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1 Human Resources Management & Development Policy Manual Government of Lesotho

2

3 Human Resources Management & Development Policy Manual

4 Acknowledgements This manual was produced with the assistance of GTZ

5 Foreword The management of human resources in the Public Service has been guided by the Public Service Act and Public Service Regulations, and other relevant laws, which were generally interpreted through Government Circulars. These fragmented pieces of information made access to information difficult, particularly in offices where records were poorly managed. The Public Service should be an environment characterised by transparency, uniformity and consistency in the application of procedures. It was imperative, therefore, that a comprehensive manual to guide the management of human resources be developed. Thus the Human Resources Management and Development Policy Manual was approved by the Cabinet on 1 November This Manual provides guidelines for promoting fairness, objectivity and transparency in the acquisition of human resources. It also sets out a systematic approach to managing training and development, employee relations and HIV & AIDS workplace programmes across the public service. Apart from this, the manual facilitates for smooth implementation of the Public Service Act 2005, Public Service Regulations 2008 and other laws within the public service. The manual will serve as a point of reference for heads of departments, line managers, human resource management and development practitioners throughout the public service. It will be revised bi-annually to align it with best practices in human resource management and to accommodate other necessary policies as well as those that are currently being developed, for example, the policy on performance management and performance related pay. I urge all civil servants to familiarise themselves with this-user-friendly document and call on heads of departments to ensure adherence to the provisions of this manual. May I take this opportunity to thank all Human Resources Officers and all stakeholders who contributed tirelessly during the development of this document. My profound gratitude is also extended to our Development Partners, GTZ and Irish Aid for making this wish come true. S.H. Sekatle Honourable Minister Ministry of the Public Service Government of Lesotho i

6 Abbreviations and Acronyms AIDS - Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome BCC - Behaviour Change Communication CAO - Chief Accounting Officer HIV - Human Immunodeficiency Virus HR - Human Resources HTC - HIV Testing and Counselling IEC - Information, Education and Communication MPS - Ministry of the Public Service OVC - Orphans and Vulnerable Children PS - Principal Secretary PSC - Public Service Commission PSIRP - Public Sector Improvement and Reform Programme T&D - Training and Development TNA - Training Needs Analysis ii

7 Contents Foreword...i Abbreviations and Acronyms...ii Chapter 1: Human Resources Policy Manual Background Objectives of the Policy Manual General Guidelines for the Policy Manual Compliance...3 Chapter 2: Recruitment and Selection Policy Definition of Terms Objectives Policy Guidelines Needs analysis for establishment requirements Advertising Screening Preliminary Interviews and Auditions Assessment Centre Approach Reference Checks Job Offer / Appointment Job Placement and Induction Formal Induction Staff Mobility Exit interviews Recruitment and Selection Process Steps Staff MobilIty Process Steps iii

8 Chapter 3: Training and Development Policy Definition of terms Objectives of the Training Policy Generic policy guidelines Purpose of training and development Training needs analysis Types of training and development Eligibility for Long-Term Training Bonding Agreement Emoluments during Study Period Annual Leave while on Study Leave Training and Development Budget Types of Funding Training Service Providers Preparing Learners Skills Transfer Recognition of Skills Training Evaluation Training Reports Monitoring Academic Professional Qualifications Process steps for T&D policy implementation Chapter 4: Employee Relations Policy Definition of Terms Objectives Grievance Handling Stages of Grievance Procedure Discipline Sanctions Settlement of Disputes Collective Bargaining iv

9 Chapter 5: Public Service HIV and AIDS Workplace Policy Glossary of Terms and Concepts Rationale Objectives Scope Legal and regulatory framework Policy Guidelines Policy Measures v

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11 Chapter 1 HUMAN RESOURCES POLICY MANUAL 1. Background Poverty reduction is one of the development goals for Lesotho Government. This goal will be achieved through various strategies, which among other things include the Public Sector Improvement and Reform Program (PSIRP). The aim of the PSIRP is to improve service delivery in the Public Service through improved public financial management, decentralisation of public services to local authorities and improved management of human capital in the Public Service. In an effort to improve the management of human capital in the public service, the Ministry of the Public Service took an initiative to transform the personnel administration into the human resources development and management function due to the shortcomings experienced with the old personnel administration. This was also to align the function with current best Human Resource Management practices. The transformation process took various phases, which involved development of new human resources cadre structure, development and introduction of an assessment centre approach for development assessment and recruitment, recruitment of staff into the new structure, and training of staff. The final phase of the process requires development and implementation of Human Resources policies that guide the human resources functions across the Public Service. It is on this basis that this policy manual, containing the following policies, is developed pursuant to Section 10 (2) of the Public Service Act 2005: 1

12 HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT Policy Manual Recruitment and Selection Policy This Policy is based on national strategic principles provided by the Lesotho Government s Mission, Vision and Values. It provides guidelines for recruiting best-qualified and skilled workforce in a transparent, objective, fair and just manner so as to promote efficiency and effectiveness across the Public Service. Training and Development Policy The Government of Lesotho views training and development as a concerted, deliberate and continuous effort to enhance the productivity of public officers through the acquisition of skills and knowledge to perform current and future jobs to acceptable standards, while at the same time, gaining personal fulfilment. The Training and Development Policy is intended to provide general guidelines in the management and administration of training and development of public officers to ensure cost-effectiveness in the development, utilization and retention of human resources in the public sector in accordance with national priorities. Employee Relations Policy Effective management of conflict and employee dissatisfaction requires a systematic and orderly mechanism to control conflict and to enhance mutual trust between public officers and the employer. Moreover, harmonious working relations between public officers and the employer are essential for enhanced performance in an organisation. This policy therefore provides the framework for managing the relationship between the organisation, individual public officers and groups of public offices within the Public Service. It outlines mechanisms for grievance and discipline handling, and dispute settlement in the workplace. HIV and AIDS Workplace Policy The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) are public health problems that have a devastating effect on human life and have vast socio-economic, employment and human rights implications. The impact of the epidemic includes inter alia; Cost implications arising from absenteeism and lost productivity as people become sick. Loss of life resulting in loss of skilled and experienced personnel. High benefit cost as the government pays gratuities when officers die at a high rate. High medical costs incurred by both the Government, people infected and affected by HIV and AIDS. Stigma associated with HIV and AIDS. Loss of employment by breadwinners as a result of illness. Child and/or old person headed households. Orphans and vulnerable children (OVCs) The HIV and AIDS pandemic affects every workplace and every public officer, and is surrounded by ignorance, fear, prejudice and discrimination. The workplace in particular has been an area where discriminatory practices have been perpetrated through practices 2

13 human resource policy manual 1 such as unnecessary pre-employment HIV testing, dismissals for being HIV positive and the denial of equal employee benefits. The Government therefore recognizes the seriousness of the HIV and AIDS epidemic in Lesotho and its impact on the national economy, public officers and their families. The Government seeks to manage the HIV and AIDS epidemic within a comprehensive Employee Assistance Programme. In managing HIV and AIDS in the workplace and combating discrimination and prejudice, an HIV and AIDS Workplace policy that addresses all relevant aspects of HIV and AIDS is necessary. 2. Objectives of the Policy Manual To provide clear guidelines for application of human resources functions and systems. To maintain consistency and predictability in decision-making. To ensure transparency and accountability in human resources management and development. To promote adherence to the rules and regulations governing the Public Service. To maintain quality standards in the management of human resources. To provide a basis for protecting the rights of the employer and the employee. 3. General Guidelines for the Policy Manual In order to facilitate implementation of this policy manual, 3.1 The Ministry of the Public Service shall: Avail copies of this policy manual to all Heads of Departments and Heads of Human Resources Units, who in turn, shall make copies accessible to all public officers. Sensitize all Heads of Departments, Human Resources personnel, Line managers and all other public officers about the policy manual. Coordinate and monitor implementation of the policy manual and facilitate policy manual reviews. 3.2 All line Ministries, Departments and Agencies shall: Ensure that line managers and Human Resources personnel induct all public officers on the application of this policy manual and ensure adherence to it. 4. Compliance Non-compliance with this policy is misconduct liable for disciplinary action in accordance with the provisions of the disciplinary code. 5. Policy Manual Review The Ministy of the Public Service shall facilitate bi-annual review of the policy manual to ensure that it remains-up-to date. 3

14 Chapter 2 RECRUITMENT AND SELECTION POLICY 1. Definition of Terms In this policy the following words and expressions shall have the meanings as set out opposite them: Advertising: Method of inviting applications from suitable candidates in order to fill vacant positions. Appointment: A job offer to a successful candidate by the Public Service Commission (or any other appointing authority). Appointment letter: A formal letter written to a successful candidate for a job. It includes terms and conditions of employment. Assessment Centre Approach: A method used to select suitable candidates for particular positions using competency based structured interviews, series of simulation exercises and/or tests observed by trained assessors. The candidates potential to perform is measured against predetermined competencies or factors, which are derived from the job descriptions. Development Assessment: It identifies the potential of a candidate for future career using the same method as an assessment centre approach, however, there is no element of selection involved, no question of passing or fail. Exit Interview: An exercise conducted with officers leaving the public service in order to establish their reasons for leaving. Induction: The process of orientating public officers about the Public Service mandate and set up, its structures, systems, processes, procedures, rules and regulations on assumption of duty. Job Analysis: Collection of information pertaining to a specific job, assessing the nature and complexity of the work performed or to be performed and the competencies required. 4

15 Recruitment and selection policy 2 Job Description: A detailed outline of the purpose, scope, duties and responsibilities of a particular job. Job Design: Organising tasks, duties and responsibilities into a productive unit of work. Job Specification: A detailed description of all necessary formal qualifications and competencies required to perform a particular job. Job Profile: It is a detailed statement of the job purpose, key performance areas, key performance outputs, necessary knowledge, skills, competencies and required personal attributes. Job Interview: A formal and timed discussion between appointed panel of interviewers and prospective employee, to establish the suitability of the candidate to the position in question on the basis of the job specifications and requirements. Objectives: Intermediate targets that lead to the realization of overall goals. Political Appointee: Any person nominated by the Honourable Minister responsible for the Public Service to serve in a political position. Promotion: It is an upward mobility of a public officer, based on merit after a fair and open competition, to a job within the public service, which has greater scope of duties, responsibilities and accountability. It is accompanied by higher pay. Recruitment: A process of filling a vacancy; it includes advertising the position internally and externally using circulars and media, head hunting, screening applications against set criteria for the purpose of short listing, interviewing, appointment and placement. Redeployment: The process of repositioning a public officer within the Public Service from one position to a different one with different job requirements but similarly graded. Reference: A clear, unbiased and comprehensive description of a candidate s abilities and behaviour. Screening: A process of assessing job applications against set criteria for the job as indicated in the advertisement for the purpose of short-listing for selection. Selection: A process where suitable applicants are selected against set criteria for appointment. Statutory Position: Is a public post to which a person is appointed through an Act of Parliament to carry out a special assignment. Transfer: A move to a position, which has similar responsibilities and pay within the Public Service. Variation in Establishment: Changes in establishment, e.g. abolition, creation, redesignation, re-grading, transfer of a position. Human Resources Officers: Refers to all officers performing human resources functions regardless of their designation. 5

16 HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT Policy Manual 2. Objectives To provide guidelines to be followed in recruitment and selection of suitable candidates, and in the management of staff mobility e.g. redeployment, promotion, demotion and transfer of public officers. To provide guidelines on different selection methods, e.g. the Assessment Centre Approach as a fair and scientific tool. To promote fairness, equity and transparency in selection of candidates 3. Policy Guidelines 3.1 Generic Guidelines The recruitment process shall be equitable and aligned to the Public Service Legislation and other Government policies. The recruitment and selection process shall be ethical, professional and will respect public officer s inalienable right to privacy and confidentiality. All public officers and prospective employees shall have an equal opportunity to apply for, and be selected to positions for which they qualify in terms of the inherent job requirements. The recruitment and selection will only take place if it supports public service requirements. Non-political positions will be advertised internally and externally through circular notices and media before being filled. Employment agencies shall be utilised where applicable. The inherent job requirements shall serve as criteria for selection to ensure job applicants will not be discriminated against. All recruitment and selection activities and decisions should be documented and stored securely for five years to permit future reference. The various assessment tools used for selection shall be developed on the basis of inherent job requirements. The recruitment, selection and placement of public officers shall be a shared responsibility between Human Resources Officers and Line Management. Bachelors Degree holders shall enter at Grade F while Bachelors Degree holders in areas officially identified, as scarce skills shall enter at Grade G, for example, BSc. Engineering. Diploma holders in areas officially identified, as scarce skills shall enter at Grade F, for example, Engineering, Pharmacy, Laboratory Sciences, Nursing and Environmental Health. All graduates shall be subjected to a development assessment for placement and career development. 6

17 Recruitment and selection policy 2 4. Needs analysis for establishment requirements The needs analysis for variation in establishment is the responsibility of Human Resources officers, but shall be conducted in close consultation with relevant Line Management. The compilation of job profiles shall be done according to the standardised process and templates for job design. New and updated job profiles shall be authorized by the Ministry of the Public Service. The creation of new positions shall be authorized by the Ministry of the Public Service. All relevant information about the position shall be compiled and attached to the application to fill the vacancy (declaration). All vacancy declaration shall be authorized by the Chief Accounting Officer. 5. Advertising All positions shall be advertised internally and externally using circular notices, media and employment agencies whenever applicable. Human Resources officers shall compile the advertisement in consultation with relevant Line Management. The job description and the job profile shall be used as the main source document in the compilation of job advertisements. The advertisement shall be formulated in such manner that it does not allow direct and indirect discrimination. Adverts should indicate: The concerned Ministry and its mission; the job title; the job responsibilities and reporting lines; the location of the job; outputs and tasks as contained in Job Profile; the job specification; competencies (knowledge, skills, and attitude) required; remuneration package; terms of appointment; the contact person; that applications shall be tendered in a relevant application form; where application forms can be obtained; disclaimer notifying applicants that if they do not receive any correspondence within 30 days after the closing date, their application has been unsuccessful; the closing date. The closing date for all job advertisements shall be one (1) month from the date of publication. 7

18 HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT Policy Manual A database of all advertisements and applications shall be kept safely for twelve (12) months. 6. Screening Screening of applications is the responsibility of Human Resources officers and relevant Line Managers. The inherent job requirements as contained in the advertisement shall be the criteria for including or excluding candidates on the screened list. All screening decisions must be recorded and filed with the other documentation of the recruitment process and stored for five (5) years. Screening shall be done by two or more people, one from the Human Resources department and the other a relevant Line Manager. In the case of scarce skills, where suitable candidates could not be identified through screening, head hunting and referrals shall be used to source candidates. 7. Preliminary Interviews and Auditions All candidates who meet job requirement for positions at Grade G and below shall be subjected to preliminary interviews. Where applicable, candidates who meet job requirements in specific areas shall undergo Auditions. Each applicant on the interview-list shall be informed about the selection process. The candidates responses during the interview shall be documented. All questions must be based on the inherent job requirements, that is, they should relate to the knowledge, skills, abilities and human attributes essential for the job. A minimum of three to a maximum of six candidates shall be interviewed per position. Human Resources officers shall guide panel members on the interview process. The interview process shall be ethical, professional and will respect the candidates inalienable right to privacy and confidentiality. All candidates should respond to the same set of interview questions which will be determined in advance. Additional questions may be formulated to clarify and elicit more information after a response from the candidate. 8. Assessment Centre Approach 8.1 Development Assessment Candidates entering Grade F and G shall undergo development assessment for determining their potential, their competency profile and suitability to perform in a certain career or job. Development Assessment shall only be used for proper placement, for establishing training needs and for future career development. 8

19 Recruitment and selection policy 2 Human Resources Officers and Assessors shall constitute the panel that gives feedback and counsels. Human Resources Officers shall select, in consultation with Line Management, the position that comes closest to the recommendations of the assessment report. The individual development report shall be explained to the relevant Line Manager and agreement between Human Resources Officer, Line Manager and officer shall be reached on how to implement the development strategy as outlined in the report. 8.2 Competency Assessment for Selection For recruitment into Grade H and upwards candidates shall undergo competency assessment conducted by certified assessors, to determine suitability for appointment to a senior position. The procurement of assessment services shall be the responsibility of the line ministries. Human Resources officers, Line managers and certified Assessors shall form part of the assessment panel. Where necessary, a relevant technical expert and an independent observer will be invited to be part of the assessment panel. Human Resources Officers shall conduct a briefing session for potential candidates on the assessment process at least two days prior to the assessment. Assessment tools shall be verified and validated by the Assessors. Standardised (coaching based) feedback procedure including Individual Development Plans shall be provided for all candidates in assessment reports. A candidate who has been assessed for a position shall not be subjected to assessment for a similar position within a period of twelve months from the date of assessment. His/Her report shall be considered for short-listing to the Public Service Commission. Candidates shall be allowed a minimum period of twelve months to acquire skills prior to being re-assessed for the same or similar position. It shall be the responsibility of the candidate who has undergone assessment together with the Head of Human Resources and the line Manager to develop him/her on the basis of assessment results. In cases where a candidate is in disagreement with the assessment results, the grievance procedure should be followed. The Head of Human Resources shall file all records of the recruitment process, including assessment proceedings records, for a period of five (5) years after which the file shall be destroyed. 9. Reference Checks Reference checks shall be conducted for all candidates. A list of reference questions, prepared by Human Resources Officers shall be used in reference checking. The questions shall be based on the requirements of the job. A telephonic interview shall be conducted with the candidate s referees and/or previous employer. 9

20 HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT Policy Manual If concerns are identified during the reference check, Human Resources Officer shall consider other options, such as additional reference checks. When a decision is made not to offer a candidate a job based on the outcome of the reference check, the basis of the decision shall be documented. All information obtained in the reference check shall be documented. 10. Job Offer / Appointment Appointments into the public service shall be on either of the following terms: permanent and pensionable; contract; temporary; casual. The job offer is only done once the process of selection has been concluded, therefore, an offer of employment, verbally or otherwise, before the selection process is concluded, is unethical Negotiating release Negotiation for the release of a candidate is only applicable within the Public Service. Once the most suitable candidate for an internal position has been identified, and before the job offer is made, Human Resources Officers shall inform the candidate s current manager and discuss the date of release. When determining the date of release, the interest of the public officer and the employer shall be jointly considered. The negotiated release date will not exceed fifteen (15) working days from the date the job offer is made unless reasonable justifications can be made for an extended period and is authorized by the relevant Head of Department. A release period of one calendar month should be allowed for external appointees Job offer An offer of appointment shall not be made to an officer unless the officer submits to the Head of Department, a certificate of medical fitness, excluding HIV and AIDS test, obtained from a registered medical practitioner or hospital. Once the successful candidate accepts the offer, Human Resources shall issue a letter of Appointment. Human Resources Officers in consultation with the relevant Line Manager shall ensure that all logistical arrangements regarding the date of assumption of duty, time, location, office, furniture, stationery, etc. are in place. All new public officers shall sign the Declaration of Oath of Office and Secrecy before assumption of duty Medical examination A candidate shall undergo medical examination excluding HIV and AIDS testing by a registered medical practitioner or hospital. 10

21 Recruitment and selection policy 2 Public officers shall undergo medical examination as per the requirement of a new job (e.g. foreign service, police, army). Information gleaned from the medical examination report is confidential and access to it is limited to Human Resources Officers. 11. Job Placement and Induction Newly appointed public officers shall be oriented by Human Resources Officers and the Line Manager within the first two to four (2 4) weeks after appointment. The content for the generic induction programme shall include: ministerial vision, mission, values and core functions; ministerial structure; Codes of Good Practice Human Resources policies; overview of Public Service Legislation; procedures and systems pertaining to the specific environment. Line Managers shall induct employees on the following: departmental vision, mission and values; current developments in the department; department s functions and operational plan; role of the public officer in terms of the departmental initiatives; performance contract for the newly appointed. 12. Formal Induction Human Resource Officers shall arrange for formal induction within six months of appointment for newly recruited public officers. 13. Confirmation Human Resource Officers should process confirmation for public officers upon an officer s satisfactory completion of one full year of service. 14. Staff Mobility 14.1 Promotion Promotion within the public service shall be after a fair and open competition. It shall be based on merit, which is ability, qualifications, knowledge, skills, and aptitude. A public officer who is appointed on probation and has not completed his/her probationary period shall not be eligible for promotion. 11

22 HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT Policy Manual 14.2 Transfer A public officer is liable for transfer to any public office inside and outside Lesotho. A public officer shall be notified at least three (3) months prior to the transfer, however, where operational requirements dictate otherwise, the officer shall be liable for immediate transfer. A transfer shall be effected under either of the following circumstances: rotation for capacity building (job enrichment, job enlargement); exposure for a better understanding of an organisational set up; to fill a vacancy. Public officers proceeding on transfer shall be accorded all entitlements as outlined in the Conditions of Employment Secondment Appointment A public officer maybe appointed on secondment to an organisation outside the Public Service or a parastatal for a period of three (3) years with a possibility of extension. Secondment shall be considered under the following circumstances: where government has established a need for an officer to undertake an assignment in a semi-autonomous body or an organisation outside the Public Service; where government establishes a need for human capacity building and as a result attaches a public officer to a relevant organisation outside the Public Service for purposes of skills development; where a public officer makes an application for secondment. In this case the Minister of the Public Service may consider the application and approve if such a secondment will benefit the public service and the public officer Special Assignment A public officer may be temporarily assigned duties of a different or similar nature and of a similar or differently graded position within the public service. Special assignments shall be considered under the following circumstances; where there is a need to fill vacant positions in the Foreign Service, and the assignment period shall not exceed three (3) years, with a possibility of extension; where a public officer is assigned to a non-political position (including that of a Secretary or Chauffeur) in the office of a government minister, the duration of which shall depend on the minister s tenure of office; where a minister identifies a need for a public officer to undertake specific projects, the duration of which shall depend on the life of the project. 12

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