5HR01 Employment Relationship Management Task Two – Advisory Briefing Note


This task requires you to produce an advisory briefing note to senior managers facing industrial unrest in the organisation.

The advisory note should contain:

  1. Distinguish between organisational conflict and misbehaviour, and between informal and formal conflict. (AC 2.1)
  2. Distinguish between official and unofficial employee action. (AC 2.2)
  3. Assess emerging trends in the types of conflict and industrial sanctions. (AC.2.3)
  4. Distinguish between third-party conciliation, mediation and arbitration. (AC.2.4)
  5. Explain the main provisions of collective employment law. (AC 4.1)
  6. Compare the types of employee bodies, union and non-union forms of employee representation (AC 4.2)
  7. Evaluate the purpose of collective bargaining and how it works. (AC 4.3)


Task 2- Advisory Briefing Note

2.1 Differences of Organisational Conflict and Misbehaviour

Conflict and Misbehaviour

Organisation conflict include a normal occurrence due to disagreement in an organisation due to having varying interests, personalities, beliefs and point of views. Misbehaviours are defined as violation of beliefs and social norms which characterise an organisation.

For their differences, misbehaviours entail a sabotage of an organisation operations or misleading customers to gain personally. This is different from conflicts which represent a phenomenon employee assume a feeling of harassment or discrimination due to failure of executing their job roles on time and detailed.

Another difference is that misbehaviours tend to be individual based while the conflicts are general occurrences in organisations (Hadjisolomou, 2019). The level of these conflicts significantly increase when a group is involved in pursuing specified organisation goals. This is different from the misbehaviours which are implemented with minimal inclusion of groups.

Also, while the misbehaviours management could be through setting a legislation or policies, conflicts management include striking, going for go-slows, protesting and distraction of working activities. This is similarly distinct from misbehaviours which tend to be occasioned by individual action or an action of commission or omission.

Formal and Informal Conflicts

The informal conflicts are noted as being linked to the unofficial misunderstanding of employees interests. Formal conflicts are identified as the issues linked with changes in organisation normal way of doing things occasioning resistance (Hussein et al., 2019).

The core difference of formal and informal conflicts include their source being lack of meeting expectations in workplace. According to Wang et al. (2018), miscommunication also prevail in an event toxic work environment amongst the employees is in place. Considering Saudi Aramco operations, discrimination of employees when conflicts arise lead to cultural misunderstanding. Nevertheless, for informal conflicts, they are defined with issues linked to persistence absenteeism, changes in assigned job roles changes and accidents while at work.

3.2 Causes of employee grievances

Employee grievances represent formal complaints raised by employees against actions by other employees or manager or against an employer (CIPD, 2022d). The process followed in filling of the grievances include harassment at work, discriminated employees and mistrust.

In Saudi Aramco for example, owing to surge in oil and gas demand post-COVID-19 pandemic, an increased in expected output of employees has elicited grievances prompting need for accompanied in grievance hearing.

Grievances are caused by;

Remuneration– This is identified by Lewin (2020) as a phenomenon where pay and benefits cause grievances or lack of understanding among the different engaged parties. When the employees working in same job description are paid differently, grievances prevail.

Bullying– Working as a people practice professional in Saudi Aramco, bullying often occur in the organisation. The source of grievances is the employees fairly young assume a feeling of being left by the elderly. Often, management intervention has been called for.

Workplace conditions– In Saudi Aramco, post COVID-19 pandemic, some employees have been provided with remote working opportunities while others have not. This has occasioned grievances owing to the misrepresented issues and misusing information on success of this strategy  (Yu et al., 2019).

Increase in employees workload- For Saudi Aramco case, considering they have more than 50 workstations in KSA alone, employees tend to often be overburdened to implement their roles. For managing their operations, workload is increased substantially hence leading to grievances.

3.3 Skills for handling grievances

Fairness- This is used to promote the level of impartiality in grievances handling. As evidenced in Maake et al. (2021), the relevance of application of this skill is to ensure all parties work on a mutually agreed roles. In Saudi Aramco for example, they pursue honest-based initiatives to evaluate viable, sustainable and most appropriate grievance handling process. As guided by ACAS (2022) guidance, this skill is important to ensure following of the full and fair procedure in grievance handling.

Being detailed/note taking- For a people practice professional to successfully handle grievances, they must be detailed in evaluating the root causes, identifying options and decision making (Unler & Caliskan, 2019). The outcome of this would be a successful dispute resolution. For example, in Saudi Aramco, handling grievances include holistically evaluating all available options and identifying what fit for an organisation. Hence, at the entire process, notes are taken to ensure they are understanding each other.,

3.4 Importance of handling grievances effectively

Increase in employees awarenessThis positive impact of handling grievances successfully is informed by the possibility of increasing awareness level. According to Ogbonnaya et al. (2022), by increasing the level of morale an overall productivity, organisations operations in their environment. In Saudi Aramco, all interests of stakeholders are hence put into account.

For handling grievances, all the stakeholders must be engaged while all steps followed strictly to maintain loyal and committed employees.

Alignment of Contractual Terms– A successful handling of grievances lead to contractual terms being integrated to be part of the organisation operations. In Saudi Aramco, this include ensuring all stakeholders expectations are put into account hence holistically following contractual terms.

For grievances handling, this follow a formal initiative with workplace safety for all stakeholders being identified and prioritised.

Increased employer brand and image– By successfully handling grievances, an organisation as an employer brand and of choice is increased. This is with a good organisation image being developed. For example,  Saudi Aramco achieves this by attracting the best employees in terms of qualifications and experiences.

Risks for not handling grievances effectively

Reduced Productivity- Consistent failure of resolving grievances could negatively impact capacity of organisations in harnessing and maintain the performance and productivity. In Saudi Aramco for example, they have faced issues on performance post COVID-19 due to grievances which had not been resolved leading to lowered performance.

Low Retention- In instances where Saudi Aramco has failed in handling arising grievances has been noted to contribute to increased turnover levels. The rationale of this is that prevalence of these grievances unresolved impact on commitment level and motivation to implement their roles hence ending up leaving such an organisation (CIPD, 2021).

2.2 Official and unofficial action of employees

Official action is defined as a practice where trade unions must authorise an activity (People Management, 2019). This is different from unofficial actions which are implemented with zero requirement for trade unions approval.

The core difference include in the verge of their implementation, the official action engages third parties. This is different from unofficial action where employees do not have the protection of participating in the conflicts management.

The scope in which the trade unions are involved evidence on the gains which are accrued and at the end positive gain achieved or reprisal. Apart from this, according to Ludlow (2021), through an active balloting, unofficial actions are made legal and formalised.

2.3 Emerging trends in conflicts and industrial sanctions

Shorter and more strategically organised strikes

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