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Power Imbalance Existing In Employment Relationship
The aim of this essay will determine there is a power imbalance existing in between the employment relationship. In the employment era, there are existence of employers and employees. There is always a link between the employer and employee and it is known as the employment relationship (International Labour Organization, 2008). Basically, the employment relationship is equally important for employers and employees as it will determine the performance and working condition of the employees. However, power always exists in the employment relationship between employers and employees. Power is defined as “the capability to impose power that can be used to analyze power relationship between an employer and an employee in an employment contract" (Geoff H, 2006).When there is a misuse of power, it will create a power imbalance between employers and employees. Employers will use their own bargaining power to adjust wages to a specific levels, (Geoff H, 2006), whereby the employees have the intrinsic power to control over by determine the wages and other conditions of employment of the employee side (Geoff H, 2006).
However, there are evidences on power imbalance. Employers usually use their power to apply unethical issues on the employees. This will prove in many aspect of view, firstly is sexual discrimination and it can be also known as gender discrimination. Sexual discrimination can be defined as “is the practice of letting a person’s sex unfairly becomes a factor when deciding who receives a job, promotion, or other employment benefit." (Gary D & Tan C H, 2006). Sexual discrimination mostly can be found in the wages gap between female employer and male employer (The Black Collegian Online, 2008). In particular, employers will discriminate employees against their gender. Sexual discrimination can be classified into two categories: direct discrimination and indirect discrimination. Direct discrimination includes actions like the wages difference based on the gender even though they are in the same position in a job or promoting someone when they are similar capable person (Uttara M n.d). Whereby indirect discrimination refers to a certain set of rules or law that indirectly occurs on a particular person of a certain gender which is not qualified to those laws or rules (Derek T, Laura H & Stephan T, 2006). Sexual discrimination in the work place usually involves women and it is highly based on the gender. In particular, there is an existence of a certain jobs which only takes ‘man-only’ or ‘woman-only’ system. However, there is another biasness going on: for men, they are highly based on performance; while woman obviously are being focused much on the look or appearance compared to men’s performance during work (Brayton Purcell LLP n.d). For example, in a U.S Supreme Court case, compared a woman with pre-school-age children and a man who had a per-school-age children, the company refused to hire the woman instead of hire the man. In another case, Southwest Airlines used their own policy that just only hires attractive women as a flight attendants and ticket agents (Brayton Purcell LLP n.d).
Other than that, race discrimination is another issue of power imbalance towards employees. Race discrimination is defined as “unlawful to discriminate unfairly on the grounds of race, color, nationality or ethnic origin" (Stephen P & Marjorie C, 2006). Race discrimination takes place between a particular person of difference races or ethnicity or has the same race or ethnicity (The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 2008). Employees will suffer in limited employment opportunities, apartheid, and endemic impoverished (Cotter & Anne M, 2006).There is an example of race discrimination: an employee that has an Ethopian background was hired by a manufacture company. The employee claimed that he was called a ‘black bastard’, also known as ‘monkey’ by the employer and he was been asked “Where is there a well developed black country?" The employer considered that the excessive compared to other employee, that was very little cooperation, recognition of workers and managers. At last, the employer resigned from the company due to race discrimination (Australian Human Rights Commision n.d).
Apart from that, employers use their power to control over the employees through disability discrimination. Disability discrimination is defined as “An employer discriminates against a disabled person if for a reason which relates to the disabled person’s disability, he treat him less favourably than he treats or would treat others to whom that reason does not or would not apply.(Derek T, Laura H & Stephan T, 2006). Employers cannot take a disability employee into account when he/she decides to hire the disability employee or in other areas of employment. (Smith L, 2010). For example, an employee was appointed to be senior director of a large company. A month after that, the employer began its work experiences; the employee began to experience pins and needles and numbness in her hands and feet. This led to the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. The employee reports to the employer that the need for three weeks to recover. However, before the employee return to work, the employee received a letter that the employment is terminated due to the disability. This shows that the disability discrimination takes place in the workplaces (Australian Human Rights Commision n.d).
Future more, employers have their contract of employment with their employees with the duties and privileges that implies. Contract is used to protect both sides that depends which side the contract benefit will lead to (Derek T, Laura H & Stephan T, 2006). Employment contract is defined as “An agreement between an employee and employer that specifies the terms of employment."(John S, 2010). An employment contract are agreed between the employees and employers in term of amount of wages that including any overtime or bonus pay, hours of work that include the overtime hours. Besides that, it also includes the holiday pay, sick pay redundancy pay and how much warning (notice) the employers must give to the employer before dismissed (Advise Guide, 2010). In the content of employment contract, it is a legal requirement that all employments must given a clear statement on their terms and conditions of employment. This must include normal weekly hours, any overtime requirement and the rate of pay and the duration when the wages is released. However, the Working Time regulations had set that the working hours cannot exceed more than 48 hour per week (Compact Law, 2010). Contract of employment is created to ensure the employees benefit is not been exploited by their employers.
When employers fail to treat employees with respect, or only view employees as costs to be cut rather than the assets to be developed, employers will start collective bargaining to rectify the conditions. Trade unions is defined as “an organization of workers who have banded together to achieve common goals such as better working conditions" (Wayne F, 2006). Trade union exists because the power of individual workers rarely little to influence the decisions are made about the job. By working together with other employees, and many sound can be voice out and influence opportunities (TUC Company Facts n.d). In the other hand, the employees have the expert power to prevent exploited by the employers. Expert power is defined as" the ability to influence because one is seen as an expert on a particular issue and therefore should be believed and obeyed." (Annette Y, Lee C & John A, 2001).Most technology professionals and leaders have the expert power. This is the nature of deep technical expertise in the subject whether this means that most of the supervisors or colleagues who do not have the same application of knowledge or your judge, even if you do not have formal authority on this issue ( Simon S, 2008). For example in a IBM company , a programmer can influence the design of a niche application because their basic knowledge of the code and to support engineers support the process of how it works, because they know best support this feature (Simon S, 2008).
There are evidences of power imbalance proved in the employment relationship, whereby employers have the power to exploit their employees and the employees have the expert power and the help of trade union to against been exploited by their employers. The gap between employers and employees should be nearer.
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