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Employment Relations. Ian Mejia Redfield College 2009. Effective Employment Relations. The Role of ER in business success Communication Systems Rewards Traning and Development Measures of Effectiveness Ethical and Legal Issues. Syllabus. Effective employment relations

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Employment relations

Employment Relations

Ian Mejia

Redfield College


Effective employment relations

Effective Employment Relations

The Role of ER in business success

Communication Systems


Traning and Development

Measures of Effectiveness

Ethical and Legal Issues


Effective employment relations

  • • role of employment relations

  • • communications systems — grievance procedures, worker participation, team briefings

  • • rewards — financial, non-financial

  • • training and development — induction

  • • flexible working conditions — family-friendly programs

  • • measures of effectiveness — levels of staff turnover, absenteeism, disputation, quality, benchmarking

Employment relations and business success
Employment Relations and Business Success

  • Related to business goals and objectives

  • Employment relations as a means of competitive advantage

  • Human Resource Management

Communication systems
Communication Systems

  • Effective ER relies on open lines of communication.

  • Good communication leads to improved performance through

    • Senior management can communicate goals easier

    • Employees ideas will not be wasted

    • Employees are more involved and will be more motivated and satisfied

    • Business will have a clearer focus

    • Conflict can be avoided or resolved quicker

What are some direct and indirect communication strategies
What are some direct and indirect communication strategies?

  • Daily walk around by management

  • Regular formal meetings

  • Staff newsletters or bulletins

  • Suggestion schemes

  • Surveys

  • Emails

  • Other

Grievance procedures
Grievance Procedures

  • A grievance is a dispute about the interpretation or operation of an employment contract or alleged cases of discrimination.

  • A grievance procedure is a pre-determined set of guidelines outlined in the employment contract or award to resolve a dispute without industrial action

Benefits of grievance procedures
Benefits of Grievance Procedures

  • Minimise productivity loss and business disruption

  • Gives employees opportunities to voice concerns and problems

  • Decreases staff turnover

Worker participation
Worker Participation

  • Allowing workers to influence and decide on operations and decisions within the organisation.

  • Results in higher job satisfaction, increased loyalty, increased motivation, and greater workplace cohesion.

  • Increases flexibility in the workplace as decision making is decentralised.

Worker participation1
Worker Participation

  • Work teams

  • Autonomous work teams

  • Quality circles

  • Employee representatives

  • Worker Committees

  • Team Building

Industrial democracy
Industrial Democracy

  • Decision making power is shared amongst the organisation

  • Employers may see this as a challenge to their authority.

Team briefings
Team Briefings

  • Effective when there is a two way communication with managers and employees

  • Can be used to motivate and focus on the overall ‘vision’

  • Invites input in to decision making process

Rewards and working conditions
Rewards and Working Conditions

  • Used to motivate and retain eployees.

  • Financial (monetary) and non-financial

  • Started off as just wages and then moved to other benefits

Financial rewards
Financial Rewards

  • Australia’s 3 tiered wage system

    - Award wages

    - Certified Agreements (CAs)

    - Australian Workplace Agreements

  • Revision: awards are documents specifying minimum wages and conditions of employment. The ‘safety net.’

Certified agreements
Certified Agreements

  • These are agreements negotiated at the workplace level.

  • Normally they will account for a particular business or group of employees

Australian workplace agreements awas
Australian Workplace Agreements (AWAs)

  • Individual contract with the employer.

  • Led to ‘earning drift’ a situation where wages are becoming increasingly unequal.


  • Q. Under what agreements do you think wage increases were highest?

  • A. Awards

    Union CAs

    Non Union CAs


Financial rewards include
Financial Rewards Include

  • Bonuses and cash payments

  • Superannuation or deferred payments

  • Issuing of shares and stock options

  • Providing discounts on purchases of stock

Salary packages
Salary Packages

  • Common practice of packaging a specified amount with some paid in the form of a company vehicle, mobile phone, laptop, etc.

  • These are fringe benefits. Fringe benefits tax is paid for by the business and not the employee.

Advantages and disadvantages
Advantages and Disadvantages

  • What are the advantages and disadvantages when offering financial benefits?

Non financial rewards
Non – Financial Rewards

  • Relates to Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs.

  • What are some examples non-financial rewards that may be preferred over extra income?

Non financial rewards1
Non – Financial Rewards

  • Employee recognition schemes

  • Informal praise

  • Skill development

  • Promotional opportunities

  • Lateral career movements

  • Flexible work hours

  • Study or parental leave

  • Decision making opportunities

  • Job security

  • Rostered day off (RDO’s)

Family friendly work conditions
Family Friendly work conditions

  • Sick days for immediate members of the family

  • Childcare

  • Maternity and Paternity leave

  • What are the benefits to the company of taking on these costs?

Training and development
Training and Development

  • Ongoing skills development

  • Paid education

  • On the job training

  • Used to increase motivation

  • Increase flexibility

  • Make use of technology


  • Formal orientation of new employees into the company operations and culture.

  • The quicker an employee can learn, the cheaper it is for a business.

  • The more effective/productive the worker is the more revenue a business will receive.

Measures of effectiveness
Measures of Effectiveness

  • Effectiveness of Employment Relations is not measured by company profit.

  • The two main measures are Quality and Conflict


  • A means of measuring quality and effectiveness.

  • Page 260 (5 benchmarks for ER)

  • A business observes ‘Best Practice’

  • Results in higher quality products


  • Levels of customer service

  • Number of sales / returns

  • Labour productivity

  • Complaints

  • OH & S

Staff turnover
Staff Turnover

  • A measure of how many people voluntarily leave a workplace and need to be replaced.

  • Turnover reflects the effectiveness of employment relations although the goal is not to get turnover to zero.


  • Absence during normal working hours

  • Sickdays, unpaid leave etc

  • Large cost to a business

  • How does absenteeism represent a failure of employment relations?


  • Stop work meetings or strikes or lockouts.

  • Represent a complete breakdown of employment relations


  • Quality of goods or services produced.

  • Quality against past performance or against similar businesses.

Ethical and legal issues
Ethical and Legal Issues

  • Working conditions

  • Occupational Health and Safety

  • Worker’s Compensation

  • Anti- Discrimination

  • Equal Employment Opportunities

  • Unfair Dismissal

Occupational health and safety
Occupational Health and Safety

  • High cost to society and business

  • Has become a focus of Government legislation

  • Apart from obvious injuries like cuts, bruises, and sprains/strains there are a large proportion of chronic joint and muscle conditions.


  • The key legislation in relation to OH&S include

  • The Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000

  • Occupational Health and Safety Regulation 2001

Worker s compensation
Worker’s Compensation

  • Worker’s Compensation Act 1987

  • All employers must have a compensation policy to protect them from financial claims of work related injuries.

Anti discrimination

  • It is illegal to discriminate on the basis of personal characteristics, marital status, pregnancy, impairment, sexual preference, union membership, religion, political opinion etc.

  • Disability Discrimination Act 1973

  • Racial Discrimination Act 1975

  • Sex Discrimination Act 1984

Equal employment opportunity
Equal Employment Opportunity

  • Equal Employment Opportunity Act 1987

  • Affirmative Action Act 1986

  • Disadvantaged groups should be favoured

  • All companies with over 100 staff must have an EEO policy.

Unfair dismissal
Unfair Dismissal

  • Only applies to business with more than 100 employees since Workplace Relations Amendment Act 2005.