The Employment Relations Bill, on the other hand, is government’s best foot in ensuring that rights of both employers and employees are upheld at all times in the workplace. Thus, the bill ensures procedural foundations in the assertion of those rights by both sectors. The advocacy of the CIPD towards human resource development through strategic partnership between employer and employee is the catalyst of all the initiatives of CBI, TUC and the government. The foundation of CIPD’s advocacy is real and very basic – human capital.
In the past, industries and employers only focused on financial capital as the main driver of their business. Workers and employees were seen as costs to the business and like other costs, management of the same was based on cuts and cost-saving measures. From this perspective, no one can expect a partnership to bloom and flourish. If workers or employees are costs, then they cannot be partners with the employers. CIPD’s advocacy for strategic partnership between employers and employees connotes people development programs.
Employees are perceived as important factors in the growth of the business in much the same degree as financial capital. People development programs are undertaken through trainings, value formation, improved working conditions, insurance compensation, skills upgrading, social involvement, succession planning and implementation of sound policies such as fair and well communicated disciplinary action policies. All these tools create an impression of partnership and which are readily recognized and accepted by employees as enhancing and empowering initiatives.
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Unions play an important role in the pursuit of the partnership approach. Their acceptance and recognition of the new partnership concept influence their members’ embrace of the idea. How the unions perceive this new approach and how much heart they put into it would define the success of all the initiatives set forth by the different sectors. It should not be downplayed that employees still believe in their unions as the champions of their rights at work.
The TU’s of today should evolve into becoming leaders of workplace change by espousing an advocacy for strong partnership between employer and employees. Their role is more on educating their members on realistic situations by benchmarking good practices where partnerships resulted into workplace peace and harmony. TU’s role is to continue ensuring that members work productively and efficiently in order to promote the national economy. Thus, acts which lead to downtime costs should be avoided.
Therefore, TU’s role in cases of grievances of workers is to bring these matters to the awareness of employers thru discussions and arbitrations which truly address and resolve the issues without much fanfare. “Trade unions therefore have a role to play in helping to tackle the UK's productivity problem because this is right for our members, it is right for employers and it is good for the economy. The overall approach is set out in the TUC's statement Partners for Progress which was endorsed by the 1997 Congress.
It establishes that unions want to be taken seriously as part of the solution to the country's problems rather than be seen as a problem themselves. It also makes the case for unions, employers, and government to work together to achieve shared objectives - to work in partnership. ”(TUC Response to Mckinsey Report on Productivity and Partnership. ) Partnership practices, as shared by various industries in many countries, including those which are highlighted in the United States during conferences sponsored by the Federal Mediation Conciliation Services, truly benefit both employers and employees in many ways.
Where employees trust their employers and vice versa, motivation for work is sustained. Where there is motivation, high level of productivity is given by employees and in return, employers are generous in giving compensation and benefits to their employees. “The central process through which partnership is established and conducted, and its outcomes secured, is continuous joint problem solving, alongside open and timely exchange of honest and accurate information…. ” (Dietz, G. Cullen, J. Coad, A. “Can there be non-union forms of workplace partnership? ” Page 291).
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