It is a well-known fact that the hotels and restaurants industry are highly labour intensive industries which are relatively dominated by both small businesses as well large organisations in the hospitality industry and are often characterized by low levels of loyalty or affiliation to employers. Working conditions in hospitality industry can be very different from those in other service based industry such as travel and tourism etc. industries. Working condition of the hospitality based organisation plays a major role in boosting employee satisfaction and loyalty.
For example, hospitality industry is one such sector which is dominated by work force which is relatively young and is characterized by shorter?than?average periods of job stability. It has been observed that hospitality industry also witnesses human resources which has lower levels of formal education, for example role of a waiter or an attendant does not require much educational expertise. This is one trend which is not much prevalent in any other industry of the economy. Also, unlike various other sectors such as manufacturing etc. hospitality sector provides relatively much comfortable physical environment. Even though there are certain job roles where there might be high level of ergonomic risks, also job timings might be relatively erratic as compared to any other industry in the economy. Five key issues which needs to be addressed in order to ensure that hospitality business can get proper sustainability and competitiveness are: proper training, information, quality of services, sustainable development and adoption of new technologies. However, globally, jobs in hospitality industry are not given that much weightage as it is given in any other industry. In many countries it has been seen that people take up jobs in the hospitality business as more of a ‘side’ job. This is one major reason behind labour shortages in hospitality sector of countries such as Austria, the Netherlands, the UK and France. Overall it can be said, that hospitality industry is one such sector where HR plays a major role in boosting the employee relations.
Employment law can be defined as that ‘The body of laws, administrative rulings and precedents that addresses the legal rights of workers and their employers.” (Weber & Dennison, 2014). It is critical for Hospitality managers who are considered to be responsible for HR activities in the hospitality organisations to understand the importance of employment law to their daily activities and decision making. Employment law in various countries generally arises as a result of the worker’s demand for conducive working conditions and a right to organize themselves. Considering the fact that workers in the hospitality industry are still highly unorganized in nature, and are generally more ad-hoc rather than being regular. In such situation role of employment law becomes even more important. In majority of the cases whenever worker demands were deemed reasonable by a majority of society it has been made part of the legislation and has been accepted as proper employment law. In hospitality business, employment law play a major role in impacting several decisions related to human resource planning as well as other aspects. For example, gender equality or male to female ration at the workplace might change the way forecasting is done for the human resource in the hospitality business. For an HR Manager in a hospitality business it is highly important to have thorough knowledge of various employment laws otherwise lack of understanding about HR – related law, might produce serious legal problems not only for the manager but also for the organisation. Any issue with the employment also results in the negative publicity for the organisations, and considering the fact that to a large extent hospitality business is dependent on image factor, this is one aspect which no hospitality organisation would like to miss on. Hence HR department of the organisation should ensure that the laws related to employment must be understood in the context of hospitality business, and special attention should be given to employment laws related to sub-functions such as employee recruiting, compensation, performance appraisal and employee safety and security.
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