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Free International and Comparative Employment Relations Essay Sample

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Part A

Question 1.

Introduction

Employment relations can be defined as the field in a working or industrial environment which is concerned with maintaining the relationship between the employer and employee. This field therefore aims at cultivating healthy relationships that in turn lead to high productivity, motivation and high morale within the workforce. This fraternity comprises the following distinctive features:

Distinctive features

First of all, there is the aspect of problem resolution. This field is not only concerned with resolving problems which may arise and affect individuals within the work place, it also aims at preventing them. Such problems when not taken care of may affect the work force hence lead to low productivity and morale. There is therefore need to keep them under check or simply avoid their occurrence

Secondly, the field of employment relations is also concerned with offering advisory services to the relevant individuals. Such strategies may involve offering the necessary advice to the supervisors. This may be for instance instructions on how to handle poor performance or misconduct of workers. In such cases, the employees may be subjected to certain progressive disciplinary measures. This is done to ensure that the employees remain effective in handling their responsibilities.

Furthermore, the fraternity also plays an important role in handling the grievances of the employees. The field of employment relations also helps to maintain the right standards within the working environments by receiving and taking care of the grievances of the employees. This ensures that the problems are adequately covered and hence minimized.

Lastly, there is also the aspect of employee education. This is a key feature in this field in that it helps give relevant and important information to the employees. This information is vital in that it educates and promotes the employees' understanding of the management goals as well as the policies. The employees are also informed about applicable regulations, bargaining agreements as well as legislation.

In a nut shell, the field can be identified with numerous features but then the aspects highlighted above are some of the major ones. From the above discussion, it is already evident that this field plays an important role in ensuring the right condition within a workplace.

Question 2  

Analytical processes are important approaches in comparative employee relations. They play a big role in monitoring the progress of the relationship between the employee and the employer. Among the analytical processes we have the description and explanation approaches.

The description process of analysis is an approach in which a particular issue in the work situation is singled out and then described extensively. The description is always done such that the exact current situation in a workplace is clearly depicted. For instance it may involve the description of the state of worker morale or the rate of employee motivation in a given working environment. From the description of the situation, it is possible to deduce the current work situation as far as the employment relations is concerned.

The explanation method or process on the other hand involves a more detailed analysis of certain key or pertinent issues in the work environment. For instance, on top of just describing a particular issue in a working environment, this process of analysis goes deep to unveil some of the underlying factors which could have led to the occurrence of the issue in question. In the case of an issue like identified low employee motivation, this process of analysis goes deep to seek some of the factors which could have caused that. The analysis therefore involves a thorough explanation of issue at hand and a careful presentation of the way forward. It is considered a more detailed or rather complete approach.

Question 3

The study of comparative employment relations is an important discipline whose importance varies within a number of ranges. As a result of studying it, one gets equipped with a number of skills and ideas which can then be applied in different avenues.

To begin with, studying comparative employment relations helps one to develop the necessary problem solving skills. The study of employment relations equips an individual with the relevant skills and a vast array of knowledge on problem solving. This in turn helps one to be in a position to handle some of the common problems that may arise in working environment. For instance, with such knowledge and in a managerial position, an individual is well able to stop a worker strike by applying the gained skills in solving the causative problems.

At the same time, this study helps the learner to develop appropriate coordination and interaction skills. The study of comparative employment relations does not only help the learner to develop the coordination skills but also the interaction skills. With this amount of exposure, one gets to know how an efficiently interactive environment between the employee and the employer can be created. This is vital in that when such environment is made healthy then there comes improved worker motivation and consequently increased productivity.

Lastly, the study of comparative employment relations can help equip one with a variety of situation analysis skills. Among the numerous gains that accrue from studying comparative employment relations, there is also the development of analytical skills. Through the study, one gets to interact with various analytical processes and approaches. This skills can then be applied relevantly in the field or place of work in which the learner eventually lands. With this knowledge at hand, one is equally able to analyze and monitor the situation of a work place. Consequently, they can suggest the appropriate adjustment in order to ensure an improved situation in case of such a need.

PART B

Question 1

As an introduction, it is vital to give a brief overview of what the minimum wages laws are. With such a prelude, it will be possible to clearly bring out their importance especially in working environment. The minimum wage laws can be defined as the statues which establish the minimum hourly wages that employers are supposed to provide to their employees. The effectiveness of these laws can be handy especially when certain circumstances prevail in a given country or region. This in actual sense is one of the most significant government restrictions placed on the American industry.

China

In China, the government introduced the law of the minimum wage as an approach of countering the concern that was prevailing in certain industries in the country. Some youths and forewomen were working in pathetic working conditions and for long hours yet the compensation was not worth the toil. This is therefore one circumstance when the minimum wage law can be effective i.e. in areas where the working conditions are not conducive and the employees are required to work for long hours.

The minimum wage laws can also be considered effective in situations where the workforce is multicultural. This implies, the team of workers may comprise individual who are different from one another in terms of gender, age and race just to mentioned but a few. Because of the set rules, the employees will not be exploited perhaps because of their age, gender or race but each individual is accorded a right to earn just like the others. In other words, an individual is not paid more or less because of their age but each employee is subject to a given minimum wage.

The United States of America

A good example of a country in which the workforce is majorly multicultural is USA. In most of the industries, for instance the construction industries, the workforce is usually made of people of different ages and races. This is because these industries usually comprise different departments. In each department, a particular skilled contractor may be required hence leading to the inclusion of foreign employees in the company. This leads to a mixture of races appearing in a workforce. Without their knowledge of the policies of governing the labor industry, these people may easily be exploited hence the need for the national minimum wage laws.

In addition, the national minimum wage laws can be effective in places where the rate of poverty is high and hence the living conditions are low. Such people may easily be taken advantage of by their employers. They may be caused to do a lot of work and for long hours without necessarily being compensated accordingly. Due to the fact that they are desperate, they easily can accept any offer however less.

In such a case, the national minimum wage laws can be effective in protecting such people from being exploited by the employees. Another relevant case is where the employee is illiterate and therefore unaware of his/her rights. Without the vital knowledge of one's right as an employee, the employer can easily capitalize on this ignorance and do a selfish gain at the expense of the employees. The minimum wage laws therefore protect such employees who may not have an idea of the minimum amount they ought to work for at an hourly rate.

In conclusion, it is important to indicate that the workplace of an employee comprises a variety of situations. The laws are there vital in that they help protect these employees in a number of ways and hence protect them from the exploitation by the employees.

Question 2

The aspect of gender based discrimination has become a familiar problem in most working places in most countries. Despite the efforts of the government to curb this problem, there still exists a significant gap between what a female worker earns as compared to what a man does. Due to the existing imbalance in the ratio of men to women in the work places, this issue has become quite a challenge to take care of. As a result, it is important to come up with some of the most effective laws which can then be used to ensure that this aspect is kept under an appropriate monitoring.

Employment relations and laws in China

 Going by the results of a statistical analysis carried out in China, it was deduced that most female CEOs in China earn a considerable less amount compared to their male counterparts. The same trend was been noticed in other countries for instance the member states of the European Union. In all this case, statistics show that women earn averagely 20% less than what their male counterparts do despite being in the same position. In addition to that, the women have majorly been associated with low level secretarial positions. This becomes the case despite their academic achievements. By 2005, most company board only comprised 15% female while the rest were men.

As a result of the above case, there is needed to come up with laws to counter the issue of gender based discrimination. There are situations in which a particular workforce is made up of more men than women for instance a board comprising 15% women. In such a case, due to their less number, they can be easily left out by the others in essential processes as decision making. There therefore are the laws which can help achieve a balanced workforce in which there is a balance in the number of male and female workers. When this balance is achieved and effectively incorporated in a working environment then the women can be able to get more opportunities to table their ideas and contributions.

In the United States

There are circumstances where decision making is mostly done by men while the women are left to handle relatively "smaller" errands. This is a common scenario in the American employment industry. In such cases, the laws can be applied effectively to minimize this trend hence accord the women equal employment opportunities. On top of the equal opportunities of employment, the women ought to be subjected to the same payroll. This implies that their reward will not be determined by their gender but by their positions and the extent to which they deliver in a workforce. The laws can therefore be enacted appropriately such that such unfairness is minimized as much as possible.   

There also are cases such as periodical conditions and sickness as well as pregnancy. Most of these conditions especially pregnancy obviously affect the women more than it does to men. A man may not have to stay from work because the wife is expectant; however, the wife has very minimal options. As a result, she is forced to stop working and take a maternity leave. In such a case the woman may end up getting no compensation despite the genuine reason for not being able to work. The laws at this point can be effective in protecting the women from this form of discrimination and exploitation. The laws are designed such that the woman remains eligible to the same reward especially when the reason keeping them from work has been established to be logical and understandable.

There is also the issue of sexual harassment. In some cases, men tend to harass ladies sexually or ask for a sexual reward in exchange of a favor at the workplace. This is so demeaning that the women in the workplace have been reduced to mere sex objects and not employees. The laws which highlight stern disciplinary measures on individuals found guilty of such offenses have gone a long way in keeping the tendency under check. Such laws have therefore led to the elimination of certain acts in the workplace which were formerly common but were never punished appropriately.  

In conclusion, the issue of gender based discrimination just as it was mentioned earlier remains rampant. However, the laws put in place have played a vital role in attempting to eliminate this tendency. Such laws mainly provide a cover against the exploitation of women in the workplace by the opposite gender.

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