Write a comprehensive paragraph as introduction to your assignment. (5) Case study The study of Employment Relations Sipho and Lauren are standing in line for the registration of their second-year modules at Mzansi University. Looking at the first semester modules, they learn that they will be studying Employment Relations II. They are intrigued by this subject and their perceptions of it sparks a debate between the two of them. Based on his background, coming from a working-class home, Sipho was not interested in doing the subject, as he believes that this subject involves the conflicting interests of workers and those who own the means of production. He insists that those who sell their labour are exploited, and that this has been the case for time immemorial. He defines his parents’ work as “modern slavery” and is convinced that studying Employment Relations will not teach him anything new. He believes that the Capitalist system means that his parents is and will remain in an exploitative and inequitable relationship with the owners of wealth. He says that this subject can basically be defined as the study of modern slavery. Lauren has a different idea of the subject. While she agrees with Sipho that Employment Relations as a field of study is founded on the evolution of the employer–employee relationship, which revolves around the unequal distribution of wealth and income, she believes that Sipho’s view on the topic is too narrow. Lauren perceives employment relations to be mainly about the employment relationship. This entails the participation of various actors, whose interaction is governed by the rules and regulations that ensures justice in the work environment. For Lauren, Employment Relations is not just about the two actors – employees and employers. For her, the topic is more important trying to understand the current and future nature of work in South Africa and globally. For Lauren, studying Employment Relations as a field of study will expose them to other related disciplines such as sociology, psychology, law and human resource management. Geba is listening in on their debate and, having read the Introduction of the South African Employment Relations textbook in preparation for her studies, she joins in. She advises Sipho, in support of Lauren, that the study will also teach them about how the field of Employment Relations has developed over the years, what and who have influenced the field and why the module will be relevant for developing solutions for practical and modern work environments. Geba further advises Sipho that the problem of ensuring decent jobs and decent pay is not just a South African issue but that even the most developed countries still experience similar challenges. She feels that studying Employment Relations will help them to understand the principles underpinning the theory and practise of the field. Geba further explains that ER will help them navigate the current job trends as it relates to the “new normal”. Based on the case study above, attempt the following questions. 2. Question 1 – Labour Relations Foundations (10) Choose one of the following questions. (a) Explain in your own understanding the difference between employment relations (ER), industrial relations (IR) and labour relations (LR). (10). (b) Describe the study field of Industrial Relations. (10) Question 2 – LABOUR RELATIONS MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS (10) (a) Explain how the advent of the capitalist system influenced the development of labour relations systems. (10) Question 3 – THE LABOUR RELATIONS ENVIRONMENT (20) (a) Differentiate between labour market perfection and imperfection. (10) (b) Discuss the nature of unemployment in the SA labour market.(10) 3. CONCLUSION – A conclusion should be a short summary of the findings you have made, last views that you want to share with the reader. (5)
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