A shop steward is a member of a trade union who's elected to represent employees in a workplace.
According to the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service, as an employer, you only have to recognise a shop steward for purposes of the law where:
A good working relationship with a shop steward in your workplace is crucial. Here's how you can build and manage this working relationship.
Manage and improve your relationship with your shop stewards using these nine tips
#1: Remember, shop stewards don't stop being employees once they're elected. They're still subject to all the rules and policies of the workplace.
#2: Make sure shop stewards act within the boundaries of their employment relationships with you and serve you in good faith.
#3: Grant your shop stewards reasonable time off during working hours to perform their duties. This time off should be fully paid.
#4: Be aware that the law will protect shop stewards in carrying out their functions – subject to certain limitations.
#5: Remember, certain forms of misconduct like damaging company property will merit disciplinary action against shop stewards even if they're acting in a representative capacity.
#6: Don't discipline shop stewards without informing and consulting their trade union first.
#7: Don't discriminate against employees for being shop stewards.
#8: Disclose all relevant information that'll allow shop stewards to perform their duties. The information requested must be relevant and serve the purposes of a shop steward's functions, collective bargaining and consultations with trade unions.
#9: Be aware that you can't prohibit an employee from becoming a member of a trade union or standing for election as a shop steward where the trade union has majority representation.
There you have it. Using these tips will help you manage and improve your relationship with shops stewards in your workplace.