Meeting focuses on managing workplace conflict

Tuesday September 26, 2017 Written by Published in Local

A half-day workshop begins at the Ministry of Internal Affairs today (Tuesday) on managing workplace conflicts.


The workshop was made to both employers and employees and will run from 8.30 am to 12.30 pm.

The Labour and Consumer Division of the Ministry of Internal Affairs is responsible for carrying out awareness-raising activities relating to the Employment Relations Act 2012 (ERA 2012).

It has a general mandate to create and promote decent work in the country.

The ERA 2012 sets the minimum standards for the resolution of disputes in the workplace. The first step is negotiation between the parties to reach an agreeable solution. If negotiation fails, the next step is to do mediation.

If this also fails, then the next step left is to bring the dispute to arbitration court.

However, based on the number of complaints and enquiries received over the months, resolving conflicts at work represent a critical area for strengthening. In many cases, employees are dismissed or forced to resign because a workplace grievance could not be resolved between the employer and employee due to the absence of negotiation.

Mediation is even less of a practice. Furthermore, taking an employment dispute to the arbitration court is a costly and lengthy process that has no appeal to either parties, leaving therefore a vacuum in the process of resolving a dispute.

To assist stakeholders, the ministry has invited Mark Henderson, a qualified, registered counsellor, as well as an executive coach and trainer, to lead a workshop on managing workplace conflicts. Originally from New Zealand Mark has worked in New Zealand, the Pacific and in Europe, in schools, universities, with businesses and in private practice.

A spokesman for the organisers said the workshop would be informative, relevant, and interactive.

“Participants will learn about conflict, the different types of conflict that can happen in the workplace, how conflict can be negative or positive. They will learn to recognize their own “hot buttons”, and learn how to manage them, how to avoid conflict by understanding how it develops, and how to apply different conflict resolution styles to different situations

A question and answer session with a labour inspector is also planned. All participants will receive a copy of the workbook and its activities, a participation certificate and morning tea will be provided.

            - Release

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