The National Conservation Commission (NCC) has been instructed to put effective performance management systems in place to improve efficiency.
Chairman of the Employment Rights Tribunal Hal Gollop, QC, gave the order today after ruling that the severed NCC workers were unfairly dismissed.
In reading his conclusion from the 47-page document at the Warrens Office Complex today, Gollop said the evidence that went before the Tribunal in the cases brought against the state agency by the Barbados Workers Union (BWU) and the National Union of Public Workers showed that its record keeping “falls short of standards required for proper human resources management”.
“The Tribunal therefore considers it important to make the following necessary observations. The NCC must make a greater effort at ensuring that as an institution with over 600 employees that there is in place an effective performance management system, which could redound to efficiency in the institution,” Gollop said.
“Employees would be better placed to know how they are performing and in the event there is a need for a particular skill, the institution would be in a position to accommodate such employees by way of training,” he said.
Gollop said the keeping of adequate and up-to-date records on each employee was critical for the institution and that a file should be kept on each employee for future reference.
Adding that the Employment Rights Act required the employer to give workers written statements of particulars on their employment, Gollop said when that was recorded on the employee’s file it would be “in the best interest of both the employee and the employer”.
“Coaching and feedback are indispensable prerequisites for the continued relationship of employer and employee. Employers should know the strengths or weaknesses of the employee and be able to give the necessary assistance in order to keep their performance levels up to standard in the institutions. This too should redound to the benefit of both the employer and the employee,” the tribunal head stressed.
BWU General Secretary Toni Moore said the areas outlined by the Employment Rights Tribunal were in no way exhaustive, nor were they limited to the NCC.
“There are so many other elements that have to be considered by the NCC, and not only the NCC but other employers . . . where a lot of the HR gaps have to be closed to ensure that we can mitigate against those instances where we have to refer certain issue even to the stage of the Employment Rights Tribunal,” Moore said.
The union leader said the NCC had demonstrated that it did not have sound human resources processes in place.
“We cannot take that because an employer says that information is available, where that information is not shared and demonstrated we will not accept that the information is there,” she stressed.
She said although the Tribunal got off to a rocky start, it remained a useful avenue for employers to get their labour-related issues settled.