Delivery in day(s): 5
Assignment on Employee Relations - copy
Diploma in Business
Unit Number and Title
Assignment on Employee Relations - copy
Locus Assignment Employee Relations can be defined as the as the connection and the bond between the employees and the employer which is guided by legislations and are revised at a regular internal. The initiatives for developing the employee relation commenced since the year 1950 when the prominence of the human resource model improved. The present report deals with the varied aspect of employee relation and is divided into three different parts. The first section is a reflective essay that focuses on the perspective of employee relation through unitary and pluralistic frames on conflict resolution. The essay sheds light on the impact of the changes in trade unionism on employee relation and the maim players in the employee relation. The second part of the assessment deals with the case of the dispute between the junior doctors and the government. Based on this case, the questions have been addressed. Finally, the paper focuses on notion of collective bargaining in and its impact on employee relation.
Reflective Essay (Task 1) (LO1.1, 1.1 & 1.3)
Trade union can be defined as the association found in organization and consisting of the union leaders and the workers working too promote their common interest. The trade unions are engaged in negotiating payment and working condition with the employees. They also accompany their members in meeting and provide valuable and legal financial advice. There has been continuous shift in the process of managing employee relation which resulted in a more focused and integrated framework. This led to sharing of the workplace interest which in turn increased the commitment and the dedication of the workers.
Unitary and Pluralistic Approach (1.1)
There are two basic perspectives of employee relation. The first one is the unitary while the other is pluralistic approach. The critical evaluation of these two perspectives would help to analyse their impact on the successful management of the employee relation by resolving conflict. Unitary approach considers every organization to be an integrated unit which is dedicated towards accomplishing the common interest. Dependency and cooperation among the employers and the employees are essential for attaining success in an organization. According to Armstrong and Armstrong (2011), an organization consists of a single authority and it is the responsibility of the leader to establish loyalty and commitment among the workers. The unitarist are of the opinion that those trade unions are not legalimposition and they are not beneficial in resolving conflict. Unitarist perspective issometimes considered to be valuable in resolving conflict within an organization as it believes in unity and integrity among the employees and the employees. According to this perspective, all the employees to be a single unit dedicated towards a common goal. This perspective also considers the role of the managers important for developing a strong employee relationship. It is evident in some cases that trade unions are not demanded if the managers possess strong leadership and convincing capabilities. Several industry relationship system has changed their focused from collectivist paradigm to individualist paradigm. However, one major drawback of this perspective is that it fails to realize that power difference exist between different employees and employers(Cutcher-Gershenfeld, 2011). Since unitarist perspective considers all the employees to be a single unit, hence the needs and requirements of a single employee can be overlooked and hence this will not be effective in resolving conflict.
Unlike the unitarist perspective, the pluralists are of the view that conflict isintrinsic in organizations and can be managed through different arrangements. Pluralist accepts the existence of multiple source of power and considers different onion from the management and trade unions. Conflict are common in organization due to the difference is the beliefs, values and onion of the employees and the management. However, conflict can be directed towards attaining benefit in case they are management. Trade unions are essential to promote the interest of the employees and employee relation can be attained through negotiation and agreement between the management and trade unions.
Under pluralistic approach of employee relation, conflict is resolved with the participation of the stakeholders in the decision making process. They believe that conflict is used to understand the basic shortcomings within the organization and developing effective strategies will help to avoid circumstances even in future. However Gennard(2009) is of the opinion that this perspective possess on drawback as it fails to mention that organization possess commercial interest and is not dedicated towards fulfilling the interest of the common workers. This type of approach is ground in the organization which has large number of employees. Pluralist approach is considered to be more effective in resolving in large organization as compared to that unitarist perspective.
Impact of the changes of trade unionism on employee relation (1.2)
A large number of the developed as well as the developing countries strictly follow the established rules and regulations related to wage and working conditions. The trade unions are developed for promoting the interest of the workers. However, there have been changes in trade unions over the years as the industrial and employee relation in Europe is undergoing internationalization(Glassner, 2014). There have been changes in policies and procedures and these changes create a strong impact on the employee relation.
With an aim to ensure the interest of the workers, it is duty of the trade unions to reintroduce themselves. This would help to attract, develop and at the same time maintain membership from the new workforce. The demands of the trade unions have changed over the past years. The development of the knowledge of the trade workers has helped them to focus on different needs. Emphasis has been provided on education and training. This change in the trade unions has created some major impact on the employee relation. By developing the agenda based on right and the employment creation, the trade union has been able to address social cohesion. It had guaranteed security of income, proper working condition and skill mobility of the workers. Furthermore changes in policies have enabled the trade unions to influence theprogression and thesubstance of employment. It has been possible to improve the collaboration with the national and the international development agencies and this has helped to enhance the interest of the employees. Trade unions have also acted as catalyst to promote human rights(Goerke and Pannenberg, 2011). Trade union included the Labour Code which was historically important for the labour unions.
The trade unions that are dedicated to attain the interest of the workers are engaged in developing partnership with civil society like gender group, human rights commissions and this helped insurpassing the boundaries of the workplace and resolves the concerns which are entrenched in the communities and neighbourhood associations.
Key Players in Employee Relation (1.3)
Employee relation is associated with thecollaboration and communication between different parties who are directly or indirectly related with the employment. The major player who are changed in employee relation are employer or managers, employees, trade unions and government agencies.
It is very significant to develop a healthy relationship with the employees so that they are motivated and committed in doing in their work. The successful performances of the employees are dependent on the working environment and the relationship between the employer and the employees. The employers or the mangers are the captain of the organization and hence must focus on developing such an environment. The manger has to lead the role in the organization and make a comfortable working environment for the employees. They should deploy such strategies so that conflict can be avoided. The managers can motivate the employee by providing challenging tasks to the employees. The managers should make use of varied leadership style and allow the staffs to participate in the process of decision making.
Trade unions also play an essential role in developing and improving the employee relationship. It is the efforts of the trade unions that enable the workers to obtain benefit through improvement of the working condition and better payment. Trade unions have improved the collective bargaining power of the employees. The National Labour Relation Right provides the employees with the right to bargain with the help of the labour union representatives. The labour unions are engaged in developing laws that ultimately helps to reduce unfair practices and thereby provide welfare to the employees(Grantham and MacKinnon, 2010).
The employees are the core players in developing employment relation. All the strategies are directed towards attaining betterment for them. Hence, they should take active part in strengthening their relation with the management of the organization. Focus in education and knowledge would help to broaden their ideas which would be beneficial for developing strategies. The employees have to take up challenges in order to prove their efficiencies as this would be helpful while negotiating with the management.
As commented by Long(2016) governmentinterfere with employment relation for attaining the established economic as well as social goals. The most important activity of the government is to manage the economy so that it is prosperous. The government is engaged in maintaining a sufficient level of employment followed by stability in price and balance of payment surplus and at the same time safeguard the rate of exchange.
Case Study (Task 2 & 3)
2.1 Procedures for handling different conflict situations
Organization encounter different conflict situation due to the difference in the opinion and values of the employers and the employees. There are different types of conflict that can arise in the organization. When an individual is unable to select among a set of goals it is called intrapersonal conflict while conflict between individuals is called interpersonal conflict. While strategic conflict arises when two or more groups try to work together. The conflict which occurred over junior doctor’s contract between the British Medical Association, NHS employees and the government can be defined as strategic conflict. This situation of conflict began in the year 2013 and it is still containing and the negations are under progress. After several conflict and strikes the Sectary of State for Health decided to re-introduce the contract in August(Full Fact, 2016).
Often it is seen that in strategic conflict strikes are carried out and arguments and counter arguments are put forward but too little effect. The different strategies that are used for resolving conflict in this case are compromising, forcing and avoidance and resolving.
Figure 1: Procedures of resolving conflict
Avoidance of conflict is possible when the conflict is small and pleasant. However, for the present situation this strategy is impossible. Forcing implies when the managers or the employers force any solution over the conflict to resolve the same. In the current situation, this strategy was implied by Health Secretary. The situation worsened when the Health Secretary announced that the contract introduced in May was agreed by BMA. A group of junior doctors took legal action for imposing the contract on them by Health Secretary.
Hence, in the present situation either compromising or resolving will be beneficial. Through compromising both the parities will have to give part of what they desired. No one loses and wins as the demand of both the sides are fulfilled. Hence in this case the demand of the BMA as well as that of government has to be considered. Conflict resolution can be yet another procedure to resolve the conflict of junior doctor’s contract(Polachek and Tatsiramos, 2008). This process has already been followed as several meeting were carried however less importance was given to the demand of the doctors for which the conflict was not resolved.
2.2 Key features of the employee relation
Junior Doctor’s contract encountered the dispute just because of the decision of pay cut. However, after several conflicts the pay cut strategy was not accepted based on the pay protection act. But due to lack of cooperation of agreements, no proper negotiation has been reached. Counter arguments has been provided, strikes were organization and legal action has been undertaken but still no conclusion has been reached.
The key feature which is evident in this conflict situation is that the relationship between the employee and employer is quite complex and multi-dimensional. The relation is not only with the employers but is extended to the government.
Furthermore, employee relationship is a developing concept. Conflict and cooperation are done based on the situation. With the changes in the structure and environment of the industry ad opinion of the parties, the relationship also changes(Steinfeld, 2013). Considering the economic condition and improving the healthcare service, government decided to restructure payment of the doctors. However, the BMA was of different opinion. They mentioned that government was unable to safeguard the welfare of the doctors and the controversy is still going on.
The third characteristic of the employee relation is to resolve conflicts that are associated with the working condition(Yates, 2009). This is evident in the situation. As the policy of pay-cut which was brought by the government reduced the payment for the doctors who did overtime and hence the BMA voted for strike and wanted re-negotiation over the contract.
2.3 Evaluating the effectiveness of procedures followed by the parties in conflict situation
For the resent case study, conflict resolution strategy can be beneficial. This strategy was initially undertaken but for not followed effectively which resulted in strikes and conflict. If the strategy of conflict is followed effectively, then it is possible to reach an apt conclusion. The first step of conflict resolution includes developing comprehensive idea about the conflict and understanding it completely. Then it is important to focus on behaviour which can change with the conflict. The procedure which is followed in conflict resolution has been illustrated below:
Figure 2: Procedure of Conflict resolution
The effectiveness of the strategy is evident in the above diagram. The process is very structured and smooth. It allows the parties engaged in the conflict to communicate with each other and understand the point of disagreements. This helps to understand the problem and avoid baling. After this a methodological process is followed to respond to the conflict. It also help on building up of an environment where different parties work together to develop solution. This helps in respecting each other and reaching an agreed conclusion (Gennard and Judge, 2005).
3.1 Role of negotiation in collective bargaining
The given case study of conflict on junior doctor’s contract deals with the barraging of the pay scale of the doctors. The conflict arose between the government and the British Medical Association and the NHS employees. The International Labour Association provides the employees with the right to bargain (Rose, 2004). Collective bargain result in confusion, disputes and conflicts as is evident in this case. Hence, it is essential to have negotiations in collective bargaining to reach a suitable conclusion.
Negotiation helps in ensuring cooperation and between the parties and thereby results in developing open attitude towards the activities of trade. Furthermore, it would also help in protecting the interest of the employees. When the health secretary forced the decision, the interest of the doctors was hampered which further worsen the situation. However, it was due to collective bargaining it was possible for the doctors to protect their interest. Moreover, negotiation in collective bargaining aids in the process of developing trade unions as they are responsible for putting forward their interest towards the management. Thus, negotiation helps in promoting the interest of the employees (Appelbaumet al.2013).
In the present situation of collective bargaining on junior doctors’ contract, negotiations include four different stages. This would help in addressing the conflict successfully. And reach an apt conclusion. The first stage is the preparation in which details of the case of the case are analysed. This is followed by developing and offering a proposal. The third stage includes trading and finally negotiation is made. As (Foot and Hook 2008) mentioned negotiation can help in the process of developing new ideas and bring changes in organization.
3.2 Assessing the impact of the negotiation strategies implemented by the parties in conflict situation
The junior doctor’s contract was made on the ground in reducing the pay of the doctors. However, after several conflicts and disagreements, the decision of pay-cut was removed. In this case, the negotiation strategy which was adopted was disagreement and conflict. Although the decision of the pay-cut was rejected, however, still now the conflict over the contract has not been resolved. This, it is essential to carry out the negotiation in a systematic manner as this would help the organization to reach an apt conclusion.
In this case meeting was organized to share information and understand the point of view of BMA. This process of negotiation is considered to be very fruitful was it helped to understand the view of the different parties involved in the contact (Searle and Skinner, 2011). Moreover, face-to-face negotiation also helped in the procedure of analysing the differences. Finally, this would help in generation of ideas that is essential for any business. This face-to-face negotiation strategy helped in carrying out a reality check on the table. Finally, it has been possible to assess the exact impediment in the contract. The meetings and the talks which was arranged between the representatives of the government and the BMA as effective as the decisions can be made based on the creative ideas that here generated in this process.
Presentation-Task 4 (Refer to PPT)
4.1 Influence of EU on Industrial democracy in UK
- Industrial democracy can be defined as a process of involving the workers in the process of decision making and sharing responsibility within an organization.
- European Union develops legislation which inprotruding the role of the workers in the process of decision making within an organization.
- The influence of EU on employee relation has resulted in the development of ‘partner based relationship’ in which the management as well as the employees work towards attaining a desired perspective(Industrial democracy in Europe revisited, 2013).
- European Unions is acting as an institution which is focused on educating the employees as well as the management about the importance of shared decision making procedure.
- The new work council of the European Union consist of the representatives from the different departments of an organization.
- The European Union developed the work council for discussing about the long term objectives and thereby develops strategies that would help in improving the business. The involvement of the employees in the decision making process has helped in improving the performance of the workers which in turn enhanced the operation of the organization(Pérotin and Robinson, 2004).
- European Union has developed strategies that encourage the shareholders to increase share holdings through saving schemes.
- This schemes have proved to be successful in UK as there are a large number of business environment that are putting emphasis on involving the workers in the business and increasing their stake.
4.2 Comparison of the well-known and the declined methods for gaining employee participation and involvement
The well-known methods for motivating the employees to participate in the decision making process are:
- Quality Circle
- Information sharing
Consultation includes a group of volunteers who are associated with work in an organization. It helps in improving communication and acquiring knowledge about the importance and the process of participation in decision making in workplace(Employee-Based Corporate Citizenship initiatives: A case study of employee experiences in Accenture Development Partnership projects, 2010).
Direct participation is the process in which the individual employees gets the opportunity to take part in the decision making process and it can create impact on the everyday work activities.
The methods which have loss importance are in motivating the workers to participate in the decision making process is:
- Attitude Survey
- Suggestion Scheme and developing individual
Attitude survey is process of obtaining the views of employees about any particular matter. The views obtained can be used for developing policies.
Suggestion scheme and developing individual are traditional methods which help the employees to participate in the process of developing strategies within an organization.
The traditional method varies distinctly from the newly adopted method. This is because in traditional method, the result of participation is often hampered due to time and implementation of effective strategies(Stewart, 2010). However, the newly developed methods make use of strategies that help the employees to participate in the decision making process.
4.3 Impact of human resource management on employee relation
- Managing the human resource helps in improving the performance of the organization
- Improved spirit of commitment and dedication towards work
Human resource of the organization includes both the workers as well as the management. It is the approach deployed by the management that enables the organization to develop their employee relation.
There are two ways in which human resource can be managed and they are:
- Soft version of human resource management
- Hard version of human resource management
The soft version of human resource management develops a strong employee relation in which the employees are considered to be the assets of the company and are involved in the decision making process through sharing of responsibility. The soft version of human resource management upholds pluralistic approach(Wilson, 2008).
The hard version of human resource management considers the rational approach in managing the employees. The ideas of the employees are not given importance and the leaders of the organization are considered to be the main driver and decision makers
- The hard version of human resource management considers the unitary approach in which the lower level employees are not allowed to share their ideas and are guided by the leaders.
- However, in the soft version of management, the employees are given due respect and are involved in the process of decision making.
The present report analysed the different perspective of employment relation. Initially, the two distinct approaches namely unitarist and pluralistic approach are discussed to assess theirtactic in dealing with conflict. Trade unions are seen to play a vital role in managing employee relationship. The case study of the conflict on junior doctor’s contract showed the importance of negotiation strategies and collective bargaining. The study also exhibited the significance of European Union in employee relation and different procedures of engaging the employees in decision making process.
Appelbaum, E., Batt, R. and Clark, I., (2013). Implications of financial capitalism for employment relations research: evidence from breach of trust and implicit contracts in private equity buyouts. British journal of industrial relations, 51(3), pp.498-518.
Armstrong, M. and Armstrong, M. (2011). Armstrong's handbook of strategic human resource management. London: Kogan Page.
Corbridge, M. and Pilbeam, S., (1998). Employment resourcing. London: Ft Press.
Cutcher-Gershenfeld, J. (2011).Bargaining When the Future of an Industry Is at Stake: Lessons from UAW-Ford Collective Bargaining Negotiations. Negotiation Journal, 27(2), pp.115-145.
Full Fact. (2016). Are junior doctors getting a pay cut?. [online] Available at: https://fullfact.org/health/are-junior-doctors-getting-pay-cut/ [Accessed 26 Oct. 2016].
Gennard, J. (2009). The financial crisis and employee relations. Employee Relations, 31(5), pp.451-454.
Gennard, J. and Judge, G., (2005). Employee relations. London: CIPD Publishing.
Glassner, V. (2014). The Transnationalisation of Collective Bargaining.Brüssel: P.I.E.-Peter Lang S.A.
Goerke, L. and Pannenberg, M. (2011). Risk Aversion, Collective Bargaining, and Wages in Germany.LABOUR, 26(2), pp.156-173.
Grantham, G. and MacKinnon, M. (2010). Labour market evolution. London: Routledge.
Long, B. (2016). Collective bargaining as the negotiation of competing stories: Implications for leadership.Journal of Strategic Contracting and Negotiation.
Masui, M. (2013).Temporary Contracts, Employment Protection, and Collective Bargaining. LABOUR, 27(4), pp.371-398.