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Magistrate See On Reducing Workplace Conflicts

Magistrate See On Reducing Workplace Conflicts
Resident Magistrate Andrew See. Photo: Simione Haravanua
August 28
10:00 2018

 

Employment law made the headlines early this year (and late 2017) during the Air Terminal Services (ATS) workers’ dispute with the management.

SHELDON CHANEL, SUVA

Reports of workplace conflicts in Fiji continue to rise, and employers aren’t sure how to solve them.

Fijian employers are increasingly being served with notices on conflicts at work and poor Human Resources (HR) practices, re­ports the Fiji Human Resources Institute (FHRI).

From left: Shareen Sharma, Anare Leweniqila, Vasheel Nand and Vilikesa Qalilawa during the Fiji Human Resources Institute workshop at Suva’s Holiday Inn on August 27, 2018. Photo: Simione Haravanua

From left: Shareen Sharma, Anare Leweniqila, Vasheel Nand and Vilikesa Qalilawa during the Fiji Human Resources Institute workshop at Suva’s Holiday Inn on August 27, 2018. Photo: Simione Haravanua

HR departments are supposed to take the lead role in solving internal workplace is­sues. But it is common for employees to ac­cuse them of protecting the business first, instead of taking their side.

The FHRI is working to build capacity in this area, in efforts to create better work environments for employees and ensure HR standards are upheld.

Capacity building

At a workshop in Suva yesterday, Resident Magistrate Andrew See spoke to 50 HR prac­titioners about conflicts at work and Fiji’s employment law.

“The whole purpose of employment law is to regulate arrangements of the people at work,” Mr See said.

“The laws are designed to ensure there are minimum standards that everyone needs to follow.

“Those standards represent the views of society in terms of what the expectation is about how people should be treated.”

Employment law made the headlines early this year (and late 2017) during the Air Ter­minal Services (ATS) workers’ dispute with the management.

The prolonged and bitter standoff was only resolved with intervention from the Employ­ment Relations Tribunal.

“Whether it is individuals with their boss­es or unions representing individuals or a group of people at work, there needs to be collaboration,” Magistrate See said.

“There needs to be attempts made always to ensure workplace conflicts are reduced to a minimum to ensure that a workplace can op­erate effectively, and people can enjoy their work and feel valued.”

Today’s topic

Today, participants will hear from Noel Tof­inga, the Industrial Relations consultant of the Fiji Commerce and Employers Federa­tion.

FHRI operations manager Suka Salusalu says they plan to conduct similar workshops in the year ahead.

Ms Salusalu said: “Many employers have issues in dealing with cases in court and in their workplaces.

“We (FHRI) want to assist them in these ar­eas.”

A similar workshop is planned for the West­ern Division soon, Ms Salusalu said.

Feedback: sheldon.chanel@fijisun.com.fj

 

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