New scheme to help HR handle grievances

The guidelines have been designed to help employers resolve workplace issues before they escalate into fully-blown disputes.

New scheme to help HR handle grievances
Handling workplace disputes can be a complicated affair for HR professionals – however, it may be about to get a little easier thanks to brand new government scheme.

Launched by Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say, the Tripartite Standard on Grievance Handling specifies a set of good practices that employers can publicly commit to if they choose.

The standard includes a recommendation for companies to set up proper channels for staff to raise grievances – it also lays out guidelines for investigations, encouraging firms to specify who will hear appeals as well as how long the process will take.

While the scheme isn’t compulsory, companies that adopt the standards will be recognised as a fair and progressive employer – they will also be given permission to use the "Tripartite Standards" logo in their job advertisements and marketing material.

To be eligible, supervisors must also be trained to manage employee feedback and unhappiness – they will also be required to work with the union if the company is unionised.

The tripartite standard on grievance handling is the third standard to be launched as part of efforts to encourage firms to adopt progressive employment practices – it is preceded by guidelines addressing employment conditions for term-contract employees and flexible work arrangements.

According to Lim, other standards are currently being developed which cover areas such as recruitment practices, procurement of services, retrenchment processes and age-friendly practices.

So far, over 220 employers have adopted the standard on grievance handling, representing a workforce of approximately 245,000 workers.

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