Managing The Employment Relationship
Cambridge College London [CCL] has recently been criticised by their staff for being discriminatory. CCL has a staff of 50 staff (20 lecturers; 30 staff are administrative; technical support and cleaning staff). CCL pride themselves for being multicultural and take ‘Equality & Diversity’ seriously. However, at CCL only half of the staff have employment contracts, the rest are on zero hour contracts and hired on self-employed contracts. Staff are discouraged from joining any unions such as UNITE. Currently, 75% of the entire workforce staff is male.
In a recent staff meeting the staff are planning to take strike action to voice their frustrations.
Task: You are an external HR consultant. The Director of CCL, Cathy Johnson, has hired you to find solutions to remedy CCL’s HR issues. The Director has asked you to write a report addressing the following questions:
Critically analyse the issues in questions 1-5. Suggest possible solutions to resolve the current HR problems and recommend what strategies or policies should be put in place to avoid future Issues.
Q1: 25% of CCL staff are Jewish and would like to celebrate Hanukkah & Yom Kippur; several staff has asked for time off. Discuss the key legal issues. Does the employer have a duty to recognise Hanukkah & Yom Kippur by law? [10 marks]
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Q2: At an interview, it became apparent that a job applicant, Maddy Butter, was asked whether she was pregnant. She said no, even though she was 5 months pregnant. Maddy was given the job. Three months later, as an employee, Maddy is asking for 3 months maternity leave, which the manager has refused. Critically discuss the legal position in this case and suggest remedies to diffuse the problem. [20 marks]
Q3: There has been a high turnover of staff at CCL. Alex Baker has been ill for several weeks during the year. The manager discovered that Alex was undergoing gender reassignment and was suffering from depression. The manager dismissed Alex on grounds that neither gender reassignment nor depression were recognised as sick leave. Discuss whether the Manager has any grounds for doing this. What are Alex’s legal employment rights. [30 marks]
Q4: ‘Zero-hour’ contract staff have been told they are not entitled to Minimal National Wage [MNW] as they have only worker status and are not entitled to receive statutory annual leave or statutory sick pay. Discuss whether CCL can legally implement this decision [20 marks]
Q5: In 2018, the college made £2M profit. Staff who had worked over two years were entitled to a percentage of the bonus according to years served. There were some exceptions. Several female lecturers have complained of not receiving any bonus payment and were told that bonuses were mainly for men. Ezra Karam is a male business lecturer who had worked for the college for 3 years but was excluded from the bonus. Ezra feels there is discrimination at play. [20 marks]