Supporting Good Practice in Managing Employee Relations Essay

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Building successful employment relationships is important. It also makes good business sense: Organisations with good employment relationships tend to be more successful. Establishing and maintaining good faith relationships is the foundation to a successful business. Good faith generally involves using practical common sense and treating others in the way you would like to be treated. This means dealing with each other, openly, honestly and with mutual respect. By acting in good faith reduces the risk of conflict and problems.

Internal and External Factors

Leadership plays a key role in setting the tone of an Organisation. Employee behaviour is influenced in a positive way when they perceive leadership as trustworthy, full of integrity and honourable, it motivates employees to be more productive.

Organisational Culture

The culture within an organisation is very important. It plays a large role in whether it is a happy and healthy environment in which to work. Communicating and promoting the Company ethos to employees, their acknowledgment and acceptance of it can influence their work behaviour and attitudes. When interaction between leadership and employees is good, the Team will make a greater contribution to Team Communication and collaboration which will increase job satisfaction.

Family Life

Employee’s family life can have a direct impact on their behaviour. If there is conflict in an employees’ family life, it can affect the employee’s behaviour in the work place. The employee may respond negatively to criticism at work and interaction with the leadership Team. Happiness at home results in a motivated and happy employee. Business Relationships

Other business relationships have an impact on employee behaviour. For example, if a Company has a partnership with another business and the other business has high expectations, employees may respond in their performance
because of those high expectations. Employment Status

In employment law a person’s employment status helps to determine their rights, and their employer’s responsibilities. The main types of employment status are:
* Worker
* Employee
* Self-employed and Contractor
Each employment status has different legal rights, so it is important to know which category the employee falls into. By then understanding the category in which the employee falls, the Company will better understand it’s legal rights and obligations and be better equipped to deal with any problems foreseen or unforeseen, that may arise. Determining an individual’s employment and legal status is important for the purpose of determining the statutory protection afforded to that individual in the workplace.

An individual can be classed as:
* An employee and be entitled to a full range of statutory employment rights; * A worker and enjoy a limited range of statutory employment rights to an employee; or * Self-employed and not be entitled to any statutory employment rights but receive certain tax benefits

Employee Rights

Work life balance is about creating and maintaining supportive and healthy work environments, which will enable to have balance between work and personal responsibilities, this in turn will strengthen employee loyalty and productivity. All employers must comply with legal restrictions on employees’ working hours and time off. Failing to do so could result in the employee bringing a claim forward through a Tribunal, enforcement action and even prosecution. Giving employees fair holidays, work breaks and pay increases can also help to improve performance, reduce accidents in the workplace and reduce absenteeism. An employer also has a legal responsibility to consider any employees request for flexible working patterns.

Working Hours and Holiday Entitlement

The Working Time Regulations (1998) set requirements for employees’ holidays, working hours and rest breaks. The regulations are designed to help protect employees’ health, safety and welfare in line with European Union Working Time Directive into Great British Law. Employees’ are entitled to work a maximum of 48 hours a week, unless they freely opt out from this limit. The Working Time Regulations also include requirements for work breaks and for rest periods between working days. Employees’ have a statutory holiday entitlements of a minimum of 5.6 weeks’ paid leave each year – pro rata to part-time workers. A night workers’ normal hours of work in any reference period shall not be exceeded on average of 8 hours for each 24 hours. Legal Support and Maternity, Paternity and Adoption

Employees have statutory entitlements to Maternity, Paternity and adoption leave. Parents and carers are entitled to take unpaid leave or care leave. Firstly there is the support of the Paternity & Adoption Leave Regs 2002; this legislation allows employees to take paid adoption leave following their choice to adopt a child. * Secondly, the Maternity & Parental Leave Regulations 1999. Maternity allows female employees to have the basic rights including, time off for anti natal care, not to be unfairly dismissed, and the choice to return to work after their child has been born.

Parental leave provides the right for employees to take unpaid leave to support dependents in an emergency. * Thirdly, the Flexible Working 1997; this legislation provides a statutory right for employees to request flexible working. Flexible working is seen in the form of a change to working hours, working times, and which location the employee is based. Finally, the Employment Act 2002 which includes Maternity Leave. This entitles employees to take Statutory Paternity Leave (2 Weeks). Employers will grant this leave as long as employees can provide documentation to support the child’s birth and give the required notice. Employees treated fairly and Equal Pay Act 1970

When you treat all your employees fairly in the workplace, you create stronger, better relationships with your employees based on trust and respect, which will enhance employee commitment, job satisfaction and productivity. Two reasons that justify treating employees fairly in relation to pay The purpose of the Equal Pay Act 1970 is to eliminate discrimination between men and women in terms of pay. One reason that justifies treating employees fairly in relation to pay is that lower earnings make it harder for women to take care of their families. A report from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research found that if women were paid fairly, single women’s income would rise by 13.4%, single mothers would earn 17% more. “This would greatly increase the ability of women from all economic backgrounds to provide basic support to their families”. (Smith 2009).

If salaries are particularly lower for women this would reflect in their benefits package, however in many companies these benefits are based on the annual salary, and salaries are benchmarked to job levels which are assigned to the role. This ensures salaries are fair for the job being performed, regardless of gender, race, or age, to ensure there is no discrimination among employees. The psychological contract can have a significant impact on the organisation, if employees feel they are not treated fairly in relation to pay. If employees’ felt they were not being paid what they deemed to be fair, this could result in decreased morale, lack of customer service, and early departure from the organisation.

Taking into account the several different laws to protect employees from discriminations we should also consider the 4 main types of discrimination: Direct, Indirect, Harassment and Victimisation. Direct Discrimination Direct Discrimination applies where a person is treated less favourably on the grounds of gender, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief and age. Intentions and motives are classed as irrelevant in cases of discrimination, because it is the act that is unlawful, not the intention behind it.

Indirect Discrimination Indirect Discrimination occurs when policies or practices have an adverse impact on certain groups of people more than on others, in a way that it cannot be justified. Harassment Harassment can be defined as unwanted conduct which may create the effect of violating a person’s dignity or creating an intimidating or offensive environment. It is unlawful to harass someone because of their gender, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, disability. Victimisation Victimisation is a form of unlawful discrimination.

A person is victimised if they are treated less favourably because they have done a legally ‘protected act’ under the relevant anti-discrimination laws. For e. g. they may have made a claim, given evidence, made a complaint or supported someone who has made a complaint The Psychological Contract Good practice that underpin organisational policies and can contribute to the psychological contract. “The beliefs individuals hold regarding the terms and conditions of the exchange agreement between themselves and their organisations”. Rousseau (1989).

The function of the psychological contract is to reduce insecurity, as not all aspects of the employment relationship are addressed in a formal written contract; the psychological contract is a concept that attempts to balance mutual expectations and encourage discretionary effort. Establishing and maintaining a positive psychological contract, is essential to organisational performance. If a manger was to let down an employee in the workplace, the trust would be affected; the psychological contract would be broke resulting in decreased loyalty, lack of discretionary effort and an earlier exit.

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