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Impact Of The Employment Rights Act 2008 Management Essay

1.0 Introduction

Mauritius is basically a multi- racial country which has gone through a lot of developments since its discovery. Its evolution has mostly been based on the cultures and practices of the different counties which have occupied it. These countries are mainly France and England. The management techniques and style has also been changing, as new theories were being tested and implemented as with time labour force are becoming a more valuable asset. The same has been for the case for its judicial organ.

According to D Fokkan (2002), the development of the Mauritian labour law is covered over four periods since the abolition of slavery till today. While the practice dates back for centuries, it is the changes that have occurred during the last thirty nine years that have most dramatically altered the scope of labour law, the nature of the Labour law, and the expectations of employer and employee. Due to various deficiencies in the Labour Act 1975, new acts were put in force, namely The Employment Rights Act 2008 and The Employee Relations Act 2008. With Labour force as a valuable asset, the labour law- the rights of employees, their remuneration, their leaves including maternity and paternity leave has become their utmost right that they must have in a democratic and sovereign island like Mauritius.

An employee accept to work for a firm in return of being paid remuneration and he expect that he/she will not be unfairly dismissed from his work and that the employer will fulfill all his obligation towards him/her. The same apply for an employer; he employs an employee for him to fulfill his obligation and to duly do his work in the interest of the firm and to act in a good faith. Later on some of the obligation of the employee and employer will be discussed in the literature review.

Remuneration and termination of agreement (dismissal) has always been a topic of confusion and a topic of conflict. This study will be based on how The Employment Rights Act 2008 mainly about remuneration and termination of agreement affect the employer employee relation.

Employment relation can be defining as employer and employees relationship in a formal and informal nature that arises between management and employee interactions in all working situation.

The Institute of Personnel and Development (IPD) defines employee relation as

“ that part of personnel; management that enable competent managers though the development of institutions, procedures and policies to reconcile within acceptable limits to the organization, the interest of employers as the buyers of labour service and those of employees as the suppliers of labour services.”

For the survey,TRIO ltd was taken as a case study. Why Trio Ltd? Despite the existence of several sources of labour law and the different legislation being revised and better section being implemented to cope with nowadays firm, why do employers and employees still have confusion and conflict? Why don’t employees and employers find a mutual agreement when an employment is terminated? Very little attention has been given to whether the confusion and conflict is due to the management techniques used in the private sector or the employers and employees are not aware of the legislations. Furthermore confusion and conflict among employees and employers in an organization can mess up the employer- employee relation.

Maintain a good relationship among employers and employees is very crucial as this can make both the employees and employers move towards achieving the goals of the organization. After all, it can be said that the manual work in achieving a goal in an organisation is done by the worker and the mental and decision taking work is done by the employer - ‘There should be two hands to make a clap’

1.1 Purpose of the study

Some of the purposes of this study are mentioned below and others will be discussed in the Methodology Section.

The main purposes are as follows:

To ascertain the extent to which The Employment Rights Act 2008(mainly about termination of agreement and remuneration) affects the relation of the employer and the employee.

To find out whether employer and employees are really aware of the different legislation available concerning the Labour Law

To determine empirically if whether the different sector in which the organization is found and the management style used, plays a fundamental role in the application of the legislations.

To formulate recommendations regarding the use of Employment Rights Act 2008 in regard to the employer-employee relation, and how management can try to reduce the conflicts and confusion due to termination of agreement and remuneration.

1.2 DISSERTATION STRUCTURE

This dissertation comprises of six chapters.

Table 1 – Dissertation structure

Chapter 1

Introduction on the topic and purpose of study.

Chapter 2

Review of literature on topic of discussion including various definitions, explanation, and research done by various authors.

Chapter 3

Overview of the Companies Profiles

Chapter 4

Illustrates the Research process and designs used in this study

Chapter 5

Presents the data gathered and the analysis of findings

Chapter 6

Proposes recommendation based on findings and conclusion

2.0 Literature Review

This chapter emphasizes mainly on employee relation and the labour law with an overview of its evolution over the years. With reference to various authors, the management concepts have been explained in details. And the Labour law concepts have been illustrated in a comparative table between the labour act 1975 and the Employment Rights Act 2008.

2.1 What is employment relation?

Employment relation can be defining as employer and employees relationship in a formal and informal nature that arises between management and employee interactions in all working situation.

According to Armstrong (2003), employee relations consist of all those areas of human resource management that deals with employees directly and through collective agreements where trade unions are recognised. The union practices for the welfare and good working condition of the employees. Employee relations are concerned with generally managing the relationship between employer and employees at the workplace that can be formal e.g. contract of employment or procedural agreement.

Farnham (1993), suggests that Employee relation are:

“ Concerned with the interaction between primary parties who pay for work and those who provide it in the labour market ( employers and employees), those acting as secondary parties on their behalf (management or management organization and trade unions) and those providing a third party role on employment matters (state agencies and EU institutions)”

Employee relation is connected to wider social aspects and issues: economic prosperity and relative living standards, social welfare, employment and unemployment levels, regional development and local job opportunities. The shifts in academic debates, in language and concepts are associated with these wider societal aspect as well as the adjustments in underlying norms and aspirations (Deeks and Rasmussen, 2002).

Therefore, “Work dominates the life of all men and women, and management of employee both individually and collectively remains a central feature of organizational life”. (Blyton and Turnbull)

2.1.2 Evolution from Industrial relations (IR) to Employment Relations

Formally, IR was concerned with the relationship between management and workers and the role of regulatory mechanism resolving any industrial dispute. A formal definition is

…concerned with the systems rules and procedures used by unions and employers to determine the reward for effort and other conditions of employment, to protect the interests of the employed and their employers, and to regulate the ways in which employers treat their employees.”(K.Aswathappa, 1999).

Then much industrial relations research in the 1970s was seen to be much in need of reform. Many theoretical concerns, and developments in industry and labour markets, served to shift the focus of academic industrial relations from bargaining relationships to the nature of the underlying employment relationship, and broadened the scope of empirical enquiry. The changing economic, political and legal context served to accelerate this shift.

According to K. Aswathappa, 1999, some authors delineated the study of industrial relations as the study of the “processes of control over the employment relationship, the organization of work and relations between employers and employees.

The change to Employment relations was often to emphasize the subject’s broad concern with all types of employment relationship and with non-unionized as well as unionized workplaces. Used in the first sense, employee relations denote much the same field of enquiry as ‘contemporary’ industrial relations. Used in the second sense, it suggests a narrower and more managerialist set of concerns.

Employee Relations is a relatively young field of study which stated in earnest after the Second World War and became a mainstream academic discipline in Anglo-American countries in the 1950s and 1960s.

This shift in name is partly fashion and popularity of, for example, concepts of industrial relations or labour relations have coincided with the changing names of legislation in New Zealand (Deeks and Rasmussen,2002).

Moreover Employee Relation is concerned with:

Employment, unemployment and self-employment.

How individuals, groups, organizations or state have their interests represented.

What these interests are

How individuals manage and promotes their interest within an organization

The way conflict is managed and regulated (Rasmussen and Lamm, 2002)

Theories and explanation in employee relations

Perspectives

Geneology

Status

Features in workplace

Manifestations

Unitary

Now post-industrial associated with ascendancy of management power

Stereotypical integration of unilateral management control of employment relationship

Omnipotent management exercising unilateral control

Unilateral PRP (Performance related Pay), emphasis on communication and performance evaluation

Pluralist

Reflects ideas of modern democracy legitimating trade union recognition

Stereotypical view of managerial acceptance of limited power sharing in certain areas of decision making

Limited power sharing between major interested parties

Negotiated with interest groups, latterly stakeholder perspective

Marxist

Mid 19th century analysis of gross inequalities creating capitalism

Theory of society emphasizing opposing interests within workplace and beyond

Focus on exploitation and structured inequalities

Conflict absenteeism. Sabotage, false consciousness and consumerism

Systems

Inter-war. Importance of pseudo-scientific conceptual analysis underpinning discipline

A conceptualization in order to classify the discipline

Institutions in equilibrium governed by rules. Open systems, inputs and outputs affected by environment

Refinement of descriptive tools. Scope for international comparisons

Feminists

Two stages. Earlier recognition of the existence of patriarchy. Latterly, industrial relations recognizing male domination

Theory of society emphasizing structural inequalities between sexes in workplace and beyond

Male advantages embedded in institutions, culture and hence workplace

Agitation to improve policies and conditions of employment

Post- Modern

Disputes nature of knowledge. Emphasis on subjective individual. Interpretation and verification of meaning

Reaction to scientific empirical explanations of the world. Emphasis on individual experience

Belief in post-industrial world of work where meanings disputed by ambiguity and ambivalence

Adopts a rhetoric of Human Resource Management plus associated ideologies

Source: p.g14 Employee Relations by Graham Hollinshead, Peter Nicholls, Stephanie Tailboy (Financial Times, Prentice Hall)

2.2 The place of law in the employee relation in Mauritius

Employee relations has been analysed above from conceptual framework and it is of much importance to see how it has evolved in Mauritius. Being a sovereign and democratic state, Mauritius is an island where the ‘role of law as well as the legislation regulates most of the living of the citizens, and employee relation form inevitably part of them. The law that can be associated with the employee relation is the labour law.

2.2.1 Different sources of labour law

The Mauritian labour law has been subject to several changes since the abolition of slavery till today. Initially, the labour law was governed by the common law rules. The practice involved various deficiencies. It was presumed that both the employer and the employee were contracting on an equal basis. Nowadays there are different sources of labour law:

Mauritian Constitution

Code Civil Mauricien


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