It is crucial to note that employment laws impact employment relationships. This is because they determine various aspects in relation to organizations’ operations and functions. First, they determine formulation and implementation of employees’ rights. They also impact how employees are hired, and awarded holidays and leave from their daily and busy schedules at work. More importantly, employment laws are vital in determining remuneration packages awarded to employees. This includes establishing minimum pays among employees based on their rank at the company and the roles and responsibilities they undertake. Employment laws have also influenced how problems, issues, and challenges at the work environment are addressed and resolved. Lastly, they influence how unions impact the employees’ lives and dedication while working at the organization (Carter, Mason & Tagg, 2009).
An employee refers to a person who has agreed to be hired through a contract of service to provide his/her talents and skills in exchange for some form of payment. The forms of payment are mainly wages, salaries, piece rates, and commissions. Employees can be hired on fixed, seasonal, part time or casual and trial or probationary terms. Thus, self-employed and independent human personnel or persons who are independent contractors, volunteers or engaged in film production cannot be regarded as employees (MBIE, 2014).
Establishing relationships among employees ought to involve good faith. Relationships based and sustained by good faith focus on collective and individual rights. This is because they involve use of common and practical values, ethics, and principles. As a result, employees are guided on how to relate and treat each other. For example, an organization can regard common and practical values as ethics associated with honesty, mutual respect, openness, and integrity. Thus, as an act of good faith, employees within that organization should reduce and avoid issues and conflicts arising from lack of these values and ethics. This forms part of the Employment Relations Act requirements in that particular organization. It is therefore clear that, there lacks a single set of requirements defining and describing employment laws. This is because organizations and work places differ as they engage in diverse operations and functions. There is however key expectations similarly shared among organizations in order to achieve and sustain relationships based on good faith (Storey, Saridakis, Sen-Gupta, Edwards & Blackburn, 2010).
Employers, employees, and unions are responsive and communicative agents in an organization. They formulate and implement guidelines ensuring issues affecting each agent or party are addressed. This is crucial in reducing and preventing misunderstandings and conflicts. An agreement between the employee and employer should also be established as a contract. The two parties should sign such contracts as a sign that they are genuine parties who can negotiate terms and conditions ensuring the relationship are based on good faith. More importantly, employees should be allowed to access and gather appropriate information affecting their role in the organization. This ensures employers avoid implementing changes affecting employees’ skills, talents, and responsibilities at the organization adversely (MBIE, 2014).
It also provides employees with an opportunity to submit their opinions and ideas on measures that can be implemented to improve their working experience at the organization. As a result, the parties are able to develop consistent and persistent manners to handle, address, and resolve problems and challenges arising at the work place. It is therefore evident that, employment relationships are developed from honesty and integrity between employees and employers. This motivates the parties in understand what is expected of them. As a result, they are motivated to deliver. In case they face issues and challenges as they strive to meet and fulfill their responsibilities, they are fully aware where to seek help. They are also aware who has the power and authority to address and resolve their problem. Ultimately, they are able to develop and sustain an employment relationship based on free and fair bargaining in good faith and acts (Ben & David, 2005).
Internal and external factors impact the employment relationship as they determine if the rapport is based either on good or bad faith. The management at the organization is likely to lack the abilities and resources to control them. Hence, internal and external factors influence how the employment agreement is written (MBIE, 2014).
1. Organizational Culture
It refers to behavioral patterns adopted at the work place. This facto therefore concentrates on employees’ morals, ethics, values, principles, and guidelines impacting their personal and professional lives. Thus, organizational culture greatly impacts employment relationships as it influences personal and official customs adopted by employees. As a result, an organization should strive to employ the right talent with qualified skills. More importantly, it should evaluate employees’ behavioral patterns across diverse situations affecting operations and functions at the organization. For example, employees who have just been hired should be enrolled in a training program to enhance their skills and talents in relation to the duties they will be undertaking at the organization (David & Malcolm, 2004).
- Payments and Rewards
This refers to remunerations awarded to employees for providing their skills, qualifications, and services in the organization. Employees cannot develop a relationship based on good faith if the remuneration terms and conditions are neither fair nor regarding. An employee is motivated to work hard if he/she feels as a valued resource in the organization. This can be achieved by ensuring that, the amount of salary or wages they receive are equal to the effort they provide in attempts to achieve organizational goals and objectives. It is however worth noting that, employees cannot feel as valued assets in the organization if their extra efforts are not recognized and rewarded. This includes providing employees with impeccable work ethics and high quality outcomes with awards and incentives (David & Malcolm, 2004).
1. Legal Laws
They are passed to either restrict or constrain the organization’s relationship with Trade Unions. This often diversely impacts the relationship between employees and the firm. This is because employees believe Trade Unions provide them with a form of bargaining power against employers. As a result, they rely on Trade Unions to address issues and challenges they are facing at the work place management have failed to resolve. For example, employees can request for protective gears within the work place. The management board however can choose to ignore their requests and demands increasing the risks employees are exposed to at the work place (MBIE, 2014).
As a result, they can seek help from Trade Unions in attempts to ensure the organization strives to safeguard their health and lives. The government can however pass laws denying industrial organizations an opportunity to engage with Trade Unions. As a result, employees cannot seek help from the Trade Unions, as it would violate governments’ legal laws. This can further increase conflicts between employees and employers. Consequently, employment agreements or contracts are likely to be violated. As a result, the misunderstandings and conflicts at the organization can lead to go slows or strikes which impact operations and functions at the firm adversely. Ultimately, employees lose faith in the employers establishing a relationship based on bad faith. As a result, they feel neither valued nor motivated to strive and achieve organizational goals and objectives (MBIE, 2014).
2. Technological Changes
Technologies are growing, advancing, and expanding in attempts to increase employment opportunities. They also seek to enhance skills required to undertake a particular job. This has however led to organizations laying-off employees as technologies are providing alternative low paying workforce. As a result, employees’ faith and trust on employers’ ability to respect the contracts and agreements they signed are diminishing (Carrie, 2012).
Consequently, employees’ bargaining powers with employers have decreased. This has led to organizations dismissing a large number of employees in support of the low paying alternative workforce provided by technologies. As a result, employees are neither committed nor motivated to enhance their skills in a particular job position. Instead, they are keen in enhancing their career and professional goals in order to seek employment from other companies before they are replaced and dismissed due to the advancing technologies. Thus, they provide low quality skills and qualifications as they neither feel values nor motivated to work in a work place they are hardly recognized or rewarded (Carrie, 2012).
Employment status refers to employees’ rights and entitlements while spelling out their roles and responsibilities. Thus, it assists in identifying a straightforward relationship between the employees and employers. It can however be complicated by employers without conventional agreements and contracts defining employees’ roles. As a result, the law cannot recognize them as employers (Jordan & Kitching, 2013).
- Self Employed
This status involves self-employed persons who effectively and efficiently engage in errands they manage without help. They are therefore their own bosses hence, lacking employment rights. Their main basic right is based on the power and ability to determine how much they desire being remunerated and rewarded for their hard work. However, they have to pay for their personal tax and National Insurance Contributions. Thus, self employed individuals are responsible for their own work (Jordan & Kitching, 2013).
- Contract Employees
This form of employment status involves employees signing an agreement or contract with employers. According to the UK employment law, the employees ought to sign a contract with their employers with various descriptions. Their basic rights are therefore spelled out on the contract. They include employment conditions, roles, responsibilities, and duties summarized as terms of the contract. The contracts provide additional rights ensuring neither of the parties are oppressed, exploited, discriminated, or prejudiced as they have a right to request for a tribunal. Through the tribunal, an employer or employee can be asked to compensate as a punishment for violating the terms and conditions of the employment relationship (Jordan & Kitching, 2013).
- Employee Shareholder
The third employment status is allied to employee shareholder. Employee shareholders are people working under an employee shareholder employment contract. The main basic right is the fact that they are required to receive shares from employer’s company or parent firm with a certain minimum value written on a receipt. Although the upper value is never set, employee shareholders ought to seek guidance. This is especially on treatment of capital gains and income in order to receive information on exemptions and tax reliefs relating to the shares (Jordan & Kitching, 2013).
- The definition eliminates confusions in determining an individual’s employment and tax laws. For example, employment law asserts that an employer should pay for National Insurance Contributions on behalf of the employee. Thus, an employee can sue an employer for failure of paying the contributions.
- Knowing the employment status of an individual provides the employee with clear definition of the benefits they are entitled to receive. These benefits include pension provisions and holiday pays. Self-employed people can deny themselves these benefits. Employers however should ensure the employment relationship acknowledges and fulfills such benefits
- Lastly, employment status provides information on the amount of power an employee and employer hold over each other. As a result, the employer has to carefully control employee’s abilities and skills. This can avoid conflicts and misunderstandings between employees and employers. More so, employers can be assured organizational equipment, resources, and premises are being utilized effectively and efficiently. This issue however does not affect self-employed people. As a result, employment laws cannot determine their financial risks. Conversely, employers and employees can engage dispute resolutions under employment law to settle tribunals. Based on these reasons, employee rights duringthe employee relationship can be determined (David & Malcolm, 2004).
Employees’ rights during the employment relationship are diverse. They include employer providing employees with the right to balance personal and professional life. Thus, legislation within the employment law should assert employees are entitled to holidays, leave or rest periods. More importantly, the employment law should provide the employee with flexible working hours day and night to ensure they strike the balance. Thus, the following UK working Time Regulations should be upheld. Foremost, a worker should not work for more than forty eight hours on a week average. A worker should also receive twenty eight days of paid leave per year if he/she works five days a week. Lastly, a worker is entitled to eleven hours of rest daily with at least a twenty minutes break if the working hours exceed six coupled with a a day off on weekly basis. More importantly, the worker should be allowed additional rest breaks incase their health and safety is at risk due to = the work patterns (Edwards, Ram & Black, 2004).
The employment law should also award employees with legal support in order to attend to family or parental matters. This includes providing maternity, paternity, adoption, and dependants leave. According to the UK laws, workers are entitled to statutory adoption leaves with pay of fifty two weeks commencing fourteen days before the child starts living with the family. Paternity and maternity leaves are provided to people who have worked for an employer for at least twenty six weeks. They are eligible for the leaves at the end of the fifteenth week before a child arrives. Dependent leaves are awarded to deal with emergencies such as sickness with reasonable time depending on the situation. Thus, they are no limits although the employer is not entitled to make pay as it depends on the contract. A worker can also request for flexible working hours after twenty six weeks of employment service. This however applies to workers with children aged below seventeen years (David & Malcolm, 2004).
It is also vital for employees to be treated fairly in relation to pay. Foremost, this motivates them to provide their skills and talents as they are assured they will be remunerated fairly.
Secondly, fair payments discourage and prevent in equalities at the work place. Thus, they promote diversity and employee integration as workers are remunerated as valued assets of the company fairly and equally paid for their skills and hard work. The equal pay rights therefore strive to ensure men and women are treated equally depending on the terms and conditions of individuals’ employment contract. Thus, the contract ought to define work, evaluate job requirements and determine the value of the value of the employees’ efforts, skills and decision making capabilities (Malcolm, Fiona & Tricia, 2010). These conditions are developed under the National Minimum wage. Workers aged below eighteen years ought to be paid 3.72 Pounds. Those aged between eighteen and twenty years require being paid 5.03 Pounds while works aged twenty one years and above ought to be paid 6.31 Pounds. Lastly, apprentices ought to be paid 2.68 Pounds. All these payments are on hourly basis per month or after twenty one days
Addressing equality issues promotes formulation of legislations addressing other various concepts affecting employees at the work place. These issues include direct and indirect discrimination, harassment, and victimization, which ought to be included in the employment law and agreement
Discrimination refers to the act of treating employees unfairly as it does not support diversity.
- Direct Discrimination
Direct discrimination is mainly allied to gender, age, race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, and gender reassignment. For example, a woman can be treated unfairly in comparison to male colleagues.
- Indirect discrimination
This refers to formulation and implementation of policies aimed at putting certain employees in the firm at a disadvantaged position.
Ultimately, discrimination occurs in a firm neither recognizing nor embracing diversity. For example, policies addressing unfair dismissal can prevent employees’ contracts being terminated without pay for service rendered for the short period of time. More importantly, a policy addressing lack of discrimination and prejudice based on color, race, ethnicity and other differing factors can guarantee employees are remunerated fairly (Malcolm, Fiona & Tricia, 2010).
An employer is required to provide employees with safe, fair, and healthy working environments. Employers should also listen to their employees on professional and personal levels while respecting their privacy. Some employers however choose to rely on employees’ private issues in attempts to justify employee harassment. For example, an employer can decide to dishonor the requirement of paying the right amount of remuneration on time in attempts to ensure the worker is facing financial issues. This can account to harassment as the employer fails to fairly nor equally remunerate the employee ensuring the worker faces unjustified financial crises. Harassment therefore develops from lack of employee rights protecting human personnel in a firm (Malcolm, Fiona & Tricia, 2010).
Victimization also develops from lack of employee rights protecting employees from issues allied to sexual, emotional, physical, and mental abuse. Employers fully aware an employee can neither sue nor seek justice for victimization due to lack of rights, policies, and legislations protecting them are culprits. Thus, they rely on victimization in order to threaten and intimidate employees (Malcolm, Fiona & Tricia, 2010).
A ‘psychological contract’ refers to perceptions held between employee and employer with regards to individual and mutual obligations towards each other. Thus, the concept of ‘psychological contract’ lack clearly defined policies and procedures with regards to the employment relationship. As a result, it can fail to underpin legislations ensuring employees are not discriminated, victimized, or harassed. As a result, policies underpinning these legislations through the ‘psychological contract’ should be formulated and implemented.
- Policies affirming employees should neither be exploited ensuring they are fairly remunerated.
- The policies should also discuss measures to be undertaken in punishing employers emotionally, financially, physically, and psychologically hurting their employees unintentionally and intentionally
- Breach of the contract occurs if an employer or employee fails to deliver the perceived promises. This reduces commitment, loyalty, morale, and organizational behaviors resulting to either localized or contained impacts. Ultimately, the impacts adversely affect the organization’s performance levels that are also regarded as immoral, aggressive, and unjust (David & Malcolm, 2004).
There are various issues addressed at the terminationof the employment relationship. Foremost, the employment law should clearly define a fair and unfair dismissal. It ought to affirm unfair dismissals do not provide victims with reasonable, valid, real, and legal reasons for dismissal. Reasons for unfair dismissals can include pregnancy, connections to a trade union, religious and cultural beliefs, and being an occupational pension scheme trustee. Reasons for a fair dismissal include lateness and absenteeism, incompetence, gross misconduct, and redundancy (Malcolm, Fiona & Tricia, 2010).
Human resource managers often conduct exit interviews, as they are useful tools in understanding why an employee is leaving the firm.
- They help the employer and employee to understand their strengths and weaknesses.
- The managers can also use them to understand best measures of satisfying and retaining employees.
- They help employee to gain control of their emotions by gaining a better understanding for either resigning or being terminated.
- Consequently, they help employees learn from their mistakes, become productive in future and eligible for better job positions.
- More importantly, exit interviews are forms of retention tools as they are ideal in measuring how turnover rates impact the remaining employees (David & Malcolm, 2004).
There are key stages to be followed in managing redundancies and the impact of redundancy on the whole organization.
- Performance appraisals should be conducted to identify the redundant employees. As a result, human resource manager should determine viable strategies to minimize the redundancies. These include voluntary pay cuts, flexible work practices, and working hours such as part-time job schedules and early retirements in order to streamline, downsize and help the organization recover.
- The survivors of the emotional redundancy process should be supported by the managers and supervisors to avoid feeling like it was a personal attack.
- To avoid further loss of staffs, managers should be honest to build trust and positive psychological contracts motivating employees to be forthcoming.
- Existing positions and personnel should be selected to manage organizational areas with dispersed employees. More importantly, the employer should announce the changes, explain why they are necessary, and encourage employees to embrace them to achieve stabilization. An evaluation should however be conducted to determine the adverse effects of managing redundancy.
- Consequently, careful and effective planning coupled with consultation can device an appropriate approach to assist and support the existing team to adopt and keep going forward (Malcolm & Tricia, 2010).
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