Leave management for promoting organisational efficiency in the Department of Correctional Services and the Department of Home Affairs : Pretoria region
Moleki, Mathews Tibane
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The framework of this study is based on the reforms of human resource leave management in the field of public administration for the South African public sector. The researcher’s interest lies in the increasing complexity of leave management development pertaining to policy-making, administrative processes and efficiency in the South African public sector. This study aimed to assess leave management at the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) and the Department of Home Affairs (DHA). The DCS and DHA form part of the seven departments in the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster. The study aimed to assess the coping strategies of the two departments especially with the services rendered in a tight schedule and constraints. Furthermore, this study was also influenced by the findings of the investigations led by the Public Service Commission (PSC) which aimed to determine effectiveness of leave management in the South African Public Service. The objectives of this study were realised by means of a literature review and research instruments. The literature review was consulted to understand the context of leave management. This study applied the qualitative technique for reporting data. The interviews were used to ascertain the processes of managing leave whereby two sets of questionnaires were developed. The interviews posed the questions to the management of the DCS and DHA and the employees of the two departments. The management of annual leave entitlements is important to maintain the wellbeing of the employees, an organisation’s productivity and to help minimise associated financial implications incurred. The study found that the accrual of leave by public servants is a practice with significant financial implications for the state as employer. If leave is not managed and controlled effectively it can result in substantial losses in terms of unwarranted expenditure. The financial and other implications of leave prompted an investigation by the P S C aimed at determining how effective leave is managed in the Public Service. The study also found that reasonable measures were put in place for managing leave in the public sector. The office of the Health Risk Manager was developed to manage the process for approving the leave of absence as it relates to temporary incapacity leave, permanent incapacity leave and the occupational diseases. The empirical surveys conducted indicated that the two departments are well equipped for managing leave as they are required by labour law. The practices of planning, communication, control measures were also proven to be utilised in the two departments. The two departments render their services in a constrained manner, however the management has attempted to ensure that service delivery is not compromised when some of the members are on leave. Leave entitlements forms part of the accountability framework for the public sector especially when leave is attached to financial resources which are part of public money. In conclusion this study concludes that the public sector must consider the employee assisted systems for applying for leave. Such practices could also enhance the administrative backlogs encountered when recording leaves. Application of leave through such systems may also improve the productivity of the leave officers and reduce the cost of administrative resources.