Managers are more powerful than they realize

Managers are more powerful than they realize

Quick, what’s another word for PREROGATIVE? Five letters, starts with an R…

I use this teaser in my workshops when I’m discussing the concept of MANAGEMENT PREROGATIVE and everyone gets shocked when they finally hear the answer. Can’t blame them though. Prerogative sounds like a big heavy word. Scary even.

But once you understand what it means, everything that follows makes sense. You ready?

Prerogative means a RIGHT. A power. An ability.

In short, it means that management has certain rights granted by the law to do something because it is management. It’s important to note that the law itself grants these powers to management. It’s the manager’s rights recognized under the labor code.

“What does this right cover, Attorney?”

Glad you asked. Management Prerogative covers all aspects of employment. All aspects.

The Supreme Court says this about Management Prerogative: Except as limited by special law, an employer is free to regulate, according to his own judgment and discretion, all aspects of employment.[note] Imasen vs. Alcon G.R. No. 194884 October 22, 2014, San Miguel Brewery Sales Force Union (PTGWO) v. Hon. Ople, 252 Phil. 27, 30 (1989); Autobus Workers’ Union v. NLRC, 353 Phil. 419, 429 (1998)[/note]

Do you realize how powerful this is? The Supreme Court goes on to give examples of things you can create policies about and regulate in the workplace:

  1. Hiring
  2. Work assignments
  3. Working methods
  4. Time of work
  5. Place of work
  6. Manner of work
  7. Processes to be followed
  8. Supervision of workers
  9. Working regulations
  10. Transfer of employees
  11. Work supervision
  12. Lay off of workers
  13. Discipline
  14. Dismissal
  15. Recall of workers.

…and the list goes on and on.

Mind you, this was not meant to be an exclusive list. This was just an example of proper subject matters. Feel Free to add your own to the list, as long as they are relevant. You can enforce them as long as you come with good faith and you don’t trample upon your employee’s rights.

In fact, the Supreme Court itself has recognized that if the management prerogative is exercised legitimately, even the courts should stay away from interfering. That is how precious this right is.

Jurisprudence recognizes the exercise of management prerogatives. Labor laws also discourage interference with an employer’s judgment in the conduct of its business. For this reason, the Court often declines to interfere in legitimate business decisions of employers. The law must protect not only the welfare of employees, but also the right of employers.[note]Endico v. Quantum Foods Distribution Center, G.R. No. 161615, 30 January 2009[/note]

Hope you start to realize how much leeway management has been given under the labor code.

Are there any limitations to this power? Most definitely. I’ll be talking about those in succeeding posts.


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