Site Loader

From a point position of the people who are presently populating in developed societies, the term Employment Relations is all about commanding the relation between employee demands and objectives/goals of an Administration.

“The employment relationship is an exchange relationship whose distinguishing characteristic is that it involves both market and managerial dealingss. The footing of the relation is that the employees receive touchable wagess in return for selling their labour or/and cognition power to be used mostly at the employer ‘s discretion. “ ( Source- Sisson 2009 )

Expectations and Interests in employment relation ( Source- Budd and Bhave 2006 ):


1 ) Their first and most of import involvement in ‘Survival and Income ‘s. Without income, they can non last, so in order to last they must do certain that they have a steady income rate.

2 ) Second, the employees expect ‘Equity and Voice ‘ . In other words, it is acknowledgment for their work and fulfillment of their demands through representation/voice.

3 ) The other involvement of employees is ‘Social Identity ‘ . They want their ain circle of friends and they want to be recognised by the society for who they are.

4 ) The 4th demand of employees is about ‘Power and Control ‘ . They require control over the work they do. It can be in footings of working hours or how much work they are making and power over their work agencies, ability to do their employers met their demands.


1 ) The first involvement of employers is clear in all sectors of employment, it is ‘Profit Maximization ‘ . Any employer does concern to do net income, so merely like employees want income, same manner employers require net income to run their concern. The more net income they make, the more they develop their concern.

2 ) This involvement most of the clip decides whether a concern will be doing maximal net income or non. ‘Market Share ‘ is the factor that controls how much net income an administration can do. Any administration which dominates their market sector are more likely to make their coveted net income.

3 ) Just like the employees, the employers besides want ‘Power and Control ‘ . As they want net income, of course they would wish control over their workers and to make so, they need power over the work force so that struggles do n’t happen.


In a recent survey by TUC ( Trade Union Congress ) on Employment Trends, they discovered that in a large metropolis like Glasgow there are 23,758 claimants for 2,836 vacancies, which means that about 8.4 people are using for the same occupation. So the options for the people looking occupations are really thin. ( )

In the above treatments it was pointed out that an employee does n’t hold every bit many options as an employer does, due to the high Numberss claimants for each occupation vacancies. So, of course one time a worker gets a occupation and faces some jobs or has some demands that he wants the employer to carry through, he needs some sort of organic structure to take that demand to the direction. Its non physically possible for direction to speak to all the employees ( Specially in the large companies with big figure of workers ), so the lone manner workers can present their voice to the employer is through some sort of medium and since nineteenth-century the employees have been utilizing Unions as that medium.

From the twelvemonth 1892, the figure of brotherhoods started to change, with the highest addition of brotherhoods during the period of 1917-1920 ( 15 % addition in brotherhood denseness, UK ) and most decline in Numberss during 1920-1926 ( 16.9 % lessening in brotherhood denseness, UK ) .By the twelvemonth 1979 Union rank had risen to 13,447,000 from 1,576,000 in 1892. ( Source-Bain & A ; Price, 1983 )

Representation of workers at workplace:

There are few grounds behind, why employees need representation. They may experience the demand of representation due to dissatisfaction with working environment or worker ‘s might believe that with a voice in from of representative, that they will acquire higher rewards and the employers will be forced to hold with demand of their work force. Now, this sort of thought can be merely come to mind when there are differences between the two parties.

‘A widespread unfavorable judgment of direction during the sixtiess and 1970s, a point which still holds today, is that employees may non experience that everyone portions the same end in their workplace and they may reject a unitary position. In many, if non most, employees in the workplace talk of “ us ” and described directors as “ them ” , believing that there are two sides with partly conflicting involvements ‘ . ( Source- Contemporary Human Resource Management-3rd edition by Tom Redman & A ; Adrian Wilkinson )

The Reason employees give for fall ining brotherhoods

Support if I had a job at work

72 %

Improved wage and status

36 %

Because I believe in trade brotherhoods

16 %

Free legal advice

15 %

Most people at work are member

14 %

( Source- Waddington and Whitston, 1997, p.521 )

Decline in brotherhood signifiers of representation:

Role of Representatives:

At one glace, what the study conducted in 1998 suggest is that the ‘job description ‘ of the representatives has changed compared to earlier old ages. Now, they spend most of their clip covering with concerns raised by intervention of employees by direction, employment security, wellness and safety issues and keeping pay rate along with worker ‘s benefits. ( Source- Cully et al. 1999: 201-2 )

However, the 1998 study tried to bring out the effectivity of the activities performed by the representative. The first clip the employees were asked about whether brotherhoods make a difference or non, merely 46 % of the brotherhood members, 30 % of the employees who have ne’er been brotherhood members and 26 % of employees who were brotherhood members agreed that they do. ( Source- Cully et al. 1999: 212 )

Strike Frequency Showing Decline in Union activity ( Beginning: Industrial Relations-Theory & A ; Practice by Paul Edwards )

During the period of 1980s and 1990s trade brotherhood members per centum came down to 30 % merely. Even of per centum of brotherhoods in workplace fell down to 38 % in 2004 from 53 % in 1980 ( Source- Kersley et Al. 2006 ) .In footings of figure of brotherhood members in UK, the figure dropped to 7million in twelvemonth 2000 from 12.5million.

Like any incident, this 1 besides had some possible ground behind it. The possible factors/reasons doing this diminution are as follows:

Decline in Union acknowledgment since 1980s is chiefly because of the failure of the workers to organize their fellow workers and achieve acknowledgment of brotherhoods in new house and workplaces ( Machin 2000 ). With market force per unit area lifting all the clip, the directors were loath to recognize brotherhoods as they wanted to avoid higher rewards. As the fabrication workss and manual workers started to diminish in Numberss, traditional corporate bargaining through brotherhoods begin to vanish ( Milward et al. 1992 ) .

During 1990s, these factor caused three-quarter diminution in corporate bargaining. ( Charlwood 2007 )

As a consequence of this diminution, the brotherhood pay premium comparing the rewards of non-unionised workers during a period of brotherhood failing has reduced over clip ( Blanchflower and Bryson, 2003 ) . Unions had another of import consequence which was contracting down the difference in wage distribution. So, usually with brotherhood activity eroded, the pay inequality started to lift and director ‘s and executive manager ‘s salary quickly increased, as the directors were paying less rewards to workers. Worsening unionism besides effected employee preparation degrees. Trade brotherhoods ever promote equality at workplace. For illustration in Britain 96 % of nonionized topographic points have equality/fairness policies, compared to 63 % of non-unionised workplaces. ( Kersley et al. 2006, p.238 )

So, harmonizing to the grounds here, Unions have some positive points in their activities but as clip has progressed, the directors have become more and more unresponsive to brotherhood claims and demands. They are no longer able to floor employers into better patterns to raise productiveness. ( Bryson et al. 2006 )

Replacement of Unions With HRM:

With the uninterrupted undertaking Numberss of brotherhoods, what would be a suited replacing of it? That was the inquiry that the concern universe had to face. The workers evidently wanted some voice in the administration and directors were besides looking for a manner to command the workers. Since the 1980s the term ‘Personnel Management ‘ or ‘Personnel Manager ‘ has been progressively replaced with the term ‘Human Resource Management ‘ .

Now there are two ways to construe HRM, on one manus HRM is used for pull offing people in administration and seek to convey them under one umbrella where they are together. On the other manus, another manner to construe HRM is pull offing labour by prosecuting employees and by winning their committedness to the administration, therefore bettering the public presentation of the company as a remarkable concern organic structure.

‘So by and large talking the focal point is no longer on trade brotherhoods, it is more about communicating, managing alterations, actuating the staff and increasing their engagement ‘ ( Emmot 2005: 3 ) .

The HRM maps are as follows:

Job analysis is really of import map of HRM. Every position/job in an administration requires a set of accomplishments and each worker has his ain set of accomplishments. So, as HR section, their occupation is to pick the right individual for the right sort of occupation where accomplishments required and accomplishments available lucifer. For illustration: if there is a topographic point unfastened in the IT section, than the HR section must take person with IT skills instead than person who has no cognition on IT. Human Resource Planning involves be aftering about how many employees to engage, their pay graduated table etc. Recruitment and Selection is about engaging or choosing an employee from a batch of other appliers.

Here once more, choosing or enrolling will the employee will depend on the accomplishments required and accomplishments possessed. Training and development depends on the organizational demand. If the company needs its workers to get new accomplishments, than they will supply them necessary preparation and develop their accomplishments. Employee public assistance include maps like working environment, wage, wellness & A ; safety, equal chance, grudge direction and civilization direction. Some other maps performed by HR section are knowledge direction, disciplinary process, disposal of employment contracts etc.

HRM is non about anti-union attack. It is more about pull offing employees and their involvements in a manner that there is no demand for brotherhoods. ‘Organisations appear to hold adopted peculiar elements of the HRM attack. Rather than following all the attacks, they tend to follow the specific attacks that are appropriate for their demands, specially direct methods of communicating like squad briefing, in ad ad hoc and timeserving manner ( Legge 2005 ) .So HRM in a manner is about committedness theoretical account, as high committedness from employees towards the administration is equal to the improved organizational public presentation.

Downside of HRM ( Source: Human Resource Management Journal-Vol 21 No 4 2011-Article of P.Thompson on ‘The problem with HRM ‘ )

Now like everything else, even HRM has some jobs. There are many research workers around the universe who believe that HRM is non the reply for the struggle of involvements. It is said that HRM has major defects practically and theoretically.

‘The human resource direction profession faces a crisis of trust and a loss of legitimacy in the eyes of its major stakeholders. The two-decade attempt to develop a new ‘strategic human resource direction ‘ ( HR ) function in organisations has failed to recognize its promised potency of greater position, influence, and accomplishment ‘ ( Kochan, 2007: 599 ) .

In a instance survey, Karreman and Alvesson ( 2004 ) argue that HRM works in house non because it is an efficient manner of pull offing people, but because of the maps which promote individuality building, which creates a feeling of competition, belonging etc.

“Management of the employment relationship is structured around the publicity of ‘brand kernel ‘ in which the powerful HR section is tasked with the execution of the appropriate patterns to accomplish this, focused on an ’employment trade‘, with attach toing communicating narrative and intensive socialization processes. It did non work. Employees non merely did non populate the trade name, they were doubting and frequently downright disdainful of it. They were speedy to descry the disagreement between the trade name narration and their experience of wages restraint and work insecurity. Furthermore, they blamed HR for operating as a cheerleader for the board and trade name, instead than an honest and just regulator of the employment relationship. “ ( Beginning: P.Thompson, Human Resource Management Journal,2011 )

So it can be stated that HRM can be more of tool for direction, instead than a voice of employees. Now, the inquiry that remains is, ‘What should be the solution for the worsening signifier of brotherhood representation, if HRM is in sufficient? ‘


The 1997 election of ‘New Labour ‘ in UK produced a new public policy environment, with the Employment Relation Act 1999 and Fairness at Work programme introduced new rights for trade brotherhoods and single employees ( Dickens et al. 2005 ). The chief purpose of this legislative programme was to ‘replace the impression of struggle between the employers and employees with the publicity of partnership in the longer term ‘ ( HMSO 1998 ).

The Institute of Personnel and development described ‘partnership ‘ as relation between employers and employees, separately and in groups, but it has nil to make with brotherhoods ( IPD 1997, p.8 ) . Unsurprisingly, the definition supported by TUC emphasised on giving importance to brotherhood influence. Despite this polar opposite positions, the Involvement and Participation Association ( IPA ) , which is an independent force per unit area group developed a new definition of partnership which was accepted and endorsed by taking companies and trade brotherhood leaders.

This definition requires directors to do several committednesss, declare occupation security, portion success with employees, recognize employee rights, employee ‘s right to information sing any subject of administration. In return the brotherhoods have to advance flexible working along with employee engagement methods and give sympathetic consideration to the Continental theoretical account of representation of a whole work force by election of representatives.

Employers and brotherhoods surprisingly signed more partnership understandings than expected. In fact, 248 partnership understandings were signed during the clip period of 1997-2007 ( Bacon and Samuel 2007 ) . Employers and brotherhoods subscribing the understanding have to cover with two important issues. First, both parties have to to the full perpetrate to a individual scheme of concerted industrial dealingss throughout the administration and avoid behaving in a short-run, contradictory or timeserving mode. Second critical issue for the hereafter of partnership understanding is whether they deliver greater returns for directors and trade brotherhoods. If neither of the party acquire any return than the partnership attack with of course fade away.


It all comes down to ‘Efficacy ‘ of Unions and HRM.Is the worsening figure of brotherhoods traveling to be a job? If it is thought from a rational point of position, so the undertaking brotherhood Numberss is decidedly a job, because a HR director can non understand the jobs and demands of employees every bit good as another employee would. So the part/role of the employee representative/steward is important for the interest of employee ‘s involvements.

A HR director may be considerate about the workers of his administration, but as a human being he will ever hold his ain demands and ca n’t perchance ever think or work like a worker representative. For illustration, if the workers of a company have two demands, like better pay rate and betterment in the quality of repast the canteen provides so the director might merely advert the job with the repast, as most of the company proprietors are stiff about increasing pay rates. For this ground, being of a representative who is a worker himself is really of import for the wellbeing of the workers. That manner, the representative can understand which subject is more of import for the work force to set frontward to the higher authorization.

To sum up, it is clear that brotherhood signifier of representation is indispensable for effectual employee representation, but the direction has involvements every bit good and after all they are running a concern to do net incomes. So, the lone possible solution which may run into the involvement of both sides with less struggles is, uniting brotherhood signifier with HR section or ‘partnership ‘ . That manner both parties can advert their point which may do it easier for the administration to be encompassed as one squad with better public presentation.

Example in support of Partnership being the solution ( Source-Contemporary Human Resource Management, Text and Cases by, Tom Redman & A ; Adrian Wilkinson:

During 1990, from a background of really hapless employee relation, NatBank, which is one of the major bank in UK introduced partnership understanding to their administration. With the lifting competition in the market, its indispensable to better employee dealingss. The formal understanding subscribing took topographic point on twelvemonth 2000, based on six rules of partnership, which are:

1 ) To guarantee and advance long-run success of NatBank.2 ) To advance the involvement of employees, clients and shareholders.3 ) To guarantee that NatBank run into client outlooks by holding right people, in the right topographic point and at right cost.4 ) To ease the direction of change.5 ) To guarantee employees are managed reasonably and professoinally.6 ) To advance quality of intervention, chance for all by valuing diverseness.

In comparing to the 1990s, relation between the senior directors and brotherhood functionaries started to better. There was believe that prior to partnership, the relation between direction and brotherhood was best described as ‘arms-length legislative conformity ‘ . After the partnership understanding at that place was a great grade of trust and common regard between the two parties. This did non intend that they did n’t hold any kind of job or dissensions, because these are portion of every relationship and a relation can non last without any kind of dissension. A concluding concern was sustainability of partnership. However, it is sensible to reason that despite of these challenges, a partnership attack seem good rooted plenty, showing success and presenting assortment of benefits to the histrions of the employee relation.

Post Author: admin