The Importance Of Legislation Regarding Employment Relations Essay

The Importance Of Legislation Regarding Employment Relations Essay

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It is important that legislation concerning employment relations is always evolving in order to strive for the most productive relationships with the most benefits for stakeholders. Amendments to part 6D of the Employment Relations Act is an interesting example of such evolution. The amendments came into effect in early 2015, effectively removing prescriptive measures relating to rest breaks and allowing workers to take compensatory measures in replacement for their rest breaks. These changes faced significant debate, particularly within the quick service restaurant industry, with support from employers and opposition from the workers. This essay assessed the benefits and risks of these amendments, in order to examine the validity of such debate. Ultimately, this essay argues that, as evidenced by the impact of McDonalds and its workers, the amendments heavily favour the employer, placing the employee at a detriment.

With a diverse workforce of over 9,000 employees and investing $100 million NZD into expanding an additional 6,000 more, McDonald’s New Zealand (McDonald’s) enjoys unprecedented growth within the quick service restaurant (QSR) industry (c). This diverse workforce includes employees of various nationalities, age, socio-economic classes, disabilities and sexual orientation (d) each with roles ranging from upper management to front of house ‘crew’ with various skill sets and education levels. McDonald’s New Zealand is unionized with a weighted 20% of employees being apart of Unite Union, which has seen the movement of issues such as ‘zero hour’ contracts (c).

A benefit McDonald’s expected was greater ability to negotiate rest and meal breaks with employees and having the option of compensatory measures if breaks are ...

... middle of paper ...

...priecation and raward are almost unseen and provide barriers for engagement from employees.

To conclude, from an human resource management and industrial relations perspective, the amendments significantly favour the employer, providing them with significant benefits while placing workers at significant risk. This essay evaluated the benefits and risks of the amendments for both McDonald’s and its workers, presenting a clear imbalance between the impact on each of the stakeholders. This imbalance is of particular concern as we are dealing with the reality of an industry where there is a tremendous inequality of power between the young often migrant workers and the company generally or their store manager (e). McDonalds presents a valuable example evaluating the impact of these amendments, allowing a conclusion that they present a significant imbalance.

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