HR question Essay Example

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Industrial relations and Fair work are two significant human resource issues that influence the development of a level playing ground for both employers and employees.

Industrial relations as the relationship between employees, employers, unions and government agencies, plays the fundamental role of reducing and resolving industrial disputes. Budd et al (2004) highlight when analyzing industrial relations, using a theoretical perspective, a level of conflict of interest between employers and employees usually exists. The conflict of interest is basically perceived as a problem of bargaining power. This therefore results to the rise of deputes among the two stakeholders. Manifestation of such disputes include go slows, strikes, lockouts and poor performance. Consequently, the existence of good industrial relations within an organization, works towards the reduction of industrial disputes. This is can be implemented through the establishment of dispute resolution processes such as arbitration, negation and conciliation. By adopting such processes solving disputes among employers and employees becomes rather easier (Budd, 2004).

Another fundamental role of industrial relations is that it promotes the development of freedom of association. Silva (2006) highlights that; a system of sound industrial relations acknowledges the existence of the freedom of association for both the employers and the employers. In essence both the employers and employees have a right to join organizations that defend their rights and interests such as trade unions.

A significant role of industrial relations is creating a balance between labour and earnings, which is in most cases sidelined (Budd et al, 2004). For instance in many organizations the input or labour that employees give to the organization, is usually greater than what the organizations provides to its workforce. This results to a decline in the moral of the employees leading to low performance which further affects the targets of the employer. The establishment of industrial relations deliberates the implementation of social justice within the organization. It enables the protection employees against labour exploitation, whereby they give too much input and earn too little. Trade unions therefore become essential in propagating for a balance between the labour and earnings of the workforce. Consequently if the employees are effectively motivated through a balance between their input and income , they are also bound to attain the targets of the employer (Budd, et al,2004).

Fair work on the other plays the significant role of enhancing fairness in the industrial relations system between the employers and the employees. One of the areas of fairness is the establishment of a collective barging system that is characterized by good faith. Good faith barging entails both the employer and the employees respecting the rights and views of the other party. Another aspect of fairness is on the aspect of industrial action. In the context of many industrial action incidences, one party, the employer or the employees tends to present tough requirements or stands during the bargaining process. However according to the Fair work Act (2009), both the employer and the employee are supposed to present sensible and proportional options when responding to industrial action. For instance it is considered a violation of the law if the employer pays a strike pay. In addition it is unlawful for an employee to request or demand for it (Fair Work Act 2009). Fair work therefore creates a balance between the needs of the employers and employees.

In conclusion, from the above discussion what is evident is that fair work and industrial relations greatly contribute to the development of effective working environment for both employees and employers.


Budd , J, Gomez, R, Meltz, N, 2004,Why a balance is best ; The pluralist industrial relation paradigm of balancing competing interests, Industrial Relations Research Association .

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Silva, S, 2006, Elements of a Sound Industrial relations system , International Labour Relations.

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The Fair Work Act , 2009