Supporting Good Practice in Managing Employee Relations

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Supporting Good Practice in Managing Employment Relations – A Guidance Leaflet

The Impact of Employment Law at the START of the employment relationship

2 Internal Factors which can impact on the employment relationship

• Policies & Procedures in place within the organisation – this is an important internal factor that can have an impact on the employment relationship; for example if there is job share/flexible working arrangements in place this can help to promote a work-life balance for employees allowing them to spend more time with their families or completing studies, this can help with employee motivation and they will be less likely to miss work due to personal commitments.

• Employee involvement/participation – this is another important factor; it is a good idea to ask your employees for feedback on their thoughts of the company/organisation and what they feel could be done differently to improve working conditions, an example of this would be to provide surveys to the staff or to set up a Representative Committee to allow the employees voice any concerns/ideas they may have. This will help to motivate the staff particularly if their ideas are being actioned.

2 External Factors which can impact on the employment relationship

• Current economic climate – periods of economic downturn can have a major and potentially negative impact on the employment relationship, for example during the recession many employers lost profits and had to make cutbacks which involved downsizing the size of their companies and implementing mandatory redundancies on their employees .

• Availability of talent/Labour Market – as the economic situation has changed somewhat in Ireland in the last few years this has led to a new variety of talent available; a lot of skilled workers and graduates have emigrated but many of the people who have decided to stay in Ireland have gone into Third Level education to improve their knowledge and skills in certain areas in order to get jobs. There is also a variety of cultures now living in Ireland which could benefit employers seeking people with language skills for example. Also, as the retirement age is continuously rising this will result in the age of the workforce being higher which could also result in retaining the skills and knowledge within the company which is also important and beneficial to the employer.

3 Different Types of Employment Status

It is important to establish your status of employment in order to identify the rights and responsibilities you have at work and also to determine any benefits available to you.

1) Fixed Term Workers – this is popular at the moment as a lot of employers are taking people on for ‘specific purpose’ contracts. An interesting point to note for fixed term workers is that according to the Protection of Employees (Fixed-Term Work) Act 2003, employers cannot continually renew fixed term contracts and employees working on repeated fixed-term contracts are covered under the Unfair Dismissal’s legislation (although they need to have at least one year's continuous service before they can bring a claim under the Unfair Dismissals Act) This is important as it prevents fixed term workers being taken advantage of and being treated unfairly by employers.

2) Part-time Employees have similar rights to full time employees when it comes to employment protection legislation, although in some instances a part-time employee will need to work a set minimum number of hours for a set period of time before gaining these rights. The Protection of Employees (Part-Time Work) Act 2001 provides that a part time employee cannot be treated in a less favourable manner than a full time employee.

3) Agency Workers - an agency worker is a person who has an agreement with an agency to work for another person. The legislation on Agency workers was brought into effect in 2012 so it is a brand new act (Protection...
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