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Employee Relation

Edexcel Level 5
Higher National Diploma in Business – Human Resource

Employee Relation
Sakina Taher

Human Resources Management Institute,

246, Nawala Rd, Nawala, Colombo - Sri Lanka

Employee Relation


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ...................................................................................................... 3

INTRODUCTION .................................................................................................................. 4


CHANGING BACKGROUND ................................................................................................ 5

1.1. Explain the role of trade union identifying its positive and negative contribution to the
furtherance of organizational objectives ................................................................................................ 5

1.2 Assess how changes in trade unionism have affected employee relations ............................ 12

1.3 Explain the role of the main players in employee relations ........................................................ 15


........................................................................................................................................... 19

2.1 Explain the procedures an organizations should follow when dealing with different conflict
situations .................................................................................................................................................... 19

2.2 Explain the key features of employee relations in a selected conflict situation ..................... 22

2.3 Evaluate the effectiveness of procedures used in a selected conflict situation ..................... 24


3.1 Explain the role of negotiation in collective bargaining .............................................................. 26

3.2 Assess the impact of negotiation strategy for a given situation ................................................ 32


INVOLVEMENT .................................................................................................................. 33

4.1Assess the influence of the EU on industrial democracy in the Sri Lanka................................ 33

4.2 Compare methods used to gain employee participation and involvement in the decision
making process in organizations ........................................................................................................... 34

4.3 Assess the impact of human resource management on employee relations. ......................... 35

CONCLUSION .................................................................................................................... 39

REFERENCE ...................................................................................................................... 40

Employee Relation

Executive Summary

The understanding of employer-employee relations in the large enterprise has developed

greatly over recent years as research gives a more complex analysis, moving away from
earlier one-dimensional approaches. Unilever Sri Lanka demonstrated its commitment to its
employees, emerging one of ten Gold Award winners at the recently concluded HRM
Awards organized by the Association of Human Resource Professionals. Unilever also
received the category award for best practices in the Reward and Recognition category.
Unilever delighted to be recognized by the Association of HR Professionals as one of the
best employers in Sri Lanka with world class HR practices

Employee Relation


Unilever has long since known that having people with the right talent, skills and creativity is
crucial for the sustained growth of the company. With a wealth of global knowledge on
employee relations, training and development, Unilever is proud to be pioneers in the market
in terms of people management and administration processes. Udayan Dutt, Human
Resources Director at Unilever Sri Lanka stated.

Unilever Sri Lanka believes that its employees are at the core of the company‘s success and
supports individuals to achieve both personal and professional goals. To attract and retain
the best people, Unilever offers employees challenging and diverse careers that include
international assignments with regional and global exposure. Unilever promotes gender
diversity and offers flexi-working options in a safe and enterprising work environment to
facilitate employees to achieve a healthy work-life balance.

The success of these efforts was visible as Unilever was ranked ―The Most Preferred
Employer in Sri Lanka‖ in a survey conducted by TNS. ―Our Corporate Purpose and Code of
Business Principles commit to treating our employees with dignity and fairness, and in turn
expect them to observe high standards of behavior, reflecting the company‘s values of
integrity, respect, responsibility and pioneering. Unilever is a major producer of food,
beverage and consumer goods. It has two parent companies, Unilever NV and Unilever
PLC, which operate together as Unilever, with dual stock exchange listings in Amsterdam
and London.

The company is involved in the production and sale of FMCG: beverages and ice cream,
savory and dressings, home care and personal care. Its brands, which include Lipton, Knorr,
Bertolli, Hellmans, Persil and Dove, are better known among consumers than the company
name itself. With many of these products Unilever takes a worldwide leading market

Employee Relation

LO 1 Understand the context of employee relations against

a changing background

1.1. Explain the role of trade union identifying its positive and
negative contribution to the furtherance of organizational

The purpose of Human Resource Management (HRM) is to hire, train and develop staff and
where necessary to discipline or dismiss them. Through effective training and development,
employees at Unilever achieve promotion within the company and reach their full potential.

This reduces the need for external recruitment and makes maximum use of existing talent.
This is a cost-effective way for a business to manage its people.

The HRM function not only manages existing staff, it also plans for changes that will affect its
future staffing needs. This is known as workforce planning. For example:

The business may grow into new markets.

It may use new technology which requires new skills.

Staff may retire or be promoted, leaving gaps which need to be filled.

There may also be external changes in the labor market, meaning that there will be fewer
skills available or too many in a particular area. HRM monitors all of these things in planning
recruitment strategy. This places the HRM function in a central role in the business because
all managers use this expertise to acquire staff.

Unilever has a policy of promoting its managers from within its existing workforce. This
means the business must recruit people with the potential to grow.


Personnel Management

Personnel Management is thus basically an administrative recordkeeping function, at the

operational level. Personnel Management attempts to maintain fair terms and conditions of
employment, while at the same time, efficiently managing personnel activities for individual
departments etc. It is assumed that the outcomes from providing justice and achieving
efficiency in the management of personnel activities will result ultimately in achieving
organizational success.

Human Resource Development

Human resource management is concerned with the development and implementation of

people strategies, which are integrated with corporate strategies, and ensures that the
culture, values and structure of the organization, and the quality, motivation and commitment
of its members contribute fully to the achievement of its goals.

Employee Relation

HRM is concerned with carrying out the same functional activities traditionally performed by
the personnel function, such as HR planning, job analysis, recruitment and selection,
employee relations, performance management, employee appraisals, compensation
management, training and development etc. But, the HRM approach performs these
functions in a qualitatively distinct way, when compared with Personnel Management.

Difference between Personnel Management and Human Resource Management

Human resource management is the new version of personnel management. There is no

any watertight difference between human resource management and personnel
management. However, there are some differences in the following matters.

1. Personnel management is a traditional approach of managing people in the organization.

Human resource management is a modern approach of managing people and their
strengths in the organization.

2. Personnel management focuses on personnel administration, employee welfare and labor

relation. Human resource management focuses on acquisition, development, motivation and
maintenance of human resources in the organization.

3. Personnel management assumes people as an input for achieving desired output. Human
resource management assumes people as an important and valuable resource for achieving
desired output.

4. Under personnel management, personnel function is undertaken for employee's

satisfaction. Under human resource management, administrative function is undertaken for
goal achievement.

5. Under personnel management, job design is done on the basis of division of labor. Under
human resource management, job design function is done on the basis of group work/team

6. Under personnel management, employees are provided with less training and
development opportunities. Under human resource management, employees are provided
with more training and development opportunities.

7. In personnel management, decisions are made by the top management as per the rules
and regulation of the organization. In human resource management, decisions are made
collectively after considering employee's participation, authority, decentralization,
competitive environment etc.

8. Personnel management focuses on increased production and satisfied employees.

Human resource management focuses on effectiveness, culture, productivity and
employee's participation.

9. Personnel management is concerned with personnel manager. Human resource

management is concerned with all level of managers from top to bottom.

10. Personnel management is a routine function. Human resource management is a

strategic function.

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Line managers and effective HRM implementation

Many researchers assume that the HRM strategy of an organization corresponds with the
implementation of this strategy. However, HRM strategies are often implemented without a
clear direction, or are not implemented at all.

This can lead to significant differences between the developed HRM strategy and the actual
implementation. Two aspects which are critical for HRM to be successful are the presence of
HRM practices and the success of HRM implementation.

Researchers have attempted to prove a linkage between HRM and firm performance by
investigating the HRM practices while the success of HRM implementation has received little
attention so far. The presence of well-developed HRM practices is important for an
organization‘s performance but it is not enough to be competitive; equally important is the
way how these HRM practices are implemented.

The responsibility for the HRM implementation lies with the line managers of an organization
since they have to execute the HRM practices on the work floor. Nevertheless, research has
indicated that line managers find implementing HRM practices difficult because of several
limitations they experience in implementing HRM. These limitations inhibit the HRM
implementation effectiveness of line managers. HRM practices can be developed properly,
but if line managers fail to implement them successfully on the work floor they are still not

HRM implementation by line managers

HR professionals are responsible for the design and development of HRM practices in an
organization, while line managers are responsible for the implementation of these practices
on the operational work floor. The way that HRM practices, designed by HR professionals,
are implemented by line managers, has become an important determinant of success or
failure of those practices.

The implementation of HRM practices by line managers is more salient for employee
behavior, motivation and satisfaction than the design of the HRM practices by HR
professionals. Therefore, line managers play a critical role in influencing employee attitudes
and behaviors by the way in which they translate the designed HRM practices in to practice,
and can be vital in making the difference between low performing and high performing

Unfortunately, research has pointed out that line management involvement in HRM is not
without its difficulties. Line managers express reluctance to accept new responsibilities
pushed upon them. Several researchers suggest a number of limitations that explain the
reluctance of line managers in implementing HRM, which are expected to decrease the
effective implementation of HRM practices. Line managers can have a lack of desire or
capacity to perform their HR responsibilities. Besides, they sometimes do not have the
competences for managing people. Furthermore, line managers can experience difficulties
because of a lack of support from the HR department or a lack of procedures and policies on
how to perform their HR responsibilities

Employee Relation

Unilever identifies role of trade union identifying its positive and negative contribution to the
organization. This section summarizes the outcomes of the group deliberations on the one
hand and the recommendations.

Women and youth required special attention

In the drive for inclusiveness in the union movement because they are traditionally
marginalized. While there is increasing labor force participation among women and while
women are coming to dominate leadership. As a matter of deliberate policy the Trade
Unions should make an effort to ensure that there is a better gender balance in Trade Union
leadership. At the same time, trade union strategy had to make a deliberate attempt to
attract a higher proportion of young people of both genders

There is an alarming lack of information

Trade Unions and standard academic curricula tend to ignore them. The gap needs to be
filled by Trade Unions.

The mission of the Trade Union Movement, which is the protection and empowerment of the
worker and the creation of a just and equitable work environment, must remain. However the
Unions must focus on new strategies to achieve this mission while supporting broader social
and economic objectives of higher productivity and competiveness.

There is a need to closely re-examine the relationship between the Trade Unions and the
political parties. In particular, the Union Movement needs tore-examine its relationship with
the political parties and seek to develop a greater degree of independence.

There was ambivalence about intra-union competition. Some people saw this as an
advantage while others felt that it detracted from a united voice.

There was a consensus that the Unions had made a significant contribution to the
promulgation of progressive labor legislation and it was recommended that greater
advantage be taken of the laws in their present form. However, a gap was identified in
relation to trade union recognition. A strong recommendation was made for legislation that
would make it easier for Unions to become recognized or alternatively harder for employers
to frustrate union recognition.

Trade Unions need to explore the potential of the social networking sites as a means of
expanding knowledge about Trade Unions, of attracting young membership and increasing

Trade Unions need to ―re-brand‖ in order escape the ―negative stigma‖ of adversarialism and
to support greater public recognition of the positive role that it played in society.

Unions should seek to work more closely with management.

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Strategic Assessment of the Unilever – SWOT

SWOT analysis of the Unilever trade union with a view to identifying the strengths,
weaknesses opportunities and threats.

The Strength of the Trade Union

Mobilization of members and their capacity to advocate

Providing effective worker representation

Team work and a continuity of the core vision

Trade Union have produced several visionary leaders

Trade Unions have a deep knowledge of industrial relations laws and practices.

Unions have a history of effective collective bargaining.

The Weaknesses of the Trade Union

The relative lack of visionary leadership in the contemporary setting

A heavy reliance on voluntarism, financial constraints

Reduced commitment on the part of membership

Gender issue – male dominance

Youths‘ disinterest in the Movement

Poor communication within Trade Union and across Union

The tendency of leadership to compromise on some fundamental issues

the low levels of education and training of members and most leaders

Close alliance between some unions and political parties

Limited financial and human resource capacity, and

Limited public relations capacity.

Opportunities present themselves in many ways and the Movement should take advantage
of what is available to them such as:

Making better use of existing legislation, influencing national decisions in more significant

Organizing and increasing membership in new sectors of the economy

Giving a facelift to Unions that are perceived to be confrontational and combative

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Strengthening mediation skills and approaches to achieving greater collaboration with

management without being co-opted

Hosting an annual conference to cement Trade Union unity

Establishing ancillary services for membership such as credit unions.

Threats identified included:

Declining membership and diminishing financial viability

Lack of succession planning weak leadership from Unions in ensuring the enforcement of
key labor laws

Low interest of young people in the Union

The inability of union to effectively counteract union-busting by management

The failure of trade unions to develop a body of ideas to effectively cope.

Globalization and neo-liberal policies.

Stakeholder Assessment of Short term Priorities in Unilever

The priorities identified by stakeholders for the Trade Union

1. Building financial, human resource management and leadership capacity


Investment strategies

Leadership development and succession planning

2. Enhance communication to enable closer and more effective work with

The workforce in new and emerging sectors



The marginalized worker

Existing membership across the board

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3. Re-branding – work on changing the adversarial image, ensuring credit for ―good works‖
and diversifying product offerings

4. Leveraging new technologies to advance the cause of working people

5. Building more equitable gender representation at all levels of leadership

6. Improving inter-union and intra-union communication

7. Increasing membership

8. Strengthening the democratic process and re-examining on of links with political parties

9. Merging and creating joint services

10. Developing a think tank.

Employee Relation

1.2 Assess how changes in trade unionism have affected employee


In order to remain relevant the Trade Unions must continue to reinvent themselves to attract,
grow and retain membership from the new workforce and should therefore recognizethat the
world and by extension the workplace has changed for both employers and workers. Their
demands are vastly different from 20 years ago. For example, there has been significant
growth of knowledge workers who have different needs.

Trade Unions are therefore required to focus on the following imperatives:

education/training, research and communication.

Education and training should be used by Trade Unions:

For the modification of expectations, attitudes and behaviors through learning experiences to
build loyalty and commitment to the organization

To provide particular cohorts such as staff, organizers and researchers with the relevantskills
to function effectively and efficiently

To create an aware, alert and active membership;

To provide members with a broad knowledge of labor-management issues;

To prepare shop floor employees to be more accountable for performance.

To provide training and re-training opportunities for members.

Trade Unions will continue to contribute as a valuable partner in the tripartite by influencing
social policy which can strike a balance between efficiency of the markets and equity for the
people. This means that they are seen as spokespersons of the broader concerns of society.
They will also need to build the necessary organizational base for influencing outcomes both
at the national and international levels.

Social Cohesion

Perhaps the most important concern is the traditional mandate of Unions to maintain social
cohesion. It is a lesson from history that social cohesion can be sustained only in an
environment which guarantees secured income for all concerned under conditions of
freedom and dignity. Unions have strived for that mandate through the development of an
agenda based on workers‘ rights, employment creation and social protection.

Employee Relation

The Union initiatives for ensuring income security, safe working conditions, and skill mobility
for workers will remain important for many years to come. Strategies for realizing those goals
must continue to figure prominently in the agenda of Unions.

Partnership in Development

Trade Unions also need to reestablish their credentials as partners in development. Trade

Unions, as the largest organized group in civil society can bring a unique contribution to the
development community. They are directly involved with economic systems of production
and distribution; they can influence the course and content of employment, social and
economic policies; they are representative and accountable; they have considerable
experience in organizing the more vulnerable sections of society; and, they have the
experience and standing required to access national legal systems and public facilities.

They can contribute through their long-standing relationships with such development
institutions as consumer cooperatives, housing societies, health funds and social security

There is much scope for collaboration in this field with national and international
development agencies, including global financial institutions.

Promoting Human Rights and Democracy

Thirdly, Trade Unions need to project their role as critical catalysts for the promotion of
human rights and democratic institutions. This again is a historically important mandate of
labor unions.

Challenges at the Global Level

There is considerable scope for action by Unions at the international level. Unions can
become influential partners at the global level only when their basic concerns – the labor
standards which they campaigned for right through the 20th Century – are recognized and
accepted universally. Core labor standards are embodied in the 1998 ILO Declaration on
Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. The Declaration represents a mutual
commitment, by all ILO member states, to respect, realize and promote freedom of
association and collective bargaining, and elimination of forced labor, child labor and
discrimination, and by the ILO to support their efforts to ensure such respect. There is work
to be done on the promotion of the Declaration as a development tool embraced throughout
the international community.

Employee Relation

Partnerships and Alliances

The Unions in pursuit of common interests and shared values should engage in partnerships
or strategic alliances with other actors in civil society, including: gender groups;
cooperatives; community associations; and human rights bodies, consumers and
environmental groups. Often they require Trade Unions to transcend the boundaries of the
work place and to address concerns embedded in communities, minority groups, religious
organizations and neighborhood associations.

Employee Relation

1.3 Explain the role of the main players in employee relations

Employee relations deal with the interactions amongst the parties to the employment
relationship. These consist of three groups: employers and employees, the parties who act
on their behalf (trade unions and employer associations) and the third-party role played by
the state agencies and the EU institutions.

Role of Managers in Employee Relations

A healthy employee relationship is essential for the employees to find their work interesting
and perform their level best. It is important for everyone to understand that one goes to his
organization to work and conflicts must be avoided as it is nothing but a mere waste of time.
Employees must be comfortable with each other and work in unison towards a common
goal. An individual cannot remain tight-lipped and work for infinite hours, he needs people
around to talk to and discuss his ideas.

One must have friends at the workplace that he can trust well and share his secrets without
the fear of them getting leaked. This way the employees feel motivated and enjoy going to
office daily. They do not take frequent leaves and strive hard to live up to the expectations of
the management. For an organization to perform well, it is important that the employees are
friendly with each other and avoid criticism, backstabbing at work, a strong reason to spoil
the relationship among the employees. The team leader or the manager plays an important
role in promoting healthy relation at workplace:

It is essential that the supervisor assigns challenging tasks to his team member as per his
specialization and interest. The individual should have interest in the work; otherwise he
would treat it as a burden and unnecessarily crib about things. It is important that the team
leader understands his team members well. Try to find out their interests and what all they
expect from the organization. While developing their KRAs it is always better if the team
leader calls everyone and invites suggestions from them. Let them decide what best they
can perform. This way the employees would never blame each other or their superior later
as they themselves have decided on the roles and responsibilities. Encourage them to
willingly accept the challenge. They would strive hard for a better output without fighting and
finding faults in each other.

A team leader should be a role model to his team members. He should treat each and
every individual as one and avoid partialities at work. Do not give anyone a special
treatment just because he drops your son to school every day or says a yes to whatever you
say. Appreciate if someone has done exceptionally well but do make sure to correct him if he
is wrong somewhere. The team leader should not be rude or harsh to anyone. There is a
correct way for everything and one should not insult any team member. It is strictly unethical.
Sit with him and make him realize his mistakes. He would definitely look up to you in future.

The superior must not act pricy and should always be accessible to his employees.
The individuals must have the liberty to walk up to their immediate bosses in case of a doubt
and clear things. The hierarchy should not be too complicated as it leads to confusions and
disputes among employees.

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The manager must ensure that all important communication takes place on an open
forum for everyone to get a common picture. Problems arise when communication is
done on a one to one basis. Call everyone together so that all the members are clear as to
what is expected out of them and what their colleagues are up to. Communication should be
transparent for an effective employee relation. Any employee should not feel neglected or
left out. If the team leader wants to pass on any information to his team members, he must
send a mail keeping all the related members in the loop.

As a team leader it is one’s prime responsibility to encourage healthy competition at

work. Competition is mandatory for an individual‘s growth but it should not turn friends to
foes. Motivate them constantly to perform better than the other but make sure there are no
useless gossips in your team. If you find any of your team members criticizing or making fun
of anyone, stop him immediately. Do not provoke any individual to fight, instead intervene
and try to resolve the conflict as soon as possible.

Make sure all your team members take their lunch together and you are also a part of
it. Don‘t discuss work that time. Let them enjoy. Encourage everyone to talk to each other
and participate in discussions. Do take the initiative to ask about their families or personal
lives as well. They would feel attached to you. If you find any two of your team members not
getting along well with each other, make sure both of them work together on the same
assignment. They would not be left with any choice than to talk to each other and discuss
things. Make them sit together on adjacent workstations so that the comfort level increases.

The team leader should be neutral to his team members and make sure they enjoy a healthy
relationship with him as well as their fellow team members for a better output. A team leader
should try his level best to bring his team members closer and bind them together.

Role of Trade Unions in Employee Relations

Trade or labor unions have been around since the 1930s to resist through equal bargaining
power the domination of employers over employees and to represent workers‘ interests in
the employment relationship. It is through union efforts that workers benefit from better pay
and working conditions, and that they are treated with dignity and respect at work. The
importance of trade unions cannot be overstated even though membership has been on a
steady decline.

Collective Bargaining

Labor unions developed to grant employees equal bargaining power with their employers,
who traditionally had the ability to exclusively set the terms and conditions of work and pay.
Unions represent workers within a given industry in negotiations with their employers. Since
the union comprises a group of workers, it has a greater voice than if employees were
dealing with employers individually. For example, unions are credited with abolishing
sweatshops and child labor in the United States because they pushed for these practices to
end. The National Labor Relations Act guarantees employees‘ right to bargain collectively
through their chosen labor union representatives. Unions can organize strikes, boycotts, go-
slows and sit-ins to get employers to consider their proposals.

Employee Welfare

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Unions have successfully fought for better terms and conditions for workers. They represent
workers‘ interests and have secured a variety of benefits, such as higher wages for
unionized employees, work-life balance characterized by reasonable work schedules, job
security and protection from arbitrary action by employers. In a September 2012 essay on
the CNN website, Democratic strategist Donna Brazile asserted that is also due in part to
union activity that discrimination in the workplace was outlawed and that workers have
access to health care, safe working conditions and guaranteed Social Security. Unions not
only have given workers dignity in the workplace, but they also consistently facilitate
enhanced welfare and standards of living for American workers.

Unfair Practices

Labor unions check the unfair labor practices of employers. The NLRA declares that it is
unlawful for employers to dominate a union, discriminate against workers engaged in union
activity, victimize workers who file charges against them with the National Labor Relations
Board or interfere with employees engaged in concerted union activity. If the employer does
any of these prohibited acts, the union can take it up with the board on behalf of the
employees. For example, the union representing Boeing Co. engineers and technical
workers filed charges against the company for interfering with employees engaging in
concerted union activity. The board investigates charges and may take a variety of actions,
including issuance of cease-and-desist or reinstatement orders to remedy unfair treatment
against employees. Unions ensure that employers comply with the law and can lodge
appeals in federal court if employers do not respect board decisions.


Unions also play a key role in developing labor laws and regulations for effective worker
protection. The unions initiate the push for regulation in areas that concern employees in the
workplace. They lobby for the creation of laws and regulations and disseminate information
to the employees about them. Measures such as the NLRA, the Social Security Act, the
Family Medical Leave Act and the Occupational Safety and Health Act exist as a result of
union efforts for better terms and conditions for workers. Unions monitor the status of
implementation of employee welfare laws and regulations to ensure they are properly

The role of the state in employment relations

State can be difficult to define because it encompasses more than a single actor, and many
different institutions and government departments can influence employment relations
outcomes in various ways. For example, the army and police have been deployed during
particular strikes, and the courts have passed judgments which have changed the day-to-
day relationships between managers, employees and unions. Given the extent of political
influence and power/

In broad terms, it is often reasoned that the State‘s objective in intervening in employment
relations is to achieve economic and social goals for the nation as a whole. One of the prime

Employee Relation

tasks of government is to manage the economy so that it is prosperous, and this means it
has to try to achieve four broad economic policy objectives, each one of which can easily
conflict with the others:

To maintain high levels of employment

To ensure price stability

To maintain a balance of payment surplus

To protect the exchange rate.

Employee Relation

LO2 Understand the nature of industrial conflict and its


2.1 Explain the procedures an organizations should follow when

dealing with different conflict situations


Sometimes conflict is a positive force that can bring about necessary changes. Ongoing
conflict also has negative consequences. People who are engaged in disputes are under
stress, which takes a physical toll. In addition, people who are busy arguing and trying to
persuade others to take their sides are not involved in more productive activities. Finally,
depending on the source of the conflict, the people involved may be angry at management
or the organization, so they may vent their anger in ways that are destructive to the
organization, such as taking extra time off or sabotaging equipment.


Intrapersonal Conflict

An intrapersonal conflict arises when a person has trouble selecting from among goals.

Interpersonal Conflict

Conflict between individuals is called interpersonal conflict. Supervisors may be involved in

interpersonal conflicts with their manager, an employee, a peer, or even a customer.

Structural Conflict

Conflict that results from the way the organization is structured is called structural conflict.
Conflict often arises between line and staff personnel, and production and marketing
departments are often at odds.

Strategic Conflict

Most of the conflicts described so far arise unintentionally when people and groups try to
work together. However, sometimes management or an individual intentionally will bring
about a conflict to achieve an objective.

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Just as many companies have helped employees cope with intrapersonal conflicts that
involve balancing family and work, some companies have begun thinking about how they
can help employees integrate their faith with their work. Faith and work do not necessarily
have to be in conflict. Often, all that is needed to prevent conflicts is a combination of
sensitivity to individuals‘ needs, some flexibility, and a commitment to ethical behavior.

Faith or religion is a topic one does not discuss at work. Even so, holding a religious belief
and practicing that faith shape a person‘s values and may affect the demands on a person‘s
Religions may call for special practices, such as particular clothing, dietary restrictions, or
time away from work. Some employees live out their faith by expressing to others what they
believe. In a faith-friendly workplace, such expressions would need to be done with mutual
respect and without disrupting work.



One conflict management strategy is to reach a compromise, which means the parties to the
conflict settle on a solution that gives both of them part of what they wanted. No party gets
exactly what it wanted, but neither loses entirely either. Both parties presumably experience
a degree of frustration—but at a level they are willing to live with.


Conflict is unpleasant, so people sometimes try to manage conflict by avoiding it.


Because ignoring or avoiding a problem does not make it go away, a supervisor may want to
try a more direct approach to ending a conflict. One possibility is to force a solution. This
means that a person or group with power decides what the outcome will be.

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The most direct—and sometimes the most difficult—way to manage conflict is to confront the
problem and solve it. This is the conflict management strategy called conflict resolution.
Confronting the problem requires listening to both sides and attempting to understand rather
than to place blame. Next, the parties should identify the areas on which they agree and the
ways they can both benefit from possible solutions. Both parties should examine their own
feelings and take their time at reaching a solution.

Employee Relation

2.2 Explain the key features of employee relations in a selected

conflict situation

To manage conflict effectively you must be a skilled communicator. That includes creating
an open communication environment in your unit by encouraging employees to talk about
work issues. Listening to employee concerns will foster an open environment. Make sure
you really understand what employees are saying by asking questions and focusing on their
perception of the problem.

Whether you have two employees who are fighting for the desk next to the window or one
employee who wants the heat on and another who doesn't, your immediate response to
conflict situations is essential.

Acknowledge that a difficult situation exists. Honesty and clear communication play an
important role in the resolution process. Acquaint yourself with what's happening and be
open about the problem.

Let individuals express their feelings. Some feelings of anger and/or hurt usually accompany
conflict situations. Before any kind of problem-solving can take place, these emotions should
be expressed and acknowledged.

Define the problem. What is the stated problem? What is the negative impact on the work or
relationships? Are differing personality styles parts of the problem? Meet with employees
separately at first and question them about the situation.

Determine underlying need. The goal of conflict resolution is not to decide which person is
right or wrong; the goal is to reach a solution that everyone can live with. Looking first for
needs, rather than solutions, is a powerful tool for generating win/win options. To discover
needs, you must try to find out why people want the solutions they initially proposed. Once
you understand the advantages their solutions have for them, you have discovered their

Find common areas of agreement, no matter how small:

Agree on the problem

Agree on the procedure to follow

Agree on worst fears

Agree on some small change to give an experience of success

Find solutions to satisfy needs:

Problem-solve by generating multiple alternatives

Determine which actions will be taken

Make sure involved parties buy into actions. (Total silence may be a sign of passive
resistance.) Be sure you get real agreement from everyone.

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Determine follow-up you will take to monitor actions. You may want to schedule a follow-up
meeting in about two weeks to determine how the parties are doing.

Determine what you'll do if the conflict goes unresolved. If the conflict is causing a disruption
in the department and it remains unresolved, you may need to explore other campus
resources. The Problem Resolution Center, and / or the Faculty and Staff Assistance
Program may provide other interventions to resolve the problem. In some cases the conflict
becomes a performance issue, and may become a topic for performance appraisals or
disciplinary action.

Mediation is an option to help resolve and manage conflicts as early as possible. The
Campus Mediation Program provides a confidential and neutral setting for individuals to
meet to discuss issues and develop mutually acceptable solutions. Mediation at UCSF
emphasizes open communication and problem-solving and is facilitated by trained
mediators. Individuals who participate in mediation do so voluntarily.

Mediation may be considered when a grievance has been filed by a represented employee.
Grievances involving "working relationships", interpersonal communication or uncertainty
regarding expectations are examples of problems typically considered for
mediation. Mediation is not the formal venue for negotiating formal discipline without the
involvement of department management and the appropriate Labor and Employee Relations
Analyst. If all parties agree (the manager, employee, Labor and Employee Relations and the
bargaining unit), it is possible to "stop the clock" on grievance processing so that parties can
use mediation to determine whether they can reach a mutually acceptable resolution.

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2.3 Evaluate the effectiveness of procedures used in a selected

conflict situation


When a supervisor has a conflict with another person, he or she needs to resolve that
conflict constructively. Otherwise, the conflict is unlikely to go away on its own. When
initiating conflict resolution, a supervisor should act as soon as he or she is aware of the
problem. As the problem continues, a supervisor is likely to get increasingly emotional about
it, which only makes resolution more difficult. Prepare for conflict resolution by understanding
what the conflict is. Focus on behavior, which people can change, not on personalities,
which they cannot change. What is the action that is causing the problem, and how does that
action affect you and others?


Sometimes a supervisor is party to a conflict that is bothering someone else. When the other
person makes the supervisor aware of the conflict, it is up to the supervisor to respond in a
way that makes a solution possible.

Understand the Problem

The constructive way to respond to a conflict is first to listen to the other person and try to
understand what the problem is really about. If the other person is emotional, let that person
vent those feelings, then get down to discussing the problem. Try to interpret the problem in
the terms you would use to express the problem yourself. Avoid statements of blame, and
find out what specific actions the other person is referring to.

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Understanding the problem can be complicated if one of the people involved has a ―hidden
agenda‖—a central concern that is left unstated. Typically, a person with a hidden agenda is
angry or upset about something but directs those feelings toward some other issue.If
another person‘s feelings seem to be out of proportion to the problem he or she is
describing, look for a hidden agenda. Finding one can save you from trying to resolve the
wrong conflict. In addition, when you are upset about something yourself, it is usually more
constructive to describe the problem directly than to leave others guessing at your hidden

Work on a Solution

When you understand the problem, build an environment of working together on a solution.
To do this, agree with some aspect of what the other person has said.

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LO3 Understand collective bargaining and negotiation


3.1 Explain the role of negotiation in collective bargaining

Motivation in simple words may be understood as the set of forces that cause people to
behave in certain ways. It is a process that starts with a physiological deficiency or need that
activities behavior or a drive that is aimed at a goal or an incentive.
The concept of motivation occupies a central place in the discipline of organizational
behavior. It is a concept, which has received the maximum attention from the academicians
and researchers alike. Since a motivated employee is highly productive and highly quality
oriented, the managers are also interested the concept of motivation.

Money is understood to be powerful motivator for more than one reason. In the first place,
money is fundamental for completion of a task. The employee takes pay as the reward for
his or her work, and the employer views it as the price for using the services of the
employee. Second, as a medium of exchange. Third, money is one of the hygiene factors,
and improving maintenance factors is the first step in efforts directed towards motivation.
Fourth, money also performs the function of a score card by which employees assess the
value that the organization places on their services and by which employees can compare
their values to others. Fifth, reinforcement and expectancy theories attest to the value of
money as a motivator. Sixth, money acts as punctuation in one‘s life. It is an attention getting
and effect producing mechanism. Money has therefore tremendous importance in
influencing employee behavior. Seventh, money is easily vulnerable to manipulation. Finally,
money will be a powerful motivator for a person who is tense and anxious about lack of
money. But behavioral scientists think otherwise. They downgrade monetary rewards as a
motivator. They prefer, instead, other techniques such as challenging jobs, goals,
participation in decision-making and other non-monetary rewards for motivating employees.

Types of Reward Systems

The financial rewards are basically of three types:

1.Profit sharing
2.Job evaluation
3.Merit rating

1. Profit Sharing

Profit sharing could be on a macro basis or on a micro basis. The former relates to the entire
company as a whole and the latter to a particular section or group dealing with a particular
activity and/or product. On a macro level, it would be difficult to identify and reward
outstanding performance. This is possible on a micro level by treating the particular activity

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as a cost and profit center by itself. This is easier said than done, since overheads and other
common services have to be charged and this cannot be done completely objectively. The
cost allocation in such cases is somewhat arbitrary and the profit will therefore not be a true
reflection of the performance of that particular group or activity.

2. Job Evaluation

In case of job evaluation, the various component factors have to be isolated and evaluated
for purposes of inter-job comparison. Each factor is assigned a rating on the basis of a scale
agreed beforehand by the union and the management joint committee. The total rating for
each job then forms the basis of wage structure. However, there must be a base level,
representing, in effect, the 'minimum wage', depending on the nature of work and the
geographical area. In some cases and in some countries these are stipulated by law. A
typical, though somewhat broad, list of job factors is as follows:

• working environment;
• physical characteristics;
• mental characteristics;
• extent of responsibility;
• training and experience.

In case of managers, the factors are:

• responsibility;
• expertise;
• human relations.

3. Merit Rating

Merit rating has been used as an indicator of performance. Each employee is rated, typically
as excellent, good, average or poor, in respect of the following abilities:

• communication;
• human relations, including leadership and motivation;
• intelligence;
• judgment;
• knowledge.
The rating, unfortunately, tends to be carried out purely mechanically and it carries a heavy
bias of the rater who may be too lenient, may not be objective and may also have favorites
or otherwise in the group being rated.

Financial Rewards

These rewards in organizations help employees to be more committed and motivated to their
job and working environment:

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• System rewards are automatically given to all employees for merely being members of
their organization. System rewards can be defined as being the basic wage rates.

• Individual rewards are given to employees based on the quality and quantity of their
performance. Performance related pay (PRP) is seen as an individual reward policy, where
pay is rewarded in relation to the volume of output. PRP can cause divisions amongst
workers, where employees become more worried about the fact that their colleagues are
being paid more than them.

• Growth rewards are received by employees for job innovation, learning and improvement.

The key to managing performance through rewards is linking the desired performance with
the appropriate reward.

Non-financial Rewards

In an ever more competitive environment, the aim of organizations must now be to focus on
increasing the added value of their employees. This is achieved, by encouraging employees
to increase their effort and performance higher than the average standards. This has been
carried out using employee appraisals and motivational methods.

Employers have become increasingly aware of the rich potential for good constructive ideas
that exist from the employees on the job experiences. One method for using this knowledge
is through suggestion schemes, these are becoming highly recognized, as they allow for
improvements in all areas of work. These schemes are very flexible and can be readily
adapted to meet all kinds of working conditions. Suggestion schemes can be seen as a
means of increasing profit and worker participation.

Suggestion schemes aim to improve employee attitudes by directing their attention to the
positive and progressive aspects of their jobs. This helps to boost employee morale and
increase job satisfaction. It can be identified that if an employee is unhappy in his/her job it
reflects on a negative attitude on his/her performance and also with other people.

Experience in many companies has shown low employee morale reflects on low productivity
and increasing costly errors. Suggestion schemes play a useful role in increasing and
maintaining morale.

Another method which is not related to pay is the performance appraisal system. This
method is used as a means of raising individual performance and identifying development
needs. Appraisal systems today are becoming part of the management culture, where
managers feel it necessary to appraise and be appraised.

Self-Rating, this is a form of appraisal where the employee takes a look at themselves,
avoiding any negative feedback from traditional appraisals. Self-rating is an effective way of
trying to get the employee to look at what their roles are in relation to business needs.

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It is fair to state that employees are not motivated by money alone. Paying different wage
rates to employees doing the same jobs can cause more problems than benefits.

There are other incentives to reward employees, other than financial such as appraisals.
Appraisals can prove to be an effective means for looking at human resources, as they allow
us to:

• Ensure that the abilities and energies of individuals are being used effectively.
• Allow employers to identify better uses of individuals talents and experience.
• Training needs can also be identified.
• Future decision making as data of abilities can be kept on file for future reference.

Other examples of incentives/motivators include:

• Team briefings - Management tell sub-ordinates what needs to be achieved, this opens up
the lines of communication, and makes everyone aware of what needs to be done.
• Team buildings - Employees are taken on outings to pursue some systematic group
exercises led by a trainer or time spent on social activities. The logic is to enthuse a team
working ethic.
• Quality circles - Regular meeting sessions where a group of employees discuss quality
related issues.

In this section we analyze to what extent the study showed workers are able to realize their
rights in

Unilever‘s operations, in order to signpost approaches to meeting international standards

more fully in the future.

Bargaining Importance of the issue for labor rights

Freedom of association and collective bargaining were selected as a focus for the study
because they are enabling rights, making it possible to promote and realize decent
conditions at work. The right to freedom of association and collective bargaining are among
the fundamental rights of the ILO. Despite the core value of these rights and there-
affirmation time and again by the international community, half the total labour force of ILO
member states lives in five countries that have not yet ratified the Convention on Freedom of
Association and Protection of the Right to Organize: Brazil, The People‘s Republic of China,
India, Iran and the USA. Oxfam regards participation and empowerment as vital to poverty
reduction. When industrial relations are weak, workers have no mechanism through which
they can express their concerns in a safe way. Good relations between management and
workers benefit both sides: they enable better dispute resolution and reduced conflict; they
minimize disruption and enhance productivity; they increase worker satisfaction and co-
operation; and allow for mutually agreed mechanisms for introducing and achieving support
for changes in the workplace. The most scalable way to assure labour rights is to have

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mature industrial relations in the workplace, through which vulnerable workers can
collectively articulate their concerns and interests:

Mature industrial relations involve transparent rules, which are consistently applied, effective
grievance and disciplinary procedures, the opportunity to join or form a union, and regular
discussions about matters of mutual concern.

Principles Indicators of good practice

Principle 1: Recognition and Recognition and commitment
commitment Promote consultation and co-operation between
The company should recognize and employers and workers and their representatives on
commit itself to the international matters of mutual concern.
standards on freedom of Have an open attitude towards the activities of trade
association and collective unions and their organizational activities.
bargaining. Be careful not to encourage the government to restrict the
exercise of the internationally recognized rights offreedom
of association and collective bargaining.
E.g. Locating a subsidiary or sourcing from
companieslocated in specialized industrial zones where
freedomof association is restricted or prohibited, even
ifnational regulation recognizes that right, and refrain from
participating in incentive schemes based on such
Principle 2: Protection of Protection of workers’ representatives
workers’ representatives Prohibit discrimination or adverse actions against worker
The company ensures that workers‘ representatives or employees for participating or
representatives and employees refraining to participate in lawful trade union activities.
participating in lawful trade union
activities are adequately protected.
Principle 3: Freedom of choice Freedom of choice
The company should allow workers The company should allow workers to establish and join
to establish and join representative representative organizations of their own choosing
organizations of their own without previous authorization.
choosing. There should be no acts of interference with the object of
placing the organization under control.
Principle 4: Collective bargaining Collective bargaining
on terms and conditions of Can authorized representative of the employees negotiate
employment on collective bargaining or labor-management relations
The company should allow the issues
workers employed to have trade Are the parties allowed to consult on matters of mutual
unions and representative concern with representatives of management who are
organizations of their own choosing authorized to take decisions on these matters
for the purpose of collective The company has a committee, with participation of
bargaining and engage in employee-elected representatives, which is responsible
constructive negotiations, either for hearing, processing, and settling disciplinary cases
individually or through employers‘ and employee grievances.
with such representatives with a

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view to reaching agreements on

terms and conditions of
Principle 5: Disputes and Disputes and grievances
grievances Provisions are included in the collective agreement for the
There is an agreement on fair settlement of disputes arising over their interpretation and
hearing in case of disputes and application and for ensuring mutually respected rights and
grievances. responsibilities.
Principle 6: Risk assessment Risk assessment
The company should identify This risk is incorporated into company‘s risk assessment
operations and significant suppliers process.
in which the right to exercise
freedom of association and
collective bargaining may be
violated or are at significant risk
either in terms of type of operations
or geographical areas.

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3.2 Assess the impact of negotiation strategy for a given situation

How Unilever manages freedom of association and collective bargaining

Unilever has shown commitment to the fundamental rights of freedom of association and
collective bargaining. In relation to protection of workers‘ representatives, the policy includes
a requirement that employees must be treated fairly and equally without unlawful
discrimination on the grounds of position in the organization. In relation to the right to join or
form a union, the policy states that: ‗All Unilever companies must respect the right of their
employees to join or not to join a legally recognized trade union, or any other body
representing their collective interests.‘ This means neither companies nor governments
should interfere with the choice of workers‘ representation and that there may be more than
one workers‘ organization per enterprise; so-called ‘closed shops‗, where only one union is
allowed, would violate this principle.

In relation to collective bargaining, Unilever‘s internal policy states that Unilever companies
must bargain in good faith on employment conditions, labour management relations and
matters of general concern. Corporate policy appears to provide a good overall framework
for these rights. The challenges arise when it comes to implementation, since, in Unilever,
industrial relations policy may be country-specific and locally determined.

The commitment to effective implementation at global level has been demonstrated by the
actions taken to resolve industrial relations disputes, and by Unilever‘s subsequent corporate
engagement with the IUF.

Unilever has taken an important step in recognizing the value of a relationship with the IUF,
in order to attempt to resolve issues concerning trade union rights. After the OECD process,
there was a change in attitude. What can be said is that in some cases Unilever has
recognized the need for change at the level of local management in order to resolve
disputes. Unilever has recognized the need to strengthen its management capacity on
industrial relations. In 2011, Unilever invited the Danish Institute for Human Rights to run a
Train the Trainer course for HR managers (reaching 80 per cent of HR staff) and developed
an e-learning module for line management and human resources, which has been delivered
to 80 people. The company has also worked with the Chartered Institute of Personnel
Development to

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LO4 Understand the concept of employee participation and


4.1Assess the influence of the EU on industrial democracy in the

Sri Lanka

Industrial democracy is an arrangement which involves workers making decisions, sharing

responsibility and authority in the workplace.

A term generally used to argue that, by analogy with political democracy, workers are
entitled to a significant voice in the decisions affecting the companies in which they work.
The term is not used in a consistent manner.

It is used by some who argue that any system short of full workers' control is a denial of
industrial democracy, and this was the standpoint adopted by union activists in the early
decades of the century who advocated a form of syndicalism or "guild socialism" as an
appropriate form of workers' control. The same term, industrial democracy, is also used by
those who claim that collective bargaining provides the most effective means of worker
influence and hence that collective bargaining is a form of industrial democracy. During the
late 1970s the term became specifically associated with the proposals of the Bullock Report ,
which advocated trade union rights to representation on the boards of directors of large
companies. Before and since then it has been loosely used to describe various forms of
consultation, employee involvement and participation , but in the United Kingdom it tends to
be associated primarily with union-based structures, as opposed to systems that operate
independently of trade unions.

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4.2 Compare methods used to gain employee participation and

involvement in the decision making process in organizations

Methods used to Gain Employee Participation and Involvement in the Decision Making
Process in Organizations:

There are many different mechanisms for employee involvement in the decision making
process in organizations.

Attitude survey is one of the ways of involving employees by seeking their views on matters
that concerns them. It can be used to obtain views about processes such as job evaluation,
pay determination and performance management in order to assess their effectiveness and
the degree to which employees feel they are fair. It can also be used to elicit views about
personnel policies and how they operate in such areas as equal opportunity, employee
development, and health and safety. Attitude surveys are conducted through structured
questionnaires, interview and focus group discussions. Quality circle or Improvement group
is another method that can be used to overcome problems which result from the ‗top-down‘
type of management where management ignores the knowledge that exists at the other
levels in the organization. Quality circles are small groups of volunteers who are engaged in
related work. It provides opportunity to tap the knowledge of employees, who may know
more about work problems which might be hidden from managers. Thirdly, Suggestion
scheme is a method that provides a valuable means for employees to participate in
improving the efficiency of the company. In this process employees have the opportunity to
tell management how they perceive the organization is running. Lastly, through Direct
Participation individual employees can be involved in decision making processes that affect
their everyday work routines.

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4.3 Assess the impact of human resource management on

employee relations.

Unilever’s policies and management processes for employee relations

Impact of Human Resource Management on Employee Relations:Employee involvement in

decision making plays an important role in organizations becauseit affects workers overall
performance.On the other hand, the spirit of good attitude towards work by employees can
be reduced if employee involvement in decision making is not taken into consideration by
management.The discussion on human resource management policies and practices
focused on hard andsoft versions of human resource management.The hard version of
human resource management emphasized on resource and adopted therational approach to
managing employees as any other economic factor.

While the soft version of human resource management involves treating employees
asvalued assets, a source of competitive advantage through their commitment,
adaptabilityand high quality of skills, performance and so on.In order to identify the specific
impact of human resources management on employeerelation, we must realize that the
human resource of an organization consists of management and employees both.When
management allows employees to be involved in decision making on matters whichconcerns
them and the organization, it increases the commitment of employees.In other words such
an approach by management wins the commitment of employeestowards organizational
goals.Thus, if the commitment of employees is won by management through
employeeinvolvement in decision making, it increases job satisfaction, motivates employees
to workhard and reproaches employees to have good attitude towards work.Job satisfaction,
good attitude towards work and employees working hard will ultimatelylead to improved
employee performance.In turn, improvement in employee performance leads to achievement
of majororganizational goals at the end of the day.

Principle 1: Commitment

This publicly affirms the company‘s values and its commitment to embedding the policy in
the way it does business.In relation to the public expression of commitment, Unilever has
three publicly-expressed policies covering its commitments to human and labourrights, in
addition to the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan: the CoBP; a Respect, Dignity and Fair
Treatment policy; and a Supplier Code, which sets out expectations of suppliers. In addition
it has 26 internal code policies providing guidance to staff. The policies are endorsed by
senior management. The CoBP and the Respect, Dignity and Fair Treatment policy are
owned by the CEO and the Supplier Code is owned by the Chief Procurement Officer.
Implementation is overseen by a Global Code and Policy Committee, which reports regularly
to the Board‘s Corporate Responsibility and Reputation Committee. This comprises non-
executive directors whose remit is to oversee the company‘s conduct as a responsible

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Principles Indicators of good practice

Principles Indicators of good practice


Indicators of commitment
The policy should:
a) Be expressed publicly;
A company should express its commitment b) Be endorsed by senior management;
torespect human rights, including labour rights, c) Be preferably informed by experts;
through a public statement. d) Stipulate the expectations of
personnel,business partners and other parties
directlylinked to the company‘s operations,
products or services.

The company‘s values are founded on doing the right thing: ‗achieving appropriate labour
standards is not something to boast about; it‘s every company‘s responsibility and
duty‘.Employees take pride in Unilever‘s policies and approach to sustainability

and a motivated workforce is seen as key to its business success:

People must be the source of the company’s value. Unilever must be best in class as
we charge a premium for our brands, so we must invest in training and working
conditions…We compete on operating efficiency, quality,specification of products
and responsiveness to customer demand. All this requires an empowered and skilled
workforce…All Unilever’s analysis shows that where there are good conditions and
empowerment of employees, the factory has the best results.

Unilever VP Global Supply Chain in an interview

Unilever also states that: ‗A significant portion of our growth will come from innovation,
delivering leading edge products into the market-place. We anticipate that around half of this
innovation will come from oursupply chain. Innovation in the supply chain will require
motivated, capable workers who feel valued by and well disposed towards Unilever. The
policy currently lacks a commitment to a Living Wage, but Unilever stated it is open to
modifying this once it is clear how a commitment can be implemented.

The policies apply to ‗employees‘ rather than to workers. According to Unilever no distinction
is intended between sub-contracted workers and employees. The intent of the policies are
that if people are employed by a third party, they expect fundamental labour rights to be
applied by the third party to their employees. The director of the ILO Better Work
programme, when interviewed, noted that the term ‗worker‘ is preferable as it de-links rights
from the employment relationship and asserts that they apply whether or not a worker is in

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an identifiable employment relationship; the term ‗worker‘ is generally used in international

conventions for the same reason.78 Guidance for staff was recently developed by
Unileveron sub-contracted and temporary work and shared on its public website, though it
has not yet been incorporated into the policies. The CoBP and the Respect, Dignity and Fair
Treatment policy include responsibilities for staff, while the Supplier Code (and associated
guidelines) includes expectations of and commitments to suppliers.

Principle 2: Integration in the business and implementation with


Effective integration of the policies in the business ensures they are known and widely
supported by management, staff, business partners and suppliers,and embeds policy in
operations including business incentives and lobbying that could impact on human rights.In
relation to embedding and communicating thepolicy, Unilever actively raises the awareness
of allemployees about the company‘s business principles.They receive a copy of the policy
and are requiredto sign to show they have understood it. Senior managers must take a test
to demonstrate their knowledge of the policy content. In general Unilever employees are
proud of Unilever‘s policies and approach to sustainability and have expectations of the
company behaving responsibly.

Principles Indicators of good practice

PRINCIPLE 2: integration in the business and implementation with suppliers

Indicators of integration83
The policy should:
a) Be embedded in the business through
policies and processes;
b) Be actively communicated internally and
The policy is reflected in operational
c) Provide clear lines of accountability,
policiesand processes necessary to embed
supported by
it throughout the business enterprise.
training in relevant business functions;
d) Communicate an expectation of continuous
improvement to suppliers;
e) Be supported by training for suppliers.
Terms of agreement should not interfere with
the ability of the supplier to observe the

Principle 4: Remediation by grievance mechanisms

According to Unilever‘s internal global policies: ‗all Unilever companies must have
grievanceprocedures that provide for any employeeto discuss with their line manager or, if
notappropriate, an independent manager, anysituation where they believe they have

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beendiscriminated against or treated unfairly orwithout respect or dignity without fear


Unilever has two hotlines to deal with non-compliances with the CoBP: a global hotline (in
English) which goes straight to Unilever global headquarters and a country-level hotline (in
Vietnamese). The study found no cases where either had been used to report a labor
grievance. Interviews with stakeholder informants at IUF, SOMO and ILO Better Work raised
questions about whether hotlines were an effective mechanism:

Principles Indicators of good practice

Indicators of integration
Principle 4: remediation by grievance mechanisms
The company ensures remediation through legitimate processes, such as an effective
grievance mechanism to identify impact and to address grievances.

The company ensures remediation through The policy:

legitimate processes, such as an effective Should not undermine the role of trade
grievance mechanism to identify impact and unions.
to address grievances. Should not preclude access to judicial or
non-judicial grievance mechanisms;
Should be;
a) Legitimate;
b) Accessible;
c) Predictable;
d) Equitable;
e) Transparent;
f) Rights-compatible;
g) A source of continuous learning;
h) Based on engagement and dialogue.

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With regards to the process of employee relations in Unilever, it is clear that employee
relations processes in this firm are distinctive and complex and involve the interaction of
many variables, both internal and external. Unilever is not conflict-free, however, but rather
conflict is more covert or manifests itself at a more personal level, perhaps by the high level
of turnover among new recruits or the level of strikes among expatriates. Moreover in the
context of a ―new realism‖ in Unilever‘s industrial relation, the conclusion is that such
―realism‖ is not a new phenomenon this firm‘s employees or owners, as work practices
associated with this concept have long been the norm in small companies. This is facilitated
by weak/ no union influence and recruitment practices whereby managers/owners will
employ only people who ―fit in‖ and accept the dominant management style and authoritative
practices within the firm. Therefore, it cannot be argued that a new system or realism in
employee relations is emerging from external changes in the context of the firm, as the much
heralded ―new realism‖ would seem to be ―long established realism‖ within the firm

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rights/Human-Rights-Labour-rights/ 16.06.2014 17.05.2014