Employment Relations Individual essay Example

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Employment Relations


The emergence of foreign markets and the subsequent increase in international and multinational organizations has increased human resource management issues and concern. In this case, the concept of international human resource management was developed in a bid to enhance and facilitate the management of the global human resource issues. As a result, the development of the international human resource management as a key business and global economic strategy for success led to the emergence of concerns and stakeholders involvement in the process. Such identifiable stakeholders include the emergence of employee lobby associations and groups, employers associations to defend the employees’ rights as well as international human resource management organizations as well as the international labour organization (ILO).

The emergence of these stakeholders complicated the human resource management as well as the handling of employment relations. However, the inclusion of an additional stakeholder, the government has increasingly complicated handling of employment relations in the local and global contexts. While as some argue that government inclusion increases overall sanity and rule of law in employment relations, others perceive it as an obstruction and barrier to effective relations development. It is based on this emerging debate that this essay is developed. The essay seeks to evaluate the merits as well s demerits of government involvement in employment relations in an Australian context.

Advantages of Government Involvement

The government involvement in employment relations had a wide range of merits and positive implications in the long run functioning of the global human resource market as well as the economy at large. One such merit is policies and regulations development. The government is mandated with the responsibility of developing organizational policies and structures in the economy. Goodwin and Maconachie (2011) conducted a study to evaluate the role of government in developing labour regulations and frameworks. The study developed a hypothesis that governments across the globe have constitutional mandates to protect their citizens. In this regard, governments are charged with ensuring that there is fairness and equitability in employments. Therefore, the study argued that governments are a necessary tool in enhancing regulatory equality in the market. Profit oriented organizations gear their strategic objectives at gaining increased profitability in the industry. In this case, the organizations strive at reducing overall production costs in the market. One such area that is increasing targeted for reduced costs is the human resource management aspect. As such, organizations seek out to reduce the human resource costs through a number of avenues.

On one hand, they reduce remunerations extended to the workforce. Thus, the human resources are undercompensated resulting to human resource exploitation. In addition, organizations reduce and compromise on employees working conditions and safety in order to reduce on human resource costs. This can be evidenced by a study developed by Hopkins (2008). The study evaluated the human resource exploitation trend adopted by multinational organizations in the Asian market. The study established that multinational organizations had increasingly off shored their production activities into the region due to available cheap labour. In this regard, the study argued that the organizations established sweat shops in which the working conditions were poor allowing for reduced production costs. The study sought to compare the functioning of the labour market in both the European and the Asian market. On one hand, it established that the European market was increasingly regulated by the respective governments. As such, the working standards acceptable minimums were established and any violations were subjected to legal prosecution. Therefore, it was impossible for the multinational organizations to exploit the European labour market. However, the situation is different in the Asian market. Governments in these markets strive to develop avenues to attract foreign investments in the market to allow for increased economic growth. Therefore, the lack of regulatory measures on labour relations led to the emergence of sweat shops. This can be evidenced by an example of the Apple Company. Despite its social responsibility approach, its supplier in the Chinese market, the Foxconn utilizes cheap labor and sweat shops to develop the organizational inputs.

May, Peetz and Strachan (2013) argue that the Australian government on its part has developed systems to regulate employee exploitation through labour regulations that avail a legal framework through which employees can report abuses. Therefore, based on an analysis of the business situations between the European and Asian labour markets, it is apparent that government intervention is an imperative tool in enhancing citizens’ safety standards and reduces on potential workforce exploitation. Therefore a key role and merit in government involvement in employment relations is the establishment of guidelines and frameworks. Consequently, the stakeholders, including the employees and the employers, can base their activities on the established frameworks. In addition such established legal frameworks allow for efficient conflicts resolutions in the labour market reducing on possible potential costs of prolonged labour conflicts. In this case, the government can at times act as a mediator. In the event that a standoff emerges between organizations and their employees and arbitration fails, governments play the mediation roles. An example of the Australian government involvement in conflicts resolution can be evidenced in the functioning of the Australian Industrial Relations Commission that developed frameworks and resolved conflicts between trade unions in the Australian economy. This is discussed by Gall (2013). The author argues that governments are perceived as impartial parties in any labour disagreement. Therefore, their acting as mediators increases the chances and possibilities. Therefore, the government has an increased market responsibility in enhancing cable conflicts resolutions through both labour regulations provision as well as acting as mediators in resolving industrial conflicts. Thus, based on these roles, government participation in justified and advantageous in enhancing increased employment relations success.

Disadvantages of Government Involvement

Despite the discussed rationale and merits of government involvement in employment relation, its involvement complicates the overall industry operations. In this regard, the market faces an increased complication as a result of government involvement. Among these challenges in international human resource management structures development. This concept can be explained through a study conducted by Ariss (2010) on the apparent challenges in international human resource strategies. In this case, the study sought to establish the challenges through which international human resource management faces its challenges. In this case, the study established that the existence of diverse regional and national human resource regulations complicated the process. In this case, the study argued that international governments, with their workforce diversity developed indefinite human resource regulations. This can be evidenced by the Australian labour regulations that vary from the labour regulations established in the European labour market.

Consequently, the increased policies diversity complicated the human resource process as it was impossible to develop enough international policies applicable across the nations. Consequently, the study advocated for increased liberalization of the process. This was further argued by Miśra (2009). The author argued that liberalism approach in strategic human resource management on the global platform was an imperative approach allowing for efficiency and increased systems success. In their analysis, the authors argued that liberalism allowed for the integration of human resource systems. In a further research, Sharma, Sundar and Murthy (2012) established that government involvement in employment relations increased labour conflicts. In this regard, the study established that governments’ policies formulation strategies were majorly inconsiderate of the international implications rather than local implications of the developed policies. Consequently, the study argued that government involvement in employment relation increased conflicts instances that led to increased overall cost implications in relations management. As such, increased government involvement increases process complexity in employment relations.

An additional demerit of government involvement in employment relations includes the increased political interference in business human resource management policies. Hesketh and Fleetwood (2006) study on political implications on human resource management can be established as a major proponent evidence for this discussion In this case, the study argued that employment relations in respective organizations played a significant role in enhancing eventual organizational strategies and strategic objectives achievement. In this case, the study established that political interference complicated such efficient management. As such, it argued that organizations in the market faced an increased market failure possibility as a result of political interferences. In this case, governments can implicate on labour supply in the market through the establishment of restrictive regulations. For instance, some governments may require a definite local workforce percentage in any organization operating in the market. Although this regulation is imperative in enhancing inclusiveness and workforce diversity, it at times leads to eventual employment relations challenges for the employers.

In some markets, especially the emerging markets, it has proved increased hard for organizations to establish and recruit an enough qualified workforce. As such, organizations in this market face increased organizational challenges in the concept that they train unqualified and experienced workforce in order to meet the statutory and regulatory requirements in the market. As a result, managing such a work force increases overall human resource challenges as they often fail to meet the set minimum standards and targets. Consequently, such a trend increased the overall organizational and employment conflicts. In this case, the employers and employees are in constant quarrels with regard to productivity and set organizational standards. Therefore, based on this argument, it apparent that government regulation and capping on workforce representation in organizations creates increased employment relations. Therefore, experts advocate that instead of regulation on the percentage representation, global governments should strive to establish and develop a workforce that gains increased expertise and experience. As such, the foreign labour markets would represent qualified workforce fit for recruitment in the respective organizations serving in the market.

As such, the respective organizations would eventually absorb such a workforce into their systems allowing for not only increased productivity, but also increased employment relations harmony through mutual benefits between the organizations and the workforce. Therefore, it is apparent that increased government intervention in the management of employment relations, increases complexity and eventual challenges. Therefore, recommendations have been developed for global governments to increase their participation in increasing human resource potential and eventual success in the market.


In summary, the essay evaluates the concept s of government involvement in employment relations. In this case, the essay seeks to establish is such involvement is justified or not. As such, it evaluates both the merits and demerits of such government involvement. On one hand, the essay establishes that government involvement allows for increased regulations and conflicts resolution as evidenced in the Australian example. However, on the other hand, the essay establishes that government involvement in industrial relations complicates the process through regulations that reduce regulations synergy. Therefore, this essay recommends that despite the presence of employee labour associations and employers unions and the emerging government involvement challenges, its role in the industry is imperative. The employee labour and employer associations under the pluralist approach are bound to disagree as each represent their own interests necessitating the government intervention. However, if they exist under the unitary approach and are in agreement, government intervention should be restrained. Therefore, a synergy and information and communication flow system should be established between the parties to allow for increased beneficial stakeholders participation.


Ariss, A. A. (2010). Modes of engagement: Migration, self-initiated expatriation, and career development. Career Development International, 15(4), 338-358.

Gall, G. (2013). New forms and expressions of conflict at work. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.

Goodwin, M., & Maconachie, G. (2011). Minimum labour standards enforcement in australia: Caught in the crossfire? The Economic and Labour Relations Review : ELRR, 22(2), 55-80

Hesketh, A., & Fleetwood, S. (2006). Beyond measuring the human resources management-organizational performance link: Applying critical realist meta-theory. Organization, 13(5), 677-699.

HOPKINS, B. D. (2008). Race, sex and slavery: ‘forced labour’ in central asia and afghanistan in the early 19th century. Modern Asian Studies, 42(4), 629-671.

May, R., Peetz, D., & Strachan, G. (2013). The casual academic workforce and labour market segmentation in australia. Labour & Industry, 23(3), 258-275.

Miśra, R. N. (2009). Human resource management after globalisation. New Delhi: Discovery Publishing House.

Sharma, D., Sundar, D. K., & Murthy, R. V. (2012). Evaluating the impact of government policies and regulations on M-commerce in india: A system dynamics modelling approach. International Journal of Business and Management, 7(23), 54-80.