Organisation of your choice

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UGB 306 Employment Relations 2009-10

Complete the following questionnaire for an organisation of your choice. The organisation should employ at least 200 staff directly. When completing the questionnaire students need to refer to a text book such as Lewis et al (2003) Employee Relations. The answers sought from the questionnaire should be addressed after reading the appropriate pages of text. On average the reading should take no more than about ten minutes (some will take only a few minutes and others maybe twenty minutes). The questions seek information about organisation of your choice, which either directly or indirectly impacts upon employment relations.

In conjunction with your reading you will need to seek out the relevant information from your organisation. The information can be sought from either existing documents and/or via discussions with people who can supply the information. Some questions will be straightforward for you to answer and others will take greater thought and research on your behalf. Even for those questions you find straightforward you should spend a little time thinking about it prior to and after the directed reading. Ask yourself if you need to check anything with others inside or outside your organisation for clarification. You need to answer all of the questions.

The answers are in the readings, your organisation via records or interviews - or at the end of a telephone line. All these methods of enquiry will allow you to answer the questions successfully. Only very short answers are needed - do not use any more space than that provided. You may answer the questions in any order. Type set is preferred.

Name of Student: Maria Andreou

Name of Organisation: Tesco

Goods/Services provided: Groceries, Consumer goods, financial services, and telecoms

Total numbers employed at the site: More than 400.000

Does the company have other sites? Yes: + /No______

If yes, give brief details of their workforce size and goods/services they provide if different from your own

If no, give brief details of similar organisations to your own and/or main competitor

Tesco is a British international grocery with more than 2400 stores worldwide. Nowadays, Tesco provides massive amount of product and services like foods, drinks, DVDs, books, cosmetics, medicine, tobacco, alcohol, mobile, clothing, toys, electronic equipment, home furnishings, financial services and home delivery. In addition, other sites provided by Tesco are: Tesco Club Card, Banking, Nurture Garden Centres, Telecoms and Fuel like Gas and Electricity.

1. Is your organisation a member of an employers' organisation?

Yes (name): Confederation of British Industry (CBI), which is a member of UNICE No ______ read pp 150-152

List what services, if any, your company receives from an employers' organisation. If not a member how is it that your organisation can act independently without the services provided by employers' organisations?

  • Advise on health and safety, corporate and employment law, disciplinary, equal opportunities and pay, recruitment change and partnership matters.
  • Organise and offer training courses and consultancy, for which additional fees are payable
  • Advise on corporate and social responsibility (climate change)
  • Lobby government at both national and local levels
  • Helps to adapt for structural changes, related to industrial change (bank branches in its stores)
  • Advise and representation in relation to employment tribunal cases

2. Does your organisation recognise a trade union?

Yes: name(s): USDAW /Number of members: 337.000 /Member of TUC? YES

If yes, what types of agreements do they have recognition over? read pp 154-59

If no, how are such issue raised in the pages determined in your place of work?

  • they have agreed a brand new role, the Usdaw recruitment and development rep - geared to boosting recruitment and organizing work and they have a whole new raft of facilities agreed with Tesco - from time off for events like ADM, to reps' team meetings in-store and Usdaw divisional meetings out-of-store. On top of that, they will have nearly 800 reps - one from every single store - meeting together at Stores Director (SD) Group level in future, and that's nearly an eight-fold increase.
  • Last year in 2009 Usdaw and Tesco reached and agreement to begin formal discussions to set up European Works council to cover the retailer's European business.

(For detailed information see: Tesco and Usdaw forge new agreement; Available at:

3. How does the organization seek to engage or involve its employees? read pp 258-63

  • better representation for staff and a real voice in decisions which affect them
  • recognising the staff contribution to the business and providing quality training for representation
  • more two way communication to improve business understanding at all levels
  • working together to promote the interests of all those who work in the retail sector
  • Also Tesco to improve employee literacy skills took part of training program

4. Has the organisation experienced any form of collective industrial action in recent times? Yes + /No____ read pp 231-36

If yes, give details of problem and solution

If no, list areas of any individual forms of conflict that are identifiable

In 2007 Tesco lorry drivers have begun a strike after refusing to sign up to new working terms and conditions. The dispute came after the supermarket chain revealed plans to move its depot in Livingston, West Lothian, to a new site nearby. The Transport and General Workers Union T&G claims the new contracts, mean losses to the drivers of between £3,000 and £6,000 and the de-recognition of the union. Tesco from its site consist that the driver have been offered guaranteed, protected terms and conditions. And that the same condition are already be using by other four sites across the UK with complete union consultation and no industrial action. Finally, 450 of the 600 workers moving from the existing Livingston warehouse to the new one had signed up to the new terms and conditions.

5. Does your organisation attempt to gain higher productivity from employees via contingent pay? Yes: + /No ____ read pp 322-9

If yes, give details and how it is measured

If no, give details of why such a policy is not pursued

Tesco runs three share schemes: ‘Save As You Earn,' ‘Buy As You Earn' and ‘Shares in Success.'

Tesco has used the basic legal framework, provided by the Labour government, to set up its three share schemes. Considerable resources have been used to get employees involved. The schemes provide employees with the opportunity to make considerable profits on buying and selling Tesco shares. With 400,000 employees currently owning shares in the company, Tesco has had considerable success in retaining employees as shareholders and potentially reaping the benefits from their increased commitment to the company.

Throughout the year, employees also receive discounts via vouchers contained in their payslips on goods such as Tesco clothing.

6. What management style would you say is operating in your organisation? Justify your view. read pp 105-15

Tesco is using Consultative management style, which is a combination of Democratic and Autocratic management style. It is true to say that Autocratic management style is more suitable for problems which require urgent and immediate solution. On the other hand Democratic management style is more appropriate to problems which are more complicate and need research from all staff levels. Also, it can be said that Tesco uses sophisticated moderns (constitutionalists) at management styles in employment relations, and that is fact because of the following factors. Firstly, Tesco is recognizing trade unions and as a consequence they do collective agreements. Moreover is important the treat labour as a factor of productivity and driven by cost minimization.

7. Does your organisation have a European Works Council or National Works Council (or something similar)? Yes___ /No ____ read pp 267-70

If yes, give details, e.g. who attends, agenda items. Compare its aims and/or processes to best practice defined by ACAS Advisory Booklet Employee Communications and Consultation

If no, why not?

Is in process.

At 2009 Tesco and Usdaw have reached agreement to begin formal discussions to set up a European Works Council to cover the retailer's European business. The creation of a European Works Council by Tesco is a landmark development and it is the first UK-based food retailer to launch such a council. This agreement aimed to a positive move for a progressive business and its social partners across Europe. It will build on existing arrangements and enhance levels of information and consultation between staff and the business. From the other hand, ACAS Advisory Booklet Employee Communications and Consultation, they support also that employees will only be able to perform at their best if they know their duties, obligations and rights and have an opportunity of making their views known to management on issues that affect them.


Lewis, P et al. (2003) Employee Relation. Prentice Hall: London

ACAS. ACAS can help with you employment relations. [Online] Available at: [Accessed 26 March 2010]

BBC NEWS | Business | Tesco boss raps school standards: [Online] Available at: [Accessed 26 March 2010]

BBC NEWS | Business | Tesco plans 30 new bank branches: [Online] Available at: [Accessed 26 March 2010]

BBC NEWS | Business | Tesco Ends to East Asia [Online] Available at: [Accessed 26 March 2010]

BBC NEWS | Scotland | Edinburgh and East | Tesco lorry drivers go on strike: [Online] Available at: [Accessed 26 March 2010]

CBI Official Responses: [Online] Available at: [Accessed 26 March 2010]

Consumer Goods & Services | Company Profile: Tesco | Top Employers: [Online] Available at: [Accessed 26 March 2010]

David North, community and government director, Tesco - CBI Video.: [Online] Available at: [Accessed 26 March 2010]

Online Grocery Shopping & Delivery Service - [Online] Available at: [Accessed 26 March 2010]

Tesco, UK: Make work pay - make work attractive: [Online] Available at: [Accessed 26 March 2010]

USDAW: Tesco to launch European Works Council [Online] Available at: [Accessed 26 March 2010]

USDAW: Tesco and Usdaw forge new agreement [Online] Available at: [Accessed 26 March 2010)