Relationships Between Employees And Employers

The subject of the research is the associations between employees, employers and their representatives in britain and mainly the changes that have occurred within the last couple of years.

What is meant exactly by employee relations? What has improved because the Industrial Trend? Salaman (2000) defines worker relationships as a "reflection of the development of more diverse career patterns, the progress of high tech and commercial sectors, reduced degrees of unionisation and use of management strategies targeted at individualising the career relationship", in other terms it is the new management of all variables which affect the work particularly the management style, the amount of employee's motivation, the work environment, job satisfaction, the objectives of the company etc.

We can differentiate three stages in the advancement of employee relations since the end of the Second World War, the 3rd one being the relationship approach.

Until 1979 (night out of the election of the Conservative Party), work relations were based on collective bargaining and collective agreement aiming to "determine and regulate, in varying diplomas, the terms which individuals will be employed" (Flanders, 1968), with a strong voluntarism prompted massively and informally. The trade unions (in essence, it can be an relationship of wage earners, totally impartial of employer's pressure, who struggle to improve work conditions) had a whole lot of electric power and everything was negotiated through deals. Actually, a Trade Union, through collective bargaining can "force employers to deal with labour as a collective personality, somewhat than isolated individuals, and so, secure better the terms and condition of employment" (Webb & Webb, 1920).

However, when the conventional get together was elected in 1979, everything altered. The new authorities introduced a great deal steps to limit the role of trade unions.

In addition, it "introduced an 'venture culture' where individuals and organisations, alternatively than federal government, were to be presented responsible for economical performance. Thus, as well as rejecting the maintenance of full occupation as a significant policy objective, they in effect abandoned the dedication of the predecessors to voluntary collective bargaining as the most effective method of deciding pay and conditions".

Then, there was a total break in the action with the old work habits but an explanation of this would be the economical context. In fact, after the conflict, there was a period of reconstruction that engendered a great deal of work; creation was the backbone of the current economic climate, it was a period of full job.

After that, there is a influx of privatisation, many companies became multinationals, and there is an internationalisation of business.

The goal of the study will be to analyse and evaluate the new approach to the management of worker relations. Firstly, the author will define and explore the particular partnership way is. Then, the analysis will continue by examining advantages and the disadvantages of this method of each stakeholder (employees, employers and Trade Unions). Finally, an analysis of the prospects for success of the relationship approach and a manifestation of a crucial comparison with the previous ones will be highlighted.

The Employment Relation (ER)

Employment relationship is an economical exchange of labour capacity in return for the creation of goods and services. It is very important to comprehend the implications of all the aspects of career relations. High levels of collaboration between your labor force and management are likely to be consistent with higher reliability of production and quality of result, which would bolster the organization's market position. Thus, job relation is one of many areas that need to be spent (Rollinson, 1993).

Salaman (2000) defines job relations as a reflection of the introduction of more diverse career patterns, the growth of high tech and commercial sectors, reduced levels of unionisation and use of management strategies targeted at individualising the employment relationship, in other conditions it's the new management of all the variables which effect the work particularly the management style, the level of employee's motivation, the task environment, job satisfaction, the aims of the company etc.

The express (all levels of government) plays a crucial role in work relations, both immediately and indirectly. The roles undertaken by governments may be categorised into five components including maintaining protecting standards; establishing guidelines for the discussion between the gatherings; making certain the results of such interaction were constant with the evident needs of economy; providing services for labour and management such as advice, conciliation, arbitration and training; so when a major employer.

The management of the ER system in Britain

Britain is a country of European Europe comprising Great britain, Scotland, Wales, and North Ireland. Until July 2003, the British isles populace is 60, 094, 648. In the height of its power in the 19th century it ruled an empire that spanned the globe (Stewart, 2005: 23-25). It is the dominant professional and maritime vitality of the 19th century, performed a leading role in growing parliamentary democracy and in improving literature and science. The first 50 % of the 20th century observed the Britain's power really depleted in two World Wars. The second half observed the dismantling of the Empire and the Britain rebuilding itself into today's and prosperous European nation. It is also a leading trading power and financial centre, is one of the quartets of trillion dollar economies of European Europe.

The British professional relationships system has an extended record and has been subject to much change lately. You will find three stages in the progression of employee relationships since the end of the World Warfare II, the 3rd one being the partnership strategy. Until 1979 (day of the election of the Conservative Party), work relationships were predicated on collective bargaining and collective contract aiming to determine and control, in varying diplomas, the terms which individuals will be employed (Flanders, 1968), with a solid voluntarism motivated massively and informally.

The relationship approach

What is it?

The use of this term is a comparatively recent political happening. Some people affirm that this is just a term employed by the federal government to entice popular support because no person can be against 'Relationship' (Knell, 1999). Many others, more positive, see in this term a fresh pluralist approach to industrial relations. This idea comes from the idea that corporations should recognise the pursuits of every stakeholder, particularly employees, employers and their associates, in order to fulfill each party. The purpose of this approach is to discover a common interest of management and labour, through "trust and shared involvement, instilling a sense of owed and involvement".

The Engagement and Participation Association (IPA, 1992) identifies six key principles

A shared commitment to the success of enterprise, including support for flexibility and the replacement unit of adversarial relations.

A acknowledgement that hobbies of the associates may legitimately fluctuate.

Employment security, including measures to enhance the employability of personnel as well as limit the utilization of compulsory redundancy.

A give attention to the quality of working life.

A determination to transparency, including a genuine writing of hard, unvarnished information, an openness to discussing plans for future years, genuine assessment and preparedness to hear the business case for choice strategies.

Adding value - the sign of an effective relationship is the fact it taps into sources of commitment and / or resources which were not accessed by previous design.

For the New Labour authorities, 'collaboration' at work becomes an important target.

B. Its dimensions

1. Who will be the partners?

The collaboration is between individual employer and individual worker and their reps but the second option partner is weak in the new work connection. The partnership way is more focused on individual relationships when compared to a collective one, like in the past.

Indeed, New Labour insists on specific choice. On their behalf, it is not an responsibility to integrate a working union. It emphasises that "individuals are the best judges of their own individual interests". In other words that the individual has the selection of whether or not to become listed on a trade union and if to take part in the coverage by collective agreement.

It might signify the new federal government is not really towards the trade unions. In fact, some people think that a trade union would be an adversary of the relationship approach in the sense that trade unions protect the employees' interests plus they will have a confrontational relationship with the employers.

Then, how do a partnership be formed if one of the lovers does not try to find a standard agreement? In this manner, the trade unions' role needs to be redefined. They have to play a co-operative role with employers in order to find some common pursuits which satisfy both the employees and the employers.

The psychological contract

The psychological contract is the basis of a partnership approach. It's the website link between employers and employees. It establishes the anticipations, aspirations and understandings which they have of one another (Herriot, 1998).

The creator has noticed that the psychological agreement has changed because the last few years due to changes of the work environment (change in workforce framework, re-engineering, downsizing. ).

The old psychological contract was predicated on security and predictability, now it is "more situational and short term and assumes that every party is a lot less reliant on the other for survival and growth".

According to Hiltrop (1995), the new contract can be defined as follows

"There is no job security, the worker will be used as long as he/she contributes value to the organisation, and is in person in charge of finding new ways to add value. In exchange, the employee has the to demand interesting and important work, gets the freedom and resources to execute it well, receives, pay that reflects his / her contributions and get experience and training would have to be employable here or elsewhere".

The psychological deal must be strong and truthful to permit a partnership relation

The voluntary facet of the partnership

New Labour insists on the voluntary aspect of the new work connection. The collaboration should be unveiled through ethnic changes that may lead to "more positive romantic relationships between employers and employees than the notice of regulations can ever achieve". In other words that the law itself cannot resolve the condition of employee relations, some social changes have to emerge first. Employers and employees have to make some work to improve the work marriage.

The advantages and the disadvantages of the partnership approach:

A. For the employees

1. Advantages

With the collaboration approach, employees reap the benefits of a family group atmosphere with friendly regulations. For instance, they reap the benefits of new working arrangements which allow a larger flexibility. There's a harmonisation of working conditions, guidelines and procedures for all those employees under training. The partnership approach introduces a fresh pay framework: pay is every month through credit transfer, and the traditional annual pay is replaced by a target formula. Moreover, a reduced amount of the working week for manual and art employees can be viewed.

2. Disadvantages

However, the partnership approach introduces the idea of the individual worker. In this way, trade unions are less useful in the workplace/employee romantic relationship and lose their vitality. Then, the worker is within a weaker position than his/her workplace (a caution must be seen because, trade unions have the right to come with their members through the disciplinary or grievance interview).

B. For the employers

1. Advantages

Firstly, the collaboration gives a good reputation to the business which applies it. In addition, it allows a larger stability of career because employer foretells staff and establishes some rights and some obligations that each get together has to respect (limit the turnover, strikes and so on). The relationship between both is more respectful and equal.

Furthermore, the partnership allows a greater openness on the organization. Through it, the employers really know what is incorrect with the employees and try to find how they can fix it. The work atmosphere is more friendly and truthful.

The partnership way is, as well, a need for a change in approach to the trade unions. Thus far, the relationship between employers and trade unions is based on confrontation. This new methodology gives a extra role to the trade unions and privileges the individual employer/employee relations, which is much easier to manage.

Moreover, employers make an effort to improve work conditions, in exchange they profit from a greater activity because staff feel good in the company.

In addition they can have increased performance appraisal and a fresh understanding of performance management through control and give food to back.

2. Disadvantages

This approach demands a great deal of administration and it is quite constraining for an organization. To fire a worker who has a poor performance for example, the employer has to provide a first warning and propose a disciplinary interview to be able to detect what's incorrect with this worker. If nothing has improved, the employee can get another caution, the previous one, prior to the dismissal (or other sanctions). Sometimes, strategies take too much time and engender a cost-effective loss.

Moreover, the venture can lose some electricity in relation to its employees. Previously, employers had the economic electricity over employees, now this power is more distributed between both because their romantic relationship is more interdependent.

C. For the trade unions

1. Advantages

There is a new stake in their role as reps. They need to prove the worthiness of the employers to the employees and the value of the employees to the employers.

Moreover, the trade unions can profit from a partnership fund to ensure that "employers and employee representatives work together to support ground breaking projects to build up the partnership way in the workplace" (Lord McIntosh & Lord Hansard, May 1999).

2. Disadvantages

The partnership strategy has more down sides than advantages for the trade unions. Through it, trade unions lose some ability. Firstly, their recognition is limited. According to the authorities, the trade union has a second role in the company/employee marriage. Then, their role must be redefined in a more consultative sense; it has to focus on the info, the communication, the representation and the collaboration. Their contribution to the collaboration is possibly useful but far from being essential.

Thus, trade unions come to mind about their traditional role which is to defend the worker's passions. They think that in this new methodology, employee representatives can be area of the management.

Moreover, according to the IPA, the relationship requires a different route than the union one, because this model is not satisfactory anymore. In fact, the union occurrence is weakened or non-existent in nearly all companies in Britain, therefore, the relationship needs a new representative framework.

Evaluation and criticism of the prospects for success of the relationship approach

The employment connection through the collaboration methodology becomes fairer. For instance, union co-operation in more versatile work patterns, teamworking, the advantages of annualised time and the harmonisation of terms and conditions of employment are all higher possessions of the relationship approach. Concerning job security, the partnership methodology remains limited

"The work security warranties have been identified as the hallmark of partnership methodology by many of its advocates, although, they have no featured in every such agreements. Generally, they amount to relatively limited management commitments to avoid the utilization of compulsory redundancy as a means of labour shedding- a fairly familiar practice in organisations that can attract sufficient applicants for early retirement and voluntary redundancy with enhanced severance payments. Moreover in some collaboration agreement, trade unions and employees are required to co-operate with procedures with make the avoidance of compulsory redundancy easier, like the acceptance of the company's use of subcontracted, temporary or short-term agreement personnel" ( Taibly & Winchester, 2000 and Bach & Sisson, 2000).

Moreover, the fundamental need for a successful methodology requires some ethnic changes; we must break with the old practice (industrial/adversarial ones) because we can not access a fresh form of management without this.

Furthermore, the collaboration approach came out in a particular political context. Actually, it was the end of the Conventional authorities (characterised by an insurance plan of deregulation) and the start of the Labour party which developed the important idea of determination to the partnership in the workplace. But, its purpose must be analysed meticulously because we can observe that the federal government refused to take part in some social policy proposals developed by the European payment. This response is unlike the apparent willingness of the government to introduce fairness in work and at work.

However, some studies show that employees feel better with the partnership agreement. We can notice that job satisfaction level is higher than before (Bach & Sisson, 2000) but this end result must be taken with extreme caution if we make reference to the recent attack of the Post Offices which occurred last month.

Then, the question is whether the partnership approach is successful?

In the historical, politics and economical context, the author thinks that collaboration and the willingness of every stakeholder can be found. The difficulty is just trying to use it in the best way.

Britain has made a great deal of effort to boost work conditions. Set alongside the past, this process is the bargain between your two prior ones. Indeed, the first one (~1945-1979) was too dominated by the trade unions. The next one was too adversarial; the employees lost almost all their privileges. Thus, this new procedure tries to gratify both gatherings.


The work is not completed. If the relationship way succeeds in satisfying the stakeholders, it requires to be advanced again. Britain needs to focus on other more interpersonal legislations proposals and take part in the Western ones.

However, the career relationships are governed by the deviation of the market as well; hence, it is very difficult to gratify everybody. But, the important thing is to try to do the best.

Moreover, there will always be some disagreements and unfairness in work and at work; we must be patient since it takes time to improve the mind of every person.

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