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Right to manage

What is the right to manage? It is the employer's right to direct their workers and to make decisions to ensure the profitability of their company and the smooth running of their affairs. It allows the employer to supervise their staff to ensure they comply with the rules in force in the company.

Exercising the right to manage

The employer decides what tasks must be done, how to do them and when to do them. Here are some examples of what is part of the exercise of the employer's right to manage:

Ensuring the health and safety of staff in the workplace is also part of the exercise of the employer's right to manage. For example, the employer could require their workers to do training and to wear a harness to do their work. If a worker does not wear a harness, the employer could give them a penalty.

Example of the proper exercise of the right to manage

Mathilde and Ismaël are receptionists in a veterinary clinic. Ismaël has a few more months of seniority than Mathilde. But, 2 months ago, Mathilde was promoted to team leader. She is now Ismaël's team leader.

Ismaël found it hard to accept that his co-worker had been promoted and his heart was no longer in his work. He was negligent in his work and often arrived late. Mathilde had to reprimand him several times, but in vain. After repeatedly asking him to arrive on time, she had to sanction him by suspending him without pay for one day.

Assigning tasks, evaluating performance and imposing disciplinary measures are part of an employer’s right to manage.

Properly exercising the right to manage means, among other things:

  • making clear and firm demands based on the needs of the company
  • supervising the execution and quality of the work in an objective and respectful manner
  • making expectations known and, if necessary, giving the worker the means and the time to meet them
  • managing discipline in a progressive, fact-based, reasonable and fair manner and take the appropriate disciplinary measures

The proper exercise of the right to manage is done with respect for workers.

Disciplinary measures and their application

Disciplinary measures allow the employer to inform a worker of their failings, thereby giving them the opportunity to change their conduct (behaviour, attitude, interpersonal relationships or substandard performance).

When the employer applies disciplinary measures, it must:

  • do so gradually
  • do so in a manner that allows the worker to meet requirements
  • give the worker the means to meet requirements
  • give the worker the necessary time to meet requirements

The worker must:

  • be fully informed of the case against them
  • know what they need to do to correct their behaviour
  • understand the consequences associated with the unsuitable behaviour
  • be given a reasonable amount to time to correct their behaviour

Gradation of sanctions

The following are some examples of gradual sanctions:

  • a verbal warning
  • a written warning (email, disciplinary notice, etc.)
  • a letter placed in the worker’s personnel file
  • suspension
  • dismissal

Sanctions must be applied according to the seriousness of the behaviour. Except in the case of gross misconduct, a worker should not be dismissed  for disciplinary reasons unless all other sanctions have failed, and the person has been informed of the case against them and given a reasonable amount of time to correct their behaviour. 

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