Labour Matters with Andrew Levy

SOLID GOLD PODCASTS #BEHEARD  |  Podcast , ±11 min episodes every 4 weeks  | 
Andrew Levy Employment are specialists in all matters of employment law and practice, and have been offering advice and guiding leading employers for over 40 years.

We are leaders in employment relations, labour market analysis, and economic forecasting. We provide high-level advisory services, educational seminars and training, and in-depth analysis in the broader labour market.

With over forty years of experience in dealing with and managing labour law and employment relations, Andrew Levy Consulting offers clients hands-on assistance with any labour related matter.

Our consulting services have been used by HR teams, executives, directors, shareholders and general managers for decades. Our pragmatic, solutions-focused approach continues to prove effective at resolving any labour related matter, allowing our clients to continuously improve their human capital strategy.

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#010 Violence and Harassment - Another burden for the employer?

Draft Code on the Prevention and Elimination of Violence and Harassment with Sarah Levy (Levy Africa Network)

Understanding the New Draft Code on the Prevention and Elimination of Violence and Harassment in the World of Work and the five significant changes that are introduced into South African labour law including the bringing together of violence including gender based violence with harassment and a broader list of those who can be perpetrators and victims of sexual harassment. Andrew and Sarah discuss the significant expansions brought about by the introduction of the concept of the world of work, as well as the impact of technology and social media in perpetuating and covering up harassment. Sarah then goes on to discuss the introduction of bullying into the code, and distinguishes it from mobbing.
Draft code on the prevention and elimination of violence and harassment ILO Violence and Harassment Convention, 2019 (No. 190)

#009 Building successful sexual harassment training programs

The Myths, empathy exercises and legal framework

In this episode, Sarah Levy of Levy Africa Network talks to Andrew Levy about how to develop successful sexual harassment training programmes, focusing on the four common questions that delegates on violence and harassment training typically ask - why me? what is harassment? what if someone reports an incident of violence and harassment to me? and what if I witness it? Sarah and Andrew discuss the important concept of the bystander effect, and how important it is to train bystanders to move from being passive witnesses to active bystanders or upstanders.

In the programme, Sarah also elaborates on the importance of developing empathy and how to address a number of myths around violence and harassment, such as the myth that only sexual attractive people can be subjected to harassment.
Visit Levy Africa Network to learn more about our training programmes.

#008 Grievance procedure - practical advice on dealing with abuse of the process

Today Andrew explains the collective history behind grievance procedures and why in their current form they are not suitable for certain issues.

How a badly drawn up grievance procedure can lead to more problems such as challenging authority and how important it is to have an exclusion clause for issues where other policies / procedures exist.

That procedures should be streamlined for different groups, and not contain clauses that may allow or prevent outcomes.

He also explains when it is necessary to call a halt to their continued submission.

#007 Absenteeism - Practical advice on absenteeism, attendance, the abuse of sick leave and the like

Today Andrew sets out the contractual obligations of the parties in terms of the persistent problem of absence and attendance and answers the question of who alone can justify and grant leave.

He covers the broad outline and principles around what does and does not constitute the abuse of sick leave. What the three types of leave are and at what stage it becomes unauthorised.

The importance of finding a pattern and at what point absenteeism moves to the realm of discipline, no pay and ultimately termination.

#006 A word about contracts

Is the contract of employment a force for good or evil?

The answer is that it can be one or the other and will depend on how it’s drafted. Given that the employment contract is one of the pillars of the employment relationship and is the first thing an employee will reach for when the relationship turns sour, it is sometimes surprising to see how many contracts there are that actually limit the employer and put huge power into the hands of the employee. Had they understood this, would employers be so eager to pay good money for over-contractualised contracts that specify in the minutest detail exactly what employees must do, when the employer does not need the power of contract to enforce the majority of rights it already has?

At the root of the problem is the fact that employment is one of the most dynamic relationships of all, and an employer that can rapidly respond to the ever-changing demands of the market will be the employer with the most successful operation. On the other hand, contracts tend to be static documents - for the simple reason that they try and make the relationship stable and predictable - and don’t cope well with change.

Is there a middle way? Indeed there is and careful drafting can reward you with a contract that has the best of both worlds. Just what this contains and possibly more importantly, exactly what should be left out of an employment contract is the topic of this Podcast and I am confident that my top tips will help you to draft better ones and improve your flexibility.

#005 …I’ll take that as annual leave…

This is the first of a number of insights I am going to give you to help you deal with the perennial problems of absence and abuse of sick leave.

No matter what you do, you will never eradicate this problem, as it is endemic to work. Nevertheless, once we give you some basic principles and teach you some practical techniques, we will materially help you to not only understand the whole issue around absenteeism, but you will be given some really powerful weapons to deal with it.

These are insights based on the working lifetime's exposure to all the abuses and excuses employees come up with in respect of taking some time off work, at your expense.

As usual, I'm going to build up from an understanding of the principles, stated simply and clearly, because once you understand those you are in the driver’s seat. Once we've established these, I will show you some top tips for practically gaining the upper hand in this perennial struggle.

Today I'm going to talk about the employee who is absent without permission, and then comes back and tells you that she will "… take it as annual leave…”

#004 Resigning with immediate effect and its just desserts

Practical advice on managing tricky but recurring staff problems

Don’t be left hanging - Do I have to have a hearing before I suspend someone? Sanity at last!, and drafting suspension letters that will support the employees’ weight.

Now you see them, now you don’t – resigning with immediate effect and it’s just desserts. We all know this is a favourite employee trick -but is it kosher? Can you hold a hearing in their absence, and can you give a reference that says that they are a deserter?

Revenge is a dish best served cold.

#003 View From the Lookout - Jan 2021

Working from home and what to expect in 2021

2020 was a watershed year as the lockdown took hold. 2021 will prove to be just as difficult with new challenges. Working from Home (WFH) has resulted in increased cases of employee stress and depression and with it the issue of handling poor performance at a distance. Will lost jobs be reabsorbed back into the economy and how is the union movement dealing with the spectre of unemployment and ongoing retrenchment? Strike incidence is down but there is an increase in “lawfare” which can be a double edged sword.

Listen and be prepared.

#002 View From the Lookout - Nov 2020

An overview of developments in the third quarter of 2020.

Covid’s effect on unemployment, GDP and retrenchment numbers. Average settlement levels for unionised and non-unionised staff. Union strategic approaches to negotiating in a tough economic environment and levels of current demands. The outlook for the pattern and propensity of strike action over the coming months and what will happen to wage cuts and rates of pay once the State of Disaster is lifted?

#001 Negotiating in the dark can lead you down a blind alley or up the creek!

We explain what subscribers can expect of our quarterly reports and forecasts of wage settlements by sector, union, and across the economy. It provides an accurate and realistic forecasting model for both unionised and non-unionised staff wage increases and developments with benefits.

It discusses key factors that must be taken into account at the negotiating table and the importance of benchmarking, affordability and comparability. It keeps you abreast of labour market developments, statutory changes, as well as comprehensive strike data and union strike propensity

22 episodes

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