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Employee Relations Discuss The Political, Economic, Social And Technological Factors That Have Had The Most Significant Influence On Employee Relations Over The Last 25 30 Years.

3005 words - 12 pages

The last 25-30 years has seen major changes in the context of employee relations within UK organisations. The factors that have had the most significant influence on these changes are political, economic, social and technological of which I will be discussing to identify what particular influences these factors have had on employee relations over the last 25-30 years. To do this I first need to define the meaning of employee relations, which can be defined as according to Rose (2004):"the study of the regulation of the employment relationship between employer and employee, both collectively and individually and the determination of substantive and procedural issues at industrial organisational and workplace levels." (Rose, 2004 p.8)There are a number of political factors that have had a significant influence on employee relations over the last 25-30 years such as the influence of the Conservative government from 1979-1997, which included a decline in trade unions, new acts and legislations put in place, and the emergence of the Labour government from 1997 to the present day which has also brought a number of changes to the employee relations context. The Conservative government has had a significant influence on employee relations in terms of changes to the legal framework of labour law. These changes involved the relationships between the employer and employee, the employer and the union and the relationship between the union and the membership. In regards to the employer and employee relationship the Conservative government removed any statutory rights of employees that had previously been put in place during the 1960's and 1970's. This was done in order to encourage flexibility as the government felt that the employee was much more in favour than the employer and that the employer was being faced with an unnecessary amount of pressure to conform to rules which in turn prevented them from taking certain actions or making certain decisions. Even though this did occur at the end of the Conservative governments reign in 1997 this attempt at deregulating employees rights did not have a major affect as they were able to retain most but not all of their statutory rights.Concerning the relationship between the employer and the union this changed significantly from 1979 when collective bargaining had been according to Rose:"undermined by the repeal of the legislative supports for collective bargaining, compulsory change union membership and trade union recognition granted by the legislation by the 1970's and the Employment Relations Act." (Rose, 2004 p.209)Since 1979 the context of employee relations has seen a number of new acts and legislations put in place concerning the collective bargaining of the employer and the union and the union and the membership relationships. The acts and legislations involved were: The 1980 Employment Act and The 1982 Employment Act, The Trade Union and Labour Relations Act 1992 and The 1993 Trade Union Reform and...

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