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2014 Edition


Welcome Message From the Minister of Labour On the Occasion of the Launch of the Journal “Employment Compass”

I am pleased to be associated with the new Barbados Employers’ Confederation Journal suitably themed “Employment Compass”. The publication of this journal is welcomed as Barbados faces economic challenges which have had an impact on every sphere in society, especially on labour practices. The journal in essence provides a forum, albeit outside of the realm of the Social Partnership, to discuss ideas, experiences and successes and failures of policies and programme initiatives aimed at economic growth and prosperity. Readers would appreciate that government alone cannot address all of the complex issues facing the nation; such issues require the active participation, dialogue and contribution of its citizens and communities as well as multiple stakeholders. During the year 2013, the labour environment in Barbados was transformed with the introduction of new legislation namely, the Safety and Health at Work Act and the Employment Rights Act. On the horizon are the long-awaited Sexual Harassment Act and the Anti-Discrimination in the Workplace Act. These legislative changes are critical to the improvement of labour and employment relations and practices locally and also for the realization of the Decent Work Initiative of the ILO which seeks to foster an environment of employment creation, guaranteeing rights at work, ensuring social protection and promoting social dialogue. The realization of these pillars will effect positive change in the lives of citizens at both the corporate and national levels. Critical to the Decent Work Initiative is the acquisition of skills to take advantage of emerging job opportunities and improve Barbados’ competitiveness. With the development of the Barbados Human Resource Development Strategy, the framework was created to enhance human resources and skills development while improving the productivity and employability of its citizens. As we seek to restore economic growth, the full cooperation of all is needed in this difficult period. The solutions may not all be derived from traditional sources but also through a suitable platform from which to challenge existing views and orthodoxies. This journal provides such a platform, offering writings on employment issues intended to provoke discussion, and allowing stakeholders the opportunity to express their views on policies that affect their interests, thus contributing to the national debate. I take this opportunity to congratulate the BEC on the launch of yet another useful resource document. It is my sincere hope that the Employment Compass will also be regarded as a useful reference for academia engaged in social and labour policies, labour practitioners and workers’ representatives involved in policy debate and decision-making. I therefore commend the BEC for this initiative and wish the publication every success.

Senator Dr. the Honourable Esther Byer Suckoo Minister of Labour, Social Security and Human Resource Development

BEC Employment Compass

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EDITOR’S LETTER & CREDITS

EMPLOYMENT Journal of the Barbados Employers’ Confederation

2014 edition

Publisher Miller Publishing Co. Ltd.

Editor Sheena Mayers

Advertising Sales Nia Vlahakis - nia@businessbarbados.com Sally Miller - sally@millerpublishing.net

PrePress Assistant Christine Wilkie

Design and Layout Tao Howard

Cover Jaryd Niles-Morris - Photographer Tao Howard - Design

Press Cole’s Printery

On our Cover: Tony Walcott - Executive Director of the BEC, Sheena Mayers and Brittany Brathwaite - BEC Labour Management Advisors

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reetings and a warm welcome to our very first issue of Employment Compass! We couldn’t be more excited to have made it to this point. Please take some time to get to know the layout of our journal. You may want to sit and read the entire publication at once, or come back to this issue several times to digest the articles more slowly.

We set out to create a journal for anyone involved in people management, and from the outset it was our aim that it should provide information that is relevant, easily accessible and user friendly. What you will find in the pages of the Employment Compass is a collection of inspiring and instructive articles written by real practitioners that will: • Explore research, that may otherwise have remained unknown, • Suggest practical everyday advice for everyday issues, and • Highlight the diversity of the HR/IR professions. The BEC is honored to share the work of our contributors and invites you to comment on the articles, share your thoughts or ask the author a question by visiting us at barbadosemployers.com. We appreciate your support and are so happy to have you as a reader of the Employment Compass. With warmest thanks,

Sheena Mayers, Editor sheena@barbadosemployers.com

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BEC Employment Compass

Employment Compass is an initiative of the Barbados Employers’ Confederation

Edgehill, St. Thomas, Barbados, W.I. T: (246) 421 6700 | F: (246) 421 6707 miller@caribsurf.com MyDestination.com/Barbados ©2014 Miller Publishing Co. Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without the prior written permission of the publisher. While every care has been taken in the compilation of information contained in this guide, such information is subject to change without notice. The publishers accept no responsibility for such changes.


ABOUT THE BEC

About Us

Braemar Court, Deighton Road Brittons Hill, P.O. Box 33B, St. Michael T: (246) 435-4753 or 271-5257/58 | F: (246) 435-2907 becon@barbadosemployers.com | barbadosemployers.com

What is the BEC?

Mission

Barbados Employers’ Confederation (BEC), founded in 1956, is a membership based private sector organisation that seeks to represent its members on an array of issues. These issues include Industrial Relations, Human Resources Management and Occupational Health and Safety. We also keep our employers abreast of current trends via our newsletter, open forums and numerous training programs year round.

The Barbados Employers’ Confederation promotes and maintains harmony in the employment relationship by being the employers’ primary advocate and advisor assisting in the amicable settlement of disputes, as well as facilitating social dialogue. Our wealth of expertise and research capacity, allows us to provide targeted, proactive solutions.

Our Services Industrial Relations The BEC can assist with the good management of your industrial relations through negotiating Collective Agreements, drafting of collective agreements, conducting grievance meetings and much more. Human Resource Management Whether you need to update an existing document or prepare a first draft, we can assist with your various HR documents such as Contracts of Employment, Employee Handbooks and Job descriptions. Training Our customised, as well as open enrollment sessions on a range of current HR and IR issues are highly respected and can improve the knowledge and quality of your most important asset. Research BEC regularly collects comparative salary data, wage settlement information and total compensation data. Therefore we are able to provide data or alternatively conduct research on request into labour market trends to aid in decision making. Advocacy BEC represents the employers’ interest on numerous boards and committees, both locally and internationally. This means we are strategically placed to highlight the issues and concerns of employers.

Vision The Barbados Employers’ Confederation will emerge as the membership organization of choice, promoting the viability and success of local and regional businesses through the provision of high quality and professional human resource and industrial relations solutions.

Core Values Professionalism - At all times we will provide quality service, be reliable and responsible, whilst attaining and maintaining the level of excellence that is required. Teamwork - Listening to and respecting each other whilst working together to achieve mutually beneficial results and a productive environment for all. Timeliness - Working with urgency and commitment to be successful from individual and company perspectives. Accountability - Taking ownership of all responsibilities and honouring commitments. Integrity - Being ethically unyielding and honest, inspiring trust by saying what we mean, matching our behaviors to our words and taking responsibility for our actions. Confidentiality - ensuring that information is accessible only to those authorized to have access. Operating in Good Faith - The observance of honorable intent in business relations and the avoidance of any attempts to deceive any party involved. Flexibility – the ability to change or adapt in circumstances where it is necessary for growth and development.

Follow Us:

Within recent years the BEC has embarked upon a mission to enhance public relations and provide as much information to our members and general public alike via free and affordable media.

B a r b a d o s e m pl o yer s .co m website of the BEC, is a hub for useful information and is regularly updated with forms and documents useful in everyday business. They’re available on a complimentary basis and include codes of discipline and performance appraisal templates. We are also on social media:

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barbadosemployers @becbusiness Barbados Employers’ Confederation

We update daily on labour trends, provide useful articles and snippets of information which are useful for employees and employers. There is also a daily interactive question and answer segment. This, our first annual journal publication, is just another step in ensuring the public has means by which they can remain informed about all things Labour. We are well on our way to fully achieving visibility and providing the need to know for professionals across industries/sectors, however we need YOU to engage. The information is out there, we implore you to utilize all that we offer, wherever we offer it! Would you like to join our mailing list? Email us at: becon@barbadosemployers.com

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CONTENTS & BEC CALENDAR SECTION

TABLE OF CONTENTS Welcome Letter from the Minister of Labour Editor’s Letter About BEC The Human Element

1 2 3 17

Feature Articles Succession Planning: A Trade Union Perspective 6 Right The First Time: The Super Centre/ DaCosta Mannings Merger 18 Where are the Jobs? 24 Tony presenting to 2014 BEC Scholarship winner Shariff O. Hinds, Ian Gooding-Edghill presenting Long Service Awards to Shirley Ellis, Roglyn Hinds and Stuart Martin (left to right) at the 2013 BEC AGM, BEC Workplace Safety Seminar 2013

BEC CALENDAR OF EVENTS 2014 MAY

JUN JUL SEP OCT NOV

BEC Week 12 Press Conference | BEC Conference Room | 10am 13 Cocktail launch of Employment Compass : A Journal of the BEC Frank Collymore Hall | 5pm 14 Annual General Meeting & Luncheon | 11am & 12:30pm | LESC 15 Social Media & Your Future | Time TBC | St. Michael School 16 Social Media & Your Future | Time TBC | St. Michael School 18 Church Service | 9:15am | St. Thomas Parish Church 10 24

Training Programme: Corporate Etiquette 9am-1pm | $300/$250 Open Forum: On The Job Injuries - The Aftermath of an Accident | 2pm-4pm

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Training Programme: Joint Health & Safety Committees Training 2pm-4pm | $200/$150

15-17 24

Training Programme: Managing for Success 9am-4pm | Member $750/$700* | Non-member $950/ $900* Open Forum: Safety and Health - Investment vs Expense | 2pm-4pm

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Training Programme: Conducting Employee Discipline 8:30am-4pm | Member $350/$300* | Non-member $450/$400* Open Forum: Sexual Harassment - A Modern Workplace Dilemma | 2pm-4pm

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Training Programme: Managing Conflict 2pm-4pm | $200/$150

*denotes early registration fee. To be eligible, the registration form and payment must be received one week prior to the scheduled programme date. All Open Forum sessions are free for members. Non-member fee is $25. For our 2015 calendar visit barbadosemployers.com or email: becon@barbadosemployers.com

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BEC Employment Compass

HR Management The Hidden Paycheck 8 Designing Your Pension Plan 9 Finance, Strategy and People Do Mix 10 Does Traditional Work Exist? 11 21st Century Trends in HR Management 12 The Right To Manage 16 Industrial Relations The Impact of Satisfaction With Benefits On Employee Performance and Loyalty 22 Statistics: Trends in Work Stoppages and Layoffs 23 Law & Guidance The Employment Rights Act Needs Regulations 28 Operating in a New Era of the ERA 29 Unemployment Benefits While Suspended 30 Certified Sick Leave & National Insurance Benefits 31 Court Report: Occupational Safety & Health Edition 32


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Succession Planning

A Trade Union Perspective Brittany Brathwaite, BSc - Labour Management Advisor, BEC brittany@barbadosemployers.com

This article will delve into the fully engrossing process of succession planning the Trade Union way. The objective is not solely to evaluate how it may be done best within a trade union, rather to also convey critical steps which can be transferred to any organization, enshrined and utilized to facilitate or maintain efficient succession planning practices.

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Human Resource Management

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requently, organizations concentrate their short and long-term planning processes on macro improvements and operational programs, without fully integrating the accompanying impacts with the development needs of the employees responsible for delivering services. The result is that the capabilities of employees are not systematically developed to match the skills needed, and a gap occurs between what the company requires and the ability of employees to respond. Though not always feasible, the organizational structure of an entity, if strategically thought out, should indirectly facilitate succession planning. This does not happen overnight and many Human Resources professionals will tell you it is a practice that is thought about way too late in many instances. Mrs. Toni Moore-Bascombe, Deputy General Secretary of the Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU) spoke in depth on the importance of conveying clearly to employees that succession planning is a priority. She noted that the strategic approach taken by the Union began over twenty (20) years ago when “Sir Roy Trotman, under the directive of the Executive Council recognized the need to employ a practical approach to the succession planning process.” Although there is not a written plan/policy in place, they implemented a shadowing program; under which Mrs. Moore-Bascombe herself was groomed. “Each junior Industrial Relations Officer (IRO) was assigned as an understudy to a Senior IRO, who exposed the juniors to negotiations, disciplinary hearings with third parties and other facets of the senior roles.” This practical approach facilitated an environment of exposure and open learning which continues today. She noted, by ingraining the culture of succession planning into the working environment it has made continuity that much easier. An internal factor which often hampers the process however, is the attitudes of workers, primarily those who need to lead the process. This is where the strategic focus of the company needs to be clear. If succession planning is seen as part of the general culture rather than an exclusive process it is more likely to be favorably undertaken by both parties. No one fancies job instability and the perception that one is training an individual, to do his/her job can lead employees to adopt negative behaviours. The first step in any formal or informal succession plan should be to make it a strategic objective. The ease of exposure in the aforementioned case may not be transferable in all companies, especially where there are confidential matters. Furthermore, it is understandable that larger organizations may have difficulty facilitating

LEARNING & DEVELOPMENT

seamless transitions and many are operating on a skeleton staff; in many instances, sometimes 2 or 3 roles have been merged into one. Impediments to creating formal succession plans are therefore not only internal but can be gravely affected by external factors. How then can companies prioritize strategic succession planning when the staff complement does not seem to facilitate it? Cross functional teams, cross team collaboration and cross organizational collaboration are all practical options for lean organizations. Cross-functional teams are significantly different from teams that are aligned on one functional level. For example, a group of marketing people generally “speak the same language,” and they have a solid understanding of what their department is trying to accomplish. With a cross-functional team, you may have representatives from a wide array of specialties – finance, accounting, operations, legal, human resources –this diversity can lend to a very effective succession plan.

>> If succession planning is seen as part of the general culture rather than an exclusive process it is more likely to be favorably undertaken by both parties. No one fancies job instability and the perception that one is training an individual, to do his/her job can lead employees to adopt negative behaviours. The first step in any formal or informal succession plan should be to make it a strategic objective.

Cross team collaboration and cross organizational collaboration in essence promote continuous information sharing with the aim of improving efficiency and spurring employee innovation. According to People Management UK, these are also great processes to employ in succession planning and are primarily optimum for small to medium enterprises. It was refreshing to note the tactics used by the Union to broaden the scope of their succession planning efforts externally; including establishing standing and outreach committees specifically aimed at capturing potentially good candidates. One person recruited through these efforts was Mr. Dwaine Paul, who prior to his role as Deputy

Director of Organizing in the Industrial Relations Department, was employed by The Royal Bank of Trinidad and Tobago. He was identified as a budding trade unionist via his stellar work as a shop steward in that company. He noted that upon entering the BWU he championed the youth outreach program as he recognized and personally appreciated the Union’s succession planning efforts. We see this practice exhibited for example, by accounting firms who frequent University fairs and facilitate interventions throughout semesters. Identifying and developing the best people for key leadership roles is basic to future organizational success. To ensure that success is indeed continued, organizational leaders need to: - Incorporate succession planning into the company’s strategic objectives and goals: this can include making it an agenda item at executive and departmental meetings which facilitates discussion and conveys the importance to senior and junior level employees alike. - Decide on the implementation directive (written policy or informal process): identifying key positions and/or specific departments are things to take into consideration at this stage. - Find practical and functional ways to implement the plan : much like the shadowing program used by the Union, companies should use systems which suit the nature of their business and can be incorporated as seamlessly as possible. - Monitor and make changes to the written and/or practical parts of the plan over time There is always the possibility of investing in an employee, grooming them for a particular role, who then leaves. Nonetheless most companies will find that the positives will most often outweigh the negatives in efficient succession planning systems. Effective organizations do not passively wait for the future; they create it by investing their time, thoughts, and planning in order to ensure the continuity of their leadership talent. This ensures the continued effective performance of your organization by establishing a process to develop and replace key staff over time. As conveyed, the option of delving externally for talent is plausible and practical, furthermore, it gives your organization the opportunity to get involved in the wider community! Being proactive is always a better option than being reactive and succession planning is a step in the right direction for any organization. ■ Special Thanks to Mrs. Toni Moore-Bascombe and Mr. Dwaine Paul of the Barbados Workers’ Union.

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COMPENSATION

Human Resource Management

The Hidden Paycheck HRMAB

info@hrmab.org.bb HRMAB is an organization geared towards helping members adopt the best Human Resource practices and guaranteeing that they gain exposure to indispensable HR information such as how to design a total compensation package to attract and retain talent.

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ttracting and retaining top talent in this highly competitive environment is vital if organisations are to outperform their competitors and remain profitable. Let’s face it, companies need an edge if they are to win; and hiring and retaining dynamic individuals who buy into the vision of the company and work towards its success, increases the probability of achieving that goal. How does a progressive employer do this? One key factor which influences recruitment and retention within organisations is the offer of a total compensation package. A complete package includes rewards that employees value – both transactional and relational. Transactional rewards refer to direct compensation such as salary, wages, bonus and commission. Benefits for example; medical, pension and life insurance which the company contributes to or solely provides are also considered transactional rewards. These tangible rewards are often documented within the employee’s employment contract. Relational rewards are those rewards concerned with learning and development and include coaching and mentoring, training programs, career development and employee recognition. Designing a strong compensation strategy starts with defining the organisation’s core objectives and then determining the behaviours that achieve those objectives. The reason for

defining behaviours is because companies should reward highly, behaviours which allow the business to reach its goals. For example; a company that wants to increase sales will reward Sales Representatives higher for acquiring new customers through its commission structure. Once the behaviours are defined, it is fundamental that the compensation package be aligned. Thus, all pay systems should be used as a strategic tool for improving organisational effectiveness.

>> While basic salary is often dictated by what the market is paying for an equivalent position, salary alone does not sustain motivation or job satisfaction. Compensation goes beyond a person’s salary. While basic salary is often dictated by what the market is paying for an equivalent position, salary alone does not sustain motivation or job satisfaction. A combination of rewards which feed into a total compensation package is the best means of creating, maintaining and influencing a productive workforce. Further, opportunities for growth should be highlighted within the organisation as part of a company’s retention effort. Adequate training and investment in the individual’s career

Wage Settlement Trends in Barbados: Six Years in Review The average wage settlement in 2008 reached 5%. However, it gradually declined and leveled off at 3% during 2010 – 2013.

development contribute to an overall sense of organisational commitment. It is necessary to strike a good balance between transactional and relational rewards; as employees are unique and what is important based on their needs or perceived as valuable to him or her should be considered. Once the compensation package has been clearly defined, it has to be communicated. Many employees view their compensation as only basic salary or wages. Additionally, some employers focus on salary as the total package when in fact, they offer other benefits which expand an employee’s paycheck in a number of ways. For example, a pension plan where the employer pays a percentage of the premium is considered part of the employee’s compensation. It is the responsibility of the employer to design a holistic programme which best suits the needs of the team and communicate the company’s total investment. Lack of communication can lead to the team members unnecessarily feeling underpaid and demotivated. There is no perfect formula for a total compensation package; however, focus should be given to this as part of the overall organisational strategy. Organisations that actively seek the accolade of being an “Employer of Choice” must recognise that a total compensation strategy can be a source of competitive advantage in increasing productivity and profitability. ■

Average Increase 6% 5% 4% 3%

Average Increase

2%

The above information was sourced from collective agreements negotiated by BEC members.

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1% 0%

2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013


COMPENSATION

Human Resource Management

Designing Your Pension Plan Stephen Robinson - Vice President of Pensions, Sagicor Life

Stephen Robinson brings over 15 years financial services experience to his role as Vice President, Pensions, Sagicor Life Inc. Prior to his current position, he held the position of Vice President, Employee Benefits. Mr. Robinson holds a Bachelor of Mathematics in Actuarial Science from the University of Waterloo in Canada.

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hat should you consider when designing a pension plan for your employees? This question is not as difficult as it may at first seem, once you recognise your primary objective: A plan that provides for an adequate and secure pension in retirement. In days of yore, this objective was easily met through a Defined Benefit pension plan, where the employer and employee knew that if the latter worked for 38 years, he would receive a pension of 2/3rds of his salary at retirement. If the employee wanted more than this, he would put in a little extra and this would grow with interest and be used to purchase an additional pension. The National Insurance Benefit is a known quantity and serves to reduce the pension that the employer’s plan needs to provide. Simple right? But what does this cost? To the dismay of many employers, it costs a lot more than they initially thought once the plan became mature, and what’s more, as life expectancy increased and investment returns became more unpredictable, so did the cost of providing the benefits that were promised to employees. To further complicate matters, accounting standards evolved, requiring companies to reflect the risk of providing pension benefits in their financial statements. It meant that these increases in cost reduced the profit that companies were able to return to their shareholders and reflect in their financial statements, a clearly untenable situation. The answer for many employers has been the Defined Contribution (DC) plan. This is essentially a design where the employer determines their contribution rate at the outset with an accompanying fixed rate for the employee. Voluntary contributions can be made by the employee if they wish to purchase an additional pension. Problem solved. No variability in financial results that can be attributed to the provision of pension benefits. Where does this leave the employee? He now has no idea what his pension will be at retirement because it fluctuates with investment returns and with the cost of purchasing an annuity. The annuity purchase can occur as much as forty years into the future, so who knows what

annuities will cost then, or how long a sixty-five year old can be expected to live. For these and other reasons, many employees in DC plans are sorely disappointed with the pension they receive at retirement. What can employers do to avoid this? When you design your DC plan, start with the objective of providing a reasonable income at retirement. Keep in mind that the safety of retirement income should dominate every other consideration. Consider this. If you leave Barbados to go to New York, would you choose an airline with a 10% chance of getting there? I think not, especially when you consider that nearly 100% of airline flights arrive at their intended destination. Unfortunately, we can’t say the same for DC pension plans. Companies often establish retirement programs that have no chance of providing a reasonable pension, while employees get on board expecting to be well taken care of after age 65. Little information is often provided to the employee to help him/her to plan for a retirement that can last on average 15 to 20 years but as much as 30 or even 40 years.

>> Companies often establish retirement programs that have no chance of providing a reasonable pension, while employees get on board expecting to be well taken care of after age 65. Now that employees are at risk for funding their pension in a DC environment, many plans are designed in such a way that employees have an input in the investment and other decisions that affect them. Are the majority of employees qualified or sufficiently informed to make these decisions? Have you, the employer provided sufficient information or access to professionals in the pensions industry to assist them? If the answer to either of these is no, there is no better time than now to do so. Here are some things employers can do when implementing a new pension plan, or making

changes to an existing plan, which will improve the success rate of your retirement program, and enable employees to better prepare for retirement. 1) Engage a pension professional to help you to determine your plan objectives and to advise on funding and plan design. 2) Using conservative assumptions about interest and annuity rates, determine the contribution rate required to meet the objectives determined in step 1. 3) If you cannot afford the required contribution rate to meet your objectives, do not make the mistake of assuming that investment returns will compensate. Also, do not discontinue the process, but instead, re-evaluate your objectives until the funding is right for you. 4) Communicate to your employees what they are likely to get out of the pension plan so that you manage their expectations. 5) Review the performance of the plan on a regular basis, to determine whether it is on course, and make any required changes to improve the performance. 6) Communicate the results of each review to your most important audience – your employees. Regular communication will allow your employees to plan effectively. 7) Assist your employees with their retirement planning by providing access to professionals in the pensions field. In order to get the most from their pension plan, employees should: 1) Join the employer’s pension plan at the earliest opportunity, or if none is available, start a personal pension plan. 2) Maximise your contribution to the pension plan by making voluntary contributions or by taking full advantage of any employer matching programs available. A pension plan provides one of the most tax efficient means of long-term savings. 3) Attend annual presentations on your pension plan’s performance and any companyhosted investment or pension related seminars. 4) Review triennial valuations and annual reports to remain informed about the health of your pension. ■

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PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT

Human Resource Management

Finance, Strategy and People Do Mix Brenda Lee Tang, FCCA - Head of ACCA Caribbean

Brenda Lee Tang is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. As Head of ACCA Caribbean, Ms. Lee Tang leads ACCA’s business and key relationships in the Caribbean and is responsible for advancing ACCA’s strategy in the region.

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s a discipline, the strategic role of accounting could be broadly defined as “planning and controlling performance so that strategic objectives can be set, monitored and controlled.” Performance management can be applied to a number of workplace areas, from finance to strategy – but it is often not realised that the finance professional looking to be an accountant, specialising in performance management, has to be equally good with numbers and people. A major part of performance management involves managing employees and managers, as their performance will have a major effect on the performance of the organisation as a whole. So for ACCA, there is a strong link between human resource management and performance management. The measurement and control of performance can be viewed in a number of contexts, and it is for this reason that performance management and its link with strategy and HR is part of the ACCA syllabus. Getting the best out of people is needed to ensure that a business runs well – it is after all people who make up a business or an organisation. How they are recruited, developed and retained is critical to business success. Often seen as the sole remit of the HR function, the management of HR strategies is also something at which the finance professional and the management accountant can excel. Strategic performance measurement techniques can help to develop the organisation’s people and its strategy; if people performance can be measured, it can also be managed and directed in a more efficient and effective way. From ACCA’s point of view, an accountant would be expected to understand the performance hierarchy of a business and how best to communicate and report on its development, successes and even its failures. Understanding a mission statement’s purpose, structure and content and how that impacts on business performance is a fundamental requirement and part of the business planning cycle where the accountant can add real tangible value.

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An accountant should also know how the effective recruitment, management and motivation of people are necessary for enabling strategic and operational success. They need this knowledge, not only from an organisational point of view, but also to help them manage their own teams. Moreover, an accountant should be able to understand and advise the business on the relationship between performance management and performance measurement and determine the implications of performance measurement to quality initiatives and process redesign.

>> Finance, strategy and people do mix, especially when an accountant is involved. An excellent performance measurement and reward system will make a massive difference to any organisation. Such a system provides guidelines within which an individual, a team or a directorate can work to ensure it succeeds. These guidelines also help when it comes to seeing where things perhaps went wrong. So a performance measurement system is also about continuous improvement and learning. Reward systems can however cause distortions. In 2008, we published a report Climbing Out of the Credit Crunch, which examined the effects of the global crash of six years ago. This report looked at corporate governance issues, concluding that many of the causes of the credit crunch seemed to be linked to a failure in corporate governance. Regulatory boxes may have been ticked but fundamental principles of good governance were breached. We said in this report that staff performance schemes must be based on sound principles and applied properly, otherwise there is a risk that a scheme will be used to justify an influential executive’s or trader’s pay claim. Additionally, much has been said in the media about how incentive and career structure packages of banks meant enormous rewards, but have contributed to short-term

thinking. This lack of long-term thinking does not support prudent risk management but is a human behavioural challenge, which needs to be managed closely as a performance issue; risk management and remuneration and incentive systems must be linked.

Nurturing Talent Nowadays, accountancy goes beyond requiring a specific set of skills, one that takes in broader finance, law, and communications disciplines. Senior managers have a duty to nurture talent. This starts with good recruitment as well as developing a competency framework. In many organisations, competency frameworks can be developed prior to the recruitment stage. Such a framework shows a set of behaviour patterns and skills that the candidate needs in order to perform a job with skill, knowledge and competence. ACCA has developed a comprehensive competency framework showing what competencies are needed for different careers in different roles. In ACCA’s competency framework, competencies are categorised into exams, experience, ethics, job profiles, technical competencies and behavioural competencies.

Developing the soft skills There is a perception that accountants are just good with numbers; but it is increasingly important that they are also good communicators. ACCA has been working with its members to counter this misconception, last year we launched two new e-learning modules (Communicating Effectively, and Working Relationships) to give students and affiliates the people skills and practical expertise needed for today’s working world. For ACCA, it is not only important to have technical expertise it is also vital to have soft skills to build good business relationships and communicate effectively. Ultimately, the aim is for more confident and capable finance professionals who can ensure management accounting is sustainable and which adds real value. ■


Human Resource Management

CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT

Does Traditional Work Exist? Anne Knowles - Senior Specialist, Employers’ Activities, International Labour Organisation Anne Knowles holds the post of Senior Specialist, Employers’ Activities with the ILO Decent Work Team in the Caribbean. In her 10 years with the ILO, Anne has supported employer organizations in over 35 countries.

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n 1412, the city of Cologne prohibited the production of spinning wheels by local craftsmen because it feared unemployment among textile manufacturers who used a hand spindle. In the 18th century the newlyinvented spinning machine allowed one worker to produce the amount of yarn previously produced by 200 individuals using spinning wheels. This gave rise to the Luddite movement – English textile artisans who protested violently against this labour-saving machinery from 1811 to 1817.

>> What we have now are forms of working so diverse that is highly unlikely we could ever return to a situation that could include a concept of “traditional work”. My point? “Traditional” work exists in a specific period of time only. Change is as inevitable as the sun rising in the east and resistance to change by those perceiving themselves to be adversely affected as inevitable as the sun setting in the west. Our current concept of “traditional” work existed for a period last century – a 40 hour week from Monday to Friday carried out at the premises of the employer under a direct contract of employment without limit of term. Sunday was sacrosanct. Any occasional additional hours to be worked, any work needing to be carried out on a weekend or outside the normal hours of 8am to 5pm and even part-time work attracted a penal rate specified in legislation or a collective agreement to “encourage” employers to comply with the traditional norm. It was the existence of legislative prescription that ensured this perception of tradition lingered past its use-by date as this supposed norm did not last long in any practical sense. The surge of tourists who required meals, drinks and entertainment at all hours and on all days of the week put paid to the traditional hours

and days of work in the service sector; women returning from maternity leave and employees wanting a better work / life balance made part time work and job-sharing a new norm; rapid advances in technology meant “work” could be done from anywhere at any time and not just at the physical premises of an employer; a focus on specialisation meant companies employed directly to fulfil core business roles but contracted out ancillary services needed such as security, cleaning, IT advice etc thus changing employment arrangements from the traditional master / servant relationship; individuals with specific expertise preferred to offer their expertise to a range of “employers” and not just one meaning contractual arrangements based on time actually worked or job performed became prevalent. What we have now are forms of working so diverse that is highly unlikely we could ever return to a situation that could include a concept of “traditional work”. The dynamics of a market economy and the exponential spread of technology into all facets of life ensure that change is continuous. The challenge therefore is not to rail against change or to hold desperately to how things were done in the past but to ensure that our education systems at all levels equip people with the right skills and outlook to stay ahead. Abstract thinking, problem solving, critical analysis and communication skills will ensure employability in the medium term. An awareness of the inevitably of change and the need to grasp new opportunities will ensure success in the longer term. In 1900 41% of the workforce in the United States was employed in agriculture. By 2000 that stood at 2%. Many more people are employed now in healthcare, entertainment, finance and a range of computer-based activities in the US than in agriculture – a notion that would have been inconceivable one hundred years ago. It is just as impossible to predict what will be considered “traditional work” in 2100. The one constant is that change will continue - how we react to it will determine our survival. ■

4 things to consider about flexible work arrangements: CUSTOMERS When do they access your services? Will a change make access easier or harder for your customers?

EMPLOYEES Will leave, sick pay, vacation be affected? LEGISLATION Does any law impact on your opening hours?

MANAGEMENT What are your supervisory requirements? What resources will you utilize monitoring and maintaining the system?

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CHANGE MANAGEMENT

Human Resource Management

21st Century Trends in HR Management Brenda Pope - Partner, Advisory Services, KPMG

Head of Management Consulting across the Caribbean with specific responsibility for Business Performance, People and Change and ICT Services.

KPMG International recently commissioned the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) to conduct a study to investigate the forces influencing the Human Resources (HR) function, how technology is shaping HR’s response and what HR might look like a decade from now. This article is based on findings from Rethinking Human Resources in a Changing World - the KPMG report emanating from that study.

A

s organizations globally continue to grapple with current worldwide economic difficulties, it is clear that organisational HR functions must also in future generate value in the wider business. The people agenda in most organizations encompasses a number of business-critical issues for HR to address: • recruitment (and retention) of “top talent”; • matching the supply of talent to where opportunities for growth are greatest; • development of career paths beyond local borders; • the need to create more innovative, agile and responsive organizations; • ensuring the people profile matches the value drivers of the business; • smart use of technology to support both the business and its employees; • drawing predictive insights from multiple sources of data to ensure timely decision making on all aspects of the people agenda.

Four Key Transformation Areas The forces of globalization, talent constraints and new technology are driving rapid change to the HR function in the following four main areas: 1. Managing a global, flexible workforce. The global and indeed Caribbean workforce has become increasingly integrated across borders while simultaneously growing more virtual and flexible. Retention of key talent and building workforces in new or expanded markets will continue to be at the top of the priority list of HR departments. 2. Finding ways to engage with workers. Improved employee engagement will involve creative solutions, including development of HR

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policies and approaches that have global (as well as regional) application but which can be tailored to local conditions. It will also require new ways to engage meaningfully with a workforce that is less committed to the organization than in the past.

>> This is the future for workforce analytics – the idea of ‘return on human capital’ or ‘profit per employee’. 3. Technology has already transformed HR and the application of data analytics will foster even more profound change. The HR function now commonly provides web-based and/or mobile HR platforms e.g. benefits, payroll, etc. These technology enhancements have already enabled HR to do its basic, administrative work faster and more efficiently. However, the advent of data analytics (the area most commonly mentioned by respondents for future IT investment) will usher in the next technological quantum leap for HR. Use of analytics enables a more robust understanding of employee-related opportunities and needs, helping to identify future talent gaps. 4. Technology and economy: twin catalysts for HR transformation. Powerful technologies, coupled with today’s widespread financial constraint, provide a unique opportunity for HR to reinvent itself. This will result through a combination of closer partnerships within the company as well as a revamped strategy based on a whole-business perspective and aligned with the needs of the entire company, not just the HR function.

HR’s ‘Big Three’ challenges The globalization of business continues, notwithstanding current worldwide economic difficulties. Caribbean HR executives must focus on the following core challenge areas: Balancing the global/regional and the local Expanding workforces in new markets including cross-border identification and hiring of talent will continue to be the greatest concern for HR departments (after talent retention itself ). HR executives will need to pay close attention to issues such as coaching, training and staff development, as well as changing remuneration and incentive schemes. HR has become a global profession with global standards for HR competencies, although local HR solutions should be positioned in the context of such global standards. Managing a flexible and virtual workforce Technology allows companies to move work to people rather than having to move people to work. It also allows more flexibility and enables knowledge transfer and new levels of collaboration. The concept of a wider range of flexible work arrangements, which can reduce labor costs and allow greater access to talent, is one of the key HR trends including: • increased use of virtual workspaces; • reduced reliance on physical office premises through shifting to hot-desking; • hiring of more contractual or temporary workers including former employees. Retaining the best talent Retaining talent remains HR’s biggest concern and its importance will increase. 34 percent of survey respondents cited retaining crucial skills as HR’s leading focus in the last 3 years and 40


CHANGE MANAGEMENT

Human Resource Management percent say it will remain so over the next 3 years. HR can redefine talent management by thinking ‘outside-in’ i.e. beginning with the talent needed rather than existing talent. Talent management will therefore need to focus on understanding the unique critical roles, skills and capabilities that a business will need to win in the future and then on acquiring, developing and retaining them. HR teams must expect to be treated as any other core business function – they should help leaders to manage risk – in this case, to manage talent risks such as critical skill gaps, key person dependency and succession risk – and they should be able to demonstrate the return on the investment made in managing talent.

HR Transformation via Technology The next step: data-driven HR Analytics will allow HR to not only be involved in managing talent, but to also collect clearer information on its supply chain of talent and where the most demand for particular skills lies. Rather than acting on instinct alone, the HR function will be able to provide a more granular roadmap of how the organization’s people resources need to be reshaped to deliver on the corporate strategy. This level of workforce analytics moves away from merely HR performance to the use of qualitative and quantitative measures in order to demonstrate the return on the human capital employed. This will be the ultimate metric; benchmarking people in terms of the revenue and profitability associated with their efforts. This is the future for workforce analytics – the idea of ‘return on human capital’ or ‘profit per employee’. Social Media: Promise vs Peril The rise of data analytics is also accompanied by new sources of information. Traditional data sources – such as engagement scores, productivity data or labor market trends – have now been joined by less-structured sources like crowdsourcing and social media channels. While this is difficult information to capture efficiently, forward thinking companies will, and in some cases already are, harnessing software that can track and manage their presence on social networks. These new data can be blended with traditional sources to reveal a new level of predictive insight. Social media will continue to change HR across a range of areas from recruitment to performance and career management. The implications can be both positive and negative. Social networking sites provide organizations access to new sources of talent, but yet the same

Five Social Media Tips for Companies It’s not enough to have created a Facebook or Linked–in company page, you have to USE IT! These are not only excellent marketing avenues for target audiences but you can leverage these media to attract customers who didn’t know they were interested!

Show up every day!

You don’t want to overkill, however remain active! Let your customers and followers know you are there!

Make it Worthwhile

Try to link specials and sales to your social media outlets; Give a voucher for a service or product if followers like or follow your page.

Be Timely

Be mindful of the time of the day you post. The nature of your post can help determine this: posting about food? Try before the traditional lunch or dinner time.

Get Familiar with Apps Helpful new applications for Facebook and Twitter seem like they are issued almost daily – and many are business oriented. Do a search, read the reviews and see which may suit you.

Don’t Quit You can convey the dynamism of your company via the outlets keep at it and you can reap the benefits! sites make it easier for competitors to poach their best people.

HR as a strategic business partner Trends in this area relate to HR interacting and communicating with the business under their terms: • Think, understand and communicate in the language of business: Successful HR will begin to link its work more explicitly to business value, by thinking more carefully about the specific business outcomes of recommended actions. What is the impact on customer service, or the reduction in costs, or the increase in staff loyalty, or other specifically relevant metrics? • Move from administration to higher-valueadded activities: A technology-enabled HR function will allow professionals to avoid being immersed in the minutiae of record-keeping, transactions and life-cycle processes, and move to providing more strategic, higher-order services. But it will also likely reduce the number of HR staff that companies require. • Transfer appropriate responsibilities to line managers in a partnership role. Tight budgets

and improved technology are also leading to a shift in direct responsibility for employees away from HR and back to line managers as the latter become empowered to handle their own HR transactions. Cloud-based solutions will make this more user friendly than ever before.

Conclusion The HR function must push beyond the basics to enhance its reputation and fully exploit its critical role in securing return of investment on the people agenda. HR needs to focus on delivering unique talent solutions tailored to each company’s circumstances and requirements. To do this, HR must develop a deep understanding of the business – in the same way, and using the same “language”, as other managers. The measures it proposes must be tied to business outcomes. A number of areas such as workforce analytics, talent management and technology, help secure HR a place at the strategic top table and reinforce the need for HR to make the people agenda as important to CEOs and business leaders as the balance sheet and P&L statement. ■

BEC Employment Compass

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KPMG

These businesses therefore need talented people who can lead and contribute within the new organisational models. Often, these talented people need guidance and support in making the transition to new ways of working. KPMG’s People & Change practice can help companies manage these changes effectively and strengthen longer-term business performance. Why People & Change? Current market realities offer businesses little choice but to manage a range of changes simultaneously, including those related to the regulatory agenda and global financial crisis, the need for improved risk management and the challenges around mergers, acquisitions and restructuring. Within this market environment, businesses must make change happen quickly, effectively and commercially. The costs of not doing so are incredibly high.

What We Do ... Our established service offerings provide the necessary support and guidance to address the People Agendas of organisations across all industries (see diagram below). Our Global HR Centre of Excellence provides... Dedicated access to an exceptional team of trusted advisors to help solve complex challenges across all dimensions of the business Access to truly global HR solutions through consistent methodologies and tools A global network of senior level professionals with strong links into academic institutions and other leading HR research organisations providing real time access to top experts and information in the area of HR Ready access to customised information on HR trends and “breaking news” delivered to your desktop or mobile device.

Diagram courtesy KPMG

Our Service Offerings KPMG’s established service offerings provide the necessary support and guidance to address the People Agendas of organisations across all industries.

KPMG in Barbados is one of the leading professional services firms on the island, with approximately 100 employees and seven Partners and Directors delivering audit, tax and advisory services to clients worldwide. KPMG recognizes that its clients and stakeholders are facing an increasingly complex and changing business environment. We believe that as a member of the KPMG International global network we have the expertise and capability to help our clients understand and cut through this complexity.

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People powered performance Today’s HR function has the potential to drive a profound transformation, challenged as never before to deliver superior business performance through better people management and engagement. We believe that the goal of HR should be to enable business strategy and deliver value to the business. To do this requires a clear understanding of the inter-play between the cost, capacity, capability, connectivity and compliance of your workforce. P3 from KPMG is a new approach and diagnostic tool that unlocks the insights in your data to provide evidence-based analysis of your people-related issues. P3 experts from our People and Change practice can help you identify opportunities to enable you to differentiate your HR function and deliver greater value to the organisation. www.kpmg.bb

Š 2014 KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, is a subsidiary of KPMG Europe LLP and a member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative, a Swiss entity. All rights reserved.

Brenda Pope Partner, Management Consulting KPMG in Barbados T: 1 246 434 3904 E: bpope@kpmg.bb Melanie Greenidge Senior Manager, People and Change KPMG in Barbados T: 1 246 434 3919 E: melaniegreenidage@kpmg.bb


LEADERSHIP

Human Resource Management

The Right To Manage Hensley Sobers, Ph.D. - Immediate Past President of the BEC

hensob@caribsurf.com Dr. Hensley T. Sobers has been a practitioner and consultant in the areas of Industrial Relations and Human Resources Management for over thirty years; primarily in the International Business, Tourism & Hospitality, Financial and Public Service Sectors.

Rights are always balanced with responsibilities. In modern day management, effective leaders must balance the company’s needs with the needs of their employees, to realise a successful organisation.

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raditionally, management has been defined by describing what managers do. Although this approach has limitations, it has not been significantly improved upon. Many persons still tend to personalize management and ignore the fact that it is indeed a process which involves a series of similar, interrelated and interdependent, functions which proceed without beginning or end. These functions are performed by managers, the human force in organisations regardless of type. They are vital in a society dominated by organisations – schools, churches, hospitals, government agencies, unions and all corporate businesses. All of these organisations are run by managers, who are responsible for developing the policies, systems, processes and effective working relationships that affect millions of persons who consume their products, use their services, and work for or own them. The modern manager is thus one of the most strategically placed persons in society today and must be extended the right, in accordance with applicable law, regulations, protocol, convention or agreement. This right to manage is recognized and articulated in Collective Agreements between unions and employers as follows: “It is agreed that the Company reserves to itself the right to: a) Plan, direct, control operations, and determine the methods, means and personnel by which such operations are to be conducted; b) Allocate employees of the organisation concerned to fulfil its legitimate business interest so as to enhance its public reputation and goodwill; c) Hire, promote, transfer, assign, retain and rehire employees in positions established within the organisation; and to suspend discharge or take disciplinary action against employees for just cause; d) Relieve employees from duties for reasons which relate to the capability to perform of the kind which he was employed to do;

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>> The modern manager is thus one of the most strategically placed persons in society today and must be extended the right, in accordance with applicable law, regulations, protocol, convention or agreement.

e) Exercise discretion to make such rules and regulations as the organisation considers necessary or advisable for the orderly, efficient and safe conduct of business and to require employees to observe such rules and regulations. In such a context, the right to manage comes with an inextricable responsibility to shift the paradigm about employees as economic factors of production to persons with a full range of social and psychological needs. The right to manage calls for managers at all levels to: • Understand how to execute a flexmanagement process for effectively dealing with workforce changes; • Develop management practices such as

giving feedback, providing incentives, coaching, mentoring, and building teams to help each employee give his or her best; • Rekindle work spirit, satisfaction and commitment by involving others in decisionmaking; sharing power, information, and accountability; and aligning awards with individual values, wants and needs; • Reduce tension and frustration among workers and between workers and managers by listening and showing empathy and encouraging tolerance for diversity, including using flexibility in managing persons with disabilities; • Influence third-party or external impact on the culture of the organisation. As may be deduced, this article seeks to accentuate the view that the very complexity of systems together with that of strategy requires some sort of management to assure performance for the benefit of the whole. Thus management, whether we speak of business management or any other kind of management, is a process through which all other systems and related subsystems is administered. The right to manage is inalienable. When you recognise how complex work processes and procedures are becoming today and how important the ability to plan, organise, resource, influence, measure, monitor and evaluate performance are to succeeding in today’s competitive world, you too would conclude that all groups and/or organisations need management. This has not always been the case. The present state of management results from modern social and technical change. The former power of capitalist entrepreneurs, politicians, churchmen or soldiers is shared by managers who pursue their own career path in management and administration. In light of this development, it has become fashionable to talk at present about the interaction of socio-technical systems as part of the intellectual requirements of professional management; an enhancement for gaining even the legitimate or legitimised right to manage. ■


THE HUMAN ELEMENT

Human Resource Management I started my career: As a teller with the Bank of Nova Scotia, Worthing (1967)

I’m glad that: I have enjoyed a stable marriage and family life for more than forty years. I had the opportunity to train and work in several economic sectors during my career

I hope to see:

Colin Anthony (Tony) Walcott Executive Director, Barbados Employers’ Confederation since May 2009

My daughters achieve their maximum potential, both in their personal lives and their professional careers. Young professionals, who come under my sphere of influence, rise to their highest potential in their chosen fields of endeavour.

William Alexander McDonald Chairman, Barbados Private Sector Association since February 2014 I started my career: Doing sales for Fujitsu

I started my career:

I’m glad that:

Teaching

Throughout all of the economic and social dislocation, that Barbadians can maintain a sense of proportion and appropriateness in their reactions and actions.

I’m glad that: The respect for human resources professionals is growing and that we are taking our rightful place in the Boardroom.

I’m sorry that: As a people we have not yet developed a national and individual sense of courage to speak “truth to power” without hiding behind the veil of anonymity

I’m sorry that: We have not yet been able to change the culture with regards to absenteeism and that many persons are not seeing the link between absenteeism and productivity.

I hope to see: Barbadians return to our old-fashioned values and our society become a nurturing place for our children to grow up in.

I hope to see:

Dawn Jemmott-Lowe

Human Resources Manager, Arawak Cement Company Limited since February 2001

NOTHING Surprises Me...I Work in HR!

The time when we re-imagine the shape of our private sector, move it more away from the heavy dependency on local inward retail, and more towards export driven services and products within a supportive ecosystem geared for driving success through the economy.

True HR stories from businesses around Barbados I’m going to Sue You! You are habitually late arriving to work. One day, you receive a text from a colleague telling you the Manager is looking for you (he isn’t). In response, you text your manager apologizing for being late, which causes him to look at your attendance record to discover that you are habitually late. You are terminated for poor timekeeping. You decide to sue the colleague that sent you the text stating that the Manager was looking for you! If not for her, you would still be employed!

I’m not coming in! One employee sent a text to his supervisor: “I’m not coming in. Have a headache, I think I am stale drunk.”

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Super Centre | DaCosta Mannings Warrens super store before all the new signage marking the merger was erected.

Right The First Time:

The Super Centre/DaCosta Mannings Merger - A Case Study Siobhan Robinson-Morris, BSc, MSc - HR Manager, B&B Distribution Siobhan Robinson-Morris is a former Labour Mangement Advisor of the BEC.

Change is one of life’s constants, and is an inevitable part of any relationship. As such, change needs to be undertaken correctly, to ensure that the relationship is not fractured beyond repair. This article explores how one local company was able to successfully achieve this.

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RIGHT THE FIRST TIME

Industrial Relations

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here are times when companies need to change/modify the way they do business to ensure continued viability and success. In mapping out their strategy, management needs to not only consider the impact the changes will have on the bottom line, but also place emphasis on the impact on the employees, as they are the most critical component in ensuring the successful implementation of the new strategy. Balancing the employee sensitive issues with the timelines established for implementation is usually a difficult task. However, the mistrust and disengagement which occurs if the right process is not followed can be far more damaging to your organization than missing deadlines. Mergers, acquisitions, downsizing or general restructuring all impact the staff complement of the organization, and you want to ensure that staff are included in all possible areas of the discussions. This ensures that there is maximum “buy-in” by staff and that there is little speculation, rumours and misinformation which can cause mistrust to fester and undermine the process. This is why getting it right the first time is of utmost importance. While the theory behind properly navigating the waters of change has been highlighted by a number of writers, it is always important to see the theory in motion. In 2013, two major retail arms within The Barbados Shipping and Trading Group of Companies announced their intention to merge operationsSuper Centre and DaCosta Mannings and form one megastore. However, the general public would not have been privy to the fact that the process had started two (2) years before with the development of a strategic plan, nor the amount of behind the scene consultation with both the employees, as well as their representatives. If any company could be deemed to have gotten change right, it is Super Centre/DaCosta Mannings. While the transition process may not have been perfect, the approach of management certainly mitigated the potential damage which could have been caused, and has allowed for minimal industrial relations issues throughout the still ongoing changes.

So how then does a company “get it right”? The Employment Compass spoke with the management, as well as the employees’ representative – The Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU) to get a holistic view of the process which went into the merger of the two companies. Super Centre and DaCosta Mannings are part of the Barbados Shipping and Trading Group of Companies, and the larger Neal and Massy Group. Prior to the merger they both were in

the retail sector, and a review of their operations highlighted that there was a duplication of efforts, not only within the actual retail store, but also behind the scenes, with each company having its own Human Resource Department, Accounting Department, Operations Department etc. The decision was made to merge the two operations into one mega retail store. The management of the company noted that from the very beginning of the process, they acknowledged the importance of consultation, frank and open communication, and approaching the situation from a place of partnership, as opposed to dominance. Indeed, Ms. Dionne Howard of the Barbados Workers’ Union noted this as one of the critical facets to how smoothly the merger occurred. She stated, “...it [the company] engaged in consultation, not the “I am making these changes and this is what it is” [type]; real, genuine consultation where the plans were shared and discussions were held and based on dialogue, the plans evolved.” Mr. Neville Brewster, Managing Director of Super Centre, noted that they placed a huge emphasis on true consultation, and highlighted that they shared all of the plans with employees. The company not only held meetings with the union delegates, but also hosted two (2) town hall meetings for the entire staff, and engaged the Sub-Committee of the Social Partnership. As with any change of this nature, there was some loss of manpower, which took the form of voluntary separation packages, early retirement and redundancy. The company factored in issues of last in- first out, special skills and family situations, that is ensuring that two people from the same family were not chosen, when deciding who would be made redundant. Within the strategic plan, which covers down to 2016, it is envisaged that other projects would enable job creation, and that these losses would in essence be temporary. Mr. Brewster again lauded the importance of communication throughout, he stated that, as with any relationship, one must have trust and having that trust worked in the company’s favour. The company offered enhanced separation packages, counseling, internal training and introduced an Employee Assistance Hotline, in order to assist with the transition. Ms. Dionne Walcott, Human Resource Manager for the company noted that managing the change was the biggest human resource challenge throughout the merger; ensuring that persons understood why the decision was taken and availing yourself to meet with employees on a one on one basis, which was difficult with a staff complement of over 1400 employees between the two companies. Ms. Howard of the BWU also noted this as one of the challenges. Ms. Walcott noted that should she have the opportunity to do

>> From the very beginning of the process, they acknowledged the importance of consultation, frank and open communication, and approaching the situation from a place of partnership, as opposed to dominance.

BEC Employment Compass

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Super Centre & DaCosta Mannings’ Checklist for Change Management: ⎷ Strategic Planning by Directors/Owners. ⎷ Engagement of employees/employees’ representative. ⎷ Feedback from employees/ their representatives. ⎷ Adjustments (if any) to the strategic plans. ⎷ Constant dialogue and feedback to employees Town Hall meetings. ⎷ Counselling opportunities and Employee Assistance Programmes. ⎷ Ensuring that all information disseminated is from a controlled source and not through the grapevine.

>> When asked how they managed to get it right the first time, management agreed that is was all about fair play and honesty. It required true engagement and consultation; leveraging their long standing relationship with the union and partnering with them and employees for the betterment of the organization.

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anything differently, she would have facilitated more town hall meetings to ensure adequate coverage of all employees. When asked what lessons were learned throughout the process, Ms. Lisa Gonzales, Manager at DaCosta Mannings Sheraton, highlighted the challenges of integrating the cultures and blending the management styles, which she noted is an ongoing process that will take some time. With the lessons learned from this experience, all three members of the management team concurred that integration is not easy, and every step of the way there needs to be clear, and concise communication. Despite this open communication, rumours still created fear and panic in employees, and therefore the company tried to control what information was placed in the media and the general public. When asked how they managed to get it right the first time, management agreed that is

was all about fair play and honesty. It required true engagement and consultation; leveraging their long standing relationship with the union and partnering with them and employees for the betterment of the organization. Dionne Howard agreed with this sentiment and stated that more companies should take this proactive, consultative approach. In essence, how Super Centre/ DaCosta Mannings got it right was through communication, partnership and trustworthiness - the basic principles of industrial relations, Management of industrial relations, human resources, change, are all based on process and adhering to the three principles above. How do you as an organization get it right? Through open and honest communication! ■


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BEC Employment Compass

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COMPENSATION

Industrial Relations

The Impact of Satisfaction With Benefits On

Employee Performance and Loyalty Sheena Mayers Bsc, Msc - Labour Management Advisor, BEC sheena@barbadosemployers.com

To add to the body of knowledge on industrial relations, and in fulfilment of my MSc Labour and Employment Relations, I researched the relationship between satisfaction with benefits, employee commitment and employee performance and the effect, if any, of union organising.

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study was conducted with 155 participants that were selected from across the Barbadian working population. A synopsis of the research is provided below which sought to answer the following questions: 1. Do unionised workers receive a higher number of benefits than non-unionised workers? 2. Are unionised employees more likely than their non-unionised counterparts to have higher levels of employee satisfaction with benefit packages? The survey revealed that unionised and nonunionised employees received the same number of benefits as well as experienced similar levels of satisfaction with these benefits. The theory advanced to explain these phenomena is a great disparity between union coverage and union density which is a product of the economic climate, legal machinery and industrial relations landscape. 3. Is there a relationship between employee satisfaction with benefit packages and organizational commitment? 4. Does a positive relationship exist between employee satisfaction with benefits and employee performance? It was revealed that satisfaction with benefits is correlated to employee organisational commitment but not employee performance. This supported the findings in previous research which revealed that benefits, especially given their lack of portability, have the ability to generate or at minimum, increase employee loyalty. Tenure did not play a significant role as a predictor of any of the variables being measured. The research paper delved into the following three areas:

compensation; (2) working conditions; (3) job tenure (including promotion opportunities) and employment security; (4) and grievance procedures and other methods of procedural justice regarding individual worker rights. The impact of trade unions is not limited to unionised firms but encompasses non-union firms as well. There are two prevailing models of the impact of unionisation on the non-union sector; the union threat model and the crowding/spillover model (Neumark and Wachter 1995).

Trade Unions Unions typically bargain over four major worker concerns: (1) the amount and types of

Findings

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>> Satisfaction with benefits is correlated to employee organisational commitment but not employee performance. Compensation An organisations’ compensation system is arguably the most significant human resource management system for effective strategy implementation particularly in view of the enormous costs that a compensation system entails (Shaw, Gupta and Delery 2002). Organisational Commitment Organisational commitment defined as the psychological attachment of workers to their organisations, has been an area of active research over the past several decades (Chen, Tsue and Farh 2002). Su et al (2009), Chen et al (2002) and Roehling (2001) all agree that the importance of enhancing employee organisational commitment is highlighted by the extensive literature revealing its positive impact on employees’ job performance, reducing absenteeism and turnover rates, and improving employees’ adaptability to organisational change.

The research revealed some consistencies with findings of research conducted in industrialised

countries. For example, gender in itself is not a predictor of union involvement, increasing satisfaction with benefits causes an increase in employee commitment and older workers exhibit higher levels of organisational commitment. While the statistics show that non-unionised employees are more committed, it is valuable to note that literature suggests that while nonunionised employees may exhibit higher levels of organisational commitment, they are more likely to leave the organisation. Therefore organisational commitment and intent to leave cannot be viewed as interchangeable terms. Even though higher levels of in-role performance were measured for non-unionised employees than their unionised counterparts, it is not suggested that companies seek to avoid trade unions. Unions can be a powerful force to influence organisational buy-in on various projects and changes and therefore management should not exclude them from the channels of information dissemination within the organisation. It was shown that satisfaction with benefits increased organisational commitment even though there was no relationship between satisfaction with benefits and performance. The difference between union density and union coverage is something that should be considered for future research, it is believed that this phenomenon had a large influence in the equality of the number of benefits received by unionised and non-unionised employees. Thereby also influencing the satisfaction with benefits and allowing it to be equal between the two groups under study. In conclusion, union membership has an impact on benefits provided, which can be felt through the effect on the labour market or via collective bargaining at the organisational level. Due to the impact on employee commitment and employee performance, the research further supports fringe benefits, as part of a comprehensive compensation strategy. ■


RESEARCH & ADVICE

Industrial Relations

Trends on Work Stoppages and Layoffs

Union Coverage & Union Density By Definition:

The BEC tracks trends by monitoring various media including newspapers, online publications, partner websites as well as utilizing information supplied by our members. The below statistics were compiled from these sources.

Union density measures the number of trade union members. Vs. Union coverage measures the number of workers that are covered by a collective agreement.

2013 2012 Year

Union coverage is usually higher than union density.

Work Stoppages

2011 2010 2009

Collective Agreement Checklist:

2008 0

50

Does your agreement have? ⎷ Life Threatening Illness Policy – provisions for how the Company will handle persons with HIV/AIDS, diabetes, cancer, lupus etc.

⎷ Work/ Life Balance Provisions – highlights the emphasis which the company places on work/ life balance, and outlines the provisions in place to ensure employees achieve it (paid gym membership etc.)

400

450

Layoffs 1200 Number of Employees

⎷ Reward and Recognition Provisions- addresses policies related to highlighted and rewarded high achievers in the organization.

350

Work Stoppages during the period of 2012 saw over 400 persons walking off the job, which was not much less than 2011, when over 350 persons were off the job.

⎷ Sexual Harassment Policy – defines sexual harassment and outlines how the company will treat offenders. ⎷ Productivity Provisionsschemes of how increased productivity will be recognized and rewarded.

100 150 200 250 300 Number of Employees

1000 Jul to Dec Jan to Jun

800 600 400 200 0

2011

2012

2013

Year In 2011 and 2012 the number of persons Laid Off or Terminated during the January – June period was relatively high. However, in 2013 the number of persons during the July – December period reached almost 900.

BEC Employment Compass

23


Unemployed Labour Force: The International standard of unemployment (also adopted by Barbados) is based on three (3) criteria to be satisfied simultaneously:a) Without work - i.e. not in any paid employment or self-employment; b) Currently available for work - for paid employment or self-employment during the reference period; c) Seeking work - i.e. have taken specific steps to seek paid employment or self -employment. Thus in Barbados, to be classified as unemployed an individual must not have worked at all during the reference period, but must have taken some steps during the preceding 3-months period to find a job.

Inactive Persons: These include persons who may be at school, retired, incapacitated, keeping house, and do not want work, although they can work. The persons should have been fully in that status throughout the survey period.

Employed Labour Force:

Photo: Andrew Hulsmeier

According to the 1982 international definition of employment (ILO, 1983) the Employed Labour Force is comprised of all persons above the age specified for measuring the economically active population, who during a brief period, performed a minimum of one (1) hour’s work for pay or profit.

Where Are The Jobs?

Employment and Unemployment At A Glance: 2013 Labour Stats Review Brittany Brathwaite, BSc - Labour Management Advisor, BEC brittany@barbadosemployers.com

The following tabulated data along with any other statistics reflected throughout this article, were garnered from the Continuous Household Labour Force Surveys conducted quarterly by the Barbados Statistical Service. Information was used from the Third Quarter Report for 2013 as the report for the final quarter of 2013 was not published as at April 2014; the full surveys are available at www.barstas.gov.bb.

24 BEC Employment Compass


RECRUITMENT

Law & Guidance

T

he following tables are quite selfexplanatory, however, there are some areas which we thought necessitated brief explanation.

Employment by Industry and Sex According to the survey, the Construction industry employed the largest percentage of males in the first quarter of 2013, whilst the wholesale and retail trade employed the largest percentage of females. This sector (wholesale and retail) was also reflected as having employed the largest cross section of persons across the island; 20.1 % percent to be exact. Public Administration and Defense, Accommodation and Food Services and the Construction industry were the three other leading employing sectors in the first quarter, reflecting percentages of 10.2 %, 12.1 % and 13.7 % respectively. There were decreases in employment levels when compared to the annual year 2012 in all of the following sectors: Agriculture, Construction, Manufacturing, Transport, Human Health, Social Work Professional, Scientific and Technical services, Administrative and Support Services and Other Services (defined below). For 2013, slight increases were noted in employment levels in the following sectors, when compared to the annual year 2012: Electricity, Gas, Steam, Water and Air Conditioning Supply, Accommodation and Food Services. The only sectors remaining constant were: Finance and Insurance, and Activities of Household Employers. (Diagram 1)

Male (per 1000)

Female (per 1000)

Both Sexes (per thousand)

Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing Construction, Mining & Quarrying Manufacturing Elec. Gas, Steam, Water & Air Conditioning Supply Wholesale and Retail Trade Transportation & Storage Accommodation and Food Services Finance & Insurance Professional, Scientific & Technical Services Administrative & Technical Support Service Public Administration and Defense Education Human Health & Social Work Other Services Activities Of Households as Employers Other Groups Not stated

2.0 11.9 5.0 1.8

1.6 1.0 4.0 1.0

3.6 12.9 9.0 3.0

10.3 4.8 4.6 1.7 1.6 3.8 7.1 2.8 1.4 2.0 0.9 3.3 0.0

10.3 2.0 8.8 4.0 1.8 1.7 6.1 4.1 4.9 3.4 4.3 3.1 0.0

20.6 6.7 13.4 5.7 3.4 5.6 13.3 6.9 6.3 5.4 5.2 6.5 0.0

Total

65.0

62.3

127.4

Industry

Diagram 1: Employment by Industry and Sex for 1st Quarter of 2013 Notes: Other Groups include Information & Communication, Activities of Extraterritorial Organizations & Bodies, Real Estate & Arts, and Entertainment & Recreation

2013 Rates ‘000 persons

2012 Rates ‘000 persons

Difference ‘000 persons

Total Unemployed Persons

16.8

15.2

+1.6

Total Employed Persons

127.4

125.7

+1.7

Inactive Persons

69.8

72.9

-3.1

Diagram 2: Employment Rate Comparison for 3rd Quarters of 2012 and 2013

Unemployment and Activity Rates: 2012 vs 2013 (Diagrams 2-4) A comparison of the Labour Force figures for July to September 2013 with the corresponding period in 2012, revealed the following results. The unemployment rate showed a slight increase, further it is important to note that this increase occurred solely with males. In conclusion, there was a minor increase of the total number of unemployed persons which however, had no negative impact on the total number of employed individuals. The total employed persons actually increased by 1,700 people, which was calculated as mere 100 person difference between the increase in employment and unemployment. While one may wonder how this can happen, this is a normal phenomenon due the expanding labour market while layoffs may be occurring. An increase in the total employable population can also result in this dual increase. From the final table it was clear that females participated more in the labour market while still having the higher inactivity rate. ■

2013 Rate (%)

2012 Rate (%)

Difference (%)

Labour Force Participation

67.3

65.8

+ 1.5

Male Unemployment

12.2

10.3

+ 1.9

Female Unemployment

11.1

11.3

+ 0.2

Diagram 3: Labour Force Participation Comparison for 3rd Quarters of 2012 and 2013

>>The unemployment rate showed a slight increase, further it is important to note that this increase occurred solely with males.

Activity Rates

Male %

Female %

Both Sexes %

Employment Rate - Employed as a percentage of Labour Force

87.8 %

88.9 %

88.3 %

Unemployment Rate - Employed as Percentage of Labour Force

12.2 %

11.1 %

11.7 %

Participation Rate - Labour force as a percentage of Total Adult Population

73.1 %

62.1 %

67.3 %

Inactivity Rate - Inactive Adults as Percentage of Total Adult Population

26.9 %

37.9 %

32.7 %

Diagram 4: Unemployment Rate and Activity Rates by Sex for 3rd Quarter, 2013

BEC Employment Compass

25


RECRUITMENT

Law & Guidance

CAPACITY TO GROW DOMESTICALLY

HIGH GROWTH INDUSTRIES

Tourism

Energy

Barbados has the capacity to grow domestically in the off peak period. The BHTA developed a proposal which gave tax incentives to persons who took staycations rather than travelling internationally for their vacations as a way of stimulating domestic growth (it was never approved).

Petroleum sector- there is capacity for domestic growth specifically in the offshore petroleum program. Renewable energy sector- there are several opportunities for installers, energy auditors, consultancies, but there needs to be capacity building.

The top four services industries that have experienced growth globally are: BIO-TECHNOLOGY • Human health - bio-informatics, sequencing platforms and services, genomics, chemoinformatics, drug efficacy testing, • Agri-business and technology transcriptomics improved crop yield leading to food import substitution

RENEWABLE ENERGY • Distributed solar and wind power • Grid monitoring software and applications • Offshore petroleum drilling explorations

PRIVATE EDUCATION

Agriculture & Bio-technology

Agricultural sector- the capacity for domestic growth can occur in marketing and promotion of local products and in product development for e.g. muffin mixes using cassava flour.

• Career development • Technical certification • Online primary or secondary education tutoring

TECHNOLOGY Capacity for improvement in the area of attitudes Frontline Services

Creative Sectors

Some sectors have a good product, however, the lack of infrastructure, business sense and and internal structures are hindering progress. For example, some in the sector do not think about registering their companies nor their intellectual property. They do not adequately track what happens in their businesses, or focus on ways to increase sales. All this impacts on the ability to grow.

Of significance, medicine and law were not seen as having much capacity for domestic expansion. It was noted that there are many lawyers and doctors who are unemployed. Instead, what was necessary was a diversification in the branches of medicine and law that are practiced in Barbados.

Economic Indicators for Barbados Indicator

2012

2013

Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

$8.4 billion (est)

$8.4 billion (est)

Consumer Price Index (CPI) at Jan of each year

155.559

158.795

Retail Price Index

165.5 points

167.3 points

Inflation

4.5%

1.8%

• App and software development • High skilled technical support centers • NFC and mobile payments • Cybersecurity Barbados’ Potential Place in Growth Industries The government of Barbados has identified “health and wellness” and the “cultural and creative” sectors as priority industries for Barbados. These two along with the four high growth areas previously mentioned: Bio-technology, Renewable and New Energy, Private Education and Technology are areas that Barbados can exploit for economic gain with some upgrades to the existing skills base. These upgrades will require an integrated relationship between industry and education.

Consumer Price Index It is a measure of changes in the purchasing-power of a currency and the rate of inflation. The consumer price index expresses the current prices of a basket of goods and services in terms of the prices during the same period in a previous year, to show effect of inflation on purchasing power. Currently, the base year is 1984.

Retail Price Index The retail price index, or the RPI, shows the changes in the cost of living. It

reflects the movement of prices in a range of goods and services used regularly, and items considered most important to us, such as housing and food, are given a higher weighting.

Gross Domestic Product The monetary value of all the finished goods and services produced

26 BEC Employment Compass

within a country’s borders in a specific time period, though GDP is usually calculated on an annual basis.

Inflation Rate The rate at which the general level of prices for goods and services is rising, and, subsequently, purchasing power is falling.

Source: BCSI Study of the Professional Services Sector in Barbados - Kaizen Business Development Inc. Oct 2013

In 2013, Barbados Coalition of Service Industries (BCSI) released its commissioned research of the professional services sector in Barbados. The research suggested that the demand for services increases when other economic streams are non-performing. The general view was that growth was possible in some areas but not in others, therefore, there was a need to look outside the domestic market. In fact one suggestion made went as far as eliminating the domestic market completely and simply looking outside of Barbados for markets. Another reoccurring theme was the need to improve on the current service levels and attitudes across sectors. The figure below provides sector specific outlook on the capacity to grow domestically.


RECRUITMENT

Law & Guidance Permits WorkWork Permit Requests

Statistics

35

25 20 15 10 5 0

2012

2013

The number of advertised requests for work permits fell from 34 in 2012 to 28 in 2013.

Job Advertisements by Category and Month 250

2013

Number of Ads

200

2012

150

50

The employer should treat this in the same manner as any other customer complaint. Using the information provided, investigate the matter, determine if there is merit to the accusation, and if an investigations reveals misconduct, then a disciplinary hearing should be convened to address the incident.

Do not be too hasty to terminate. While there may be feelings of mistrust, the nature of the employee’s job and the type of illness must be factored into the employee’s inability to work.

C

C on ler st ica ru l ct io G en F n er ina al n W ce H ork os er pi t In alit fo y .T ec h M L an e g ag a em l e M nt e Su dic pe al rv Sa iso le s& r O Sn M th ar er r. M ke an tin ag g em Te ent ch ni ca l

0

Categories

The number of Job Advertisements for the monitored categories was consistently higher in 2012, with the exception of the Management and Legal categories whose numbers were higher in 2013.

Job Advertisements

250

2013 2012

200

Number of Ads

A company received an anonymous letter reporting that an employee was overheard saying that he would poison a particular patron if they ever returned to the establishment. The letter was copied to the media, police and ministry of health. What should the employer do?

An employee with a poor attendance record has submitted another sick certificate. Yet during the period of certified sick leave, the employee was video-taped dee-jaying at Karaoke. Can the employee be terminated?

100

150

100

50

0

Help…

I’ve never dealt with this before!

30 Number of Requests

The BEC tracks trends by monitoring various media including newspapers, online publications, partner websites as well as utilizing information supplied by our members. The below statistics were compiled from these sources.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Months

A company received an anonymous phone call, proporting that an employee intends to call in sick and subsequently submit a sick leave certificate for two weeks in order to go on a seven day cruise. After receiving the sick certificate, a private investigator hired by the company captures the employee disembarking the cruise vessel on its return to Barbados. The company should then proceed to discipline the employee in accordance with company policy and the Employment Rights Act, which may potentially result in termination. Such matters should also be reported to the National Insurance Department. BEC Employment Compass

27


LEGISLATION

Law & Guidance

The Employment Rights Act Needs Regulations!

Cicely Chase Q.C. - Attorney-at-Law, Seneca Law Chambers senecalegal@gmail.com

T

he Employment Rights Act (ERA) has been proclaimed and thus far functioning without regulations, the need for such has however become increasingly apparent as the business community continues on the path of compliance. The primary challenge necessitating regulations is ambiguity in some provisions; if regulations are employed they could aid tremendously in the efficacy of the legislation, lead to procedural fairness and to easier interpretation of the statute. The question begs itself; will such Regulations be directory only or mandatory? The answer is that the Regulations will be mandatory in some instances and directory in others. Mandatory Regulations will relate to rules of procedure and in particular to the operations of the Employee Rights Tribunal (ERT) which will hear and determine cases on issues pertaining to the unfairness of dismissals. Directory regulations will most likely relate to cases questioning an employee’s capability or conduct.

Directory and Mandatory Regulations In the case of capability of employees to perform their job functions, the Regulations will be of importance in determining when an employee does not fulfill his end of the contract of employment or has a challenge relative to his performance on the job which renders him incapable to perform it. Regulations may also be set to provide guidelines for cases being heard regarding the conduct of employees. In these cases, the Regulations will be directory; used as a guide to assist the Employment Rights Tribunal in its sittings on matters which are set before it. A prime example would be: If an employee is not performing his duties in a satisfactory manner, the employer may provide to him a written warning describing or pointing out the unsatisfactory aspect of his job and further set out any action which the employer intends to take in the event that the employee does not heed the warning or take it seriously. Regulations would assist in having the written warnings prepared so that it accords with the law and allow all salient aspects of the infraction or breach to be set out clearly and succinctly in the warning. Matters

28 BEC Employment Compass

relating to an employee’s capability and conduct would therefore be more easily understood. Every aspect of the dismissal process, from the Human Resources Department of an organization, to the Chief Labour Officer’s desk, to the Employment Rights Tribunal could be articulated for the avoidance of doubt and confusion if the Rules and Regulations were communicated. The Employment Rights Act states that the Employment Rights Tribunal shall regulate its own procedure and may make rules for that purpose (see Section 6 (3) of the Employment Rights Act). Procedural fairness is an important part of unfair dismissal regimes as justice must not be done but must be seen to be done.

Regulations in Action! Regarding fixed term contracts, there is no definition of a fixed term contract to which the Employment Rights Act applies at Section 22. It is suggested that aspects relating to termination of fixed term contracts can be dealt with by the proposed Regulations as well. In the United Kingdom, fixed term contracts can be dealt with by Regulations where Regulations of Fixed Term Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2002 exist. Perhaps these Regulations or some relevant parts of them can be incorporated into our law once they are deemed suitable and appropriate. A definition for a “fixed term contract” is given under the United Kingdom Regulations earlier cited. It is suggested that such an approach be adopted. The definition of a “fixed term contract” in the United Kingdom Regulations is as follows: “a contract of employment that, under its provisions determining how it will terminate in the normal course, will terminate: a) In the expiry of a specific term; b) On completion of a particular task; c) In the occurrence or non-occurrence of any other specific content other than the attainment by the employee of any normal and bona fide retiring age in the establishment for an employee holding the position held by him. Such contracts contain a clause providing for termination by notice”.

Of useful reference is the case of Dixon et al vs BBC [1979] Q.B. 546 which was decided with respect to a series of fixed term contracts, that all such contracts were determinable by a week’s notice. The porter in that case was hired under a series of fixed term contracts all determinable by one (1) week. At the end of the last contract, the company failed to renew the fixed term contract. Naturally the porter Dixon, claimed that he had been unfairly dismissed. The BBC argued that the porter’s contract was not a fixed term contract for the purposes of the Employment Rights Act because the contract had in a term permitting termination before the end of the fixed period contract. It was held by the Tribunal that the porter was dismissed because his fixed term contract meant a specified term though it was terminable by notice within that term and that accordingly the employee had been employed under contracts for a fixed term and the Tribunal had jurisdiction to hear his complaint.

Sooner rather than later? Regulations will aid with interpretation and highlight the spirit and intent of the Legislature. Regulations have to be brought on stream in the short term so as to avoid ambiguities and to shorten the process of the determination of unfair dismissals here in Barbados. The Regulations may include provisions empowering the Employment Rights Tribunal to order a party to any proceedings to pay to any other party to the proceedings the whole or part of the costs or expenses incurred by the other party in connection with the proceedings where the proceedings were unnecessary, improper or vexatious or where there has been unreasonable delay or other unreasonable conduct in bringing or conducting the proceedings. It is necessary and the time is ripe for the implementation of the proposed Regulations to safeguard the intention of Parliament when passing the legislation. Rules and Regulations will promote endeavours, intelligibility and consistency and guidance to parties. ■


LEGISLATION

Law & Guidance

Operating in a New Era of the ERA

Sheena Mayers BSc, MSc - Labour Management Advisor, BEC sheena@barbadosemployers.com

April 15, 2013 saw the dawning of a new ERA in Barbados -The Employment Rights Act has incorporated fundamental changes to the way employment matters are handled in Barbados! The following quiz will test your knowledge of the ERA, and by extension its impact on people management within your organization. 1. Which of the following factors are considered in determining the existence of a contract of employment? a) Obligation to give personal service b) Subjection to company policy c) Financial risk to employee d) All of the above

7. Technological changes have resulted in the redundancy of a staff member. The employee has worked with the company for 12 years and is paid bi-monthly. How much notice is required? a) 2 weeks b) 1 month c) 6 weeks d) 2 ½ months

2. Continuity of employment is considered broken when there is a break in service in excess of: a) 3 months b) 3 weeks c) 6 weeks d) 6 months

8. Tribunal decisions can be challenged on: a) Point of law b) Principle of natural justice c) Presentation of new evidence d) All of the above

3. What is the time restriction for employees to claim unfair dismissal? a) 3 months b) 6 months c) 12 months d) 5 years 4. For an employee to claim unfair dismissal they must prove: a) A permanent contract existed b) Employment for a minimum of 1 year c) Employer gave adequate notice d) All of the above

9. Where the Chief Labour Officer is unable to effect a settlement, he shall report the matter to the Tribunal after: a) 30 days b) 60 days c) 3 months d) 6 weeks 10. After the expiration of what period of time will a disciplinary action be treated as expunged? a) From January 1st of each year b) 18 months after the incident c) 12 months after the incident d) None of the above

5. Having just lost a key contract, you are forced to reduce your staff of 50 persons by 6 persons. Under the ERA, consultations with staff or union should include: a) Method of selections employees b) Period over which dismissals shall occur c) Measures to find alternative employment d) All of the above

11. Standard Disciplinary Procedures contain the following steps a) Invitation to Meeting, Representation, Appeal b) Invitation to Meeting, Meeting, Appeal c) Meeting, Representation, Decision d) Investigation, Meeting, Representation

6. Which of the following is NOT a fair reason for termination? a) Poor performance b) 6 months sick leave c) Redundancy d) None of the above

12. The remedies which the Tribunal can order are: a) Compensation b) Reinstatement c) Reengagement d) All of the above

13. An order of reinstatement requires the employer to: a) Treat the employee as though they have not been dismissed b) Provide the employee with similar work c) Establish a new date of employment for the employee d) Honour outstanding holiday with pay 14. The role of the Labour Department is to: a) Investigate failures to comply with legislation b) Use conciliation in attempt to settle complaints c) Where a settlement is not possible, refer to the Tribunal d) All of the above 15. Investigation has revealed that an employee has committed an act of gross misconduct, as outlined in Company’s Code of Discipline. Using modified disciplinary procedures, you set out in writing: a) The alleged misconduct b) Basis for thinking the employee guilty c) Grounds for appeal d) All of the above

True or False 1. The ERA requires employers to pay for periods of national duty. 2. Where an employee wishes to appeal disciplinary action, s/he must do so in writing following the established disciplinary procedure of the company. 3. Normal working hours are defined as 8:00 am – 4:30 pm. 4. A person appearing before the tribunal may be represented by any person whom s/he desires. 5. Short time results where the work has diminished to the point where the remuneration of the employee is less than half a week’s wages.

Answers: Multiple Choice: 1-D, 2-C, 3-A, 4-B, 5-D, 6-B, 7-C, 8-A, 9-D, 10-C, 11-B, 12-D, 13-A, 14-D, 15 - D True & False: 1-False, 2 – True, 3-False, 4- True, 5- True

Multiple Choice

BEC Employment Compass

29


COMPENSATION

Law & Guidance

Umemployment Benefits While Suspended Guidance Note issued by the BEC

S

uspension without pay is used as a means of discipline, and can be of varying duration, however, it usually lasts between one (1) day and two (2) weeks. Custom and practice dictates, just as the name suggests, that this period away from work is an unpaid period. The ability to suspend an employee without pay must be established within the terms and conditions of their employment; whether that is through the contract of employment, code of discipline or handbook/policy document. Without that preestablished right, any employer who suspends an employee without pay can be considered to be in breach of contract. Within recent times, employers have sought to clarify whether employees who have been suspended without pay should be furnished with a National Insurance (NIS) U32006A form (i.e. the green form) for the period. To ensure that employers in Barbados are fully compliant with the relevant legislation, the BEC conducted research on the matter, including contacting the National Insurance Department for clarification.

Considerations Regulation 45 (1)of the National Insurance and Social Security (Benefit) Regulations (1967)

provides only three (3) grounds on which unemployment benefit shall be granted to a person under pensionable age: a) The employee is unemployed and has an interruption of earnings from his employment; or b) Has been laid-off and has suspension of earnings from his employment; or c) Has been kept on short time and suffers from loss of earnings from his employment.

>>The ability to suspend an employee without pay must be established within the terms and conditions of their employment... without that pre-established right, any employer who suspends an employee without pay can be considered to be in breach of contract. From the foregoing, suspension or loss of earnings must be in conjunction with the employee being unemployed, laid off or kept on short time. Further Regulation 45 (2) (a) outlines the circumstances under which a person shall be

deemed to be unemployed as follows: “For the purposes of these Regulations, a person shall: (a) Not be treated as unemployed unless (i) he satisfies the Director that he is unemployed and capable of work and is available for work; or (ii) he is unemployed and is following a course of instruction or training under a scheme approved by the Board, even though he may be receiving a stipend.” This Regulation does not suggest that a person who has been suspended from work without pay can be treated as unemployed. Further due to the decision of the common law case Holder v Caribbean Air Cargo Company Limited (Barbados Supreme Court Suit No. 719, 1983) it is a general principle of law that a suspended employee is still under a contract of employment until his employer terminates his services.

Decision It can therefore be clearly seen that under current legislation, an employee suspended without pay as a sanction for a disciplinary matter, should not be issued with a U32006A form to submit to NIS, as unemployment benefits are not payable to them. ■

Becoming a Member of the Barbados Employers’ Confederation Membership with the BEC is a key to significant benefits to your business. Our expert personnel can offer advice on various matters ranging from how to proceed with disciplinary matters, to what the law says on employment issues through our complimentary telephone and email assistance. Immediately you gain discounts on customised or open enrolment training opportunities. By joining the organisation that is most representative of employers within Barbados you will be in a unique position to: o Influence the creation of Industrial Relations Laws and Regulations. o Be more effective through an organization than you would be as an individual o Discover new opportunities for developing your employees. o Keep informed on current Human Resources Practices. o Have timely access to labour market information.

30 BEC Employment Compass


COMPENSATION

Law & Guidance

C

ertified sick leave is time away from work due to illness as directed by a medical practitioner. As the name suggests, the employee must provide the employer with a certificate from a registered medical practitioner entailing the amount of leave recommended.

Certified Sick Leave & National Insurance Benefits Guidance Note issued by the BEC

Medical Certificates What is commonly referred to as the NIS sick leave form (yellow form) is a Claim for Sickness/ Injury Benefit and an official NIS form. Therefore, employees are not required to submit a copy or duplicate of the NIS claim form to an employer for use as a medical certificate. A medical practitioner may provide an employee with a medical certificate which he/ she has designed. Employers should ensure that a medical certificate contains the following information: • Date of visit • Period of leave • Date of return to work While employees have a right to privacy and a medical professional is not obligated to disclose the nature of the illness, this should be balanced against the employer’s responsibility to provide reasonable accommodation.

Payment while on Sick Leave The payment of employees who are away from work due to sick leave is not legally required and is therefore subject to company policy, or collective agreement. The National Insurance Scheme will pay a sickness benefit to qualifying employees while on sick leave. It is therefore the responsibility of the employee to submit a claim for sickness benefit to the National Insurance Department. Many employers have agreed to pay a sickness benefit to employees while on certified sick leave. Common practice is for the employee to receive full pay or half pay for specified periods of leave. Full pay is often defined as the difference between the NIS sickness benefit and the employee’s regular salary. Half pay is usually calculated at 50% of full pay as defined above. For convenience, employers frequently pay employees their full salary with the agreement that upon receipt of the NIS benefit, the employee will pay over the amount to the company.

Considerations Employers undertaking to pay employees their full salary with the agreement that the NIS benefit is repaid to the company, are asked to note the following: 1. NIS deductions and contributions should not be made for periods of sick leave.

Upon submitting a claim for sickness benefit, the employee signs a declaration stating that they “will not claim or receive a benefit for a period where they were …gainfully employed”. Submitting NIS contributions for the same period indicates that the person was gainfully employed at your organization. 2. The sickness benefit paid by the company is subject to PAYE. Employers must ensure that they adjust the annual earnings of employees by the amount of money that the employee has reimbursed the company via their NIS benefit repayment. 3. Endorsement of Cheques NIS payments in excess of $500.00 are issued as crossed cheques – this signifies that they are to be deposited into the payee’s bank account only. As such, on occasion, commercial banks have refused to process cheques which have been endorsed to companies. Payments of less than $500 are not crossed and therefore there is no restriction on the endorsement of such payments. 4. Reimbursement of NIS Sickness Benefits While there is limited scope for NIS to provide information on benefits paid to employees, it is critical is that employers establish internal systems to ensure that reimbursements are received in a timely manner. In the event that an employee has received full salary and has not reimbursed the company the NIS benefit within an established timeframe, the company should notify the employee of its intention to deduct the outstanding payment. After notification, the company may calculate the expected NIS payment utilizing the attached information – NIS Sickness Benefits.

Conclusion As the payment of a sick leave benefit is not legislated, employers are guided primarily by what is stated in employment contracts, current collective agreements and established custom and practice. Employers must ensure that statutory deductions are applied correctly to any sickness benefit paid by the company. Additionally, internal controls should be established to ensure that, where applicable, reimbursements are received in a timely manner. ■

>> While employees have a right to privacy and a medical professional is not obligated to disclose the nature of the illness, this should be balanced against the employer’s responsibility to provide reasonable accommodation.

The BEC by Numbers 204 Member Companies 21,984 Employees Covered 58 years in operation

(from July 31, 1956)

8 Staff Members • 1 Executive Director • 3 Labour Management Advisors • 1 Research/Occupational Health & Safety Coordinator • 1 Secretary/Treasurer • 1 Administrative Assistant • 1 Receptionist

BEC Employment Compass

31


OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY & HEALTH

Law & Guidance

Court Report: Occupational Safety & Health Edition Sean Daniel, Bsc - Group Industrial Relations Officer, Banks Holdings Sean Daniel is a former Labour Management Advisor of the BEC. IN THE SUPREME COURT OF JUDICATURE HIGH COURT Civil Division PLAINTIFF - TYRONE PHILLIPS AND FIRST DEFENDANT - BARBADOS PORT INC. SECOND DEFENDANT - EZRA FORDE THIRD DEFENDANT - CARGO HANDLERS LTD.

A

check with the Health & Safety Section of the Labour Department reveals that since the proclamation of the Safety & Health at Work (SHaW) Act in 2013, there have not been any cases brought to the Courts based on this legislation, however, there are cases which predate the legislation that are still instructive. The case of Tyrone Phillips v Barbados Port Inc., E. Forde & Cargo Handlers Limited is one such case, as it gives the local court’s interpretation of the Employer’s duties, the duties of a sub-contracting firm and the duties of employees themselves.

Facts of the Case Mr. Phillips was badly hurt on March 4, 2005, during a loading operation on board a cargo ship in the Bridgetown Port. He was on deck directing a crane operator in the placement of containers on the outbound vessel; this was being done for Cargo Handlers Ltd as a subcontractor of Bridgetown Port Inc., Mr. Phillips’ substantive employer. During the operation, one of the containers slipped its “shoes” and he was pinned between two containers. Mr. Phillips successfully sued both his principal employer and the subcontracting firm. His suit against the crane operator was not successful. The judgement was given some eight (8) years later and was apportioned 10% to the employee and 90% “jointly and severally” against the First and Third defendants, in this case, the two employers. Jointly and severally laible means that the plaintiff may collect the damages from one or both of the defendants.

32 BEC Employment Compass

Lessons Learned The first lesson for the employer is that even in situations where they are sub-contractors, as in the case of Cargo Handlers, there is the risk of liability (in the form of damages) for failure to provide a safe system of work. This case was decided on Common Law, but with the passage of the SHaW Act it is also clear and explicit that the employer must provide safe systems of work

>> Section 6 (6)(a) of the SHaW Act states...the provision and maintenance of plant and systems of work that are, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe and without risks to health. The critical fact in the Judge’s view was the there were a number of unsafe practices which were done in full view of and with the knowledge of the employers. This might suggest that the judgement might have been different had these practices been done without the knowledge of the employers. However, the statute makes it clear that there are a number of duties which the employer has, and where he/she fails to perform these duties including taking all “reasonably practicable” steps to maintain and promote a safe and healthy environment. An explanation of the term reasonably practicable, taken from Safe Work Australia is provided here:

There are two elements to what is ‘reasonably practicable’. A duty-holder must first consider what can be done - that is, what is possible in the circumstances for ensuring health and safety. They must then consider whether it is reasonable, in the circumstances to do all that is possible. This means that what can be done should be done unless it is reasonable in the circumstances for the duty-holder to do something less. Based in part on the above explanation of this important term (reasonably practicable) the second defendant, a fellow employee and the crane operator at the time of the accident was determined not to be liable. The acknowledged best practice would have been for the crane operator and the docker to communicate via a “walkie talkie” or some other similar closed communication system or device. The devises would need to be provided by either the contractor, Cargo Handlers, or the primary employer Barbados Port Inc as part of a safe system of work. Instead the practice of using hand signals was established and accepted by the employers who failed to provide the recommended communication equipment. Based on this failure they were found to be 90% liable; the employee’s acceptance of this dangerous work made him 10% liable. Section 104 of the SHaW Act establishes the right to refuse dangerous work, had this statute been passed, Mr. Phillips would have had the right to refuse to perform this task without the required equipment under the threat of “imminent danger”. ■


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Employment compass 2014 edition  

Greetings and a warm welcome to our very first issue of Employment Compass! We couldn’t be more excited to have made it to this point. Pleas...

Employment compass 2014 edition  

Greetings and a warm welcome to our very first issue of Employment Compass! We couldn’t be more excited to have made it to this point. Pleas...

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