Below you can find a detailed description of the report assessment requirements.
The learning outcomes MO2 & MO3 will be assessed through the production of a report of 2,500 words.
Please review the case study and answer the questions based on your understanding of Managing Employment Relations, considering what you have learnt about theoretical underpinning over the last 7 weeks of the module.
As well as responding to the immediate issue, aim to think beyond the level of short-term or simple solutions, by developing a longer-term strategy.
This case study is based on a large City legal services company employing large numbers of very well-paid legal services staff in offices situated in Canary Wharf in London, England. It has outsourced its facilities management to a company of contract cleaners and caterers, to save costs and due to planned resourcing efficiencies. However, some issues have arisen with the contract cleaners.
The cleaning staff predominantly work when the offices have few staff working in them. This tends to be in the evening, when some of the legal staff may still be in the office as on occasions, dependent on the projects they are working on and due to time differences with other countries.
The majority of the contract cleaning staff originate from countries all over the world. In fact, very few of the cleaners are British and almost all of them are women. In total, it is nearly 50 staff and many of them have limited verbal English language skills and limited ability for reading and written English.
Within the last few weeks, a Trade Union (TU) asked a representative to visit the site and began to meet with the contract cleaners. This TU representative has interested many of the contract cleaning staff in joining the union. It appears there are many grievances amongst the cleaners. For example: some of the issues raised are they are not being paid the National Minimum Wage applicable in the UK, as they are often asked to do more hours than they are actually paid for. The cleaners have stated if they refuse to do them, they fear they will be troublemakers and that they could lose their jobs. In addition, some cleaners have advised about allegations of sexual harassment. These allegations have been advised to the contract cleaning company, by the TU representative. However, the response from the company was they do not want to have any dealings with the TU nor do they believe any of the allegations.
In the last few days, the City firm has been picketed by the Union one morning. The demonstrators issued leaflets explaining the situation to City workers arriving at work in the morning and press interest has been generated in the situation. The firm is now embarrassed by the bad publicity, especially when it is a legal services firm. The situation has been exacerbated, as recently a senior female solicitor raised a case of sex discrimination and she won considerable damages because she had been passed over for promotion and discriminated against due to her gender. The legal services firm feel in a dilemma. It outsourced its cleaning and catering, to aim to reduce problems and now it fears poor publicity and potentially more claims. The key issue being the allegations which the cleaners are making regarding the legal services company’s staff.
Questions for Discussion
You have recently been appointed as a HR interim Manager to support the City legal services firm, as they are in the process of recruiting a HR Director following the external legal case. Please answer the following questions. Write up to 500 words for each of the 5 questions. You must write your answers from the perspective of the consultant representing the legal firm.
The report of 2,500 words (+/-10%), including any exhibits, tables and figures, but excluding the reference list. All figures and tables should be consecutively numbered, and captions provided.