Managing Employee Relations

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Managing Employee Relations Assignment
Section 1: Evaluate three major external constraints placed upon your Organisation’s approach to employee relations (1,018 words)

Section 2: Analyse management’s approach to employee relations in your organisation making reference to appropriate academics models (1,023 words)

Section 3: Evaluate whether the approaches identified in Section 2 above are the most effective for your organisation in the near future (3-5 years), justify any recommendations you make for a different approach (1,043 words)

This report is in three sections. The first section outlines the external constraints that impact upon employee relations within the organisation. A brief summary of this organisation can be found within Appendix 1. The second section outlines management’s approach to employee relations and the final section evaluates the effectiveness of this approach.

External Constraints on Employee Relations

Three key external constraints on employee relations within the organisation are recognised trade unions, legislation and competition. These constraints have been chosen as they are all very different to each other and impact upon the organisation in very different ways.

Trade Unions
Trade unions are recognised within an organisation as representing of all, or a group of employees for the purpose of jointly determining the terms and conditions of employment (Salamon, 2001).

There are three unions that are recognised by the organisation for the purposes of collective bargaining. These unions represent the 3 main groups of staff. Those on a local contract are not represented by a recognised union. These unions negotiate on a national basis to determine the national framework of pay and conditions of members. (Farnham, 2000) These negotiations are an external constraint to the university, as they determine amongst other things, the level of the annual pay award. The impact on employee relations of these negotiations depends upon whether the university wishes to adopt national recommendations or choose to negotiate locally on a variation. For example if the pay award could not be afforded by the organisation. Should funding be available, then relations between employee and employer will not be affected, however should the funding not be available for the size of the award agreed, then this can cause problems with employee relations and can lead to the unions going into dispute with the university. (Farnham, 2000) This can lead to industrial sanctions being taken by the union and its members. This occurs because it is believed that this is the only by imposing their unilateral power on the management that the unions can achieve their employee relations objectives. The form of industrial sanctions can include * Working to contract

* Going Slow
* Strikes
The impact of these industrial sanctions on the organisation would be that students do not get the lectures they require for their degrees or that assignments go unmarked or marks unrecorded. In the long-term this may impact upon reputation and have a long term effect on recruitment and marketing as well as impacting on relations between employees, employers and unions.

Legislation is an external constraint that affects organisations. It is concerned with * the relationship between employer and employee
* the relationship between employer and union and
* the relationship between the union and its membership
(Rose, 2001)

One recent piece of legislation that has recently come into affect is that of the Fixed Term Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2002. This legislation, which came into force on 1st October 2002, required institutions to reduce significantly the use of these contracts. The Bett Report (The Report of the Independent Review of Higher Education Pay and Conditions – June 1999) recommended that institutions...
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