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How to ensure those January promotions are NOT a CCMA case waiting to happen

by , 29 November 2013
When the news broke that Janet Yellen will be promoted to US Fed boss when current chairman Ben Bernanke departs at the end of January, the world was stunned. After all, Yellen will be the first woman to run this high-stress job. But that type of thinking is unfair and definitely borders on discrimination. To make sure you don't make this mistake when promoting employees in your company, follow these fair promotion tips...

The first thing you need to know is that if you deny a promotion you could land up in big trouble with the CCMA.

This because your employee can claim you promised her the position or that you didn't objectively consider her application.

To make sure this doesn't happen to you, remember that there are two common ways to promote an employee, suggests the team of experts behind Labour Watch Newsletter.

Two ways to promote an employee fairly

You can promote an employee in one of two ways:

  1. As part of her career development plan. This means she moves up the ladder once she's proven herself capable of doing so; or
  2. Because a vacancy has arisen. This would involve an upgrade in her status and probably her remuneration as well.

Both of these situations may pose some labour law problems for you, although the first situation is usually easier to handle. That's why it pays to know when the CMMA will deem a promotion as unfair and ensure you don't break these rules.

Five ways to ensure your promotions are always fair and valid

Here's what the team suggest you do:

  • Develop guidelines regarding promotions and how you'll decide on candidates for promotion.
  • Make sure these guidelines fit in with your career and skills development plans.
  • Make the guidelines known to all managers responsible for promotion decisions.
  • Stick to your guidelines.
  • Base your promotion decision on the actual requirements of the position and the competencies of the candidate.

And remember, when promoting you:

  • Must NOT discriminate unfairly against employees.
  • MUST focus on the actual requirements of the job and not irrelevant factors such as gender or sexual preference. If you use race as a criterion, make sure you have a proper affirmative action plan in place to guide you.
  • MUST follow your company's procedures for promotion, e.g. first advertising for vacancies internally.

By keeping these rules in mind, you can rest assured you're doing everything you can to ensure your promotions are always fair.

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