The employment relationship is an evolving field. In today’s world of work, the parties in the employment relationship are considered as social partners with a stake in the business.
The relationship is shaped by Laws, Conventions and good practices and these are what make the relationship dynamic.
In the employment relationship while the employer provides work, the worker performing the assigned task in line with the requirements of the job would have to be paid his wages and salary .This way, the two parties that is, employer and worker would have played their respective roles.
When work is performed, workers expect that once they have provided their labour, the employer will reward them by giving them their due. This reward is their salary or wage, which must be paid at the agreed date and time and also at the agreed rate.
In every part of the world, workers expect that their employers will pay them on time and provide them at least the minimum benefits as tangible proof that workers are gainfully employed. Additionally, workers also have intangible expectations from their employers. For example employers having a cordial relationship with their employees. Employees on the other hand expect the following requirement from their employers to enable them execute their roles and duties effectively.
In Ghana, the Labour Act, 2003 (Act 651) prescribes the rights and duties of both employers and workers.
The provision in the Law underscores the fact that indeed the relationship is a legal contract and each party in the relationship is therefore enjoined to respect the terms of the contract.
There was a time in the history of the employment relationship where it was considered a “master-servant” relationship because the employer had unilateral power and the prerogative to determine the fate of a worker(s).
But in today’s world of work, it is recognized that the employer and worker pool their resources together to perform the business of the undertaking; therefore each must respect the relationship and the terms that govern it.
For the worker, Section 10 of the Labour Act, 2003(Act) 651 outlines the rights of a worker. Some of these rights are
- a) Health and safety- that the worker must work under satisfactory, safe and healthy conditions.
- b) Non-discrimination in the payment of remuneration- a worker must receive equal pay for equal work without distinction of any kind.
- c) Specified working hours – a worker must have rest, leisure and reasonable limitation of working hours and period of holidays with pay.
- d) Freedom of Association –to form or join a trade union.
- e) Effective Communication- a worker must receive relevant information concerning the worker’s work.
These rights provided by the Law must be exercised within a certain context, in order to make it effective. For example,
- Both parties must recognize the importance of health and safety so that once the employer provides the conducive environment for work, the worker will reciprocate by assuming responsibility of taking proper care of the employer’s equipment and also use the safety equipment provided for the performance of work to avoid occupational accident.
- Workers will work efficiently and effectively to earn the salaries that employers pay them.
- Workers will respect the hours of work and also enhance productivity
- The forming or joining of trade unions by workers that is, freedom of association will be done in accordance with the requirements of the law and that the employer will also not interfere in trade union activities.
- Both parties will respect and adhere to the lines of communication in the organization so that even in times of disagreements parties will use communication as a tool to resolve their differences and not resort to intimidations and threats in whatever means or form.
It is imperative for both parties in the relationship to recognize and appreciate the need for co-operation and positive collaboration that will ensure the profitability of the business for the protection of employment.
Therefore, employees’ expectations include providing them with unambiguous communication and clear direction on their job duties, as well as rewarding employees’ performance accordingly.