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Labour laws play a significant and vital role in the corporate sector. The laws exist so that employees are treated appropriately in work environments and so their rights as an employee are protected. Labour laws ensure that employers are valued for their expertise and that they are compensated accordingly.
Although employees are expected to adhere to their agreement in a work contract, they still cannot be subjected to ill-treatment. Company policies should not discriminate or devalue employees, but rather elevate the employee experience.
Through benefits and skills development plans, companies can ensure that they are in line with these laws. Employees should be able to enjoy leave, breaks and other company benefits. Skills development is now a priority for companies. In this way, when employees enrich their skills, the company promotes from within.
Ultimately labour laws work for both employees and the employer, ensuring a successful working relationship.
Let’s have a look at the 4 reasons why labour laws are so important.
Employees have rights that protect them in any work environment. These rights including fair working hours, lunch and leave breaks, as well as work in healthy environments. These laws protect employees from being exploited in the workplace.
Within the South African context, the occupational health and safety act also ensures that employee conditions are safe and that there isn’t any risk involved in their jobs. The compensation for injuries and diseases act is there to ensure that employees who become ill are compensated by the business. According to this act, if an employee gets injured in the workplace, the company covers the cost.
Employees are also entitled to sick leave and leave days, which is defined more clearly by the organisation. The human resources division of the business determines how these benefits are implemented. When employers are treated fairly and their wellness is considered, they are more likely to stay in the organisation.
Together with labour laws, a company can tailor their company policies to create a working relationship with its employees. This is why employee contracts exist. A company can protect themselves, by proving that the work terms between employers and employees have been agreed upon. In this way, the employer is also obligated to comply with the company rules.
The business can work with its human resources division to come up with employee development programmes. The skills development and amendments act exists to better the lives of workers. Employees can develop professionally and change their lives for the better.
Skills training initiatives are about empowering staff so that they can become experts in certain areas. Their skills allow them to operate in higher roles, which means they can get promoted within the business.
As they enhance their job functions, employees can increase their earning potential. This is an investment in the business and in it is also a great way to retain talent in the business.
With labour laws implemented, companies are able to keep its employees happy. There is a mutual understanding between both parties that minimise labour disputes. These laws are there to help avoid employee unrest, which can cause feuds between employers and the company. Labour laws and contract agreements allow for issues to be resolved efficiently between the employer and employee.
If a company is looking to retain its employees. It’s crucial for them to use labour laws act as a guide on how to run the organisation and treat their employees. This is a strategy that ensures talent stays within the business and it further adds to the value of the company. Companies with good employee reviews are likely to attract more talent to their organisations. When employees feel appreciated, they are more likely to recommend the business to other professionals. The onus is on employees to offer the business their commitment by bringing new insight and energy to their roles.
On the other hand, if a business has bad employee reviews and disgruntled employees it can damage the company’s reputation. The repercussions of this being, loss of business, employees and inability to attract great talent.
Labour laws create a peaceful relationship between employers and business. Employers can work hand-in-hand with the business to achieve company goals. With good working conditions, benefits and rights, employees become more cheerful in their jobs and they become positive about their prospects in the business. This creates passionate employees who are proud to associate themselves with a business and even become the company’s greatest advocates.
Having knowledge about the labour law act as a business ensures that both the company and the employee is protected. This allows for appropriate processes to be put in place to deal with situations that may arise. The employer knows how far they can go in terms of discipline or taking action against employees. Employees also know what their rights are and can even get legal representation. With this knowledge, unfair labour practice is avoided.
Labour relations is a profession that allows you to help organisations to align themselves with the correct labour laws. As a labour relations practitioner, you can bring your expertise to educate companies on what they can do to ensure compliance.
A labour relations qualification allows you to branch into multiple roles in the labour market. You can become a labour law office, labour attorney, health and safety practitioner etc.
As you work in this role, you enlighten companies on what’s required of them in terms of these laws. You can also represent employees or educate them on their rights according to South Africa’s labour act. Professionals and companies can tap into your expertise for when faced with labour disputes or other issues.
This is an exciting job role where you ensure the regulation of labour laws and you become a mediator in the corporate sector.