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Labour Relations And Employment

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Labour Relations And Employment

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Question:
Discuss about the Labour Relations and Employment Law.
 
 
Answer:

Type of Grievance
A very unfortunate incident took place in the company last week where Paul and Lisa got into a verbal spat where they both used derogatory language against each other and hurled allegations over each other. Paul accused Lisa of falsifying the books of the company and of remitting the funds of the company from the petty accounts on daily basis. As a counter allegation, Lisa accused Paul of sexual harassment, where Paul touched here inappropriately on her lower back and also passed lewd comments. The fight escalated so much that the whole office could hear the abuses being hurled at each other and became witness to the same. In order to calm down the situation, the managers intervened and separated the two. This was an individual type of workplace grievance as it included instances of discipline and harassment.
Role and Responsibility
Manager

When it comes to the complaints surrounding sexual harassment at workplace, there is a need for the same to be properly investigated and this investigation has to be initiated by the manager. This is because it is the legal responsibility of the managers to look out for any misconduct, which includes sexual harassment (Quick & McFadyen, 2017).
The manager needs to be aware of what sexual harassment is and create a policy to address this issue. This would include the steps which have to be taken when a complaint of sexual harassment is, the sexual harassment guide, the consequences of indulging in such activities (Buckner, Hindman & Huelsman, 2014).
When it comes to falsification of books, the managers have to work on the complaint with the accounts department and investigate upon the issue.
If the issue is find to be true and of serious nature, steps can be taken to terminate the employee for serious wilful misconduct. Where the falsification of books is not very stringent, the employee can be given a second chance, with a stern warning of being terminated if such instances are repeated (Karpoff, Lee & Martin, 2014).
As both Lisa and Paul had been terminated for their misconduct, the manager as the responsibility of giving them a chance to speak up, as a direct termination could result in a case of unfair dismissal being brought against the manager.

HR Advisor

The role of HR advisor becomes crucial in the cases of sexual harassment. The HR not only has to listen to the complaints of the victim but also has to consider the side of the perpetrator to find the truth of the allegations which have been made.
Reference needs to be made to the HR policy drawn regarding sexual harassment and based on this guide the issue has to be addressed (Armstrong & Taylor, 2014).
Proper support has to be provided to the victim of harassment and this includes providing the necessary chances of psychological evaluation and consultation (Connolly et al, 2015).
The role of HR advisor is more prominent in cases of sexual harassment in comparison to the managers, and the same becomes vice versa in cases of claims of falsification of books. In such cases, the HR advisor just has to ensure that the employee is given a chance to put forward his stance before he is terminated for wilful misconduct.

 
Advice to Manager
These grievances can be effectively dealt by the managers by taking three key steps, which have been elucidated below.
Meeting with Grievor and Union representative

The first step which requires to be undertaken by the manager includes meeting with the grievor and the union representative. Even though this was an individual issue, but in cases of sexual harassment and falsification of books, which have the capacity of an individual to be terminated from his employment, the assistance of union representatives is often resorted to. The union representative can also expedite the process (Webb, 2015)
As both the individuals have been terminated for their behaviour, the union representative has to be particularly requested to not raise a claim of unfair dismissal owing to the fault of the individuals (Emir, 2016).
Thus, the manager has to arrange a meeting with the victim and the union representative in a time based manner and at a neutral place.
This meeting would provide a chance of listening to the issue in detail and gathering the proofs which the parties submit before the manager (Cox, 2017).
This meeting would take place separately for Paul and Lisa as both have made serious allegations against the other.
Once these meetings are conducted, the manager would have to undertake his personal investigation, for finding out the truth behind the allegations which have been made.

Investigation and Gathering Evidence
After listening to the points made by the grievor and the union representatives of both Paul and Lisa, a personal investigation would be undertaken by the manager and this would be aimed at gathering the information which is required for proving the claims made.

In order to investigate upon the claims of sexual harassment, there is a need to obtain evidence from Lisa, who made the claims of sexual harassment against Paul.
This evidence needs to be cross referenced with the evidence collected from the different employees, particularly the ones near Paul and Lisa.
The CCTV footage has to also be investigated (Matthews, Fitzpatrick, Bohle, & Quinlan, 2014).
All this would help in getting the claims of Lisa being verified and the truth behind the situation being attained (Strauch, 2017).
With regards to the falsification of evidence, the books have to be analysed as against the receipts of petty expenses.
Evidence has to be obtained from Paul regarding his claims.
The accounts and finance department, in addition to a member of audit committee has to be taken help of for checking the claims of Paul.
While investigating and gathering of such information, the managers can use these questions:

When and where did the sexual harassment take place?
Why was the same not reported immediately?
Are there any proofs of such occurrence?
How did Paul come to know of the falsification of accounts by Lisa?
How did Paul come to know of the money being taken from the petty accounts by Lisa?
Was this issue raised with the HR/ accounts department? If yes, when? If not, why?
Is there anything to justify the conduct which has been undertaken? (Webb, Tarun & Molo, 2016)

Grievance Response
An incident took place in the office last week where Paul made allegations of falsification of accounts and remittance of petty funds by Lisa in an unlawful manner and Lisa made allegations of sexual harassment against Paul.
This issue was thoroughly investigated upon by questioning the allegation making parties and the staff of the company, in addition to the accounts, finance and audit department, and by cross referencing the same with the camera footage. The meetings conducted with the grievor and the union representatives were also undertaken so that the points of both Paul and Lisa could be noted down in presence of a proper representative. Even though the matter has been investigated upon, there are still a lot of loopholes in the entire issue. This requires the advice to be taken from professionals, particularly for the claim of sexual harassment, where an expert psychologist could examine the situation of Lisa, and in the context of Paul’s allegations, the advice of internal and external auditors is required to deduce if Lisa really had indulged in such unlawful conduct.
Thus, all the internal level examinations have been conducted and the further response of grievance requires assistance of experts. So, it is requested to you, to do the needful.
 
References
Armstrong, M., & Taylor, S. (2014). Armstrong’s handbook of human resource management practice. London: Kogan Page Publishers.
Buckner, G. E., Hindman, H. D., Huelsman, T. J., & Bergman, J. Z. (2014). Managing workplace sexual harassment: The role of manager training. Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal, 26(4), 257-278.
Connolly, J., Josephson, W., Schnoll, J., Simkins-Strong, E., Pepler, D., MacPherson, A., … & Jiang, D. (2015). Evaluation of a youth-led program for preventing bullying, sexual harassment, and dating aggression in middle schools. The Journal of Early Adolescence, 35(3), 403-434.
Cox, R. (2017). The Right to a Work Environment Free from Psychological Harassment Under Quebec’s Labour Standards Act. In Psychosocial Risks in Labour and Social Security Law(pp. 215-242). New York: Springer.
Emir, A. (2016). Selwyn’s law of employment. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Karpoff, J. M., Lee, D. S., & Martin, G. S. (2014). The consequences to managers for financial misrepresentation. In Accounting and Regulation (pp. 339-375). New York: Springer.
Matthews, L. R., Fitzpatrick, S. J., Bohle, P., & Quinlan, M. (2014). Investigation and prosecution following workplace fatalities: Responding to the needs of families. The Economic and Labour Relations Review, 25(2), 253-270.
Quick, J. C., & McFadyen, M. (2017). Sexual harassment: Have we made any progress?. Journal of occupational health psychology, 22(3), 286.
Strauch, B. (2017). Investigating human error: Incidents, accidents, and complex systems. CRC Press.
Webb, D. K., Tarun, R. W., & Molo, S. F. (2016). Corporate Internal Investigations. Law Journal Press.
Webb, S. R. (2015). Expedited arbitration: is it expeditious?: evidence from Canada.
 

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