Employment disputes often can be prevented if there’s proper planning at the outset of a contractual agreement, affirm experts from Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP).Employment disputes can happen for several reasons. They normally arise between employees and their employer over issues such as wages, dismissals and other grievances. The good news is that these disputes can often be prevented if there’s proper planning at the outset of a contractual agreement. Rather than spending
Rather than spending time to resolve these disputes, it is advisable to take steps to minimise the occurrence of disputes. Consider these tips:
Have clear, written contractsA clearly written contract is essential as it presents a record of the parties’ agreement. Employers should have a written agreement or contract that lists all key employment terms, including daily working hours, A clearly written contract is essential as it presents a record of the parties’ agreement. Employers should have a written agreement or contract that lists all key employment terms, including daily working hours, number of working days per week along with the basic salary. This allows for a clearer understanding of salary computations and employment terms, which in turn, prevents potential conflicts and disputes from arising.
Have clarity and comprehensiveness in HR policiesHR policies should try to set down clear principles and processes to guide both line managers and employees. A well-written policy identifies company rules and enables employees to clearly understand their responsibilities, thus reducing conflict. A loose set of rules, on the other hand, will lead to assumptions and misinterpretations, resulting in a working environment that may not be aligned with the organisation’s goals.
Hence, it is critical to benchmark and review your policies and guidelines periodically against other leading employers in the industry to refl ectchanges in laws and employment standards.
Be reasonable and fair when managing employeesEmployers can prevent potential disputes from arising by creating favourable working environments through the adoption of fair employment practices. This includes having a proper grievance handling procedure to address any miscommunication and misunderstanding. The grievance handler should seek to understand the employee’s issue relating to the grievance and explore ways to resolve it within a reasonable time.
That said, even the best employer may sometimes find themselves in dispute with their employees and require professional assistance. Here’s where the Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management (TADM) comes in. Offi
Here’s where the Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management (TADM) comes in. Officially launched on 1 April 2017, the new employment dispute centres, located at Devan Nair Institute for Employment and Employability (DNI) and Ministry of Manpower Services Centre (MOMSC), provide employees and employers with advisory and mediation services to manage employment disputes. TADM also works with partner agencies — e2i and NTUC to provide training and career support services. For more information, please visit www.TADM.sg.
Remember, building trust through good practices and having empathy for employees are the way to go. With careful planning and putting good employment practices in place, employers can avoid the miscommunications and missteps that might lead to employment disputes in the workplace.
 DNI, located at Jurong East, will focus on local employees and provide job placement and social support services. MOMSC, located at Bendemeer Road, will focus on foreign workers and provide support for workers with work pass issues.
TAFEP holds regular workshops to help employers and HR professionals keep abreast of HR best practices. Visit www.tafep.sg to find out more.
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