Lawpreneur: Making the most out of your LLB qualification (5) Part 4

Graciously, this is the final part of an eight (8) part article on the subject matter. In section 1 of part 5, the author enumerated the actors in the ADDY Conceptual Framework for Labour Management. The key actors were namely: the state, employers, trade unions, employees, and families. Columns “B” and “C” of the conceptual framework are the next steps to be considered.

ADDY’s CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK FOR LABOUR MANAGEMENT, 2019.

The column “B” represents the converging point from columns “A” and “C”. The arrows connecting columns “A” and “C” are the conduits in column “B”. They precipitate labour response and resultant effects from the environment. Column “B” represents; working conditions, tools of trade, health and safety, remunerations, welfare, employment contracts, pension plans, and conflict of interest.

In section 2 of part 5, the author expatiated on Column “C” which represents the resultant effect of labour issues: namely labour agitation, profitability, strong brands, growth in government revenue, happy society, and low productivity. In section 3 of part 5, part of the points in column “B” was discussed.

Finally, I will conclude the series in this part 4 with the residual points in column “B” as a sequel of columns “A” and “C”.

 

 

Column “B” the sequel of columns “A” and “C”

#1: Remuneration

Need I say that good salaries are an impetus for employee performance? Sometimes the wage differentials among employees of same qualifications are so demeaning that one finds it difficult to understand the measure of salary determination. It is important for employers to make clear the measure of employees’ salary and how to climb that ladder.

This is more needful of an internal solution rather than having a labour management firm determine it – unless the labour management firm is taken on as an agency for employee management. Alternatively, the labour management firm can be an advocacy group which through public education can to bring pressure on employers that pay bad salaries. This will dissuade highly skilled personnel from applying to work with such employers.

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#2: Welfare

Employees’ welfare is very important; it must come in at the time when it’s needed. This is aside from the regular wages and salaries. Welfare serves as a cushion in critical moments. Employee welfare must be carefully planned and effectively administered. It serves as impetus and motivation for employees. It assures them that in critical moments they can fall on the welfare. This must form part of the business strategy instead of leaving it for employees to plan. Employers must factor employee welfare into their business plan.

LLB holders can find a niche in this opportunity, by setting up labour management firms to plan, solely, employee welfare and management. They can liaise with financial institutions to make it more attractive.

#3: Employment Contract  

This should not be a matter of argument, since the law is amply clear for employers to give employment contract to all employees. Where an employee has served for a maximum period of six (6) months on probation, the labour law stipulates that the employment must be regularised with a contract.

The employment contract must spell out all the necessary guidelines for the terms of engagement and benefits. This is where the labour management firm will be needed most to ensure that employment contracts are well-reviewed to reflect the necessary mutual benefits expected in any employment. Because the employment contract has legal nuances, it is important for employees to seek legal meaning to all employment contracts before they sign them into an agreement.

Desperation will make and/or make many jobseekers not to scrutinise their employment contract until the reality of working and remuneration are not in tandem, then they begin to agitate. However, employers who play on the desperation of job applicants to offer them bad contract will soon come to the cognisance of reality when the employees begin pretending to be working. Ensuring equity in employment contracts is important for mutual benefit.

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#4: Pension Plans

Every good employer must ensure that they have good pension plan for their employees. Also, employees have the opportunity to – alongside their employers’ pension plan – plan their own pension to make the benefit attractive. Planning employees’ pensions is an important venture that labour management firms must pursue.

#5: Conflict of Interest  

Employers and employees must guard against conflict of interest. Where one or both parties are caught in a conflict of interest situation, one must be honest enough to back-off. Aside from other operational activities of labour management firms, they can also guide employers and employees against conflicts of interest.

In conclusion, there is so much gain in obtaining an LLB – but more importantly, giving oneself to continuous learning will ensure improvement to the LLB-holder. When this is given the seriousness it deserves, LLB holders will function effectively and demonstrate no difference from their colleagues called to the ‘Bar’. Perhaps the marginal difference will be that one cannot represent clients in court…but who even said that all lawyers must go to court? After all, the actual definition of a lawyer is a noun that applies to all who hold LLB qualification.

An intuitive reasoning on this series also relates to employment of graduates. The government and tertiary institutions in Ghana, respectively, must lock horns in thinking and planning deeply into ways to solving graduate unemployment. Instead of leaving graduates to themselves, there must be a conscious national effort at directing tertiary education with an employability nexus. Ghana’s tertiary education should be at par with its development needs. LLB qualification provides a fine opportunity for improving the quality of employment and employability skills in Ghana.

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