IRHR2010 Introduction To Industrial Relations Assignment-Newcastle University Australia.

LENGTH:1,800 words(Maximum text – the executive summary, table of contents and references are not included in the word count. No appendices please).
THE SCENARIO:The Happy Buyers Grocery (HBG), an Australian company, has 7 shops in New South Wales— including Newcastle — each having around 4 full-time, permanent staff and 4 casual employees. Because of COVID-19, the shops operated eight hours a day, five days a week.
Many employees are members of the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees’ Association (SDA) — a union organising workers in the industry. HBG had been receiving Job Keeper payments for employees working reduced hours under a Job Keeper enabling stand down direction issued by the company. This direction ended when the Job Keeper scheme finished
after 28 March 2021, which means employees working reduced hours need to return to their usual full-time hours before the direction was issued.
IRHR2010 Introduction To Industrial Relations Assignment-Newcastle University Australia.

IRHR2010 Introduction To Industrial Relations Assignment-Newcastle University Australia.

You are a new graduate, recently employed by HBG as a Human Resources Officer. The CEO of HBG, Harry King, wants to move away from using the relevant award (i.e., the General Retail Industry Award) to a new Enterprise Agreement (EA) covering all employees, existing and future. He has asked you to provide him with strategic advice on how to go about making the EA.

Harry has three main objectives with the EA:
1.He does not like the hours of work and roster provisions in the award and wants the flexibility to operate seven days a week at longer hours.
2.He is happy to pay above award wages, but he wants to reduce overtime and penalty rates.
3.He wants to raise the employees’ level of engagement with the business, whether this is done through mechanisms that involve the union (i.e., the SDA) or not (i.e., non-union means), and have greater control over flexible work arrangements as well.

Your task is to prepare advice for Harry (in the form of a report) about how to achieve his objectives in a timely manner and with minimum industrial conflict. More specifically, he wants you to address the following two questions:
1.What are two or three main requirements in the law that must be met to ensure the EA is approved by the Fair Work Commission?
2.Within the limits set out in the law, what approach should he take in the negotiation of the EA?

Many of the following hints are the same as for PBL 1, but not all!

• This is a PBL exercise, not an essay.
• So, you should work through the general advice on the course Blackboard site about doing PBL Exercises.
• Check out the practice exercises, which are posted at the same location.
• The Workshops will also provide discussions and exercises that assist you in preparing and writing PBL Exercises.

IRHR2010 Introduction To Industrial Relations Assignment-Newcastle University Australia.

IRHR2010 Introduction To Industrial Relations Assignment-Newcastle University Australia.

2.Scoping the issues:
• An essential element of problem solving is defining the problem and ensuring that your solution is sharply focused on solving that problem.
• In this PBL exercise, scoping the issues means explaining to the reader at the beginning the nature of the problem and how you will address it. Then, in the rest of the report, you deliver what you said at the beginning.
• This is addressed in Assessment Item A (Scoping of the issue).

3.Dealing with the “facts”:
• There are not that many “facts” in the scenario, so use them as clues to meeting Harry’s objectives.
• At the same time, don’t make assumptions or make assertions about new or additional “facts”. This is important to the realism of the report: Harry will not want to be treated like an idiot and be told something about his organisation that may be incorrect.
• This can partly be avoided through your writing style. For example, rather than simply asserting (or assuming) facts, use words like:
→ “the literature says this … might be so”, or
→ HBG is part of the larger retail industry, so research about other parts of retail might be helpful in understanding HBG, or
→ “Cappelli’s (2017) article about the retail industry in USA says…”.
• The better your research and the better you relate your research to the specifics of HBG, the more plausible will be your suggestions and the more likely Harry will be to accept your recommendations.

4.The legal requirements:
• The first question Harry is asking you to address is about the Australian law. This is not especially complicated, but you will need to provide a nice simple summary of what employers need to do if they are to comply with the law of collective agreement making.
• The law is also not always certain and can change depending on recent judgments by courts or regulators. However, we do not want you to devote time or space to describing the latest decisions – the basics will do, with a warning to Harry about the need to subsequently get more detailed advice.

5.A strategic approach?
• The law places constraints about what employers can do, but it also creates opportunities. In other words, employers (like HBG) have many options open to them, depending on what they are trying to achieve.
• When you discuss the options (and ultimately make recommendations), you need details:How should the arrangements be set up? Who should do what? Do you want to work with the union or against it? Are some unions or union officials easier to deal with than others? Is a non-union collective agreement an option? How do these issues affect your recommendations?
• You also need to discuss the risks and/or potential benefits of each option or recommendation: explain how the process you recommend might work and with what possible outcomes? At the same time, could it go wrong? Why? What do you need to do so you can avoid the risks and gain the benefits?
• Your analysis should be evidence based. So, on all these points, previous research is helpful because it shows you what worked where and when! But you must acknowledge the importance of context – the research was invariably undertaken in one context, while the HBG is likely to be a very different context. How can you transfer the findings from one context and make them work in a different context?

6.Values or pragmatism?
• As discussed early in the course, different values might lead to different
recommendations about how to deal with the situation.
• A unitarist might take quite a different approach to this EA compared to a pluralist.Indeed, some pluralists might prefer to deal with the union but keep it at arms’ length, while other pluralists might embrace the union as a partner.
• At the same time, you might decide that values need to take a back seat to the practicalities of the situation. So, perhaps it depends more on what you think is expedient.

7.Be realistic about costs:
• As well as the points already made above about realism, remember also that any recommendation you make that will significantly increase costs is likely to be rejected by the CEO.
• The retail industry is very competitive, often on the basis of price. It is also labour intensive, which means increased labour costs are likely to flow through to either increased prices or lower profits.
• If your proposal does involve some increase to costs you will need to explain why this is justified. Perhaps think of it as an investment that is needed in order to realise benefits (i.e., “you can’t make money without spending it!”). But, you will need to make the argument – provide the business case, albeit in simple terms.

IRHR2010 Introduction To Industrial Relations Assignment-Newcastle University Australia.

IRHR2010 Introduction To Industrial Relations Assignment-Newcastle University Australia.

8.Address the Assessment Criteria:
• Remember that you must write up your exercise addressing the Assessment Criteria.
• The Feedback Sheet incorporating these criteria, which will be used to record marks and comments on each report, is attached at the end of this document.

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