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Differing Approaches to Employee Relations at the Collective and Individual Level



Managing the relationships between employees  and employers grows more complex and more critical every year


.  You need a strong relationship between employers and employees to navigate the human resource minefields of sexual harassment, employee threats of violence, equal employment opportunity, executive compensation, plant closing and relocations, and downsizing and workforce restructuring. 


Basically, employees have a relationship with their employer/s, and the success of this relationship influences the success of the company.



Collective and Individual relations refers to two of the main types of relationship between the two parties.




What is individual Bargaining?

Individual bargaining is the process by which an employer and an employee negotiate an individual contract of employment, regulating the terms and conditions of employment. 



Individual Bargaining: Advantages


  • The main advantage of individual bargaining is it is a single voice and thus there is no conflict in matters



  • Another advantage of individual bargaining is that it expresses the views and opinions of one person and thus there is no compromising



Individual  Bargaining: Disadvantages

  • The main disadvantage of individual bargaining is that the manager will not take a lot of notice of just one personís views or opinions and therefore nothing will happen



  • Thus there is not a lot of chance that individual bargaining will have an influence on company decisions and policies.



Collective bargaining


What is Collective Bargaining?


  • It is one way of minimising conflict in the workplace.
  • It involves determining conditions of work and terms of employment through negotiations between employers and employee representatives, such as trade unions
  • These bodies represent the views of all their members and try to negotiate in their interests




Collective Bargaining: Advantages


  • The main advantage of collective bargaining is that the manager will not take a great deal of time in deciding on what action to take on an individual level.



        The employees have greater influence in the final decision the manager will take.



  • There is also a chance of the employees getting what they demand.




Collective Bargaining: Disadvantages


  • The main disadvantage of collective bargaining is that it is seen as depriving the individual worker of their individual liberty and voice.



Full Time work Versus Part time work


Full-Time Employees

Full-time employees are generally considered to be those scheduled to work 40 hours per week. However, employers have discretion in setting such hours.



Full time - Advantages


  • Full-time employees are the most likely to develop company loyalty, and to feel a sense of ownership in the business.
  • This results in a committed, hardworking workforce, willing to go through any tough times the business may encounter.
  • Full-timers also tend to hold only one job, giving you more control over their time and efforts. For many employers, full-time employees provide a sense of security that someone could manage things in their absence


Full time - Disadvantages

  • For some employers, the advantages of full-time employees are outweighed by the burdens involved in hiring and maintaining such a staff. If you choose to hire full-time employees, you will face the burden of payroll taxes.
  • In addition, in order to attract and maintain strong employees, you may be required to offer such benefits as health insurance and paid vacation.




Part time work


The Internal Revenue Code defines part-time employees as those who work 1,000 hours or less in any 12-month period.



Part time - Advantages


  • Part-time employees can be an excellent staffing option for small or young businesses, due to the potential for flexibility and the relatively low cost.
  • Such workers necessarily work fewer hours, so will cost less in wages.
  • Also employers may vary the number of hours a part time employee works based on the amount of work available.
  • In addition, part-time employees typically do not qualify for company-sponsored benefits.


Part time - Disadvantages

  • Part-time employees often hold more than one job, meaning possible competition for time and loyalty.
  • Also part time employees often leave if offered full-time employment by one of their other part-time employers, possibly creating a turnover problem.



E-mail Steve Margetts