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HRM210 Human Resource Management

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HRM210 Human Resource Management

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Course Code: HRM210
University: Charles Sturt University is not sponsored or endorsed by this college or university

Country: Australia


Assessment brief:
You have been asked by your CIPD Branch to lead a discussion at one of its events on ‘The evolving role of HR in the contemporary business world’. You have been asked to produce a paper for inclusion in the delegate pack.
In your paper, you should include the following:
1- Provide a brief analysis of the indeterminacy of employment relations and an assessment of the factors which impact on employment relations. In your analysis briefly compare and contrast unitarist and pluralist approach.
2- briefly critique the key features of the contract of employment. Identify the main sources of UK and EU employment relations law and include a brief summary of some of the main developments in individual and employment law.
3- Provide a brief summary on how would advise on the purpose and scope of statutory trade union recognition.
4- clarifies the key terms used in employee involvement and participation. Explain the extent to which they can strengthen employee voice in a union and non-union context. Provide a brief assessment of the link between employee voice and organisation performance.
5- Briefly explains the differences between conflict and misbehaviour at work and between official and unofficial industrial action. In your answer, give a brief review of some contemporary trends in the type of conflict and industrial sanctions.
6- Explain what is required to advise, coach and guide line managers in the skills for handling grievance or dispute in the workplace. Distinguish between third-party conciliation, mediation, and arbitration.


Indeterminacy of employment relation means assessing the factors that put impact on the relations of employment. In addition, it is need to turn the labour into something positive and productive for the organization. It means, employment has the ability but it is required  by the employer to turn that capability that will provide the positive contribution in the organization. According to “International labour organization,” it is a legal link between he employer and its employees. It simply exists when any person perform work under some conditions to get back the remuneration in return (Marginson, 2015). In order to maintain the employment relations, organization should trust the commitment and action of employees to fulfil the objectives of the organization. Same, employees also help the employer as well organization by bringing some new ideas for the success of the organization. There are various laws made for the employee rights (Williams, 2017). All the law covers the obligations and rights within the employee-employer relationship. It may be job applicant, former employee, or current employee. Due to the chances of various situations, employment law involves some legal issues named wrongful termination, workplace safety, discrimination, or wages issue. As these are the right of an employee to feel safe at work, free from any type of discrimination, right to get fair wages (Taylor and Emir, 2015).
Employment relation between the employer and employee is dynamic. There are various internal and factors that put impact on the relationship of employment. The environment in which today’s business operate is complex. Therefore, there is need to maintain effective leadership and employee engagement as well human resource team is also required to aware of all those factor that can impact the relationship. External factors include PESTLE analysis (political, economic, social, technological, economical, legal conditions). It analyse the threats and opportunities that are lying outside the organization (Palm, Ullström, Sandahl and Bergman, 2015). According to the condition presents outside, relationship between the employer and employee changes. For example- if there are various threats present for the organization then it is require by the employer to take some strict approach so that it can be overcome. Internal factors include the People (relationship with line managers, company’s culture and values), resources (people are well trained or not, time and tools to ensure the good work), and innovation (does organization welcome the new ideas or it recognise the people for their best contribution) (Edwards, 2008).
There are various approaches of employment relationship. Among those, Unitarist approach states that all the members are homogenous (sharing of same interest). In this approach, third part is treated as irrelevant. In this, all the staff members and management share the same goal through the loyalty. On the other hand, pluralism approach focuses more on the collective bargaining and compromising because it think that interest of different groups create the conflict in the management. Therefore, negotiation and conflict is recognised important in this approach (Leonard, 2018).
2. Key features of employment contract

Employment contract – it is the important features of employment contract. It states that in order to make a contract valid, it is essential to offer acceptance and benefit which is known as consideration. If new employee signs a contract for employment, the benefit in return for that is known as employment. However, it is not necessary that employee always require benefit in monetary terms. It can also possible that it is working for getting some knowledge from that. In addition, consideration requirement is fulfilled by assuring a level of promotion for the existing employee. Besides promotion, various other factors can fulfil the consideration requirement of an existing employee such as appreciation with increase in pay scale (Redsteer, 2018).
Confidentiality- Confidentiality is also one such clause which found in employment contract. It may embrace different things such as business operations, marketing strategies, trade secrets. For example- if the business enterprise is too unique that disclosure of processes would lessen the marketing advantage by adding a confidentiality clause.
Work product and termination- ownership of work product is also one such feature of employment contract. If employees invent the product under the scope of employment, organization can take the ownership of inventions by expressing the intention of doing so. Additionally, it includes a provision that states the termination. However, it is necessary to state the valid reason for termination.

In UK, employees are not given the right to written contract of employment. In EU, employee are given a written statement which defined the working condition and pay within the 28 days from starting of work. Many people on the zero hours contract loss the right of basic workplace because they work for some shorter duration (Wrench, 2016). Employers also treat them in such a way that they are not the employees. These zero hours contract employees do not get any information regarding their working hours as well as pay.
By focusing on zero contract employees, EU has decided to ensure to provide written statement for their expected hours of work and pay rates. In 1998, UK implemented the working time for 48-hour working week. In this, it has also decided the daily rest period 11 sequential hours as well as weekly rest period of 24 sequential hours. In recent time, approx. 700,000 employees work for more than 48 hours a week (Rogowski, 2016). Directive has also given a statutory right to the UK worker for paid annual leave for the very first time. On the annual leave right, ECJ have stated that workers who will fall ill before the decided annual leave have the right to reschedule their leave.
EU “Pregnant Workers Directive 1992” also led to the improvement in safety and health for new mothers at the workplace. It has provided the paid time off for their appointments. It has also provided the duty to employers for assessing he risk, adjustment of their working conditions as well transferring a breastfeeding worker to some alternative work or gives them paid leave when harm is being identified. While the maternity leave of UK have already exceeded the EU minimum of 14 weeks. Besides this, case law from the ECJ has positive impact on the women’s in tackling the discrimination that they face after becoming mother. It is made clear that treating a woman inappropriate just because of their maternity leave is direct sex discrimination. An amendment is done in the sex discrimination law of UK to create a separate category of pregnancy discrimination.
3. Statutory trade union recognition
In June 2000, statutory came into force in UK through which trade unions can pursue the recognition from their employer for the process of collective bargaining. Provision of Employment relation act 1999 were came into effect by the government on sixth of June. This new legislation states that collective bargaining process will not be resolved jointly through the employer concerned. In this, union may also refer the matter to the central arbitration committee. Trade union formed for the purpose for regulating the relation between workers and employers or between workers and workers. It impose the restrictive trade conditions on the conduct of business. It plays an important role in the organization to negotiate with the employer for the sake of employees. In today’s complex business situation, it is necessary to recognise the trade union. A trade union is said to be recognised when an employer agrees to negotiate with the unions for working condition and pay on the behalf of members of the organization.
Statutory trade union recognition occurs when trade union and employer both not coming to a voluntary recognition agreement, in this case union can apply for statutory recognition. Trade union can apply for statutory recognition only if it employs 21 workers or more. There is need to recognise the trade union so that a fair and job security can be maintained in the workplace. This is done to achieve some goals related to hours, wages as well as working condition (Humphrey, 2017).
Recognition of trade union has a huge scope in future. It helps in collective bargaining. It covers the various issues such as ensuring the way in which a meeting will arrange. The purpose of recognising a trade union is to protect the interest of the workers and help them in their betterment. There are times when organization themselves recognise the trade union. However, sometimes they do not recognise the union who are working for the employees. In this case, it makes an application to the Central Arbitration committee for their recognition. When majority of the workers agree for the recognition of trade union, CAC will impose the one. The purpose of recognised trade union is that it can take several actions for the employees. It can legally bargain for its employees and has right to work for the workers. There are times when workers right are exploited and it requires taking some initiative by the union. If union is not recognised legally, then it might happen that organization not take the appropriate action for the workers. Therefore, a recognised trade union facilitates multiple benefits to the employees in protecting their rights and bargaining for various things. In addition to this, trade union will play a prominent role in the future. There will be separate and strong recognition of trade union. In today’s time, there are times when employee’s rights are exploited which require a right action to be taken.
Managing people in an organization has become a complex part of business management. Both the term employee participation and employee involvement are used in this field. Employee participation is defined a way that a process where employees are provided an opportunity to take part in decision-making on those matters that affect involving employees in the organization, they can fight for their betterment in the organization. If employees are given the right of getting involved in the decision-making process or the things that affects them, it will help the employees to at least get the good pay and better working condition. Every organization has trade union that work for the protection of employees. If employees are aware that they have the right to take decision if they are not satisfied, it will promote the better employees in the organization. In addition to union context, it also provides the voice to employees when top-level management takes any final decision. Involvement of employees in decision-making of the top level assists the employees to think of their best.
On the other hand, employee involvement is a process that is designed to engage, support, and understand by making the optimum contribution of employees in the organization. Employee involvement states that employees are important human asset in the organization. Therefore, they are required to treated as essential human being not as only cog in the machine. In this, the input of every employee is being given the value by management. There is some difference lie between both the terms. Employee involvement one the one side includes the one-on-one approach between the management as well as employee. In this way employee involvement, encourage the employees to take the ownership by participating in decision-making. Employee participation is a collective process in which person joins each other in all those activities that matter in the company. For the best effect and positive outcome in future, both the terms are required to practised simultaneously. For the sake of individual employee as well as organization, employees must be involved (Morreaux, 2018).
Employee involvement is the responsibility of employer to find the opportunities for employees so that they involve in the activities of the organization. As success of the organization also depends on the contribution of its employees, so it is essential for the companies to provide them specific task for some time limit. After the completion of task, the employees are apprised accordingly. Based on their performance, they can negotiate for their rights and better opportunities. Besides this, it can also demand for some career opportunities that will help them in the future. Employee participation also provides the opportunities to the employees for participating in decision-making. By doing this, employees are empowered in the organization as well as take the responsibility for carrying out various activities. Therefore, it is a kind of motivation for the employees by giving them opportunity to participate in decision-making (Chen, Tang, Jin and Paillé, 2015).
Employee voice is a key to better productivity in the organization. Employee voice is presented as an opportunity for employee’s to take part in decision-making that was limited to top manager only. It is a key to the success of the organization. The organizations who give the voice to it employees are more successful than those who have not given voice to its employees (Collings, Wood and Szam osi, 2018). Employees also work hard when they know that their decisions are given value in the organization. In addition, it increases the engagement and drives the innovation on part of its employees. As a result of this, organization is able to grow more by adding new and innovative ideas of its employees (Mowbray, Wilkinson and Tse, 2015).
According to Vardi and Weitz, (2016), misbehaviour is any deliberate action hat is doe intentionally by the members of the organization. The action of these intentional action results in violating of social norms as well core values of organization. There are some examples of misbehaviour such as harassment, misappropriation, stealing, cheating on government, and harm on company property as well as misleading consumers for personal sake. Considering conflict, a natural phenomenon is not done intentionally but bound to occur in groups, associations or in workplace. Conflict increases when expectation increases or when the parties work together for long time for their corporate or personal goals. Conflict has several parameters that involve trade embargoes, fighting, and sometimes war. All these things occur due to variations in opinions, perspective, and personalities which negative affect the workplace. In the workplace, conflict is disagreement that takes place between the workers in or outside the working hours. In the current scenario, conflict goes beyond the normal disagreement that results in clashes and difficulties in working with each other.
When conflicts occur between employees and employers, there is a need to resolve before it escalates to any industrial action especially in the unionized working environment. Usually, employees are in conflict with the employers due to several issues related to pay structure, working conditions or due to non-fulfilment of any promise. If the mentioned issues are not resolved on time, it will result in any industrial action. In the context of labour relation, an industrial action is such action that is taken by unions which results in reducing the productivity at the workplace. Sometimes, it also results in bans, go-slows, or strikes.
In today’s time, unionization is increasing to a great level. Employees are joining trade unions in order to protect and enhance their employment interest. If the above mentioned issues are unresolved, trade union take step find solution. If the trade union fails in doing so, it leads to industrial action. As industrial means breach of contract, Therefore it is required to follow legal procedure.
Conflict, industrial actions and misbehaviour whether it is official or unofficial, it have a significant impact on the organization. Therefore, it is essential for the managers to enhance their Ability to identify as well as manage the misbehaviour of employees before it harm the organization and leads to industrial action that process to be very costly. A proper disciplinary mechanism for the identification and punishing misbehaviour requires a long way to go. Proactive managers should be able to manage the conflicts arising between employees and management before it results in any industrial action. It is necessary to manage this because it affects the productivity in the organization. Employees should also be aware of the legal implications of engaging in industrial actions.
There is an increasing trend for managing the day-to-day activities of the management by the line manager. Because of this, line managers have the responsibility for handling issues such as employee grievances. The line manager covers the effective management of grievances, keeping the records, hearing grievances, investing and resolving the grievances. Grievances are the complaints or problems that are raised by the employees with their employer. The grievance matter includes working environment, employee’s work, benefits, and pay, health and safety, working hours, general treatment (Saundry, Jones and Wibberley, 2015).
Grievance handling is an important task for the line managers. If a grievance has been raised, this is a responsibility for the lien manager to solve this. Therefore, knowing about a problem is too essential for the manager top solve the issue appropriately. For this, it is necessary for the line manager to have effective communication skills to discuss the problem with respective employee. If a manager refuses to listen the employee’s grievance or does not take interest in solving the problem, it will result in two grievances. The first grievance is related to the original problem of employee and second grievance will occur due to the manager unhelpful response. In order to handle the grievance properly, line manager require various skills such as patience, capability of listening well, empathy, ability of remaining objective, honesty, well communication skills. There is huge importance of acting quickly. If any employee raises any kind of grievance, it is essential for the manager to deal with the grievance promptly. Besides this, manager must also arrange a hearing. Various skills are required by a line manager to solve the grievance at this meeting. Firstly, manager should ensure the employee to explain the problem properly. It should also consider the policies, rules, and procedure of the company while solving the issue. Therefore, it is understood that abilities and skills for managing grievance are essential for satisfying the employees.
Managing the conflict has also become a challenge for the employers. In the year 2006-07, dispute has been increased to 132,577 as compare to the previous year. Conflict has been increasing to a great level while working in an organization. Conflict might occur due to the different choices. Sometimes, when two persons do not agree on one point and it lead to conflict among them. Line manager, in this case, is required to be sensitive enough to handle the issue. Taking the action for managing conflict might be frightening for some managers but it is an important part of the role and responsibility of line managers. Participative approach is mandatory for the managers. Appropriate mediator skills are advised for the line manager to handle the conflict situations. It should also speak to the each party individually so that it can better understand the problem and come up with a best solution. Today’s business environment is becoming too complex that requires handling the conflict in the organization for its best productivity and output (Currie, Gormley, Roche and Teague, 2017).
Arbitration is such methods where parties do not take the matter to the court rather solve it by appointing a third party. On the other hand, conciliation is that method where the settlement is made out of the court. The dispute is settled through the third party who is called conciliator (ACAS, 2013). In this, parties are not bound by the proposal of the conciliator. As compare to both, Mediation is that method where the parties themselves who are involved in the dispute search solutions (Domke, 2018).
ACAS. (2013) Mediation, conciliation, arbitration: What’s the difference?. [online] Available from: [accessed 22/10/18].
Chen, Y., Tang, G., Jin, J., Li, J. and Paillé, P. (2015) Linking market orientation and environmental performance: The influence of environmental strategy, employee’s environmental involvement, and environmental product quality. Journal of Business Ethics, 127(2), pp.479-500.
Collings, D.G., Wood, G.T. and Szamosi, L.T. (2018) Human resource management: A critical approach. In Human Resource Management (pp. 1-23). Routledge.
Currie, D., Gormley, T., Roche, B. and Teague, P. (2017) The management of workplace conflict: Contrasting pathways in the HRM literature. International Journal of Management Reviews, 19(4), pp.492-509.
Domke, M. (2018) Arbitration. [online] Available from: [accessed 21/10/18].
Edwards, P. (2008) The employment perspective in strategic HRM. In The Routledge companion to strategic human resource management (pp. 57-68). Routledge.
Gomez, R. and Gunderson, M. (2016) The experience good model of trade union membership. The Changing Role of Unions: New Forms of Representation Edited by: Phanindra V. Wunnava (New York: ME Sharpe, 2005).
Humphrey, J.C. (2017) Towards a politics of the rainbow: Self-organization in the trade union movement. United Kingdom: Routledge.
Johnson, P. and Szamosi, L.T. (2018) HRM in changing organizational contexts. In Human resource management (pp. 27-48). United Kingdom: Routledge.
Leonard, K. (2018) What Are the Different Approaches of Organizational Development Towards Industrial Relations?. [online] Available from: [accessed 21/10/18].
Marginson, P. (2015) The changing nature of collective employment relations. Employee Relations, 37(6), pp.645-657.
Morreaux, A.D. (2018) The difference between Employee involvement and Employee participation. [online] Available from: [accessed 20/10/18].
Mowbray, P.K., Wilkinson, A. and Tse, H.H. (2015) An integrative review of employee voice: Identifying a common conceptualization and research agenda. International Journal of Management Reviews, 17(3), pp.382-400.
Palm, K., Ullström, S., Sandahl, C. and Bergman, D. (2015) Employee perceptions of managers’ leadership over time. Leadership in organization, 28(4), pp.266-280.
Redsteer, A. (2018) Key features of Employment contract. [online] Available from: [accessed 21/10/18].
Rogowski, R. (2016) Introduction. In The European Social Model and Transitional Labour Markets (pp. 15-20). Routledge.
Saundry, R., Jones, C. and Wibberley, G. (2015) The challenge of managing informally. Employee Relations, 37(4), pp.428-441.
Taylor, S. and Emir, A. (2015) Employment law: an introduction. Oxford University Press, USA.
Vardi, Y. and Weitz, E. (2016) Misbehavior in organizations: A dynamic approach. United Kingdom: Routledge.
Williams, S. (2017) Introducing Employment Relations. Oxford University Press.
Wrench, J. (2016) Diversity management and discrimination: Immigrants and ethnic minorities in the EU. Routledge.

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