Description of the Case
In human resource management, some cases bring attention to the managing team, especially if they affect the working time, productivity, and other metrics. In this case study, the managing director (MD) is torn between whether to execute punitive actions against employees who have shown various concerns over the working methods. Briefly, there are five characters on which the case study focuses. The characters form part of the organizational body of the Wonderful Biscuit Company (WBC). Tess complains that her safety is not guaranteed in the company’s production line due to ignorance of coronavirus prevention measures. Felix is involved in a discourse with Tess alleging that she is having a ‘weird’ life since he is married to another woman. Additionally, Felix is circulating unjustifiable claims that the coronavirus vaccines administered have microchips. The MD has pointed out that the two that is Felix and Tess, have frequently argued with each other during working time, and he feels that it is important to terminate them with immediate effect.
There is Izzy, who is working on a casual basis, meaning that she is called to work whenever there is a gap in the company due to leave days or off days by the other workers. Izzy is demanding that she wants to work from home as it had when the country was under lockdown. However, the terms presented during her absorption in the company may not guarantee the same. Marian is disturbed by stress and anxiety, which she alleges is caused by the MD’s nature of intimidation and bullying. Marian demands that she be given only three days a week for work, a decision that seems kind of a bug as she risks termination. The purpose of this paper is to provide advice to the MD on the right measures to take concerning all the issues raised in the company.
Navigation of Legal Provisions Concerning the Issues at the Company
Concerning the various issues noted in the workplace, the management needs guidance on the appropriate measures to take for all the employees involved in the company’s working provisions. Many MDs, through the HRM, tend to fire employees for any reason without digging deep to ascertain the cause of some issues (Freedland & Adams-Prassl, 2017). There are some labor laws that, if followed, would be difficult to fire these persons working at WBC. According to the employment laws in the UK, some statutes can be used to bring clarity over matters in contention (Rubin, 2017). The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) is an example of a legal statute that establishes workplace standards that cover employees’ safety in terms of protection from hazards that may compromise safety and health when working (Adams & Prassl, 2018). The Act has major provisions that demand each employer to furnish a place of employment that may likely cause recognized hazards (Currie et al., 2017). Further, the Act requires employers to comply with occupational safety and health standards.
Based on the above provisions by OSHA, Tess, who complains that fellow workers are not wearing masks while others are not vaccinated, does not deserve to be fired as she is covered by the Act. OSHA directs all employees to comply with the health standard rules that have been put in by the relevant regulatory bodies (Estlund, 2018). Although vaccines and masks at that time were not compulsory, WBC through the MD had a duty to ensure that all health standards were followed to bits so that everyone was covered fully.
If WBC, through the MD and HRM, violates the OSHA rules, there are penalties based on the type of violation. Additionally, it means that employees can sue the manager on the basis of unfair dismissal, citing that their grievances were not heard when they complained (Besserman & Mentzer, 2017). Both Izzy and Tess are not supposed to be dismissed when they become critical of their need to be safe health-wise. The public policy on wrongful dismissal states that a wrongful termination claim should be applied (Bjuggren, 2018). Therefore, it will be difficult to dismiss the two based on their conduct in the working place (Adams et al., 2019). Though many employees in the UK fall under at-will employment, the covenant of good faith and fair dealing must be observed every time.
The codes of practice define how people or organizations must act during situations in the United Kingdom. This falls under the Industrial Relations Acts (ITAs) and the former Labour Relations Commission (LRC) that provided several codes of practice governing employers and employees in working situations (Gooberman, Hauptmeier and Heery, 2018). Marian who claims that stress was caused by working pressure should be allowed to work for three days a week until she recovers. According to the code of practice on addressing bullying at the workplace, some procedures can be applied.
First, the code provides that any employee who believes that they are being bullied should explain clearly to the alleged perpetrator that the behavior is not accepted (Arrowsmith, 2018). In case Marian is not able to confront the management concerning the same, she should approach a trade union representative where discussion on the grievances and allegations can be listened to (Balz, 2017). Additionally, Marian is eligible for the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)of 1993 which is allowed on an unpaid basis for a maximum of twelve weeks (Todoli-Signes, 2017). If she feels that she needs to recover fully, she should apply for leave and get back on the specified dates (Busswell, 2021). WBC should allow her to do according to the will at her mind and not to dismiss her and replace her position with Izzy who works on a casual basis.
According to the United Kingdom labor laws, an employee may not be dismissed due to their belief or thought concerning a given issue. The reason why Felix and Tess are having a discourse over the vaccine administration and also the rights to exercise freedom of marriage partner (Bai, Fairhust and Serfling, 2020). Since that does not affect WBC as a company, some guidelines are supposed to be followed. First, the two workers can be separated by being moved to different workstations in the production department (Ashworth and Perera, 2018). Secondly, through the HR office, the two can be engaged by advising them on the need to stop attacking one another on personality traits and beliefs (Feffer, 2019). Therefore, there should be no termination of their employment for the sake of equality in the workplace. Some factors can be discussed concerning the need to stabilize employees’ behavior that may harm the work environment (Bottasso, Conti and Sulis, 2017). Based on the careful consideration of the law, there is no employee among the four in the case study who is supposed to be fired.
Employee’s Requirement When Working
At the WBC, the employees must maintain the standards of working and conform to the rules and regulations that have been set concerning working in busy stations (Ndun, Helan and Umbu, 2020). Felix and Tess have to understand the organizational traits that are resembled when working in a group (Voigt and Zohlnhöfer, 2020). As much as the employees need to have their rights observed by the employer, they must ensure that they prevent occasions that may lead to a negative atmosphere (Jandrić, 2020). Tess, Felix, Izzy, and Marian need to comply with the various legal provisions concerning the terms of their employment. The National Labour Relations Act (NLRA) of 1935 establishes terms of labor relations in the private sector (Takupiwa and Shelfa, 2019). Employees have the right to self-organize themselves but under occasions that are lawful and which do not cause inappropriate conduct while working.
NLRA also gives prohibitions on how employers are allowed to address the rights of employees. There are no company-led unions that may alter the way collective bargaining is reached (Feng and Xie, 2020). In an event when the workers feel that WBC violates what they want, they can file charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) within the first six months after the violation (Khan et al, 2019). The other requirement that is suitable in this case of workers versus WBC management is using resolution strategies that bring together all the affected parties (Van Landuyt, Dewaelheyn and Van Hulle, 2017). In this case, there should be compromising and accommodating what the other party wants and settling it amicably for better working conditions (Benish, Haber and Eliahou, 2017). At this level, there will be minimal collisions as both sides will be focused to adhere to the terms as per the agreements.
Other Legal Recommendations
It is important to have full details and other forms of verification when hiring. Under the background check laws, WBC is supposed to check various concepts to avoid having nagging employees who do not withstand organizational pressure (Lobel, 2017). The MD should ensure that employees give their recommendation letters from organizations they worked for before so that there is ascertaining of the personality traits that are associated with the person being hired (Waddington, 2020). According to the laws, criminal records are important to check as it determines what the employee might bring to the company such as arguments and fights frequently.
Under the UK case laws, the judges are guided before making decisions about any issue regarding employment (Berton, Devicienti and Grubanov-Boskovic, 2017). The UK Supreme Court rules that there should be civil litigants that defend against employee activities during working moments (Doyle, 2021). Therefore, it means WBC can conduct a thorough check to check all the activities employees do that may make the company collapse (De Stefano and Aloisi, 2019). Under these legal provisions, WBC has the right to fire any employee who is associated with the failure of the production units within the company.
According to employment laws, workers are protected by legal aspects when it comes to dismissal or protection against harm while working. In the case study at WBC, the report recommends that the management should not dismiss any other four employees rather seek to build a relationship that will enhance working conditions. For example, the case of Marian is simple to solve due to its nature. According to the FMLA, any person is entitled to reduce the number of days they can work for a given time in pursuit of gaining health and recovering from some health conditions. Marian needs to present the issue to the employer and there should be fairness when listening to the matter and offer the right to Marian instead of firing her and calling Izzy to take the vacancy.
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