evidence in Chief
- Cross examination
- Closing arguments
Outcome of the Hearing
- Drafting an outcome report that meets legal and organisational requirements
- Effect of the chairperson’s finding
- Deciding on the appropriate sanction
- Right to appeal or to refer the matter to the CCMA or Bargaining Council.
This course can be presented in two or four days. The above topics will be covered in the first two days. The last two days can be presented as a stand-alone course or as an addition to the Workplace Discipline course. During the last two days participants will be guided through a practical approach on how to do the following:
- opening statements;
- evidence in chief;
- re-examiniation; and closing arguments.
EMPLOYMENT EQUITY IN PRACTICE:
With the 2014 amendments to the Employment Equity Act, and the proposed amendments underway, the urgent need arose for Employers and Employees alike to be well informed in terms of the changes and the interpretation and application thereof in the workplace.
Major changes were introduced with specific reference to the grounds on which a claim for discrimination can be made, dispute resolution process, and the onus in these disputes. Don’t be left behind, book today for a one or two day course on the principles governing unfair discrimination in the workplace.
Employers can be held liable for the actions of its employees and should therefore act proactively in ensuring equal treatment at the workplace. An award or order can amount to thousands of rands in compensation and or damages if found in contravention.
And with the proposed amendments to the EEA, would an Employer be disqualified from benefitting from Government tenders if found in contravention of the EEA.
Our course provide a practical guide to the provisions of the Employment Equity Act and will cover the following topics:
- Overview: Employment Equity Act, 55 of 1998
1.1 The legislative framework
1.2 Impact of membership to the ILO
1.3 Framework of the Employment Equity Act
- Prohibition Of Unfair Discrimination
2.1 Understanding “unfair discrimination”
2.2 Distinction: Direct & Indirect discrimination
2.3 Who is protected under Section 6
2.4 Policies and Practices defined
2.5 Equal pay for work of equal value
- Legal principles Prohibition Of Unfair Discrimination
3.1 Grounds for discrimination
3.1.1 Listed versus arbitrary grounds
3.2 Test for unfair discrimination
3.3 Justification for discrimination
- Dispute Resolution
4.1 ONUS in discrimination cases
4.2.1 6 month rule (Condonation)
4.2.2 CCMA versus Labour Court
- Case Law Overview
SEXUAL HARASSMENT IN THE WORKPLACE
Sexual Harassment in the Workplace has been in the public eye for the past few years. Resulting in global social media campaigns such as #MeToo, #NotInMyName and #OutYourPig, been called into being over this very important issue.
Unfortunately South African workplaces have not escaped these harrowing tales of sexual harassment and news of such incidents continue to be reported daily.
Examples of such is Google who dismissed some 48 employees for sexual harassment, SABC who have been reported in the media to have covered reports of sexual harassment and very recently the criminal trial of Pastor Omotoso.
The Labour Appeal Court in Motsamai v Everite Building Products (Pty) Ltd  2 BLLR 144 (LAC) describes sexual harassment as follows:
“Sexual harassment is the most heinous misconduct that plagues a workplace; not only is it demeaning to the victim, it undermines the dignity, integrity and self- worth of the employee harassed. The harshness of the wrong is compounded when the victim suffers it at the hands of his/her supervisor. Sexual harassment goes to the root of one’s being…”
Employers have been held liable for the actions of their employees where it was held that they have not taken reasonable steps to eliminate unequal treatment. In Liberty Group Limited the employer was ordered to pay the employee in damages an amount of R250 000. In Media 24 the employer was found to have been in negligent breach of the legal duty to maintain a working environment free from sexual harassment.
Be part of the change and book this course to ensure equality in the workplace free from any discrimination. Important topics that would be discussed:
- The Legislative framework under the Employment Equity Act
- What constitutes sexual harassment?
- The application of the Code of Good Practice and the Amended Code of Good Practice in determining whether or not behaviour constitutes sexual harassment
- Is workplace relationships still relevant and permissible?
- How to investigate a complaint of sexual harassment?
- What process should be followed when a complaint is received?
- Determining whether conduct was unwelcome, in particular where less confrontational and passive ways of indicating that the behaviour was not welcomed, was adopted.
- A critical evaluation of the employer’ sexual harassment policy to determine if it is compliant with the Codes of Good Practice.
- The statutory duties and liability of the employer in handling sexual harassment complaints.
- How to approach the instance where a complainant did not report a complaint of sexual harassment immediately
- The underlying psychological phenomena that informs a delay in reporting the matter.
- Who to believe if there are no witnesses to the incident?
- Dealing with a complainant or witness that does not recall details with accuracy
- Does inconsistencies automatically discredit the complainant?
- Section 5 read with section 60 of the EEA places a statutory duty on the employer to take positive steps to eliminate unfair discrimination and promote equality on the workplace. A failure to take reasonable steps may lead to liability of the employer for the actions of its employees.
Other courses include:
- Rules of the CCMA;
- Basic Conditions of Employment Act;
- Conflict Management in the Workplace
- Employment Equity Committee Training
- Substantive Law: Labour Relations Act
- Preparing and representation at the CCMA
- Mediation skills
- Building workplace relations;
- Practical application of the law of evidence in processes.
A session would be arranged whereby all the expectations and experience level of the client will be discussed, as well as specific Codes obtained. This will assist in personalizing the training to the client’s needs. This is achieved through consultation with the relevant stakeholders.
Construction of the intervention:
Essential from any training session is that intervention should result in knowledge transfer, skills development, and ability to deal with the situation faced in an increased self-awareness state that ensures optimization of resolution of any conflict or dispute.
This is achieved through a carefully constructed intervention that is tailored and specifically structured to achieve the afore-mentioned objectives. Objectives for development and customization is based on: –
- Transfer of knowledge
- Building necessary skills; abilities and behaviour
- Applied competence
Methodologies used to promote learning and change include:
- Group work and presentation;
- Scenario analysis;
- Case studies;
- Brain storming;
- DVDs (where available); and
- Interaction with participants.
We also specializes in Relationship Building. A specialised independent Panel of Facilitators, some also Commissioners of the CCMA, would be assigned to diagnose the challenges facing the different stake holders at the workplace and then, in collaboration with the parties, identify solutions to the identified issues, and assist in the implementation of the solutions.
Every workplace has conflict BUT when conflict is no longer enhancing good relationships and is hindering personal and organisational growth, then urgent intervention from a third neutral party is required.
The fact that we interact with people every day means that we are building a relationship with these individuals as we associate ourselves with them in one or the other way.
Concept of Relationship-Building
The term ‘relationship’ is embedded from the word ‘relation’ and is defined as a mutual affiliation or connection between individuals or groups of people or entities.
Relationships are built where there is mutual understanding between or among individuals. However, this is no easy task and takes time and hard work. Establishing a relationship has certain requirements for it to develop. These requirements will be shared with the shareholders in a joint effort to build the relations which in turn would meet professional needs and demands.
Essentials of a Relationship
For a relationship to exist, it must be between and among individuals. No relationship can exist for a single person only. Shared interests between people form a relationship. Usually, we create a connection with someone who can offer something that we can relate to. Employees, managers, union representatives al form a relationship as a result of shared ideas and work interests.
Communication is an essential part of a relationship and plays an important role in forming a relationship. A relationship can only exist where there is continuous interaction with another person. Trust and respect are also very important aspects in a relationship.
For a relationship to grow and become unrelenting, it has to be nourished and maintained. A good relationship can make wonders in the life of each one of us.
Benefits of Building Good Relationships
With good relationships, we are able to accomplish personal and career objectives because we are surrounded with individuals who is supportive in many aspects. An organisation successfully achieves its mission and vision when employees or the team members are in a harmonious relationship with each other. Having good mutual relations ensure personal contentment and satisfaction which in turn enhances business goals.
Diagnostic / scoping session:
A panellist would arrange a diagnostic or scoping meeting with the stakeholders to establish and identify the challenges to the relationship. Following the diagnostic session, a two or three day intervention session, depending on the need, would be arranged.
During this session stakeholders would be involved to devise an intervention plan aimed at improving the relationship. Parties would develop and contract to the implementation plan which set out goals and dates for implementation.
Follow up session:
A follow up meeting would be arranged to establish the extent to which the goals were reached.
A comprehensive report would be compiled detailing the identified challenges, proposed and contracted resolutions and progress made.
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Workplace Mediation and Facilitation
Workplace Mediation is a voluntary process undertaken by an impartial mediator who facilitates / mediates a dispute between different parties. The process is confidential in nature and takes the form of informal discussions, aimed at assisting parties to develop mutually acceptable agreements. The mediator will guide the parties to ensure the agreements are developed with the intention of advancing working relationships. Mediation is a very powerful tool that can be effectively applied at all levels of the organization.
The Mediation process
Appointment of a Mediator:
An experienced Mediator will be appointed and would, depending on the circumstances, have a discussion with the representative of the organization in advance to obtain an understanding of the history of the dispute. During this discussion expectations on issues such as confidentiality and reporting back, would be discussed. Following thereto a meeting would be arranged between all the parties.
Meeting with all the stakeholders:
The Mediator would convene an intervention session with all the parties. During the course of this session the Mediator will decide whether to continue in joint sessions or to divide the parties into separate caucuses.
During these discussions the Mediator will also coach the parties on effective handling of conflict and provide assistance to accommodate adjustments in the current communication methods to enhance proper communication. In addition current communication methods would be evaluated to determine where changes are required in order to promote better understanding.
The ultimate aim of the sessions is to empower the parties to deal with all challenges themselves. In doing so to reach an amicable solution, not only to communicational challenges, but also the issues in dispute.
The Mediator will assist the parties in drafting an enforceable agreement that would be implemented and that deals with all the issues in its totality. The agreement shall specify all dates and actions to ensure compliance.
Types of disputes that can be mediated:
|ny workplace dispute is susceptible to a mediation process. Examples are:
- Wage and other matters of mutual interest disputes;
- Interpersonal disputes
- Disputes about managerial styles
- Job grading and related disputes
- Disputes about Leadership styles
- Resolution of grievances
- Complaints of discrimination / harassment or bullying in the workplace
- Change in workplace practices or conditions of service
- Proposed retrenchment
- Termination of services
Levels of intervention:
All levels of the organization can benefit from mediation. The following disputes can be mediated:
Between staff members;
- Between staff and management;
- Between management;
- Between different unions
- Between labour and staff / management
- Between staff and customers / clients / contractors or TES employees / management
- Performance issues
Benefits of Mediation
Mediation offers innumerable benefits to everyone within the workplace. It provides for speedily, effective, creative, and equally acceptable resolutions. The sooner a dispute is mediated after it originated, the higher the likelihood that it may be settled.
- Longer lasting effect
- Improves communication and mutual respect
- Saves time, reduces costs associated with prolonged litigation and improves performance
- Restores broken relationships
- Fast track return to work
Effectiveness of Mediation
Any workplace difference, conflict or dispute can be effectively resolved through mediation. Mediation is much more effective than other prolonged dispute resolution mechanisms and costly litigation. Where Mediation is the preferred resolution device, the workplace is likely to become one where everyone provides less resistance and become more amenable to accommodation and resolution of own disputes.
Some disputes were you would be well-advised to seek Mediation through a neutral person are:
Complaints of any type of discrimination / harassment / bullying:
These disputes should be attended to with great urgency and be mediated by someone with the necessary expertize. Lack of immediate intervention or lack of proper understanding of these issues may have serious consequences for individuals involved, and for the workplace in general.
Many complaints arise as a result of the differences in opinion on what is offending and what not. Where parties are willing to undergo mediation conducted by a professional, these complaints can have excellent conclusions. Relationships can be saved and expensive, time consuming and traumatic litigation can be avoided.
There can be a welter of reasons why employees suddenly display a decrease in performance. Attempts by management to investigate may prove ineffective due to a fear of being disciplined, or due to a break down in the trust relationship. Mediation can assist in improving mutual understanding and resolutions can be developed to address the challenges. This will result in a better working relationship and increase in personal and organizational performance.
Interpersonal disputes between employees:
It may happen from time to time that interpersonal differences prevent co-employees from working effectively together. This may result in a drop in performance or prolonged disputes between the parties. It may even spread to other employees, having a negative effect on the business. Mediation will provide speedily and effective resolution of the dispute, ensuring that everyone is heard and can return to be a productive member of staff.
Acts of misconduct or termination of service:
Where acts of misconduct are discovered, employers usually resort to desperate measures to resolve the issue. This may lead to unnecessary litigation which is cost and time inefficient. Through mediation, the employee will be afforded the opportunity to communicate various options to resolve the matter. Mediation will result in less disputes, avoidance of emotionally draining processes and expensive litigation.
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