HR Management Practice May 2015

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HR practice questions


  • Page 1 of 6



    Time: 3 Hours Date: May 2015

    Mark Allocation: 100 Marks Number of Pages: 6

    Examiners instructions:

    1. Answer ALL questions in both Sections A and B, ONE question from Section C and ALL

    QUESTIONS from Section C.

    2. Lay your work out clearly, using headings, sub-headings and paragraph numbers.

    3. The examination should be conducted in strict silence.

    4. This is a closed book exam. No books or notes may be consulted during the exam by a student,

    except a simple dual language translation dictionary e.g. English/Xhosa, English/Afrikaans etc.

    5. Ensure that your SAIM Number and your ID Number are both indicated on your Answer

    Booklet. No names should be recorded anywhere on the Answer Booklet.

    6. Failure to observe the rules and regulations set down by the SAIM will be considered cheating

    and you will be disqualified from this examination and any future SAIM examinations.

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    Answer ALL the questions. 10 MARKS

    QUESTION 1 [5 marks]

    Various options are given for each of the following questions/statements. Read through the

    questions/statements and decide on the correct option. Each question has only one correct option.

    Record your answer as follows for example: 1.5 b

    1.1. In which of the following cases is an employer allowed to conduct an HIV test?

    a) Before the employer appoints a successful candidate in a position.

    b) If an employee chooses not to belong to a medical fund.

    c) If justifiable by the Labour Court.

    d) If requested by the employee.

    1.2. Which one of the following does not oblige employees to become union members, but it may

    provide that non-members who are eligible for union membership are obliged to pay a


    a) An agency shop agreement.

    b) A closed shop agreement.

    c) A union agreement.

    a) A bargaining union agreement.

    1.3. Which one of the following statements is true?

    a) Attractiveness of certain positions in the industry might lead to an increase in the demand

    for certain positions

    b) Oversupply and under supply of labour might lead to a shift in the supply of labour.

    c) The law of demand and supply postulates that, as the price of labour increases, the quantity

    of labour demanded will increase.

    d) Where the number of labour units supplied changes rapidly with a change in the wage rate,

    supply is described as inelastic.

    1.4. What is the main objective of the State as the protector of public interest and the promoter of a

    sound economic system?

    b) To maintain industrial peace.

    c) To resolve individual disputes.

    d) To legalise retrenchments.

    e) To legalise union membership.

    1.5. Which body in South Africa brings together labour, business, government and development

    actors in order to ensure consensus on all matters relation to economic policy and to consider

    all proposed labour legislation?

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    a) COSATU

    b) NEDLAC

    c) FEDUSA

    d) NACTU

    QUESTION 2 [5 marks]

    A True or False option is given for each of the following statements. Read through the statements and

    decide on the correct option. Each question has only one correct option. Record your answer as follows

    for example: 1.5 True

    2.1. One of the main aims of the Skills Development Act is to improve productivity and competitiveness.

    2.2. Breach of confidentiality is not a good reason for an employer to dismiss an employee.

    2.3. The general public is one of the parties to the labour relationship.

    2.4. One of the requirements for a fair disciplinary hearing is to give the employee the opportunity to

    call witnesses.

    2.5. The term Affirmative Action refers to the purposeful and planned placement or development of

    competent or potentially competent persons in positions from which they were debarred in the

    past, in an attempt to redress past disadvantages and to render the workforce more representative

    of the population, on local and national levels.


    Answer ALL the questions

    QUESTION 3 [10 marks]

    3.1. Discuss the employers duties in terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, Act 85 of 1993

    as amended by the Occupational Health and Safety amendment Act 181 of 1993. (6 marks)

    3.2. In terms of Section 19 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, employers have to establish

    Health and Safety Committees if two or more Health and Safety Representatives were appointed.

    Discuss the employers relationship with the Health and Safety Committee and the role of such a

    committee. (4 marks)

    QUESTION 4 [10 marks]

    4.1. Define the following terms:

    a) Wage flexibility (1 mark)

    b) Numerical flexibility (1 mark)

    c) Functional flexibility (1 mark)

  • Page 4 of 6

    d) Work time flexibility (1 mark)

    4.2. In your view, what are the problems that can be experienced with the implementation of Affirmative

    Action? (6 marks)

    QUESTION 5 [10 marks]

    5.1. Distinguish between retrenchment and redundancy. (6 marks)

    5.2. The effectiveness of communication is of importance in any relationship, thus also in the labour

    relationship. List four (4) techniques that can be applied by the receiver to improve communication.

    (4 marks)

    QUESTION 6 [10 marks]

    6.1. Name five external influences on the labour relationship. (5 Marks)

    6.2. What effect will the Labour Relations Act have on the recruitment and interviewing of employees?

    (5 marks)

    QUESTION 7 [10 marks]

    7.1. The National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC) came into being on 18

    February 1995. List the main objectives of NEDLAC, as set out in the National Economic

    Development and Labour Council Act 35 of 1994. (10 marks)


    Answer ONE (1) of the following two (2) questions. 20 MARKS

    QUESTION 8 [20 marks]

    8.1. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of centralised and decentralised bargaining.

    (20 marks)

    QUESTION 9 [20 marks]

    9.1. The main argument pertaining to the dismissal of strikers is that, even though the freedom to strike

    may be entrenched in law, the employers still holds the right at common law to dismiss employees

    who engage in strike action since, by refusing to work, they have effectively breached their

    individual contract of employment. Discuss the question of dismissal versus the right to strike.

    (20 marks)


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    Answer ALL the questions

    Read the scenario below and answer the questions that follow.

    NEASA lockout to continue 'despite threats (31 JUL 2014)

    The National Employers Association of South Africas (NEASEs) members will continue their lockout of workers who participated in the recent metal industry protest, despite threats, it said on Thursday.

    The association was adamant the decision by its members to lockout workers would stand, despite threats from both the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) and union federation COSATU.

    COSATU in the Western Cape had threatened to close down companies participating in the lockout, and NUMSA had threatened to take NEASA to court if it did not suspend the lockout of its members.

    NEASA said the lockout was legal and enjoyed the same constitutional protection as the right to strike.

    NEASA chief executive Gerhard Papenfus said companies in the metals industry had endured a violent four-week strike. Employees had been prevented from working through violence and intimidation.

    There were instances where employees were dragged out of offices and assaulted, he said, adding that NUMSA stood for a one-sided form of democracy.

    They are very quick to claim the benefits of their version of democracy and are very quick to point out any so-called undemocratic behaviour. Open up the books When he announced the end of the strike on Tuesday, NUMSA general secretary Irvin Jim said employers represented by NEASA, who had long claimed they could not afford more than an 8% increase, were expected to implement the agreement. Failure to do so would be violating this commitment by employers, Jim said, adding that, where companies claim they cant afford the increases, they must apply for exemption and open up the books. Papenfus said the differences would not be resolved through threats and legal action, but through appropriate channels. On Tuesday, six unions in the metals and engineering sector signed a wage deal with most employers.

    Jim said the victory was massive given the pittance offer at the point of deadlock. At the start of the week, Jim, announced that the strike that had begun on July 1 was over, and urged all members to return to work on Tuesday. NEASA refused to sign the offer, saying it had been side-lined in the negotiation process facilitated by the Labour Department. As a result, NEASA, which had 22 members and employed about 70 000 workers, continued its lockout. Mail and Guardian. 2014. NEASAs lockout to continue 'despite threats' [Online] Available at: [Accessed: 8 April 2015]

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    QUESTION 9 [20 marks]

    9.1 Distinguish between a strike and a lockout in terms of the Labour Relations Act of 1995 by defining

    the main elements of each. (15 marks)

    9.2 Describe the procedures that NEASA had to follow to continue with the lock-out action. (5 marks)