Employment Relationship

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Supporting Good Practice in Managing Employment Relations
Unit 3-MER Assessment

Employment Relationship

Gospel and Palmer (1993: 3) define the employment relationship as ‘an economic, social and political relationship in which employees provide manual and mental labour in exchange for rewards allotted by employers’. To this we need to add the ‘psychological contract element, which in my words describe the engagement an employee gives the employer as a gift.

Lewis, Thornhill and Saunders (2003) define employment relationship as an economic, legal, social, psychological and political relationship in which employees devote their time and expertise to the interest of their employer in return for a range of personal financial and non-financial rewards.

The rewards that flow from employment relationship are both financial and non-financial and are usually determined by the greater the amount of financial reward the greater the employment relationship. One also needs to take into account the non-financial reward; such as feeling part of a community, a sense of personal achievement, social recognition which also contribute to the level of employment relationship.

Successful or unsuccessful employment relationship will differ in the impact that this level of success has on the employment relationship both in the employer and the wider economy (industrial disputes).

Trade unions and governmental organizations, such as the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) as well as procedures for discipline, grievance and equal opportunities all evolve from the employment relationship.

The employment relationship is affected and influenced by a host of factors associated with the way in which work is organized and the wider context within which work takes place and can be divided into three major elements: 1. The wider environments within which work occurs

2. The organization of work subsystem
3. The sequence of events within these over time

Internal factors that impact employment relationship

Galilie et al. (1998) highlighted four keys areas where changes in the way work is organized have occurred that impact upon the employment relationship. These are * The work task
* The controls of performance
* Employee participation
* Job security

External factors that impact employment relationship

We live in an ever changing world where changes in the work place are driven by the needs for businesses and people to constantly keep on top of the latest trends in the industry. This started with the Industrial Revolution and more recently the ‘Information Age’, where both managers and employees are having to adapt their skills and change their ways of working. The list below identifies external factors that impact employment relationships:- * The Political environment

Refers to the way in which the government influences employment relationship through legislation, sets frameworks for subjective value judgments on fairness and equality, power and authority and the rights of the individual rather than the collective. Also covers issues such as discrimination and equality through the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000, to the rights for representation by a recognized trade union in the workplace (Employment Act 1999) * The Economic environment

* Globalization
More and more companies have multinational presence obtained through alliances, joint ventures and partnerships. As a result the world of work is controlled increasingly by multinationals. The implication on employment relationship can be associated with the employment of individuals in counties where there is a lower wage and lower non-wage costs such as holiday pay, sick pay and pension. * Unemployment

* The rise of private sector employment
* The Technological environment
Rise in systems automation and computerization of office tasks supports immediate availability of information,...
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