06/07/2006

Survey reveals employment relations climate improving

The employment relations climate is improving, according to the latest survey.

The 2004 Workplace Employment Relations Survey found "significant changes" in the workplace since the last survey was conducted in 1998.

The report found that fewer workplaces were reporting grievances. Union representatives were also found to be working more closely with management on changes in the workplace and the decline in union recognition was also found to have halted in larger workplaces.

The report also found that there had been "substantial increases" in employer provision of flexible working arrangements and greater provision of leave arrangements for parents.

Job security had also improved, with the proportion of employees feeling secure in their job rising from three-fifths in 1998 to two-thirds, while more employees say that they get a sense of achievement from their jobs.

Small firms reported higher job quality than larger organisations, with employees saying that they have more influence over the way they do their work and feeling more secure in their jobs.

Commenting on the survey, Employment Relations Minister Jim Fitzpatrick, said: "These results show that firms are increasingly taking the work-life balance of their employees into consideration, while employees are gaining a greater sense of satisfaction from their jobs.

"The findings will inform and guide debate to improve our understanding of how the British labour market operates and changes over time and will be useful in identifying pockets of good, and not so good practice."

The survey was a collaborative venture between the Department of Trade and Industry, the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service, the Policy Studies Institute and the Economic and Social Research Council.

Information was collected from more than 3,000 managers, nearly 1,000 employee representatives and over 22,000 employees.

(KMcA/SP)

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