Acacia Learning 5HR01 Employment Relationship Management


You are required to produce a policy document containing key legal aspects and their implications. This should be designed to sit on the company’s intranet and should be formal in style.

The policy document can be broken down into two sections:

Section 1

  1. A review of emerging developments to inform approaches to employee voice and engagement (AC 1.1)
  2. Differentiate between employee involvement and employee participation and how it builds relationships (AC 1.2)
  3. Assess a range of employee voice tools and approaches to drive employee engagement. (AC 1.3)
  4. Critically evaluate the interrelationships between employee voice and organisational performance. (AC 1.4)
  5. Explain the concept of better working lives and how this can be designed. (AC 1.5)

Section 2

  1. Explain the principles of legislation relating to unfair dismissal in respect of capability and misconduct issues. (AC 3.1)
  2. Analyse key causes of employee grievances (AC 3.2)
  3. Explain the skills required for effective grievance and discipline-handling procedures. (AC 3.3)
  4. Advise on the importance of handling grievances effectively. (AC 3.4)

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:

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



Task 1: Policy Document


Currently, organisations are opting out from industrial relations as a strategy of harnessing their employee relations. As noted in CIPD (2021), this is through an emphasis on direct types of representation and guiding line managers in establishing a trust-based relations with employees. This is defined with an increased scope of employee involvement, commitment and engagement. In this policy document, it focuses on Makite Solutions which is an SME in logistics sector. Owing to its unionised approach in employee relations, it has been facing employee relations issues linked with differences in personality styles, lack of respect and lack of support. This has contributed to industrial unrest within the organisation with issues with go-slow tactics and strikes talks. Through this policy document, the key legal aspects and their implications to the organisation have been evaluated.

1.1 Emerging developments to inform approaches to employee voice and engagement

As noted in CIPD (2020) meaningful employee voice and engagement is instrumental to improved work experiences and improved work outcomes. Nevertheless, there have been emerging developments contributing to challenges or presenting opportunities on the nature of employment relations with the workforce image becoming more diverse (see figure 1).

Figure 1: Diversity of employee relations

The emerging developments include;

New voice channels through technology and social media– As noted in CIPD (2013), traditionally, organisations trend of using surveys and other platforms in evidencing the employee voice and engagement has since changed. This is with modern technology and social media altering the communication patterns in organisations with limited control (see figure 2).

Figure 2: Multidimensional nature of social media and new media communication

The multi-directional nature of this means not only the concerned personnel can listen to employee voice but the entire organisation. This reduces engagement owing to its low structuring and less hierarchical voice channel.

Millennials venturing in employment–  As evidenced in Jha et al. (2019) Millennials (represent employees born 1985-1996) expects their employers to actively listen and represent their values in all organisation actions. With these demands, it is a challenge promoting these employees categories and also promoting engagement. In order to successfully achieve employee voice and increase engagement level, a cooperative culture of voice is recommended.

Rise of the gig economy– According to CIPD (2017) research, upto 1.3 million individuals are engaged in the gig work. This present a new approach for employee voice and engagement owing to the need for contributing to technological innovativeness with distinct contractual relationships reducing transaction and labour costs, numerical flexibility amidst fluctuating demands and increased competitiveness.

Covid-19 Pandemic– Prior the emergence of COVID-19 pandemic, employee voice has at all times been viewed as a facilitator of engagement. This is through assisting organisations in improving efficiencies, active collaboration, making critical decisions and innovativeness. As noted in Engage for Success (2021) this has since changed with emergence of new needs of employee engagement and platforms for communication. A new normal and remote working directly influence organisations success in their operations.

1.2 Employee involvement and employee participation and Building relationships

In the context of employee relations, employee involvement is defined as opportunities offered to employees in making decisions affecting their work, can be immediate job role (task discretion), or based on broader organisation aspects (organisation participation).

Conversely, employee participation can either be direct or indirect where indirect include employee representative (trade unions or work council) in the decision making. Direct participation is where the employees interact directly with employers.

As evidenced in Eurofound (2016), the impacts of both in building relationships is defined by its implementation. For example, employee involvement focuses on the ability of employees influencing decisions collectively as opposed to involvement of representatives. This is as opposed to the employee participation which has an influence on establishing new forms of working organisation, high involvement, high performance and learning organisations. This is a core ingredient of workplace innovativeness (see figure 3).

Figure 3: Employees involvement and participation

For the case of Makite Solutions, the identified issues of lack of respect, support and varying personality styles could be as a result of lack of both employee involvement and participation. Specifically, this can be relating to what CIPD (2021a) identify as direct participation. This has an influence on decision-making process assuming varying forms including control over job tasks implementation and influencing the broader organisational decisions.

1.3 Employee voice tools and approaches for driving employee engagement

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