Let’s integrate maternity leave into social security - HR Expert

Wednesday 22nd May, 2019
HR Conf
By Kodjo Adams/Judith Amoateng, GNA

Accra, May 22, GNA - Mrs Rose Kakari Annang, Human Resource and Industrial Relation Expert, has called for a national dialogue to integrate maternity leave as part of social security to motivate female employees to give of their best.

According to her, procreation was a society issue, and that some private businesses were unable to pay for maternity leave because they cannot afford the money, which had impacted negatively on the improvement of young women in an organization.

Mrs Annang made the call at the opening session of this year’s fifth Women in Human Resource (HR) Conference on Wednesday in Accra on the theme: “Women in HR and the Future of Work”.

The two-day conference is being organized by the Ghana Employers’ Association (GEA.

She called for a flexible arrangement for maternity leave, so that young women were not short-changed in the process which affected their contributions in the field of work.

“Even though there is a policy on maternal leave of three and six months or one-year, but should it be tied to pregnancy. Why should a young woman qualified to work, decide to abort a pregnancy because that person is not yet one year on the job,” she added.

Mrs Annang, a former Executive Director of GEA, urged HR practitioners to develop appropriate strategies to build the capacity of employees to better position them to deliver quality service.

She said it was imperative for practitioners to adopt innovative measures to harness the human resource potential of employees instead of holding on to old-styled approaches that did not reflect modern needs.

The human resource profession, Mr Annang said used to be dominated by male due to labour unrest by unions, but now many women have ventured into the field and exhibited professionalism and the willingness to resolve industrial disputes.

She stated that most of the issues associated with staff welfare and redundancy in organizations was as a result of poor human resource strategy, adding that practitioners needed to be bold in their decisions for effective delivery.

Mrs Annang admonished HR practitioners especially women to be abreast with technology to monitor the performance of staff, rather than relying on manual system of monitoring.

“HR practitioners must develop a flexible working condition that is virtual work, where an employee can work in the comfort of home without being physically present in the office. The most important thing is to ensure that they meet deadlines”, she added.

She urged HR practitioners to align business goals of organisation with the HR strategy to achieve results.

Mrs Annang said the practice of HR was evolving and it was imperative for practitioners to be innovative and be able to impact and influence decisions at the table and link them to business goals for success.

She stressed that an empowered HR team was one in which individuals have the knowledge, skills, experience, passion, drive and opportunity to positively impact business outcomes and results.

This, she explained, was critical because the world was not standing still but evolving and call for progressive and forward thinking to be abreast with current happenings in the sector.

Mr Alex Frimpong, the Chief Executive Officer, GEA, urged participants to come out with suggestions that would advance the growth of HR practice for national development.

Mr Frimpong observed that current global dynamics required HR managers to use the appropriate technology to generate people-centred data collection and processing tools that would help to evaluate the efficiency of employees.

The conference provides opportunity for female HR practitioners to grow their network, enhance their knowledge base by interacting with players in the sector and still upgrade their knowledge on current trends in the profession.