Sunday, September 13, 2015

Principles of personal responsibilities and working in a business environment 01

1. Identify four main points that would be included in a contract of employment.  If possible, use an example contract to support your answer (feel free to obscure any confidential information).

Four main points in a standard would be:
  • Employer’s name whether he is a physical person or a company
  • Employee’s name so that both parties entering in a contract are named
  • Job title and maybe a brief description of the responsibilities and duties that the employee must assume
  • Hours of work whether it is full time, part time or 0 hours contract it still needs to be mentioned.

2a) List three key points of legislation that affect employers in a business environment.

  1. Data protection. Employers are obliged by law to protect the privacy of their employees and limit their demands.
  2. Pay. The employers must follow the law and cannot improvise when it comes to the fees that they are expected to offer
  3. Contractual rights. These supplement the statutory employment rights and protect the employees from unfair treatment and discrimination.

2b) List three key points of legislation that affect employees in a business environment.

  1. Equal pay Act 1970 - Employees who do equal work or work of equal value must receive the same pay as workers of the other sex.
  2. Sex Discrimination Act 1975 - Employees cannot be sexually discriminated in employment, training or recruitment.
  3. Employment Protection Act 1978 - Employees must be given a written contract of employment.

3. Identify a range of places where a person can find information on employment rights and responsibilities. You should identify at least two internal and two external sources of information.

  1. Line managers
  2. Informed colleagues / trainers
  3. Documents and books in the organization
  1. Legal professionals
  2. Trade unions
  3. Government
4. Describe how representative bodies can support employees.

Representative bodies such as trade unions are can support employees by offering knowledge (not all workers know their rights) and advice. They can consult their members regarding info about their pension schemes and can negotiate collectively for example they can force employers to apply stricter health and safety measures etc. They can also support workers that are made redundant by assisting them in their job search and offer advice regarding their severance packages. Also they can promote competitiveness by offering courses and skill enhancing lessons.

5. Identify employer and employee responsibilities for equality and diversity in a business environment.  You should give at least two employer responsibilities and two employee responsibilities. If possible, provide relevant equality and diversity procedures from your workplace (or place of study) to support your answer.  These documents should be annotated to highlight the relevant sections.

Train line managers to appreciate diversity and view it as an opportunity rather than a problem.
Example: line managers are expected to go over certain equality and diversity courses if they are to further their career.

Create policies and procedures that promote diversity and equality.
Example: when gathering CVs for any position the candidates are advised not to attach a photo of themselves and there is no age or target group in the description of any job vacancy.
Try not to ‘label’ people but view them as individuals rather than member of an ethnic group, gender etc

Be sensitive to criticism and don’t overstep your boundaries. Sometimes people will tell you that your behaviour is insulting or offensive towards them. Take their words literally and try not to repeat your mistakes

 6. Explain the benefits of making sure equality and diversity procedures are followed in a business environment.  Your answer should include one benefit for the employer, one benefit for the employee and one benefit for the overall organisation.

Employers should promote equality and diversity because that could lead to capturing a greater consumer market and increase their reputation. People from different backgrounds will be able to appeal and promote the company’s products/services to lots of different target groups.

Employees could benefit from equality and diversity because individuals from different backgrounds approach problem solving in a different way. So a team of diverse people would be more creative and efficient.

Companies also benefit from diversity in language skills, which allows them to provide products and services internationally. The advantages of promoting equality in the workplace include creating an environment with high employee morale, developing a good reputation and the ability to recruit top talent. Another advantage of equality in the workplace is that the effectiveness of employees is measured by their contributions, which may motivate them to openly contribute to the company in a positive way.

Section 2: All about health, safety and security

  1a. Identify employer and employee responsibilities for health and safety.

According to the law both employers and employees have duties and responsibilities towards creating a safe and healthy work environment.

Some of the employers’ duties are:
  • ensure that plant and machinery is safe to use
  • ensure safe working practices are set up and followed
  • make sure that all materials are handled, stored and used safely
  • provide adequate first aid facilities
  • set up emergency plans
  • make sure that ventilation, temperature, lighting, toilet, washing and rest facilities all meet health, safety and welfare requirements
  • check that the right work equipment is provided and is properly used and regularly maintained
  • prevent or control exposure to substances that may damage your health
  • take precautions against the risks caused by flammable or explosive hazards, electrical equipment, noise and radiation
  • avoid potentially dangerous work involving manual handling (and if it can't be avoided, take precautions to reduce the risk of injury)
  • provide health supervision as needed
  • provide protective clothing or equipment free of charge (if risks can't be removed or adequately controlled by any other means)
  • ensure that the right warning signs are provided and looked after

Some of the employees’ responsibilities are
  • to take reasonable care not to put other people - fellow employees and members of the public - at risk by what you do or don't do in the course of your work
  • to co-operate with your employer, making sure you get proper training and you understand and follow the company's health and safety policies
  • not to interfere with or misuse anything that's been provided for your health, safety or welfare
  • to report any injuries, strains or illnesses you suffer as a result of doing your job, your employer may need to change the way you work
  • to tell the employer if something happens that might affect their ability to work, like becoming pregnant or suffering an injury. Because the employer has a legal responsibility for the employees' health and safety, they may need to take actions while they find a solution to the issue or problem.

1b. Identify employer and employee responsibilities for security. If possible, provide relevant health, safety and security policies / documents from your workplace (or place of study) to support your answer. These documents should be annotated to highlight the relevant sections.

Each company, big or small, should carry out its own Risk Assessment to determine what they feel they need to do whilst ensuring that they are still compliant with the law. This may include things like looking at potentially vulnerable locations within the building(s) or premises, formulating contingency plans in the event of an emergency situation and identifying any security measures which need installing and having some way of monitoring these to gauge their effectiveness.

The employees’ responsibility is to follow the procedures in place and report any possible dangers and threats.

2. Explain the purpose of following health, safety and security procedures in a business environment.

There are many reasons why companies implement health, safety and security procedures and the two most important ones are because the company really cares about the employees and because it is required by law.

The company cares about the safety of the employees because it saves money. If your procedures reduce absenteeism or accidents, you have reduced out of work time, so potentially lower workers' compensation, you have lower training costs because you don't have to keep hiring replacement people either temporarily or permanently, and if your employees think the company actually cares about them you often get better motivation in the work they do for you.

Security procedures also save the company money. They reduce vandalism and theft, protect staff from assaults and keep trade secrets ‘secret’.

3. Describe three different ways of maintaining a safe and secure business environment.

1. Fire safety - follow appropriate fire safety regulations, ensure an assembly point / clear fire escapes / clear labelling / well-serviced fire safety equipment

2. Introduce policies and procedures to inform employees of the risks and responsibilities at work. Ensure these are covered in mandatory training. Seek appropriate accreditation from the government on your safety standards.

3. Use surveillance as appropriate to deter and secure e.g. cameras, security guards, alarms.

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