9.1  D E F I N I T I O N

Employment relations is the management of individual and collective relationships in an organisation through the implementation of good practices that enable the achievement of organisational objectives compliant with the legislative framework and appropriate to socio-economic conditions.


 9.2.1  To create a climate of trust, cooperation and stability within an organisation.

9.2.2  To ensure appropriate and effective conditions of employment and fairness across all levels of employees.

9.2.3  To achieve a harmonious and productive working environment.

9.2.4  To meet the employer’s duty of care towards its employees and other stakeholders.

9.2.5  To provide a framework for conflict resolution and collective bargaining where relevant.

9.2.6  To ensure capacity building and compliance to relevant labour legislation and codes of good practice (ILO and Department of Labour).


9.3.1  Formulate appropriate employment relations strategies, structures, policies, practices and procedures.

9.3.2  Implement appropriate dispute resolution mechanisms (mediation, arbitration, conciliation).

9.3.3  Provide appropriate procedures to manage discipline and grievances.

9.3.4  Ensure all employment relations procedures, policies and practices conform to appropriate legislation and codes of good practice.

9.3.5  Create effective communication channels and building relationships between stakeholders.

9.3.6  Evaluate the state of employment relations by conducting appropriate employment relations audits to establish current climate and associated risks.

9.3.7  Enhance the established practices and procedures by innovative interventions that foster sound relationships.

9.3.8  Leverage employment relations to promote diversity and prevent unfair discrimination.

9.3.9  Contribute to community development that improves the socio-economic environment of employees.


The role of the line manager is critical in maintaining sound employment relations, but HR should support managers with this duty.

This standard element should be read and applied by taking cognisance of all the other standard elements, but with a particular focus on strategic HR management,  HR risk management,  employee wellness, performance management and HR measurement.

HR Competency Model: HR practitioners must be able to play an appropriate role in the following outputs:

  • Employment Relations (ER) Strategy
  • Working with lawyers and agreements
  • ER Advice
  • Collective ER (a) Relationships and (b) Negotiations
  • Grievances and Conflict
  • Strikes and lockouts
  • Disciplinary cases
  • Dismissals and unfair labour practices
  • Restructuring – acquisitions, mergers, demergers, downsizing and outsourcing

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