Occupation Health and Safety Legislation
Occupational health and safety legislation protects employees’ safety and health while at the work place. The legislation ensures that the work environment is safe and any employee injured while at work has the right to sue the employer. For example, the regulation requires employers to ensure that their employees have protective gears depending on the nature of work and hazardous materials are disposed safely to protect employees from any accidents (Dessler, Cole &Chhinzer, 2015). If an accident occurs in an organization and the employees can prove that the accident was a result of the employer neglecting their safety and health they can take the employer to court for negligence and be compensated. Indeed, the legislation has led employees to feel entitled to a safe and healthy work environment and pressured employers to ensure that they meet the occupational health and safety standards.
Occupational health and safety legislation empowers employees to take action against their employer if they are injured in the line of duty through its stipulation that employees have the right to work in safe safe environment and that they can sue employers if they do not feel safe in their workplaces or are injured. The significant costs that employees could incur in the case of successful negligence lawsuits is quite high so they are forced to invest in ensuring that working environments are safe for workers (Dessler, Cole &Chhinzer, 2015). Many employees have taken advantage of the occupational health and safety legislation because of the monetary compensation that they are awarded if their cases are ruled in their favor. Therefore, the labor law has led to employees feeling empowered.
The occupational health and safety legislation has led employees to be more productivesince it has enabled employers to encourage employees to commit to their work. The legislation allows the employee to put their trust in their employer since it protects them from workplace hazards that may deter productivity. Employers have to ensure that they have covered all the safety and health hazards so that their employees can work without worrying about the threat posed by their work on their safety and health (Dessler, Cole &Chhinzer, 2015). Communication aids employers and employees identify areas that pose health and safety hazards. Employees remain focused on their work since they believe that their employer protects them.
The legislation has also caused some issues, for example, it has strained relationships between employees and employers since employers are in constant worry that they might be sued if an employee is injured in the line of duty. So many provisions protect the employee that the employers left vulnerable. For instance, they carry the burden of proving that they were not negligent in case an accident happens while the employee is at an advantage since an injury at work can easily be deemed as having occurred as a result of negligence (Robert, 2010). Employers cannot cover all the safety and health issues since they are not aware of what accidents will occur in future and how. Therefore, the legislation empowers the employee while placing the employer at a disadvantage.
WorkLife Balance in the Workplace
Achieving work-life balance is important for it ensures that an individual pays attention to all spheres of their life. Individuals should develop work life balance plan to allow them to concentrate on each item at the appropriate time. Focusing on one area of life can be at the expense of other important things, which can lead to stress and isolation. It is also imperative to evaluate goals, relationships, and the available time when developing a work-life balance.
One of the aspects to look at in the work-life balance plan is time. One should allocate different activities to specific time. Individuals who works from 9am-to 5pm should ensure that they plan their time in a way that allows them cover all they need while they work so that they do not carry their work at home. Additionally, it is important to be open to putting boundaries between work and life to prevent one overtaking the other. Indeed, it is common to struggle with work life balance when either of the two is not regulated.
One should determine what values are important to him or her at work and in other areas of their life to prioritize them in order of importance. Values help people remain focused and consistent in everything they do. At the workplace and other settings, the desire to can be achieved through hard work and commitment. Therefore, values work as a driving force which makes it possible individuals to achieve their goals in different aspects of their life.
Employers need to ensure that they follow the right process when a grievance is presented before them to ensure that the issue is fairly addressed. upon receiving the grievance, Mr. Carlton should carry out an investigation to help him gather enough information to solve the conflict. The first step that he should take is attempt to resolve the matter informally. James has been an employee at the organization for 16 years thus Mr. Carlton should sit him down and talk to him about the issue before taking any other step. As per Robert, an informal approach usually works when the involved party is understanding and is willing to come to an agreement with the other party (2010). James feels that it was unfair that a junior employee was awarded the vacation days, and since he is usually a rational person, Mr. Carlton should explain to him why that decision was made and chances are he would understand.
If the first step does not work, Mr. Carlton should proceed to the second one. If James feels that the discussion with Mr. Carlton is not satisfactory, Mr. Carlton should ask him to put his grievance in writing so that formal action can be taken. Once he receives the written grievance, Mr. Carlton should commence an investigation to gather the facts of the matter. Investigations into a grievance can be carried out by the human resource department or the employer to aid in making informed decisions on the issue.
In addition, the employers should call for a grievance meeting after an investigation to give the findings of the investigations. Employees have the right to be accompanied by other individuals who support their complaints (Black & Boggs, 2009). During such a meeting, Mr. James should be given the opportunity to not only present his case but also state how he believes the complaint can be resolved. Moreover, Mr. Carlton should ask James what he hopes will be the outcome of the grievance meeting.
After the completion of an investigation into a grievance, an employer makes a decision regarding the matter. Indeed, after carrying out an investigation, an employer should have enough information to make an informed decision. The employer has to decide whether to reject or uphold the grievance. Should the grievance be upheld or rejected, the employer should give clear instructions on the actions that will follow (Black & Boggs, 2009). Moreover, the decision arrived at should be made communicated to the employee in writing. In the letter, the employer should also inform the employee that he or she has the right to appeal the decision.
Managing Employee Separations
Employers should ensure that they follow the right procedure when firing an employee to avoid legal problems. One of the steps that human resource managers should take when they hire employees is to issue them with the rules and policies of the organization so that they can be aware of what is expected of them by their employer (Berman, Bowman, West & Van Wart, 2019). Managers cannot fire employees for not performing if they did not inform them in advance of their duties and the targets to achieve in a given period. If one does not have a target, then he or she does not have a way of measuring progress.
Before terminating employment, the employers need to ensure that they have enforced the established rules and policies justly. There should not be any form of discrimination when it comes to enforcing policies since if an employee can prove that an employer is biased, the employee has grounds to sue their employer (Berman, Bowman, West & Van Wart, 2019). Therefore, employers should evaluate whether they have enforced rules equally before terminating employment.
Employers need to ensure that they addressed the feedback they received from their employees. Undoubtedly, organizations should have feedback channels that they can use to interact with their employees about the issues affecting their performance at work. Furthermore, such channels inform the staff members and employers about their performance and what they can do to improve it. Employers should ensure that they have addressed the grievances and have helped the employees whenever necessary before deciding to terminate their employment (Berman, Bowman,West & Van Wart, 2019). If employers feel that they have done their best to help the employees improve their performance and yet they have not shown any progress, they can move to the next step, which is issuing the employees with written warnings. In many organizations, an individual is given three warning letters before he or she is terminated to give him or her the opportunity to improve his or her performance or conduct. Moreover, one needs to investigate an issue before firing an employee. An investigation usually enables employers to make informed decisions when firing the employees.
Summary of What Has Been Learned
I have learnt that human resource managers have a huge role to play when it comes to the success or failure of an organization since they have the responsibility of hiring human labor and managing it. Human resource managers have to look beyond credentials when determining who will be a good fit for an organization. Moreover, I have learnt that managers have to follow some procedures when dealing with employees’ grievances. Employers have to ensure that they get to employ formal processes when settling grievances to avoid being sued. Additionally, human resource managers help employers to establish a termination plan to avoid legal issues. Before the lesson, I thought human resource managers mainly dealt with hiring and firing of employees. However, now I know that they also have to ensure that rules and policies are adhered to as well as employees are working in safe environments.
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Dessler, G., Cole, N. D., &Chhinzer, N. (2015).Management of human resources: The essentials.
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Robert, L. M. J. H. J. (2010). Human Resources Management.
Black, S. C., & Boggs, J. P. (2009).U.S. Patent Application No. 12/346,288.
Berman, E. M., Bowman, J. S., West, J. P., & Van Wart, M. R. (2019).Human resource management in public service: Paradoxes, processes, and problems. CQ Press.
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