Introduction to 5DER Contemporary Development in Employment Relations
Contemporary developments in employment relations is a level 5 CIPD unit designed to help learners develop their employment relationships. Level 5 units are also known as intermediate programmes and can be equivalent to an undergraduate degree. The unit primarily focuses on teaching the students the fundamental skills of making sound business decisions and good practices for international and national employee relations. Students of the unit will be taught how to effectively manage employment relationships in all organisations, whether indigenous or multinational. They will also be equipped with theoretical and strategic knowledge of principles and perspectives relating to issues of employment relations. This means that, the students who pursue this unit can not only work in the local markets, but also in the global markets. Employment relations are an essential element of people skills that are used by HR practitioners.
The primary objectives of the unit include:
- To understand the nature and context of employment relations.
- To understand the legislation of employment relations
- To understand contemporary developments in employee involvement and participation
- To learn about different forms of conflict and dispute resolution.
Human resource professionals should have an understanding of the essential developments in the theory and practice of employment relations. The unit is suitable for HR practitioners because it allows them to build on their knowledge and experience and develop the necessary skills to make a sound judgement about existing and emerging models of employment relations. Students of this unit will also be enlightened on both local and international legislations that pertain to employment relations.
The unit is suitable for all individuals seeking to understand the role of human resource manager in an organisational context. It is also suitable for employees and employers tasked with the responsibility of implementing the HR policies in an organisation. Students who aspire to pursue a career in human resource management and development are also eligible to enrol for the unit. Finally, all the people working as HR practitioners and need to increase their knowledge and sharpen their skills in employment relations can enrol for the unit. Individuals who belong to any of the four categories mentioned above can greatly benefit from the lessons taught in the unit.
The unit is covered in a notional 60 hours. However, the lessons as will be described in this section (directed learning) will only be taught in 30hours. The other 30 hours will be dedicated to personal studies and assessment time. The unit content is primarily based on the unit objectives. Firstly, students will be taught about the nature and context of employment relations. In this lesson, learners will be taught about the indeterminacy of the employment relations systems, power balance, casual and atypical employment forms, and nature of work in contemporary society and institutions of labour market regulations.
Second, the lesson on regulations of employment relations will cover various elements. It is important to understand that, all lessons will use theoretical studies but will draw examples from existing companies. In the lesson covering regulations and legislations, students will learn the source of law such as the UK and EU institutions. They will also be taught on changes in individual and collective employment rights, the importance of trade unions, the role of government and government agencies in employment relations and written terms and conditions of employment relations. The last elements that will be covered in the second lesson revolve around recognition, functions, growth and decline of Unions. Both European and non-European employment relation systems will be taught and illustrated with suitable examples.
Third, the students will be taught on contemporary developments in employee involvement and participation. In this lesson, the competing concepts of employee involvement and participation will be elaborated. Additionally, the significance of union and non-union employee representation will be discussed and students asked to demonstrate each. Issues of employees’ consultation and information regulations, employee voice and organisation insight will also be detailed in the lesson. At the end of the lesson, the student will have learnt how to measure and value an organisation’s equity to derive sustainable organisational performance.
The last lesson covered by the unit is based on the last objective. The lesson will teach the students on the different types of conflict behaviours and approaches of dispute resolution. Different forms of employee conflict and misbehaviours will be discussed and contemporary developments in industrial actions analysed. Both individual grievance handling and collective dispute resolutions are elements of conflict resolution that will be detailed by the unit. Methods of conflict resolution such as mediation, third party conciliation, mediation and arbitration will also be discussed. By the end of the lesson, learners will have the necessary skills to legally manage a potential conflict situation and achieve consensus.
At the end of the unit, students will be assessed on their understanding of all the lessons taught. Learners are expected to:
- Demonstrate an understanding of the nature and context of employment relations.
- Translate and apply employment relations legislation
- Demonstrate understanding of the Contemporary developments in employee involvement and participation
- Differentiate the various forms of conflict and dispute resolution approaches.
Summary and assessment
The unit has been designed to enable its students to examine and understand contemporary developments that directly influence effective management of employment relations in all organisations. The unit is beneficial to the student because it offers adequate knowledge and skills that help the students become experts in carrying out their duties and responsibilities. Learners who pursue the unit are willing to develop their careers and professionalism. The unit comprehensively covers matters associated with contemporary developments and employment relations that are essential for improving organisational performance and sustainability. Students who have completed this unit are more confident in their ability to manage employment relationships and thus are valuable to an organisation.
Finally, at the end of the unit, students will be expected to submit a 3900 words assignment. Assignments in level 5 of CIPD seek to tests the students’ analytical skills and critical thinking ability. Therefore, the answers should demonstrate an understanding of the primary concepts and they should be illustrated using viable examples. It is critical that the students use both their theoretical and practical knowledge to complete the assignment.