Workforce relationships

Our major concepts from the field of employment relations that have developed over several years into BGC, including a review of the current discussion of employee engagement. We always examine the basic stances that our managers can adopt towards the workforce, looking at the concepts of unitarism and pluralism, which provide a framework for an examination of partnerships, participation and our employee involvement. Our techniques of participation and employees involvement are enhancing willingness and ability of employees to contribute to the achievement of their organisations goals, and the levels of commitment and engagement that are expected to arise from these approaches are fundamental in the creation of the high-performance workplace

The employment relationship

The relationship between our employers and their employees can be described in many ways. To get a clear picture of what this might entail, think first of any relationship between  people, including personal relationship between friends, life partners and relatives;  that is, think about relationship, but not necessarily in the context of employment any relationship is formed within a context of rigths expectations and obligations on the part of each party to the realtionship.

These rights etc. May be individualised for each pair of individuals as in marital relationship, or it may be that a group of people see themselves together as forming one party to a relationship and that they therefore have shared interests that they wish to see represente  a collective basis. Some of these rights, expectations and obligations are unspoken: you assume that your close Friends will not purposely do anything to harm you, but you do not feel that this needs to be said explicitly. In other things, you may need to negotiate and reach agreement; in spite  of the much heralded concept of equality of the sexes, división of labour in the household can still be a contentious  area in hetereosexual relationships.

If you accept that complex framework applies to personal relationships, it should not come as any suprise that the employment relationship is governed by a complex mix of individual and collective agreements, implicit and explicit understadings and rights and obligations enshrined in legal statutes, and that other influences  such as culture and the balance of power apply to it too.


Our Employment relations

Improvements in the contribution that our employees make to our employing organisation can often be achieved through developing better employment relations. Áreas to consider include consultation, communications, employee involvement and engagement, and the development of a partnership approach.

Our  pluralist perspective

Our Pluralist believe that in any organisation a range of interests are likely to be represented among the members.  One example of this is that our employees are likely to be interested in increasing the pay they receive for a unit of work, whereas managers and owners will be concerned to increase profits. This is a clear example of differing objectives or a plurality of interests in the workplace. The existence of differing interests means that conflicts are likely to arise as the various parties pursue their interests, and pluralist accept that this is natural and needs to be managed. These conflicts should be managed in such a way that they do not disrupt the running of the organisation, or even so that they potentially contribute to its success.

Partnership, participation and our employee involvement:

  • Our Employees, who depend on their organisation for their livelihood and for the pleasantness or otherwise of their work life.
  • Our Customers, who have their own requirement of the organisation and who expect organisations to take their concerns into consideration
  • Our Suppliers, who depend for their own livelihood on the success of client organisations
  • The community, which depends on organisations to protect the environment.
  • Our Partnership can be achieved in both a unionised and non-unionised environment.

There is nothing to stop a non-unionised organisation from making arrangement with its employees to consult with elected representatives on a wide range of issues.

Balance of the power

The extent to which one party in a relationship has rights and the extent to which that party has obligations depend in some measure on the balance of power between the two parties

The contract of employment

It is a common misapprehension that the letter offering employment or the writen documentation supplied by an employer to an employee constitutes the contract of employment. A contract is basically an agreement, and despite the saying that an oral contract is as good as the paper it’s written on, if a person offers you employment over a cup of coffe in a restaurant and you accept the offer, you have a contract with each other. The written statement is evidence or proof that a contract exists , but it is not a contract per se; it is a statement of what has been agreed.

Implied and express terms

Contract are made up of express terms and implied terms. As the phrase indicate, an express ter mis something that is regarded as important enough to be dealt with specifically and agreed on. Some term may be and not stated explicitly . there is a statutory mínimum as far as the amount of notice that an emplyer should give is concerned, so if there is no explicit mention of this in the contract, the statutory mínimum, so if there is no explicit mention of this in the contract, the statutory mínimum will be the implied term. On the whole it is best for employers to be explicit about any terms they require, for example with regard to mobility. If you are likely to require an employee to work at various locations , particularly if you already have establishments in various geografically dispersed locations, it is advisable to include this requirement as an express term in the contract. Even then, the enforcement of such contract terms is not without difficulties; you have to be able to show that the term is justified and it has to be applied in a reasonable fashion.  In a case involving a british council requirement of its employees to work anywhere in the uk on promotion to a certain grade, it was held that this could amount to indirect sex discrimination unless the broadly stated requeriment could be justified. Such a clause could be seen as indirect discrimination becouse fewer women would be able to comply with it than men.

Implied terms include:

On the part of the employer

  • The duty to maintain mutual trust and confidence

On the part of the employee

  • The duty to obey lawful and reasonable orders
  • The duty of fidelity
  • The duty to work with due diligence and care

The duty fidelity can be explained as the obligation to act in good faith in dealings with an employer or on behalf of an employer. For example, submitting a tender for a contract that your employer in pursuing could be construed as breaching the implied duty to give faithful service. The employee also has an implied duty not to disclose confidential information, and a duty to cooperate with the employer, not to deliberately cause disruptions.

The European Union (EU) and UK employment Law

EU law takes effect in a number of ways, the most important being regulations, which have direct effect in member states and directives,which have to be implemented through national legislation. Some directives, for example those that improvements related to health and safety. Can be adopted by qualified majority voting. Which means that they must be enacted by all member states, including the minority that voted against them. This contracts with directives concerning the social rights and interests of employees, which require unanimity and from which individual member states can opt out.