Labour Matters arising from Working in the Covid-19 pandemic

Scenario: The HR of Mamboleo Tech is finding it hard to manage the conduct of the employees while they work from home. Some do not log in and others leave the online meetings without any notice. He needs some advice.

Managing Conduct while working from home needs a different set of skills. The employer may require the employee to log in and be available and failure to do so would attract disciplinary sanctions. This would also apply to other online infractions. However, the employer has to be more flexible than if the employee is working from the office since there are different dynamics to working from home. 
Moreover, the employer may institute a work-from-home policy that will entail the details above and communicate the same to all employees for their acknowledgment.

Mamboleo Tech is also facing some challenges with employees who are working from home. The management has seen that there is a need to conduct disciplinary hearings on one of its employees. This hearing will be held online. What should the management be aware of in order to conduct a successful online disciplinary hearing?

The management may take into consideration the following tips

  • Ensure the accused employee has good equipment with which to attend the hearing.
  • Ensure the accused employee has airtime/data in order to avoid inconveniences
  • Obtain the consent of the employee to proceed online
  • Circulate the attendance sheet before the hearing so all participants may append their electronic signature.
  • Record the meeting and ensure everyone knows that they are being recorded
  • Reduce the record of the meeting to minutes and fill in the hearing form. Circulate this to all concerns to obtain their digital signature.
  • Follow all the procedures as per the law in regard to holding the disciplinary hearing.
  • Take a photo of everyone at the beginning of the meeting so as to have evidence of all who attended.

Mamboleo Tech is retrenching some of its employees. However, the package that they want to issue to the employees is not attractive and the employees have refused to sign the retrenchment agreement. What should Mamboleo do?

The law provides in section 38 (2) of the Employment and Labour Relations Act Cap 366 of 2019 and Rule 23 (8) and (9) of the Employment and Labour Relations (Code of Good Practice) G.N. 42 of 2007 that should the employer and employee not reach an agreement, one of them may refer the matter to CMA for mediation. The employer may not terminate the employee’s contract within 30 days of this referral to mediation unless otherwise agreed between the employer and the employees. Once this period has passed, the employer may proceed with the retrenchment unilaterally.

Handling Grievance at the Workplace