Employee Relation Process

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Chapter 2 Employee Relations Process by Mohammed Quadir Mohiuddin Faculty of HR IBRI College of Technology Sultanate of Oman :

Chapter 2 Employee Relations Process by Mohammed Quadir Mohiuddin Faculty of HR IBRI College of Technology Sultanate of Oman

Employee Relations Process:

Employee Relations Process The accommodation of the interests of employees and employers by the establishment of rules, regulations and agreements to govern their exchange of labor services is achieved by the use of employee relations process (mechanism). The most important of these mechanisms are: unilateral action employee involvement and participation schemes collective bargaining third party intervention industrial sanctions

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In addition to these processes, the state can intervene by way of legal regulation. The management has no direct control over legal regulations of the government. However, management does try to influence such regulation via its political lobbying activities .

Unilateral action:

Unilateral action It is where the employer is the sole author of the rules, agreements and regulations that govern the conditions under which employees work. In deciding employment conditions in this way, the employer may or may not give attention to the views of the employees At the extreme, managers who impose unilateral changes to their employee’s employment conditions are effectively saying ‘Accept these new terms or consider yourself dismissed’ – take it or leave it.

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Another area in which employer’s exercise unilateral action is the devising of company rules, which are applicable to all employees. If employees breach these rules, serious consequences including dismissal can arise. Such rules usually include the dress code etc. Many companies still don’t have any formal structure for employees to relay their grievances to their employer.

Employee involvement:

Employee involvement It covers a range of processes designed to enable employees to voice their views to the employer and so have an involvement in management decision making & the feeling of participation in the development of the business . These processes include indirect forms of participation such as consultative committees, work councils as well as direct communications forms such as regular workforce meetings between senior management and the workforce, problem solving groups & briefing groups which usually involve regular meetings between junior mangers and all the works for whom they are responsible.

Consultation :

Consultation It is different from communication because it invites the participation of staff by seeking views, bringing individuals in to the decision making process and delegating a measure of autonomy through empowerment. Consultation can take place either directly with staff or through a representative forum such as work council or some other form of joint consultation machinery

Joint consultation :

Joint consultation In Joint consultation, management seeks views, feelings and ideas from employees and/or their representative prior to making a decision. Here there is no commitment to action on the employees’ views. Management makes the final decision

Collective bargaining:

Collective bargaining It is a system of industrial governance whereby unions & employers jointly reach decisions concerning the employment relationships. It is problem-solving mechanism but can take place if employees are organized and if the employer is prepared to recognize the trade union for collective bargaining purposes . In practice, the outcome of collective bargaining is not confined to union members. Unionized companies apply collectively bargained terms and conditions of employment to their non-union employees as well as to their unionized ones.

Third-party intervention:

Third-party intervention In situations where the employer and employees are unable to resolve their collective differences, they may agree voluntarily to seek the assistance of an independent third party. It can take three forms: Conciliation Mediation Arbitration Negotiation


Conciliation In conciliation, the role of the third party is to keep two sides talking and assist them to reach their own agreement. Conciliation is a dispute resolution mechanism whereby the parties to a dispute (including future interest disputes) agree to utilize the services of a conciliator, who then meets with the parties separately in an attempt to resolve their differences He does this by lowering tensions, improving communications, interpreting issues, providing technical assistance, exploring potential solutions and bringing about a negotiated settlement

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The conciliator acts as a link between the disputing parties. Conciliation permits each side to reassess its situation continually The conciliator plays a passive role and does not impose any action or decision on the parties. The conciliation process or the third party involved in conciliation have to authority to seek evidence or call witness In conciliation the parties seldom, if ever, actually face each other across the table in the presence of the conciliator.


Mediation Mediation is a way of dealing with dealing with conflict or disputes that aims to enable the parties involved to reach an agreement that satisfies everyone. A mediator listens to the arguments of the two sides and makes recommendations on how their differences might be resolved. The parties are free to accept or reject these recommendations. The process is totally voluntary and no one can be forced to take part. Mediators are impartial and won’t take sides, make judgments or lay blame. The mediation process is totally confidential and no information given by either party will be shared unless permission is given. Any agreement reached can be informal and voluntary or the parties can choose to make it formal by having a legal document drawn up based on agreements reached in the mediation


Arbitration Arbitration removes from employers & employees control over the settlement of their differences. The arbitrator hears both sides case and decides the solution to the parties’ differences by making an award. Both parties having voluntarily agreed to arbitration are morally obliged, but not legally bound, to accept the arbitrator’s award. In Oman, Article 96 of Labor Law states that unsolved disputes could refer to arbitration. The arbitration will be composed of: 1. A representative of H.M. who has no connection with the two parties 2. A representative of the employer member 3. A representative to the board appointed by the minister 4. A secretary to the board appointed by the minister.

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