Thursday, June 7, 2007

Fairness at Work - labour market policies

hello, i was wondering if you could point of what arguements could be used for the advantages and disadvantages to employees, employers and trade unions would the fairness at work scheme create thank you

The Fairness at Work policy is a set of procedures and advice to follow in the event of a complaint of harassment, discrimination or bullying. It aims to avoid racial, sexual and other forms of discrimination.

Potential Advantages of Fairness at Work

  • Provides clear guidelines for preventing discrimination
  • Gives unions the right to recognition. This right had been eroded meaning employers could ignore workers and unions.
  • Guarantees maternity leave
  • If more than 50% of workers are in a union, a union is by de facto recognised by employers. If it is less than 50% it can be recognised if the workforce vote for it.
  • As a result of this legislation the number of unions being recognised in the worforce had a small increase post 2000, (after 2 decades of decline)
  • Unions also have restrictions on closed shops and striking without ballot. It is a 2 way process designed to prevent less conflict between unions and employers
  • Provides a framework for either stopping discrimination or even filing complaints and charges against employers who allow it.

Disadvantages of Fairness at Work

  • Getting recognition by employers does not mean trades unions necessarily have much influence over wages and conditions.
  • If unions are given too much power it could lead to an increase in the prevalance of strikes and wage inflation. The UK economy suffered in the 1970s from unions having too much influence; it led to a climate of antagonism between workers and firms. (However, the stated aim of fairness at work is to avoid this antagonism)
  • There is concern that an increase in government legislation can be a factor in discouraging firms from investing. Inflexible labour markets are seen to be a factor in contributing to high unemployment levels in France and Germany. More legislation like Fairness at work can increase the bureaucracy and red tape of hiring and firing workers.
  • Many of the ideas have been previously covered by the Sex Discrimination Act (1976) and racial discrimination legislation. Some of the fairness at work legislation is merely repetition.
  • Legislation and policy's are no guarantee of being able to prevent it in practice.
  • In some sectors of the economy trades unions have a low density (service sector) therefore it is more difficult to implement there.
  • To be effective it requires active cooperation of respected parties, trades unions, and employers.
Fairness at Work pdf

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