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Stick to this key principle and avoid an unfair labour practice regarding promotions

by , 06 March 2016
If you have a very senior position open within your company, and you invite an employee in a slightly lower level of seniority, to apply for the post, the chances are that she's going to see the offer as a guaranteed promotion.

But if her application turns out to be unsuccessful, she could claim an unfair labour practice on your part.

But not if you follow this one very important principle...


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The principle of fairness

If you were to not appoint her to the more senior position which she applied for, then you'll have to have very sound and fair reasons for doing so.

The key here is fairness…

If you, for example, don't promote Jane simply because you feel you need her right where she is, then this reason, based on self interest, will be seen as unsound and unacceptable, which in turn will amount to unfairness.

You need to ensure fairness and objectivity in why you didn't appoint her.

To do this, you can compare her to the other person who was appointed in her place. The trick here is to compare the two of them based on the inherent requirements for the job.

In other words, you must objectively look at, measure and compare the suitability of her to the other candidate in determining the best person for the job, and be able to show it. 

This should not be done for any personal reasons at all.
CAUTION: If the other person was from outside the company, then you must be very careful as to what your policies and procedures say about it…

For example, if your policies and procedures say that you must first advertise a position internally, and you don't, then it's an unfair labour practice.

But if you advertise internally and don't find anyone suitable, then you can advertise externally.

But then just ensure that you're objective in determining the suitability of those already inside your company, and avoid being driven by any personal reasons. Otherwise you could very easily end up with a case of unfair labour practice on your hands.
*To learn more on unfair labour practices and how to avoid them, page over to U 01 in your Labour Law for Managers handbook, or click here to get yours today

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