Essays on Employee Relations in the UK Case Study

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The paper "Employee Relations in the UK" is an outstanding example of a business case study.   As illustrated by Edwards, (2003), the last 30 years have seen major changes in the perspective of employee relations within UK organizations. These changes have a lot of importance for the employees as they realize their rights. However, these changes might have some great influence on the future developments of employee relations. Employee relations are the areas of human resource management that involve relationships with employees either directly or via collective agreements whereby trade unions are acknowledged.

This relationship deals with the agreement of employment terms and conditions. It also deals with matters arising from employment. Employee relations are concerned with resolving and preventing issues involving individuals that arise due to work situations and affect work situation. It covers employee participation in management decisions, conflict and grievance resolution, trade unions and collective bargaining as well as employers/employees relationship. This essay will highlight various employee-related issues that have rose with time. They include the rise of different trade unions, strikes, and industrial actions’ perspective as employees seek their rights.

It will also evaluate how significant employee relations changes have been in the UK. Such benefits include the realization of employee rights and fairness, the involvement of employees in decision making, rise of labor policy, labor laws as well as increased bargaining powers among the employees. Other significant changes include an increased sense of partnership between employees and employers. The essay will also evaluate how these changes influence future developments. This is through an increased balance between employees and employers. Some of the changes that have arisen with time include changing aspects of industrial action among the employees and employers in the UK according to Allen, (2003).

Industrial action is the collective measure taken by trade unions and other organized labor that reduces productivity in working areas. This occurs as negotiations between employees and employers breaks down where employees take industrial action so as to force employers to address their grievances. Industrial action can be referred to as temporary suspension of usual working arrangements that are started unilaterally by management with the goal of exerting force in the determination of the employment relationship or employees whether through their union or not.

In the UK, industrial action has taken different perspectives to the extent of formation of various acts. In the UK, union laws changes in the 1980s and 1990 have made it difficult for unions to take industrial action like before. This was due to the introduction of secret ballots that did not intimidate workers. This was seen as a way of protecting union employees from intimidation from voting in a specific way. Industrial actions have been on the rise for the last 30 years as the employees seek their rights and good compensation for their jobs.

Most of the industrial actions are temporary and are collective involving groups of workers with collective interests. Employee relations have led to a shift from collective industrial relations to individual employee relations. It has also led to a decline of industrial pluralism and the rising importance of sophisticated unitarism. However, it is important to note that the number of strikes has reduced drastically recently compared to 1970s and 1980s according to Heery, (2002).

This has been attributed to the increasing number of trade unions that look after the grievances for employees. The main foundations of trade unions activity were equal opportunities, equal treatment, and the fight against unfair discrimination for employees. Trade unions have significantly realized the need to intensify their roles to fight for the rights of the employees. These trade unions have become more aggressive recently towards fighting for the rights of the employees including discrimination and oppression. Trade unions have taken different directions toward the realization of employees’ rights. The processes and procedures of undertaking a fight for the rights by trade unions have drastically changed as employees shift towards giving their support in the recent years to the unions as their agents to fight for their rights.

Trade unions have become more institutionalized. However, the number of employees joining trade unions has declined from three in four 20 years ago to one in every two. Young people employed are not willing to join trade unions. The state has also become more involved in the matters concerning employees’ relations since 1979.

This is towards its efforts of enhancing the stability and productivity of the British economy through improved employment levels and improvement of working relationships as well as the distribution of economic rewards. The aspects of voluntarism in the employment relationship have diminished with years as employees relations continue to gradually change in different directions. The Britain government current policy has a major aim of achieving full and fulfilling employment.

References

Ackers, P 2002, ‘Reframing employment relations: the case for neo-pluralism’, Industrial Relations Journal, vol. 33, no. 1, pp. 2-19.

Allen, R 2003, Economic Development of the UK, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Edwards, P 2003, Industrial Relations: Theory and Practice, Blackwell, Oxford.

Heery, E & Noon, M 2001, A dictionary of human relations. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Heery, E 2002, ‘Partnership versus organizing: alternative futures for British trade unionism, Industrial Relations Journal, vol.33, no.1, pp. 20-35.

Kersley, B., et al. 2005, Inside the Workplace: First findings from the 2004 Workplace Employment Relations Survey, ButterWorth, New York.

Mike, L 2007, Exploring employee relations, Butterworth-Heinemann, London.

Millward. N., Bryston, A, & Forth, J 2000, All Change at Work? British Employment Relations 1980-1998, as Portrayed by the Workplace Industrial Relations Survey Series, Routledge, London.

Oxenbridge, S., Brown, W., Deakin, S. & Pratten, C 2003, ‘Initial responses to the statutory recognition provisions of the Employment Relations Act 1999’, British Journal of Industrial Relations, vol. 41, no. 2, pp. 315-334.

Waddington, J 2003, ‘Annual review article: Heightening tension in relations between trade unions and the Labour government in 2002’, British Journal of Industrial Relations, vol. 41, no. 2, pp.335-358.

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