The Institute of Executive Studies (IES) on Thursday organised a one-day seminar to enhance the capacity of corporate executives and business owners on the legal aspects of human resource management.
The seminar sought to provide participants with the essential information regarding hiring, managing, disciplining, censoring, dismissing or retrenching staff.
The highly interactive and practical course covered topics including the legal implications of HR function, ensuring HR contracts and policies are compliant with the labour laws, outlining rights all employees have, and which can be easily and unconsciously infringed by companies as well as examining the do’s and don’ts when interviewing, reference checking and hiring new employees.
Others are legal procedures to follow when trying to dismiss a worker who is underperforming, forms of harassment and discrimination and how a company must deal with complaints and outlining when and how a written or verbal warning can and must be issued.
Mr Austin Gamey, an HR Consultant and Industrial Relations expert who was the facilitator charged corporate executives and business owners to be guided by the country’s 1992 Constitution and the Labour Act, Act 651.
“Our labour laws are comprehensive, and if we apply them to the letter, we can avoid some of the labour unrest in our country today,” he said.
He further urged the corporate bodies and business owners to avoid the power based relationship with their employees as that was an old traditional way of labour-management relations.
According to him, that strategy often did not promote healthy labour-management relations and urged businesses to be more engaging in managing differences.
Some of the participants shared their impressions about the seminar with ADR Daily on what they have gained and were going to incorporate into their organisations.
Group Managing Director of Camelot Ghana Limited, Mr John Colin Villars observed he has had further insight into the labour laws of the country and was going to ensure his organisation would incorporate it in their dealings.
He said, “For me, the legal aspects, ADR and obviously the Labour Act were very insightful so I’ve learnt a lot. Yes, you can read, but concerning interpretation and meaning. I have not learnt the labour laws before, I am not an HR person, and unfortunately, most of us CEOs are guilty of not knowing the labour laws and we hire HR people to do that for us. Mr Gamey has instilled some curiosity into me. We have to read the Labour Act to understand the details and broad HR aspects that are critical to our organizations.”
Nana Mbroh Elegba, Chief HR Officer, Multimedia Group Limited observed that HR practice was dynamic hence the need for practitioners to learn about the modern trends.
“It was an enlightening program, I have enjoyed myself, I’ve learnt a lot; it’s been a while since I have been in the classroom and obviously things have changed. They are no longer the same because I’ve been on the field for a while, at least I have 17 years of HR practice, and I can appreciate that industrial relations have moved on. I’m glad I’ve discovered new things about the role of the HR manager, we went through strategy formulation, we went through Appreciative Inquiry (AI), which is a relatively new concept, so I am glad I came for this programme.
One of the things I will be taking back is that as an HR manager, you are the manager of managers, so you need to make sure that you are channeling their energies properly, guiding them properly especially when it comes to the performance management process to ensure that they get it right from the setting of the targets, through the setting of the KPIs. Also, you have to make sure that there is a direct link between productivity and remuneration, so it’s something that I’m taking away to my organization,” Mr. Elegba said.
An HR practitioner, Yaa Prince-Boateng advised colleague human resource managers across the country to be transparent with their workers.
She said, “I was very impressed; usually when you go for seminars you can find the information on Google but this was very informative, and with a seasoned man with a lot of experience, so everything he said was very much applicable with lots of examples from Act 651 put together.
My advice for HR managers across the country is to be transparent because without that there is mistrust.”
Among participants for the day’s seminar include HR managers, CEOs and administrators from the University of Ghana, Legon, HFC Bank, Kal Tire, J.A. Plant Pool, the National Ambulance Service and three participants from Sierra Leone.
By Francis Tandoh/adrdaily.com