Employment Relations

Employment Relations

Table of Contents

1.0 Identify & explain the most significant causes of employee relations at Vertex

1.1 Change in employee relations post merger

The North West Waters and Norweb merge in 1996 formed United Utilities Plc. Vertex is a wholly owned subsidiary. Throughout Vertex’s organisational history, the employee relations have been significantly influenced by external factors including; changes in employment legislations, the growth of partnership agreements within business and meeting stakeholder expectations. Vertex has experienced some very dramatic changes in its approach to employee relations over the years and these adaptations have not gone unnoticed, in 2001 Vertex achievements were recognised and were awarded by People Management for their efforts. This report hopes to assess and discuss the influential factors on employee relations within Vertex and later to critically analyse 'Social Partnership Agreements'.

When the two organisations combined so did the cultures and approaches to employee relations.   Norweb’s administrative employees were still members of Unison and followed a traditional pluralist approach to collective bargaining.

A pluralistic perspective assumes management foster a freedom of expression and development of groups, which establish their own norms and elect their own leaders (CIPD). Because of this there is a permanent sense of competitiveness amongst the groupings, leadership and authority. Fox (1996) claimed that this gives rise to a complex of tensions and competing claims which have to be ‘managed’ in the interest of maintaining a collaborative structure.

In contrast, Unison had been derecognised at North West Waters and unitarism approach had been adopted, suggesting that any union presence or collective bargaining was unnecessary (Fox, 1966).

Vertex was then tasked with bringing together two entirely different cultures; one that recognised collective bargaining and the other...