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Our Courses

Our courses help HR Practitioners and Training Managers develop plans that have a real impact on your company’s bottom line. 

Scheduled Courses

Please see below list of our scheduled courses. Click on each one for more details.

Managing Conflict And Resolving Workplace Disputes

Disputes arising in companies and departments are a mix of causes: economic, interpersonal, political, behavioural and a clash of values. The skills set necessary to diffuse these disputes is also varied. Meridian’s new 2-day course provides delegates with an understanding of conflict within a South African workplace, the types of workplace disputes, the underlying causative factors, aggravating factors. Delegates are equipped with strategy and a specific skill set to minimize and resolve disputes while also harnessing the creative power of conflict.

We take a closer look at conflict resolution through grievance handling. Delegates learn what types of employee dissatisfaction must be entertained through the grievance process and what need not be entertained.

Delegates will be guided through the process of mediation and through highly-interactive role-plays and case studies learn and experience the role of a good mediator.

Our facilitators have years of experience in real conflict management in many workplaces, and we deal with operational realities rather than textbook formulas.

Key Skills In Drafting Disciplinary Charges And Writing Findings

Drafting allegations is the function of line managers and HR Practitioners and is a key skill required to ensure fair and speedy disciplinary hearings.

One of the elements of procedural fairness at an internal disciplinary hearing is ensuring that allegations drafted are in a form and language that an employee can reasonably understand.

Whilst most have either been trained on chairing or representing at internal disciplinary hearings, two areas typically still present problems even to the most seasoned ER practitioners. This is drafting charges and writing a finely tuned chairperson’s report evaluating evidence and pronouncing an appropriate sanction.

We have thus decided to devote a special course to these specific issues. No matter how good an investigation – if the charges are inexpertly drafted, things can fall apart in a hearing. Or become unnecessarily technical. Similarly, no matter how good the presentation of evidence, if a chairperson is unable to give solid reasons, the finding is open to attack.

The course we have put together is one of its kind. It takes delegates through the intricacies of drafting charges in a labour law setting. We look at how punctuation works in keeping options open, the use of plain English and alternative charges and the pitfalls of being overly technical. The course considers specifically breach of good faith as opposed to the criminal law focus on proving intention as the essence of a good charge.

The course also looks at how to structure and reason a solid finding on guilt and on sanction. It is rich in role-plays and delegates have to produce a finding of their own on the last day.

Competency Based Recruitment For Employee Performance And Retention

Your human capital is your greatest asset, however recruitment is no perfect science. Poor decision making in the appointment and promotion process could result in the great liability.

Getting the right skills into the organization is critical to ensuring that business objectives are met. It is often the experience in both the public and private sector that personnel are engaged however the competency is do the job is not properly identified and measured in the interview.

This highly practical and interactive course will equip line managers and HR personnel with the skill to develop questions and employ interview techniques to properly identify whether the interviewee has the competencies to do the job and at what level those competencies exist to ensure satisfactory levels of performance when employed.

Whistle-Blowing In The Workplace

The Protected Disclosures Act was amended in 2017 in important ways. An employer’s obligations towards persons who make disclosures has significantly increased. The PDA has also rendered NDAs obsolete under certain circumstances. The relief whistleblowers can claim under the Act during discipline has also increased. These are all important developments. 

So too are the criminal sanctions for employees who knowingly make false claims. 

In addition to legislative change, a range of new cases have set out under what circumstances the PDA protects disclosures. The course unpacks this complex case law. 

Finally, the course considers the various tactical manoeuvres made when disciplining an employee who claims to be a whistleblower. 

Last, the effects of suppressing whistleblowing are considered in the context of endemic corruption in our society

Advanced Law Of Evidence

In the digital age that we live in, evidence gathering, analysis and presentation in digital form through devices is a reality.  Learn about the lesser known, more complex area as well as frequently overlooked and typically misapplied areas of evidence law giving you a leg up on your adversary!

 

This course shows delegates how to apply the rules and legal principles that govern proof of facts in a legal proceeding. It looks at these rules that determine what evidence must or must not be considered by the trier of fact in reaching its decision. The gathering, analysis and presentation of tricky pieces of digital and device evidence is covered, enhancing skills of the investigator and initiator at internal disciplinary proceedings and representatives at arbitrations.

Classroom exercises will focus on the tactical and practical aspects of advanced evidence issues in Labour Law helping delegates expand their advocacy skills.

This course is highly interactive and facilitated by trainers who have extensive litigation experience.

Retrenchment Procedures And Meaningful Consultation

This course is aimed at HR Practitioners and operational managers. The key objective to ensure that delegates gain a better understanding of the principles and practices in respect retrenchment procedures.

The course will cover the procedure in terms of Section 189 and 189A of the Labour Relations Act. Delegates will have an in depth look at the concept of “meaningful consultation” and will consider same through the cases.

Union engagement and participation is a legal requirement therefore the course will focus on the consultation process specifically in relation to disclosure of information, voluntary retrenchment packages the factors to mitigate effect of retrenchments and alternatives.

In difficult economic times, retrenchments are a reality and knowing how to facilitate such processes is a necessary skill and knowledge area.

Practical Guidelines On CCMA Proceedings

A practical guide to CCMA Proceedings course is intended for all specialist employees, employers and trade union representatives who have to interpret and apply the CCMA rules and regulations in external dispute resolution. 

The course focuses on understanding the mechanisms set up in the Labour Relations Act and facilitated by the CCMA. We look at the powers and duties of Commissioner which provides a practical understanding of processes and procedures followed.

Delegates will gain understanding on time frames observed, how to serve and file documents,  how to bring applications and how to prepare for and participate in conciliation and arbitration proceedings.

Essential Supervisory Skills

Day to day management of conduct and capacity is a critical and necessary skill for Supervisors. This course will provide delegates with an understanding of the role discipline plays in performance management. Delegates will develop their leadership skills and emotional intelligence necessary to lead and manage team.

The course covers the substantive and procedural law on misconduct and incapacity processes and conflict management through effective grievance handling.

Managing Discipline In the Workplace

Discipline is a line function.  Most often however, it is found that line managers’ shift this responsibility to Labour Relations personnel due to their lack of capacity and knowledge of the law and procedures that govern fairness

This highly interactive 3 day course, will give delegates the confidence to play this necessary role in their companies or departments. Delegates will learn exactly how hearings work, how evidence of wrong-doing is tendered, cross-questioned and evaluated. The structure of a disciplinary finding is also covered. The course rounds off with an opportunity for delegates to sharpen their new found skills in a long role-play. The course is full of case studies, transcripts from real-life court cases, group discussions and many role-plays allowing delegates to fine-tune the skills they acquire

Case Law Update 2019

We curate a selection of the most important and notable cases and precedents of 2019. Make confident and sound HR decisions on dismissal, discrimination, strikes, practice and procedure and much more 

Trade Union Organiser Training

Trade union officials need to know more than just labour law. This deeply interactive course also takes delegates through recruitment strategy, organising, mass meetings, personal presentation, a bit of economics and negotiation theory. It’s the perfect introduction to the world of organising – and a great refresher for the old guard too.

Cross Examination Techniques And Advocacy Skills

In cases where the facts are 50/50, the side with the better cross-examiner wins.  Cross-examination is thus an essential skill for everyone involved in labour and industrial relations, whether you represent a party, chair a hearing or are involved in litigation support.

Delegates are also taught how to make compelling closing arguments, the ethics of litigation and how to develop and build a reputation among arbitrators and presiding officers.

The course is full of case studies, transcripts from real-life court cases, group discussions and many role-plays allowing delegates to fine-tune the skills they acquire.  

On-Demand Courses

Sexual Harassment In The Workplace

Sexual Harassment in the workplace must be prevented and, if present, the conduct eradicated.

As a form of discrimination, the Employment Equity Act places a legal obligation on employers to take steps to eliminate this destructive behaviour. It also provides for employer liability in the event that an employer fails to take the necessary and reasonably practical steps to eliminate the behaviour.

This course is approached in a positive way to enhance knowledge of what constitutes sexual harassment and what does not. It equips delegates will the skill to handle complaints when they arise, what evidence is necessary and how such evidence can be presented at a disciplinary process. It also considers the various forms of sexual harassment and when dismissal is an appropriate sanction.

It can be trained to equip HR, LR and line managers with the skill to handle these disputes and trained to build awareness amongst employees and knowledge of their rights should they become a victim to such behaviour.

This course is highly informative, sensitively presented and trained over 2 days.

We are also excited to offer a one day stand-alone or add-on self-defence course designed for women – by women. This flows from our belief that proactive steps to ward off and defend against harassment are more important than reactive steps after someone has already become a victim. We partner with Fight Like A Girl in this endeavour and details are available on request.

Advanced Labour Relations

Managing people within our labour law framework can be very demanding. You need to know the law and company policies as well as the very best shop steward. You also need the soft skills to prevent every complaint and incident becoming a full blown dispute. The range of skills you need is as wide as the range of employees you manage.

This course equips delegates with the knowledge and skill to function effectively in the areas of collective bargaining, conflict management, absenteeism management, grievance handling, discipline and incapacity.

This highly interactive and strategic course should be attended by line managers, senior managers, IR, HR, LR personnel and Union representatives.

Strategic Absenteeism Management

Absenteeism in the workplace can never be eliminated, but reduced so that productivity, profitability and service delivery can be maintained.

This course equips delegates with knowledge of the law governing absenteeism, whether caused by ill-health or misconduct.
Delegates are encouraged to think strategically about dealing with causative factors and creating a chilling effect in response to rampant absenteeism. We look at the magic of return-to-work interviews and consider the importance of obtaining a prognosis and creating a paper trail of employer interventions.

We also look at what evidence may be used to expose abuse of sick leave rather than just its excessive use.

Case Law Update

This course takes you through the very latest developments in case law, especially how the courts are interpreting key provisions of the LRA and EEA regarding dismissals, discrimination, interdicts, strikes, contracts, unfair labour practices, retrenchments, practice and procedure and more. These precedents could make all the difference in winning or losing a case. Or even avoiding a legal pitfall in the first place.

The material is compiled by senior academics and labour practitioners. The course is highly interactive, designed to give delegates the confidence to give advice that accords with the latest developments and to enter tribunals armed with the most recent precedent

Advanced Witness Skills

During the course of your career, line managers, investigators, HR officers and specialist employees may be called upon to give evidence in hearings, arbitrations or court cases. The outcome of these cases depends on your credibility as a witness. Giving evidence, even if it is the truth, is a difficult and tricky event, especially under hostile or insinuating cross-examination.

This highly interactive 3 day course shows prospective witnesses exactly how to conduct themselves ‘on the stand’, particularly under cross-examination. It exposes the hidden workings of cross-examination strategy and provides the skills needed to avoid common traps. We also look at how forensic reports work and how to give evidence on the findings of an investigation.

Competency Based Recruitment

Getting the right skills into the organisation ensures that a business runs smoothly. This course shows how to ensure that a candidate’s competency is do the job is properly identified and measured in the interview.

This practical and interactive course will equip line managers and HR personnel with the skill to develop questions and employ interview techniques to select people who fit the company and the job. After all, true capability must be carefully tested. Is the candidate competent at the right level?

This course also covers the relevant law on recruitment and specifically the implementation of affirmative action measures to ensure transformation through the appointment and promotion process.

Mediating Workplace Disputes

The ability to solve conflict is probably the most undervalued skill in contemporary South African workplaces. Delegates to this course are taught the ins and outs of creative, interest-based conflict resolution in both rights and interest based matters. Areas covered are the use of power, breaking deadlocks, handling high conflict individuals and conflict cost analysis. These skills are a must for all managers, trade union representatives in the workplace.

The course is highly interactive and uses real-life South African workplace examples to guide delegates through the strategic mind-field of contemporary labour relations

Disability Law

We lay out the legal framework governing the treatment of people with disabilities in the workplace. We consider the importance of removing all barriers to access to the workplace through practical examples. You will be equipped to play a role in employment equity committees, efforts to mainstream differently abled employees, to represent employees in incapacity proceedings and to generally monitor compliance with policies and laws governing disability.

Diversity Management

This course deals with diversity issues in an inclusive, thought provoking and fun environment. Delegates are armed with a knowledge of relevant legislation and policy. In addition, the skills necessary to embrace diversity and thrive in a transformed workplace are practiced and shared.

Delegates leaving the course are considered champions for transformation and are able to provide their fellow employees not only with knowledge but also leadership is this vital business area.

Employment Equity Principles And Discrimination

This course is aimed at Employment Equity Committee members, line managers, HR, IR and LR specialists.

This highly participative 3 day course provides delegates with a clear understanding of the guiding principles on employment equity and the implementation process. Delegates will be able to draft and implement an Employment Equity Plan in compliance with legislation in order to transform the organisation and meet the operational needs of the business. Delegates will also appreciate what kind of fair and lawful actions they may take in support of the goal of transforming their workplaces and which applications of affirmative action the Courts have found are unlawful. Lastly, delegates will be able to investigate and process harassment cases ensuring that conduct that is discriminatory is eliminated.

Essential Labour Law

This 3 day course will take delegates new to the field of labour relations through the relevant labour relations framework so that they may confidently, effectively and fairly manage day to day workplace issues.

We look at organisational rights, the rights and obligations of shop stewards, unfair labour practices, discipline, discrimination, how to channel rights and interest disputes, strikes and lock-outs, basic conditions, a bit of contract law and a range of ad-hoc questions supplied by delegates themselves.

It’s a fun and engaging introduction to labour relations.

Emotional Intelligence

The capacity to be aware of how you come across to others in the workplace is a neglected skill. This course sensitizes employees to the dynamic field of emotional intelligence through highly interactive role-plays, group discussions and questionaires.

Delegates completing this course leave with an enhanced self- awareness and the ability to modify their behaviour, especially in conflict situations, in order to enhance workplace relationships.

Evidence In The Digital Age

This course focuses on a tricky but abundant evidentiary field in the digital age.

During this 2 day highly interactive course delegates will be shown where information proving misconduct is to be found, how it is be to obtained, how such evidence is to be led in hearings, what it proves, when it must be rebutted by the other side and the weight that it has when assessed by an adjudicator.

The key objective is to allow parties to a dispute to use digital evidence effectively to prove their version.

Negotiation Skills

Bargaining is not bullying.

This course starts from the premise that all parties in a conflict can benefit from certain techniques and behaviours in achieving a fair and sustainable settlement to disputes that they are involved in. This course focuses on wage and conditions of service bargaining. It looks at the legal framework governing this aspect and delegates leave with new skills benefiting their principals in future negotiations.

The course is rich in role-plays dealing with wage disputes, a dismissal conciliation and relevant case and interesting case studies.

There is nothing like ppractisingyour skills before you use them in the real world.

Organisational Rights

Collective labour law is a tricky and highly regulated field. We unpack these issues so that you better understand how to achieve or regulate organisational rights and, more importantly, how to exercise them strategically. Various collective agreements are considered as well as up to date case law that constantly shapes how management and unions relate. The tricky distinction between rights and interest disputes is explored and the course ends considering the important 2014 changes to the Labour Relations Act.

Presentation Skills

This highly interactive and fun 2-day course equips delegates with the knowledge and skills on how to deliver effective presentations using different methods, tools and techniques.

Delegates will leave with a greater sense of confidence as public speakers, having developed a deeper understanding of different personalities and audiences.

Policy Development

This course is useful for those who must effectively formulate or design public policy as they have to have an in-depth perspective of the policy process.

A good policy designer should be able to use both of these approaches to produce effective and well planned policy frameworks. At the end of the workshop delegates will know how to design or formulate a policy document that meets with their sector’s requirements.

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