The study of HRM mainly describes the system used in managing people within an organization. While there are many definitions of HRM, its main purpose to maximize the productivity of an organization by optimizing the effectiveness of its employees through acquiring, developing, and retaining talent, besides aligning the workforce with the business. In order to achieve the objectives of an organization, the HR department must carry out a number of functions and activities in an effective, legal, fair, and consistent manner. The key functions of HRM can be summarized as planning, recruitment, performance management, compensation and benefits, training and development.
This paper therefore presents an overview of the most significant and common HRM functions and an in-depth analysis of all the activities involved therein. We are going to apply these theories on the first and foremost comprehensive national university in the country, UAE University.
Whatever the size of the organization and however the HRM function is structured and located, there will be a need to communicate to employees their terms and conditions of employment. These employment guidelines are usually reflected in the HRM policies. The HRM policies are general statements that serve to guide decision making. As guides rather than as hard and fast rules, policies are somewhat flexible, requiring interpretation and judgment in their use.
Regarding a leading academic institution like UAE University, the HRM functions would be more critical and complex due to the workforce diversity. There are more than 3,000 faculty and staff from all around the world working at UAE University. The Human Resources Department at UAE consists of six sections: Recruitment, Housing, Immigration, Health Care, Faculty and Staffing, and Staff Development.
This department is always committed to providing a quality service to faculty, staff and prospective staff and it supports this commitment to service through:
- Clarifying policy and procedures related to all Human Resource functions and services.
- Implementation of a classification, pay and benefits plan where every employee has a written job description.
- Designing an E-Recruitment system to attract quality faculty and staff, and working with them through the recruitment and selection processes.
- Provision of high qualitystaff and faculty induction and orientation.
- Supporting people during their employment with issues associated with accommodation, health insurance, benefits, training and professional development.
- Professional development, supervision and evaluation which is constructive and transparent, based upon identification of strengths, areas of required growth, and strategies for improvement.
- Maintaining the Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS).
Human resource planning is the process by which managers ensure that they have the right number and kinds of people in the right places, and at the right times, who are capable of effectively and efficiently completing those tasks that will help the organization achieve its overall objectives. Human resource planning can be condensed into three steps: (1) assessing current human resources, (2) assessing future human resource needs, and (3) developing a program to meet future human resource needs.
Current assessment can be done through reviewing the organization's current human resource status. This review is typically carried out by generating a human resource inventory. Because of the availability of sophisticated computer information system, it becomes much easier for most organizations to generate a human resource inventory report. This input for this report is derived from forms completed by employees. Such reports might include name, education, training, prior employment, languages spoken, special capabilities, and specialized skills of each employee in the organization. This inventory lets mangers assess what talents and skills are currently available.
Another part of the current assessment is the job analysis. Whereas the human resource inventory is concerned with telling management what individual employees can do, job analysis is more fundamental. It defines the jobs within the organization and the behaviors that are necessary to perform those jobs.
A job analysis seeks to determine the kind of person needed to fill each job and provides information for preparing job descriptions and job specifications. A job description is written statement of what jobholder does, how it's done, and why it's done. It typically describes job content, environment, and conditions of employment. It focuses on the job. In contrast, a job specification focuses on the person. It states the minimum acceptable qualifications that a job holder must possess to perform a given job successfully. The job specification identifies the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to do the job effectively.
The job description and the job specification are important documents when managers begin recruiting and selecting. The job description can be used to describe the job to potential candidates. The job specification keeps the manager's attention on the qualification necessary for a person to be able to perform this job and assists in determining whether candidates are qualified.
WORKFORCE PLANNING AT UAEU
Workforce planning and budgeting at UAEU is driven by the number of students, curriculum and research activity of the University. The workforce plan defines the number, cost, skill set and timeframe requirements for each position as well as reflecting future areas of growth.
Annual discussions between the academic and operational areas of the University will inform the Executive Team on anticipated changes to employee needs for the coming academic year(s). The academic vision of the University will guide these discussions and consideration will be given to fiscal capacity.
Then the Provost or his/her designate will sign off on the workforce plan for each year and the associated budget will be integrated into the respective departmental budgets.
Any position deletion and recruitment requests for new and/or replacement positions will be in accordance with approved departmental workforce plans.
Ad hoc recruitment may be required to overcome unforeseen staff requirements such as, replacements for sudden resignations, new projects etc.
Ad hoc recruitment requirements will be approved as per the established signing authority and communicated to HR as early as possible. Where approved, such ad hoc recruitment will in turn feed into the workforce plan for future planning purposes.
The HR Department will monitor the implementation of all department workforce plans.
Job descriptions are developed or updated whenever significant changes in the UAEU structure or position duties and responsibilities occur; and whenever new positions are created.
The HR Department has the final responsibility of ensuring that JDs are prepared for each approved position in the approved JD format. Development of a JD is performed by HR with input from the designated department personnel. Where an employee is already in the position or where there is a proposed amendment to an existing filled position, HR will seek input from the incumbent.
Classification involves the evaluation of a new position or significantly changed JD and is not used as a mechanism for granting salary increases to an employee on the grounds of personal merit or performance.
A 'point factor' job evaluation (JE) method is used to evaluate UAEU jobs. Each salary grade has a range of JE points. Jobs with JE points falling within the same range are assigned to the same salary grade. Details of the method are contained in a plan document, which is available to managers and employees.
JE is not used to look at the specific performance of individuals doing the jobs. JE looks at the position not the person to determine what each job is worth and how one job stacks up against the others.
JE is conducted by designated personnel within HR and other trained University staff as may be assigned. Input is received from the respective College/Department. The HR department communicates any approved changes in the compensation structure and subsequent placements of jobs.
Academic ranking and related standards of appointment are included in the policies and procedures of the Academic Affairs Office.
In addition to being assigned a "class", appointments will be categorized by one of the following types:
- Regular Full-Time - for a period of twelve months or more.
- Regular Part-Time - for a period of twelve months or more and generally offered only to UAE Nationals.
- Temporary - full time for a period of less than twelve months and renewable.
- Monthly lump sum.
- Hourly - variable hours of work.
HRIS consists mainly of the SCT Banner system (INB), which is a fully integrated system. It contains student, finance, and HR/payroll information.
Part of this system is the Luminis portal and the Self Service Banner (SSB), which is the Banner web interface.HR has also subsystems, some run from within SCT Banner (INB) that are built in-house by UITS, and some are external. Some of these subsystems are:
- The new Housing system, which runs from within Banner. The new Airline Ticket Request system, which also runs from within Banner.
- The new Contract Entry Template system, which is a Visual Studio system.
- PICES, which is a File Maker system that links information between our old in-house system (AIMS) and SCT Banner.
- In addition to other small MS Office templates.
RECRUITMENT AND SELECTION:
Recruitment basically involves a number of activities which includes identification and attracting of potential candidates, evaluation of the latter and ultimate selection of suitable candidates either from within or without the organization to fill pre-identified job positions.
According to (Robbins & Coulter, 1996) recruitment is defined as ' the activity that generates a pool of applicants, who have the desire to be employed by the organization, from which those suitable can be selected'. In contrast, there are some techniques which are used for reducing the labor supply within an organization. This activity is known as dercruitment.
Recruitment sources and methods
Most organizations tend to recruit either internally, externally or both. Internal recruitment is the recruitment in which the organization limits the existing job vacancy only for its existing workforce. In fact, internal recruitment opens opportunities for employee promotion as well as offering them a chance to develop new skills within the organizational context.
The sources of internal recruitment includes transfers, promotions, hiring the services of retired employees, reengaging the retrenched employees, upgrading, demotions, and considering dependants and relatives close to a deceased employee.
In contrast, external recruitment is applied when the organization intends to bring in new blood, fresh ideas and new experience. Furthermore, it reduces the need for employee training and development particularly if they have been trained elsewhere. (Schermerhorn, Hunt & Osborn, 2003)
The sources of external recruitment include press advertisements, hiring from education institution, placement agencies, and outsourcing employment exchanges programs labor contractors unsolicited applicants employees referrals and recruitments at the gates of organization or factories.
When human resource planning identifies a human resource lack and develops a pool of applicants, managers need some tools for screening the applicants to ensure that the most suitable candidate is hired. This process is the selection process.
Selection tools are used to assess candidate's knowledge, skills, abilities interests and personality, and in order to obtain the most optimal candidate, these tools must be valid and reliable. a valid technique is the one which measures what it is intended to measure. While reliable device is the one which consistently produce the same results time after time. (Porter, Smith & Fagg, 2006)
A number of tools are utilized by the employers in the selection process. Such includes:
Application forms: which can be used as an alternative to CVs to gather various information about the applicant's background and experience. The benefit of application forms over CVs is that all information in forms is in the same order, making them easier to compare.
Cognitive ability tests: common types are those that assess intelligence, aptitude, ability and interest. They are used for entry-level jobs and for applicants without professional training or advanced degree.
Work simulations: where an applicant perform a set of tasks that replicate actual work. These techniques have a high level of validity because of being much relevant to the real situation.
Assessment centers: provide an organization with a comprehensive view of a candidate's performance. In such assessments, candidates go through two to four days of various exercises, simulations, role plays and interviews. Assessment centers are most usually used for managerial and high level positions.
Interview: is the most common and often used technique to determine who to hire, despite its validity and reliability being questionable. So how can managers make interviews more valid and reliable? 'When interviews are structured and well organized, and when interviewers are held to common questioning, interviews are effective predictors'. (Robbins & Coulter, 1996)
There is another essential issue to consider in interviewing candidates is the legality of certain interview questions.
Background investigation: includes two types: verifications of application data and reference checks. Employers checks on potential hires; these checks may contain employment history, educational records and criminal records. This type has proved to be reliable source of selection information while job references are ineffective.
Physical tests: for jobs with certain physical requirements and these tests must be validated against job requirements so that the organization can avoid discrimination:' Organization must ensure that a physical exam is necessary to predict job performance, and that it does not systematically screen out disabled applicants in countries in which they are legally protected'. (Fuller & Huber, 1998)
RECRUITMENT AND ESLECTION AT UAE UNIVERSITY:
The UAEU is committed to recruiting the right employees, for the right positions in an efficient and effective manner. The objective of this policy is to outline how staffing requirements are planned in advance to achieve the UAEU's business objectives and assist the UAEU towards managing the employment of an optimum level of human resources with the required skills.
To ensure that the best-suited applicants occupy all positions in the UAEU and possess the required educational qualifications, experience, skill and knowledge to perform the job effectively.
All standard recruitment activities are within the approved workforce plan. Any recruitment for non-budgeted positions will require special approval from the relevant signing authority.
The UAEU adopts fair and consistent methods of recruitment and selection so as to select the most suitable candidate to meet the requirements of the job.
Where equally qualified candidates are being considered, the UAEU gives preference to hiring UAE Nationals over non and internal candidates over externals. With the approval of the Provost, minimum experience requirements may be waved in exceptional circumstances when hiring Nationals.
All offer letters and employment contracts are issued by the HR Department in accordance with approved templates and signed off by the concerned Dean/Director or as per the established signing authority.
The HR Department is the facilitator for the recruitment process but the selection of candidates is the decision of the hiring Department/College.
A former employee can be re-hired by providing that he/she has a satisfactory record and a vacancy is available inside the UAEU. It is at the discretion of the UAEU Management to approve or disapprove such re-engagement.
Faculty Recruitment Procedure
The major responsibility for faculty recruiting has been moved to the colleges. The
Human Resources Department provides logistical support and ensures policy compliance. The Office of the Academic Affairs monitors the college recruitment process. The Associate Provost for Academic Affairs will review all finalist candidates with the deans prior to the college interviews.
Position request completed identifying description, position number, funding source (cost center) and rationale and forwarded to the Associate Provost.
- Associate Provost reviews requests and submits approvals back to the college.
- The colleges prepare details of advertisement and recommended media sites and forward to Human Resources.
- Human Resource department places advertisements.
- Applications are forwarded to the college. The dean, department chair(s) and designated faculty screen applicants down to a short list.
- Dean approves a short list of candidates nominated for interview and forwards to the Associate Provost for approval.
- Academic Affairs schedules interviews.
- The college dean, department chair and designated faculty conduct interviews.
- The dean nominates candidate(s) and forwards offer package to Human Resources for compliance with University policies.
- Associate Provost approves offer.
- Dean forwards letter of offer and draft contract to approved candidates. Colleges forward the letter of acceptance to Human Resources for preparation of new faculty arrival and orientation.
Selection tools at UAE University:
At UAEU the selection process may involve up to three tools depending on the position applied for, such includes:
Application forms: which is the fundamental tool for short listing the applicants for the interviews. UAEU has implemented a new state of the art system that allows applicants to apply for any vacant staff or faculty positions at the University. The University hires faculty and staff around the year. The system has a list of vacant positions which can be applied for. This website is called Jobs@UAEU.
The job seeker may search the jobs prior to filling out an application. Once he fills out the application you will be ready to apply to any of the positions (faculty, staff, and management) and he will be able to track his application progress online, by logging into his account.Each department processes their own applicants electronically where there is manager access to employment site. HR department does not accept paper CVs through fax, mail or dropped off at the office.
Interviews: No candidate can be employed without first being interviewed by a selection committee. The committee will, at a minimum, contain the supervisor for the area plus one other. While preference is for face-to face interviews, video-conferencing and phone interviews may be used. Where the candidate is asked to travel to the University from within or outside the country, appropriate costs will be borne by the UAEU.
Reference checks: No candidate can be employed without reference checks being completed. Three references are preferred with at least two being from current or former employers. Normally these will be performed by HR. Faculty credentials are to be verified by the appropriate college. When the reference checks are positive, the hiring department requests that HR issue an offer letter to the preferred candidate.
The salary offered will normally be at the base of the range for the position. In certain instances, following discussion between the hiring Department and HR, exception to this norm may be made. All offers must be supported by relevant Departmental budgets.
Benefits and housing details should not be discussed by the selection committee and questions related to these areas should be referred to HR.
When the employee signs off on the offer, HR will draft a contract of employment and have the candidate sign off.
It is the responsibility of the hiring department to advise HR immediately of any changes to the new hire's start date.
Performance management is a very important Human Resource Management function. Its objective is to improve overall productivity and effectiveness by maximizing individual performance and potential.
At UAEU Performance Management is applicable to all non-faculty non-executive employees, and it helps to provide open communication channels between the employee and his/her immediate supervisor through goal setting, performance evaluation and feedback. Moreover, it helps to ensure that salary progression, contract renewal and employment continuation decisions are transparent and based on a mutual understanding of evaluation criteria. Additionally, performance management informs decisions regarding training and development needs and opportunities.
The UAEU adopts a performance management philosophy aimed at encouraging a performance driven culture and open communication. It also aims at providing a fair and objective review of an employee's performance during the year as an integral part of employee development.
All supervisors are required to keep their unit current on the goals of the University and the unit and to meet on an appropriate basis with their direct reports to discus goal setting and performance. Measuring supervisor's success will include reviewing evidence of activity in this area.
Employees are required to familiarize themselves with the goals of the University and their unit, to participate in regular performance discussions and are responsible for preparing appropriately for such discussions.
Performance management activity will include at a minimum the following components; a formal annual meeting to set goals and objectives for the upcoming year and to review performance over the previous year. In an employee's first year of hire, a goal setting meeting will take place within the first three months of hire and an annual review meeting will take place on or around the employee's anniversary date (alternatively, the University may direct that annual reviews take place during set period(s) of the year). In the final year of an employee's contract, this review will take place six months prior to the contract end date to assist the parties in contract renewal discussions. The immediate supervisor is required to keep a written record of these meetings and the employee will have the opportunity to add his/her comments and receive a signed copy.
Aside from the formal meetings noted above, employees and their immediate supervisors are encouraged to meet more frequently on a less formal basis to discuss activity to date.
HR is responsible for supporting performance management activity by providing supervisors and employees with guidance on the holding of goal setting and performance review meetings. HR is also responsible for supporting the parties on matters related to performance improvement opportunities including training, coaching and corrective action.
HR will regularly canvass supervisors and employees on their perceived training and development needs and schedule appropriate courses/workshops to support the meeting of these needs.
The University may adopt different tools to support performance management activity and these may differ between employee categories and types.
Review meetings need to be based on the principle of two-way communication. The employee is encouraged to discuss issues, job performance, career aspirations and training and development needs; and the appraiser is encouraged to provide objective, constructive feedback on strengths and areas for development.
Progression through the Range
At UAEU this policy is applicable to all non-faculty non-executive employees. The aim of such policy is to identify the guidelines by which employees may move through the salary range for their position.
Non-faculty/non-executive positions within the University are rated and assigned to a specific salary grade and each grade has a salary range. Employees are normally hired at the base of the range, and movement or progression through the range is governed by performance.
Following an employee's annual goal setting/review meeting, his/her supervisor may request Dean/Director's approval to move the employee to a higher level within the range. If the Dean/Director is in agreement they will advise HR and the supervisor will advise the employee.
The amount of movement within the range may be dictated by budget availability. There is no movement beyond the top of the range.
The HR Department will, on a three year basis, undertake a market review to ensure the continued competitiveness of the salary structure. Recommendations from this review will be presented to the University Executive Team for consideration and action as deemed appropriate.
COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS
Compensation (payment in the form of hourly wages or annual salaries) and benefits (insurance, pensions, vacation, modified workweek, sick days, stock options, etc.) can be a catch-22 because an employee's performance can be influenced by compensation and benefits, and vice versa. In the ideal situation, employees feel they are paid what they are worth, are rewarded with sufficient benefits, and receive some intrinsic satisfaction (good work environment, interesting work, etc.). Compensation should be legal and ethical, adequate, motivating, fair and equitable, cost-effective, and able to provide employment security (Cherrington, 1995).
One of the most important processes of the human resource management is to design an effective and efficient compensation system in order to attract and retain competent and talented individuals who can assist the organization accomplish its mission and goals.
Mangers must develop compensation systems that reflect the changing nature of work and the workplace to keep people motivated. Organizational compensation can include many different types of rewards and benefits, such as: base wages and salaries, wage and salary add-ons, incentive payments, and benefits and services.
There are several factors that can influence the differences in compensation and benefit package for different employees. These include the kind of job performed, the kind of business the organization is in, whether the organization is unionized, whether the organization is labor or capital-intensive, management's pay philosophy, the organization geographical location, the organization's level of profitability, the size of the organization, and the employee's tenure and performance.
Although the above factors are important influences on the design of an organization's compensation system, flexibility is becoming a key consideration. The traditional approach to paying people for their work reflected a time of job stability when an employee's pay was largely determined by seniority and job level.
The traditional compensation program use job evaluation, which is defined as the process of assessing he value of each job in relation to other jobs in an organization, to create internal equity. Traditional job evaluation is described as an objective procedure that measures the complexity of the work, the amount of responsibility, and the level of effort required of each position in relation to other positions in the organization.
There are three basic job evaluation approaches which are most common: job ranking, job classification, and pint-factor plans.
Job ranking involves placing jobs in order from most valuable (or important to difficult) to least valuable (or important or difficult) using a single factor such as job complexity or the importance of the job to the firm's competitive advantage.
In job classification, broad descriptions are designed in advance to reflect the characteristics of the job that would be placed at each level in the system. In other words, it involves comparing a specific position to these generic descriptors and deciding which level fits best.
Point-factor plan is the most widely used approach to job evaluation in U.S an Europe. Companies should choose factors for a job evaluation plan that are based on the organization's strategy, that reflect the type of work performed, and that generally acceptable to its stakeholders. Skill, effort, responsibility and working conditions are the most common factors found in point-factor plan.
Employee benefits focus on maintaining or improving the quality of life for employees and providing a level of protection and financial security for workers and for their family members. Like base pay plans, the major objective for most organizational fringe compensation programs is to attract, retain, and motivate qualified, competent employees.
Fringe benefits may be divided into legally required programs and discretionary benefits. Social security, unemployment insurance and worker's compensation are basic income continuity programs. In other words, they provide payments when individual in not working. In contrast, discretionary benefits include: employee welfare programs, long-term capital accumulation programs, time-off plans and employee services.
The employees who are recruited from outside the UAE should be entitled to the following relocation benefits:
- The UAEU will provide travel tickets from the point of departure to the UAE at the start of employment for employees hired from outside the country.
- The class of ticket and whether or not eligible dependents will be included is based on employee class and type.
- In general, the UAEU will arrange for the air ticket of the employee. In certain cases, an employee may be allowed to make their own travel arrangements. Reimbursement will be made on the cost the UAEU would have incurred by providing the travel tickets.
- Employees hired from inside UAE will not be eligible for relocation airfare.
- Employees in grades 7 and above are entitled to a relocation allowance. Allowance rates are established by HR and will be provided at the start of the employee's contract per the terms of their contract.
- If the services of the employee are discontinued, either voluntarily or involuntarily, within three years of employment, the employee will, on a prorated basis, repay the University for the relocation allowance. The Provost or Secretary General may authorize an exception to this repayment
- On arrival in the UAE and at the start of employment, the UAEU will provide employees and eligible dependents with six nights' hotel accommodation and meals. The Director, HR may approve extension of accommodation.
In addition to other benefits for which UAEU employees are entitled, special government mandated benefits will be provided to UAE Nationals. Executive and senior level appointments may include additional or alternative benefits commensurate with the position.
Annual air ticket (as cash-in-lieu) • Unless stated otherwise in their contracts, all non-UAE National employees in grade 7 and above, and their eligible dependents, hired after the implementation date of this policy will be entitled annual air tickets (as cash-in-lieu) as outlined below.
- Unless otherwise approved by the Director HR, the country of residence will be specified at the start of employment and reflect the citizenship of the employee. The city of residence is generally determined as the city the employee resided in prior to relocating to the UAE.
- Annually the University obtains corporate airfare rates from travel agencies. Employees are paid the rate applicable to their city of residence and may request this payment after their anniversary date. Newly hired employees may request this payment following completion of their probationary period.
Repatriation Ticket • Employees who leave the UAE, either due to end of employment or non-disciplinary dismissal, and where eligible, their dependants, will be entitled to a repatriation ticket as part of their final settlement where included in their contract or, where the contract is silent, at the discretion of the University.
Repatriation Allowance • Employees in grades 7 and above who leave the UAE either due to end of contract or non-disciplinary dismissal will be entitled to a repatriation allowance of AED 3,000 as part of their final settlement where included in their contract or, where the contract is silent, at the discretion of the University. The purpose of the repatriation allowance is to help offset the cost of the move.
Educational Allowance • Faculty, and where stated in their contracts, non-National employees in grades 6 and above, will receive an allowance towards the actual cost of education fees for eligible dependent children. The total allowance paid will not exceed fifteen percent (15%) of the employee's adjusted salary.
- Payment will be extended to eligible children entering Grade 1 and who are required to attend formal school, according to UAE law, to the end of secondary school. Kindergarten and pre-kindergarten is not covered.
- Without prejudice to the aforesaid provisions the Director HR/CFO may, in special cases, approve education fees be paid:
To employees whose children are studying through distance education or through other non-conventional methods.
For schooling outside the UAE where suitable education facilities are not available locally.
For purposes of collecting benefits related to dependents, employees need to have an attested and certified Marriage Certificate and/or Birth Certificates. Dependents should be in the UAE for them to be eligible for benefits. • Employees are entitled to benefits for eligible dependents upon confirmation of relevant dependent status. Any change of dependent status needs to be communicated in writing by the employee to the HR Department
Employees will be entitled to a phone allowance as outlined below.
- The University will cover the full costs of the Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, Provost and Secretary General.
- Deans and Executive positions of grade 1 and above will receive a monthly allowance of AED750.
- Other employees, who by the nature of their positions require the use of a mobile phone, may be eligible for a monthly allowance of between AD50 and AED150 upon approval of the Secretary General.
- The Secretary General may vary the above rates.
Health Insurance Coverage • Employees will be eligible for Group Health Insurance Plan coverage. Dependents (spouse and up to three children aged 18 or under) may be enrolled in the Plan on a voluntary basis.
- A wife will only be covered where she is under her husband's sponsorship and not working.
- The employee is responsible for keeping HR informed of any changes in the resident status of family members.
- Other restrictions may apply and plan details are covered by contract between the University and the insurance company and may be amended from time to time.
Death Benefit • In the event of the death of an employee, the dependent family members or legal beneficiaries of the employee will receive the salary for the month during which the death occurred together with a payment equivalent to three additional month's gross salary and the end of service benefit.
- Additionally, the University will cover reasonable expenses associated with embalming and repatriation of the deceased and his/her family and personal effects.
- The Secretary General may waive any requirement for repayment of monies owing to the University or clearance requirements.
- In the event of the death of an employee's immediate family member (spouse or dependent children), the University will cover reasonable expenses associated with embalming and repatriation of the deceased as well as the cost of a return ticket for one person to accompany the body.
Accommodation and Furniture • The University will provide reasonable accommodation or a housing allowance to all employees. The type of accommodation or level of allowance is dependent upon the class and type of the position and, for actual accommodation, upon availability.
- Not all classes and types of employees will have a choice between receiving an allowance in lieu of accommodation or vice-versa.
- Accommodation is provided for the sole use of the employee and his/her eligible dependents and will not be used for private business, be sublet or used for other than accommodation for the employee.
- If both husband and wife are employed by the University, the benefits in this section will be granted only to the employee receiving the higher salary unless working more than 100km apart.
- Where the employee is offered a choice between accommodation and allowance, a change in preference will only be possible where it is in the best interests of the University to agree to this change. Where such a request is made the Director of HR will give consideration to such factors as current lease obligations, accommodation availability, employee contract length and anticipated employee departures and arrivals.
- The value of the allowance will be determined annually by the University.
- Where accommodation is provided, employees are required to vacate their accommodation within one month of the end of their contract or, for faculty positions, within one month of the end of the semester. In the case of dismissal, the employee will vacate on the date set by the University.
- Faculty employees, and staff employees in grades 5 and above, will be entitled to a furniture allowance at the start of their employment. If the services of the employee are discontinued, either voluntarily or involuntarily, within three years of employment, the employee will, in a prorated basis, repay the University for the Furniture Allowance. The Secretary General may authorize an exception to this repayment.
Duplication of Benefits • The entitlement to allowances and benefits will not be provided to the employee where such allowances or benefits are already available to the employee through employment of the employee's spouse in an Organization with any Government financial holdings and/or ownership in the UAE. This does not apply to housing and furniture benefit entitlement where the employee and spouse work greater than 100km apart.
It is the obligation of the employee to inform the UAEU of any duplication of benefits received from a government institution between the employee and the spouse. Failure to do so will result in the UAEU retroactively recovering any outstanding amounts and possible disciplinary action.
EMPLOYMENT RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT
Employee relations may be defined as those policies and practices which are concerned with the management and regulation of relationships between the organization, the individual staff member, and groups of staff within the working environment.
There are many mechanisms that organizations use to maintain the employment relationship in a way that is fair, productive, and satisfactory to all involved.
Grievance and discipline:
Some organization may choose a discipline approach; other may focus more upon punishment for the misconduct. Punishment is the provision of a negative consequence following a behavior. It is focused upon the past and penalizes undesirable behavior. On the other hand, discipline is more future oriented; its goal is to point the way more positive and productive behavior rather than to penalize the person for his or her mistakes. Although different organizational cultures will support different approaches, it has been proved that discipline approach is ultimately more desirable in improving the productivity.
Before any discipline takes place, organizational members should attempt to diagnose the problem to be sure that the employee is to blame for the incident.
Even when the employee is to blame, a causal analysis should be done to determine the best tactics for preventing the misconduct in the future. Briefly, one should determine if the problem resulted from misunderstanding, lack of knowledge, or motivation. While the investigation or the casual analysis may uncover information that lessens the need to hold the employee fully accountable, discipline is appropriate action in most cases.
If the employee continues to violate policy, discipline should become more and more sever, a practice called progressive discipline. Organizations often respond to misconduct first with some minimal warning, followed by more sever punishments up to and including termination or discharge. An example of a progressive disciplinary program is:
- Verbal warning.
- Written warning copied to supervisor's file.
- Written warning copied to HR file.
- Suspension or demotion
As astute as an organization may be in establishing policies and practices that allocate rewards and distribute punishments fairly, employees may have cause to challenge decisions made on the part of organization. Most typically, this is executed by way of a formally established grievance procedure. Grievance can be defined as " a formal, written complaint about the way in which the employment relationship is being carried out".
Grievance procedures are important because of the seriousness of claims of unfair treatment, but also because they increase acceptance of an organization's policies and procedures.
The objective of this policy is to outline the process by which employees may raise any work related concerns they may have.
This section covers policies relating to grievances, discipline and code of conduct. Where employees feel secure in raising real or perceived grievances and where discipline is managed in an open and corrective manner, employee engagement and morale is generally higher than otherwise would be the case. Additionally, when employees understand that code of conduct under which the University operates and to which they are expected to adhere, misunderstandings between employees, supervisors, students and clients are reduced.
Grievance at UAEU
The Grievance procedure should be employed in the following circumstances:
- Where an employee wishes to raise an issue concerning his/her own terms and conditions of employment.
- Where an employee wishes to raise an issue concerning any aspect of his/her individual working relationships within the UAEU.
- Where an employee is concerned regarding his/her individual working conditions or working situation.
- Employee can initially approach the immediate supervisor in case of any grievance issue.
- when the issue is not resolved through the immediate supervisor, employees may raise the grievance issue in writing to their Dean/Director.
- The Dean/Director will meet and review the matter and arrive at a decision within five working days after the meeting is held. The outcome/solution arrived at can be communicated to the employee in writing.
- In the event that the employee is not satisfied with the outcome, further appeal may be made to the HR Director (or to the Provost for Dean/Director level grievances). The decision of the HR Director (or Provost where applicable) will be considered as final.
Discipline at UAEU
The objective of this policy is to inform all employees of the University's expectations in terms of performance and behavior both inside and outside the workplace. This policy also aims at specifying the corrective disciplinary actions which will be taken to address unacceptable behavior.
An employee who is deemed to be in breach of any of the UAEU standards of performance and conduct will be subject to disciplinary measures. These disciplinary measures may include any of the following:
In the case of verbal warning or written warning, the employee's immediate supervisor will discuss with the employee the problems giving rise to disciplinary measures and give him / her, an opportunity to remedy the problem.
A written warning may be imposed on the employee after reviewing the circumstances, hearing the employee's defense and consulting with the Director HR. A record of a written warning will be given to the employee and a copy will be placed in the employee's file.
The Director HR, or a committee or individual of his/her choice, will handle cases of disciplinary investigation. The employee may be suspended with or without pay during the period of investigation. The period of suspension will be considered from the date the incident is reported until a decision is rendered on the matter. The results of a disciplinary investigation may include discipline up to and including termination of employment.
The employee may appeal the disciplinary decision by presenting his / her appeal in writing to the Provost within two weeks of the date on which the disciplinary decision is communicated to him in writing. Upon receiving the appeal, the Provost will review the matter. The decision on the appeal will be final.
All disciplinary decisions other than a verbal notice or warning will be communicated in writing to the employee and a record will be placed in the employee file.
While neither exclusive or exhaustive, serious misconduct actions subject to disciplinary investigation are listed under the "code of conduct" section of this policy.
In the event Executive or Senior Management employees are subject to disciplinary investigation, the matter will be handled through the Chancellor or Vice-Chancellors Office.
Which includes employee resignation, termination, payment of gratuity/pension and exit interviews.
An employee's decision to resign from the UAEU is always taken in writing. and all resignation letters are endorsed by the immediate supervisor prior to being forwarded to the HR Department. The submission of resignation by employees will be as follows:
- Employees in grades E1-E2 must submit resignations at least six (6) months before the date of resignation. Without prejudice to the six (6) months notice stipulation, notice period involving teaching staff should coincide with the end of an academic semester.
- Employees in grades M1-M2 must submit resignations at least two (2) months before the date of resignation.
- Employees in grades P1-P2 and A1-A2 must submit resignations at least one (1) month before the date of resignation.
- During probation, notice of resignation of employees in grades E1-M2 must be given at least three months before the date of resignation, provided that the resignation of members of the teaching staff is effective at the end of an academic semester. Probationary employees in grades P1-P2 and A1-A2 must give a notice of resignation of at least one month before the date of resignation.
In the event the employee insists on the termination of services without meeting this condition, he/she will forfeit half of his / her end of service benefit for the contract period during which a resignation is submitted. The Director HR may waive all or part of the notice period, or issue contract amendments where it is in the best interest of the UAEU.
Leave is not normally taken during the notice period and any outstanding vacation balances are paid out as part of the final settlement.
Employee's salary will be withheld a month prior to the effective date of the resignation subject to the completion of the Clearance Form. The salary payment will form part of final settlement.
Employees who separate from the UAEU with outstanding advances/loans extending beyond their last working day will be required to repay the amount.
Termination may result due to a government directive, redundancy, continued poor performance, misconduct, other inadequacies, etc.
Concerned employees receive notice in writing from the University as per the notice period stated in the employee's contract of employment. The University reserves the right to waive the notice period and compensate the employee with salary (adjusted plus complementary) in lieu thereof.
When the termination is caused by continued poor performance or discipline issues, the employee would normally have previously been served warning letters.
Involuntary and voluntary terminations:
Involuntary terminations are those initiated by the University and include:
- Layoff resulting from workforce reduction;
- Layoff resulting from restructuring;
- Separation due to failure to return from approved leave of absence;
- Separation due to exhaustion of approved leave of absence entitlement;
- Release due to medical unfitness;
- Release for inability to perform duties or to meet prescribed standards on the job, after reasonable efforts have been made to assist the employee in meeting the standards expected by the University;
- Discharge for conduct not in the interest of the University;
- Discharge for gross misconduct and acting outside of the University Code of Conduct.
Voluntary and other terminations:
- End of a fixed term contract
- Unexcused absences that is unreported for a period of four consecutive working days.
Without prejudice to the employee getting an allowance to cover the cost of a repatriation ticket, the end of service benefit for the contract period during which an employee is terminated may be forfeited in whole or in part by a decision of the Secretary General.
In the event of involuntary dismissal during the employment contract, the UAEU will give employees in grades E1-E2, M1-M2 three (3) months notice of termination, or the employee will receive a salary (adjusted plus complementary) for three (3) months, or for the remaining period in the contract, whichever is less. An employee holding a position in P1-P2, A1-A2 will receive two (2) months notice of termination, or will receive a salary (adjusted plus complementary) for two (2) months or for the remaining period in the contract, whichever is less. Lump sum employees are entitled to one (1) month. Faculty employees are provided six (6) months notice of termination or receive a salary (adjusted plus complementary) for six (6) months, or for the remaining period in the contract, whichever is less. This compensation will be in addition to the end of service benefit.
An employee will be retired by the UAEU once he/she reaches the age of sixty-five (65), except in special cases approved as per the established signing authority. This would typically include retaining employees with distinguished or rare experience deemed to be of benefit to the UAEU. They will satisfy all the terms of appointment. Their physical fitness for the position will be confirmed by the appropriate medical body as determined by the UAEU.
Expiry of Contract
An employee may leave the UAEU upon expiry of contract. Employees in grades E1-E2 need to give the UAEU at least six (6) months notice if they choose not to renew their contract. In grades M1-2 the employee needs to give at least two (2) months notification if not renewing their contract. In grades P1-P2 and A1-A2 the employee needs to give at least one (1) month notification if not renewing their contract.
All employees other than UAE Nationals who have completed one year of service (or one academic year of service for faculty) in the UAEU will be eligible for end of service gratuity. Gratuity computation will be the responsibility of the HR Department.
All gratuity payments will be made by cheque in favour of the employee, except if bank clearance has not been obtained, in which case, the cheque will be written in favour of the bank.
Employees will be entitled to Gratuity equivalent to one month adjusted salary for each completed year of continuous service calculated at the rate applicable in the final month of service. Any fraction of a year, after the completion of the first year, will be granted to an employee in proportion to the number of days worked that year.
Days of absence from work without pay will not be included in calculating the period of service.
The UAEU may deduct any amounts owed by an employee from the latter's gratuity.
Employees may forfeit severance pay entitlement in whole or in part subject to the termination policy.
All UAE Nationals are entitled to pension as per the UAE Federal Government.
Any updates/increments made to the salary will be considered accordingly in the computation of pension.
When an employee resigns, the amount of contribution to the Pension Fund will be computed based on salary accrued by the employee up to the last working day.
One of the HR responsibilities is to organize the exit interview. The completion of a confidential exit questionnaire and/or exit interview before or on the last working day with HR is voluntary for employees leaving the UAEU.
In cases of termination of services for gross misconduct, these interviews are not completed. The discussion during the exit interview may include the employee's response of the following issues: working hours and experience, performance ratings colleagues or immediate supervisor job and salary satisfaction and other personal issues.
A copy of the exit interview will be retained with HR and it will confidential.
On a periodic basis the exit interview data will be collated and reviewed with the management team. Only the trend and analysis of the exit interviews is shared with the respective immediate supervisor and senior management as appropriate.
It should become clear that HRM is a long established task and is much more than simply hiring people. It is mainly concerned about the contribution of the staff individually and collectively to the accomplishment of the overall organizational strategy. Therefore, it is important for human resource professionals to be up to date on the latest trends in staffing, performance appraisals, compensation and benefits, training and development, , and safety and health issues, accordingly the staff can and will continue to give of their best in these times of changing community needs and expectations.