Introduction to Management

Fourth edition

by Richard Pettinger

Human Resource Management and Employee Relations: Model Staff Handbook

The purpose of including this is as follows:

  • to give students of management and practising managers an overview of the application of HR and ER principles in a real situation
  • to indicate in a concise, practical and operational format the full range of coverage of HR and ER and the managerial responsibilities and expertise inherent and demanded
  • to illustrate one way of delivering the basis of sound and effective HR and ER

It is based on the agreement first made between Sanyo UK Ltd and what was then the EETPU trade union. Attention is drawn to the means by which disputes are resolved; the requirements to consult; and the need to solve rather than institutionalise HR and ER problems. The overall approach is very conformist rather than adversarial.

The Company and the Union have agreed to enter this Agreement for the purpose of recognising various mutual and other objectives which is in the interests of both parties and of the employees of the Company to achieve and accordingly the Company and the Union have agreed the following matters:-

1.The independence of the practices and procedures laid down in the respect of the factory premises at Oulton Works, School Road, Lowestoft ('the Establishment') from time to time.

  • The non-federated status of the Establishment established by this Agreement
  • Each of the terms and provisions of this Agreement is dependent upon the observance of all the other terms and provisions, individual provisions cannot be acted upon without consideration of all other relevant provisions in the Agreement
  • For the duration of this Agreement the Union shall have sole recognition and bargaining rights for all employees covered by this Agreement

2. In order to achieve the above objectives it is agreed that:-

  • All aspects of the Establishment and its operations will be so organised as to achieve the highest possible level of efficiency performance and lob satisfaction so that the Company shall:-

(i) be competitive and thus remain in business

(ii) provide continuity and security of employment for an effective work force

(iii) establish and maintain good working conditions

(iv) establish and maintain good employee relations and communications by supporting the agreed consultative negotiating grievance and disciplinary procedures set out in this Agreement

  • Both parties accept an obligation to ensure that the Establishment will operate with effective working methods with the best utilisation of manpower and without the introduction of wasteful and restrictive working practices and this objective will be achieved by:-

(i) the selection, training, retraining and supplementary training of employees, wherever necessary, to enable such employees to carry out any job

(ii) the maximum co-operation with and support from all employees for measures and techniques used in any area to improve organisation and individual efficiency and to provide objective information with which to control and appraise the performance of individual employees and the Establishment

(iii) the maximum co-operation and support from all employees in achieving a completely flexible well motivated work force capable of transferring on a temporary or permanent basis into work of any nature that is within the capability of such employee having due regard to the provision of adequate training and safety arrangements

  • Both parties recognise that the well-being of the employees is dependent upon the Company's success and that the high standards of product quality and reliability are essential if the products produced at the Establishment are to become and remain competitive and that therefore the maximum co-operation and support must be given to measures designed to achieve maintain and improve quality and reliability standards.

3. The following matters have been agreed in connection with the Union:-

  • Employees will not be required to become union members but the Company will encourage all employees covered by this Agreement to become a member of the Union and participate in Union affairs and in this connection the Company will provide a check off arrangement for the deduction of union subscriptions
  • Union representation will be established in the following manner:-

(i) The number of representatives of the Union together with the constituencies which they will represent will be agreed between the Union and the Company

(ii) The representatives will be elected in accordance with the Union Rules by union members in each constituency

(iii) Each such representative ('the Constituency Representative') will be accredited by the Union and the Union will then send details of the credentials of such representative for approval to the Head of Personnel who will confirm such approval with the Union and thereafter inform the appropriate line management concerned of the appointment

  • The elected representatives will elect from amongst themselves a senior representative ('the Senior Representative') in accordance with the Union Rules
  • The Senior Representative will be responsible for controlling and co­ordinating the activities of the Union in accordance with the terms and conditions of this Agreement and within the Union Rules and Regulations and will ensure that each elected representative shall have a working knowledge of the Union Rules and Regulations and in this connection in conjunction with the Personnel Department of the Company the Senior Representative shall ensure that the representatives shall have a comprehensive understanding of the industrial relations procedures and practices of the Establishment and of general industrial relations procedures and practices and it is agreed that all communication between the representatives and the full-time official(s) of the Union will be made through the Senior Representative
  • Each elected representative must be employed in the constituency which he represents
  • The Company will provide adequate facilities to ensure that all Union elections and ballots of members shall be carried out in secret and by the use of voting papers and not by way of a show of hands

4. It is agreed by the Company and the Union that all matters of difference should wherever possible be resolved at the source of such difference as speedily as practicable and it is the intention of the parties that all such matters will be dealt with in accordance with the agreed procedure and in this connection:-

  • Where a matter relates to an individual employee covered by this Agreement such employee must in the first instance raise the same with the supervisor who will then be given the appropriate time necessary to resolve the situation PROVIDED ALWAYS that:-

(i) if the employee is not satisfied with the solution proposed by the supervisor then the employee may request the services of the constituency representative to reach a solution with the supervisor

(ii) if the constituency representative and the supervisor shall fail to reach agreement then the constituency representative will discuss the matter with the Department Manager or his representative

(iii) if after careful deliberation a satisfactory solution cannot be found then the constituency representative shall be entitled to raise the issue with the Senior Representative who will then decide if the grievance should be discussed at a higher level of management within the Company and the services of the Personnel Officer may then be called upon if is considered that this will help to resolve the matter

(iv) failing such resolution discussions will then take place between the Senior Representatives of the Company normally including the Head of Personnel together with the Senior Union Representative and the constituency representatives on the Joint Negotiation Council (“JNC”) referred to in Clause (5) below

(v) in exceptional circumstances the services of the National Officer of the Union may be requested to assist in the matter either by the Union or by the Company and in such circumstances the Company will arrange an appropriate meeting to be attended by senior representatives of the Company and the Union as well as the National Officer or the Full-time Official

  • Insofar as differences shall arise in connection with issues of a Departmental nature then the procedure shall commence with a meeting between the constituency representative and the Department Manager or his representative
  • In the case of an issue concerning the Establishment or the Company as a whole the matter will commence on the same basis as is set out in Sub-Clause (iii) above

5. The Company and the Union will establish a Joint Negotiation Council ('JNC') for the purpose of providing a forum through which discussions regarding improvements to employment conditions and other major matters can be discussed and in this connection:-

  • The JNC will consist of representatives from the Company including the Head of Personnel and Senior Company Representatives and on behalf of the Union the Senior Representative from Production/Warehousing one constituency representative from Administration.
  • Discussions regarding substantive improvements to employment conditions will normally be held on an annual basis during December in each year and such discussions will not include changes arising as a result of promotions transfers or changes to job content which can be implemented at any time as agreed
  • Matters agreed by the JNC will constitute one of the terms and conditions of employment for each employee covered by this Agreement
  • The Senior Representative will be given appropriate facilities to consult with Union Members Constituency Representatives and the Full-time Official or National Officer of the Union to enable the Senior Representative to conduct a meaningful collective bargaining exercise
  • All claims on behalf of Union Members must be made in writing by the Senior Representative to the Head of Personnel who will convene the appropriate meeting of the JNC
  • It is recognised by both parties that whilst discussions are taking place all business and negotiations discussed at the JNC will remain confidential to its members and the Company recognises its responsibility to ensure clear communication to employees of the results of such discussions and negotiations and in this connection the Head of Personnel will be responsible in consultation with the members of the JNC for announcing the details of any offer to be made to employees following such discussions and negotiations as aforesaid
  • In exceptional circumstances the services of the National Officer or the Full-time Official of the Union may be requested by the JNC and in such circumstances the Company will arrange an appropriate meeting to be attended by representatives of the Company and the Union and the National Officer

6. In addition to the JNC the Company will establish a Joint Consultative Council ('JCC') and the following provisions shall apply thereto:-

  • The membership of the JCC shall consist of the Head of Personnel (as Chairman) and appropriate members of the Company's Senior Executives and the Senior Representative together with one constituency representative from each of Production, Engineering and Administration and a further constituency representative on a rotating basis as a co-opted member and in addition the Managing Director of the Company shall act as President of the JCC and shall attend meetings from time to time
  • The JCC shall meet on a monthly basis for the purposes of discussing issues of a mutual nature and one week prior to each JCC meeting the Personnel Officer will publish an Agenda agreed with the Senior Representative who will be responsible for submitting items for discussion on behalf of the Union in time for such items to be included on the Agenda
  • Items to be included for discussion at JCC meetings will include:-

(i) manufacturing performance

(ii) operating efficiency

(iii) manufacturing planning

(iv) employment levels

(v) market information

(vi) establishment environment

(vii) employment legislation

(viii) union policies and procedure

  • level of union membership
  • Following each meeting of the JCC the Head of Personnel will be responsible for communicating to all employees the nature and content of the discussions and ìn this connection the Company and the Union recognise the need to conduct meetings of the JCC in constructive manner for the benefit of the Company and all its employees

7. In the event that the Company and the Union shall be unable ultimately to resolve between themselves any discussions or disputes they may jointly agree to appoint an arbitrator and in this connection:-

  • The Arbitrator will consider evidence presented to him by the Company and the Union and any factors that he believes to be appropriate
  • The Arbitrator will decide in favour of one party
  • The decision of the Arbitrator will be final and binding and will represent the finalsolution to the issue

8. DISCIPLINARY MEASURES

It is in the interest of the Company and its employees to maintain fair and consistent standards of conduct and performance. This procedure is designed to clarify the rights and responsibilities of the Company, the Union and employees with regard to disciplinary measures

Principles

The following principles will be followed in applying this procedure:

8. 1 In the normal course of their duties, the Company will make employees aware of any shortcomings in performance or conduct. This counselling stage is separate from the disciplinary procedure as such

8. 2 When the disciplinary procedure is invoked, the intention is to make the employee aware that the Company is concerned with their conduct or performance and to assist the person to improve to a satisfactory level

8. 3 When any disciplinary case is being considered, the Company will be responsible for fully investigating the facts and circumstances of the case

8. 4 The procedure will operate as quickly as possible, consistent with the thorough investigation of the case

8. 5 The employee will always be informed of any disciplinary action to be taken and the reasons for it, indicating the specific areas for improvement

8. 6 Normally the formal procedure will commence with the issuing of the first formal warning, however, the disciplinary procedure may be invoked at any stage depending on the seriousness of the case

8. 7 Each formal warning will apply for 12 months. Should the employee improve their conduct or performance to an acceptable level and maintain the improvement for the duration of the warning, this will result in the deletion of the warning from their record

9. DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURE

The stages of the disciplinary procedure as follows:-

9. 1 First Formal Warning

A formal warning at this stage represents the outcome of investigation and discussion into an employee's conduct or performance. If a first formal warning is issued, the individual concerned will be advised to this effect both verbally and in writing by the Company representative conducting the hearing, indicating the duration of the warning (which will be 12 months), the reasons for the warning and the specific areas for improvement

9. 2 Final Warning

If there is no significant and sustained improvement in the employee's conduct or performance, then the next stage of the procedure is the final warning. If a final warning is issued, the individual concerned will be advised to this effect by the Company representative conducting the hearing, both verbally and in writing, indicating the duration of the warning (which will be 12 months), the grounds for the warning and the specific areas for improvement

9. 3 Dismissal
If there is no significant and sustained improvement in the employee's conduct or performance during the period of the final warning, then following thorough investigation by the Company, the next stage of the procedure will be the dismissal stage. This stage will also be invoked in cases of gross misconduct (see Establishment Regulations). If an employee is dismissed he will be advised in writing of the principal reasons for the dismissal, and the notice periods which will apply to him

9. 4 Union Representation
At all stages of this procedure and consistent with the circumstances of the issue the Company will ensure the involvement of the appropriate constituency representative. When, following careful investigation, disciplinary action is contemplated by the Company and the union members concerned will be afforded the services of the Union constituency representative

10. APPEALS

Appeals against disciplinary action will follow the procedure as outlined below

10. 1 All appeals will be in writing by the Senior Representative within two working days after the disciplinary action shall have been taken by the Company

10. 2 The appeal will be made to the Personnel Officer who will arrange the formal appeal hearing within two working days of the appeal

10. 3 The appeal will be heard by a Senior Personnel representative and a Senior Manager of the Department concerned who has not been involved in the case

10. 4 The appeal will be conducted on the employee's behalf by the Senior Representative accompanied by the Department representative

10. 5 The employee appealing, his Supervisor and other appropriate employees may be called to give evidence if is thought their involvement is essential to the outcome of the hearing

10. 6 The decision of the hearing is final. It is recognized that the Union may wish to discuss the matter as a collective issue

11. INDUSTRIAL ACTION

The Company and the Union undertake to follow the procedures agreed to and recognise that this Agreement provides adequate and speedy procedures for the discussion of Company related affairs and the resolution of problems and as such precludes the necessity for recourse to any form of industrial action by either the Company the Union or the Employees.

Source: Sanyo (UK) Ltd. (1982). Used with permission of Sanyo Industries (UK) Limited, Oulton Works, School Road, Lowestoft, Suffolk NR33 9NA