This Activity narrows our focus to just three of those five countries, namely, Australia, Germany, and Japan. Below, you will find a description of a company’s plans to restructure its operations in various ways, and then that description is followed by a series of questions. This Activity requires you to answer all of the questions for each of Australia, Germany, and Japan.
Here is the situation and the questions for this Activity:
The company has undertaken a study of its labor costs. This includes a detailed review of each employee’s base pay, overtime pay, and periods of time lost to a variety of personal leaves, e.g. for illness, child care, etc. It has run several models of alternative staffing arrangements that look at: changing the mix of full- and part-time employees; lowering the rates of pay and benefits; and changing the scheduling of work, including the use of flextime and home work. Before it acts in any of these matters, must it:
Inform its employees, or their representatives, that it is doing so;
Share all or some of the information the company has generated in support to its proposed changes
Consult with its employees’ representatives before acting to alter any aspect of the status quo; if so,
For how long (i.e. at what point does that consultation cease); and
May it act thereafter unilaterally to:
reduce the wages and/or benefits of current full- and part-time employees;
adopt a lower wage and benefit scale for newly hired employees; change the mix of full-to part-time by decreasing the former and increasing the latter;
change the work hours?