MPH 3023 CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION TO EMPLOYMENT AND INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
Chapter Outline An introduction to employment relations The changing world of work Importance of effective employment and industrial relations
An Introduction to Employment and Industrial Relations Field of employment relations is all about the relationship between an employer and his employees. Three key role players in an employment relations system are employers, employees and the government. Their aims: Employers: maximize profitability and ensure long-term survival in their businesses. Employees: maximize earnings, have a steady income and a job that provides psychological satisfaction. Government: economic development, stable political environment and a country of contented people.
The Changing World of Work The Economic Boom of Asia and Malaysia Globalization and Increased Competition Reduced Hierarchy and Control, More Collaboration Flexibility Diversity Work-life Balance Family-friendly Policies Focus on Individual Rights
The Changing World of Work: The Economic Boom of Asia and Malaysia Within the years of 1050s – 1990s, sustained economic growth led to the growth of multinational corporations. The MNCs considered relocating their production facilities where labors are cheap. Foreign direct investment (FDI) was seen as a way to create jobs in economies where unemployment was still high. Unemployment could create social and political unrest, therefore, solution to unemployment issue was given the highest priority.
Globalization – new phenomenon but very controversial. Globalization can be about world trade. Globalization also can be about companies off-shoring work and having work done somewhere away from the company headquarters. It means work is being decentralized. It also means importing foreign labor that could bring conflict between local and foreign workers during times of economic crisis. The Changing World of Work: Globalization and Increased Competition
The current trend today – employers are emphasizing partnership and collaboration, as opposed to “master-servant” relationship. Reason – more jobs are “knowledge” jobs rather than jobs involving unskilled labor. The more knowledgeable workers are, the less they want to be treated as manual labor. “Flat” organizational structures. The Changing World of Work: Reduced Hierarchy and Control, More Collaboration
“Just-in-time” workforce. Ability to outsource and offshore work to countries with low labor costs. Long-term employment relationships have been changed to short-term contracts, and other forms of non-traditional contracts – direct conflict with “job security”. Flexibility in time – work is becoming less time-dependant. Flexibility in location – work is becoming less location-dependant. The Changing World of Work: Flexibility
Diversity in terms of gender, race, age, religion, disability. In the context of Malaysia, national, linguistic and cultural background of workers has become more varied as the result of influx of workers brought into Malaysia. The Changing World of Work: Diversity
The Changing World of Work: Work-life Balance There is growing movement demanding that employees have the right to strike a balance between work and their personal lives. Employers who introduce policies to encourage a work-life balance tend to attract those who are parents with young or disabled children, or those who look after elderly family members. To help keep employees’ life free of stress, many benefits and schemes have been introduced including: Medical benefits for employees’ families Annual physical check-up Insurance coverage Flextime Longer weekends Tuition support for children Working from home policies Community relations programs
Flexibility of working hours Some American companies are experimenting with policies that allow workers to bring their babies to work. Family-friendly policies aims to: Attract and retain talented workers Reduce costs of child-care for employees Prove to the workforce that the employer is truly committed to caring about his staff. The Changing World of Work: Family-Friendly Policies
Employees have the right: Not to be discriminated at work because they belong to a particular group. For privacy at work. The Changing World of Work: Focus on Individual Rights
Importance of Effective Employment and Industrial Relations Employers that are able to develop a strong, positive relationship with their employees are more assured of business success. Employment relations is about: On-going survival of business High levels of productivity and profitability Keeping the business out of court to avoid time and legal costs as well as negative public image.