Karen Traut

Karen began her career in the fields of Banking and Finance and then entered the Manufacturing Industries. She received her Certificate in Human Resources through the Institute of Personnel Management. Her long-standing HR and IR career began whilst working for one of the largest clothing manufacturers in the Western Cape, with a workforce of over 2000 employees, for 10 years. She gained a solid foundation in the Industrial Relations arena in this time period working side-by-side with the SACTWU union, union officials and shop stewards.

Karen entered the manufacturing industry working for one of the leading companies on the West Coast. During her time there she gained vast experience in dealing with MEIBC and the agreements drawn up by both parties.

She filled the following portfolios:

  • Industrial Relations / Union mediator / Human Resources Manager
    • Negotiating with major unions such as SACTWU and NUMSA regarding a wide spectrum of industry issues which included  wages, working conditions, working hours and In-House agreements.
    • Chairing and mediating between management, shop stewards and unions
    • Chairing disciplinary hearings
    • Counseling and Incapacity
    • CCMA & Bargaining Council Representation
  • Human Resource Management
    • Ensuring legislative compliance
    • Performance Reviews
    • Succession Planning
    • Employment Contracts – permanent- and limited-duration contracts
    • Counseling and social welfare

Karen was then head-hunted for an HR/IR Management position in a growing commercial construction company and spent the next 6 years establishing, building and developing all aspects of the business with regards to Human Resources as part of the senior management team.

In particular, she fulfilled the following portfolios:

  • Industrial Relations
    • Negotiating with unions and council
    • Management Representation -  disciplinary and incapacity hearings
    • Counseling and Incapacity
    • CCMA & Bargaining Council Representation
  • Human Resource Management
    • Strategic planning
    • Ensuring legislative compliance 
    • Drafting employment contracts, policies & procedures
    • Performance Review and Management processes
  • BBBEE Champion
    • Implementing first BBBEE scorecard and continuous improvement to a Level Two contributor status 

  • Employment Equity Chairperson 
  • Skills Development Facilitator and Committee Chairperson 

In June 2015, Karen branched out into the field of HR Consulting and joined People Partners. In this role, Karen draws on her many years of experience in clothing, manufacturing and commercial construction industries. With her ‘firm but fair’ style combined with her expertise in negotiation/mediation in various sectors of the market, she provides an invaluable service to 

People Partners' client base.