MER is a module in CIPD that helps learners to understand how to effectively manage employee relations, and establish positive relationships between the employers and the employees. As experts in the HR field, the learners pursue this module for them to understand their role in supporting the employees to understand what their rights are within the organisation, and what they are expected to do to ensure that a connection is established between them and workers. The module pays specific attention to the employment laws that are followed within organisations to ensure that the well-being of the employees is enhanced. This relates with the role of the employers in providing flexible working conditions for the workers. An organisation with positive employee relations climate is considered to be very healthy and seeks to consider the well-being of the employees. In this perspective, the employees are expected to have a good communication platform with their employers, and in the process get to address the issues that are considered to have an impact on their well-being and involvement in the business towards meeting the organisational objectives.
There are both internal and external factors that impact employee relations. The internal issues impacting employee relations are within the organisation and can be controlled by the management and the organisation personnel, but external issues are out of the organisational control. Examples of internal issues include the culture of the organisation, which guides employees on how they should act, and the compensation given to the employees. External factors examples include technological and social factors, as well as competition within the industry where an organisation functions (Noe et al., 2017).
Organisations engage employees to different terms of work, and these include employment on permanent contract, temporary employment, and fixed term contract. The HR experts taking this course should be aware of the terms of employment within an organisation, and be sure to explain to the employees the terms of employment that they are being hired at. This is important as it will help avoid conflicts between the HR and the employees. The employees also get to learn their legal rights when they get to understand their employment contracts, and this is very important in creating a positive employment relations culture within the organisation. In addition, the employees get to learn what they are exactly expected to do in the organisation, and their obligations to the organisations. Learners taking this unit should therefore ensure that they gain a good understanding of all aspects of employment contracts to ensure that they help the employees understand and enhance smooth running of the organisation they work for.
The unit provides an insight on the rights of the employees, and the role of the employers in ensuring that those rights are respected. The legal systems in different countries have developed legislations to ensure that the employers do not take advantage to disrespect the rights of the employees. Taking the example of UK, legislations have been developed on the working hours of the employees, annual leave, sick leave, and maternity leave. These legislations act as guidelines to helping the employers take the right actions in treating their workers to different work circumstances. Employees’ rights helps the employers provide the employees with a good work-life balance, and learners should understand the significance of this in promoting employee satisfaction.
Relating to employee rights, employers should ensure that they provide equal and fair pay to all employees. This means that no employee should be discriminated upon based on what they are getting as compensation within the organisation.
The students taking the employee relations unit have the responsibility of ensuring that they become aware of the legal laws guiding them and the employees on matters of employee discrimination, harassment, and victimisation. It is illegal for an employer to discriminate an employee against any of the different individual characteristics such as gender, age, disability, ethnicity, religion, culture, and sexual orientation. This is an important aspect that enhances equal treatment of all the employees, and also facilitates improvement in the nature of employee relations in the organisation (Sharma and Mann, 2018). Learners should be able to differentiate between direct and indirect discrimination, and how this impacts employee relationships. Matters of harassment and victimisation should also be addressed, and this helps ensure that learners understand the circumstances to which they should not victimise the employees or even harass them on any basis against the code of conduct.
Psychological contract is explained as the perception of the employees and the employers on what their obligations are towards each other. This is a concept that the learners of the employee relations module should learn in order to determine the behaviours of either parties in the workplace. It is important to note that psychological contract is different from legal contract, and the important issue that HR experts should know is that they have to establish a mutual understanding with the employees in order to promote a mutual trust.
Employees at a certain level have to leave the organisation, and as HR practitioners, there are procedures that have to be followed to enhance positive termination of employee contracts. This means that HR has to identify with the legal laws relating to dismissal of employees. Carrying out exit interviews is one of the strategies that the HR should take into consideration while terminating contracts. In case of redundancies, HR experts should relate with positive ideas to involve employees, and follow the right steps to enhancing positive relations between the organisation and the employees leaving and those remaining in the organisation.
After completing the module, the learners should;
This module is for the HR experts who want to understand their role in managing their relationships with the other employees in the organisations. Those employees who want to grow their profession in human resources have to responsibility to ensure that they learn exactly what they are expected to do to maintain positive employee relations at their workplaces. This module also helps the HR practitioners learn the legislation laws they are expected to follow to enhance smooth running of the organisation.
Noe, R. A., Hollenbeck, J. R., Gerhart, B., & Wright, P. M. (2017). Human resource management: Gaining a competitive advantage. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.
Sharma, S., & Mann, N. (2018). Workplace discrimination: The most critical issue in managing diversity. In Management techniques for a diverse and cross-cultural workforce (pp. 206-223). IGI Global.