The impact of individual employment legislation on the employment relationship in the hospitality industry.
This thesis examines the impact of individual employment protection legislation on the
employment relationship in the hotel and catering industry (HeI), exactly the type of
industry whose workers the employment law was intended to protect. It begins \\-ith a
review of the potential effects of employment legislation on the employment
It then analyses and evaluates the practical effects of individual employment legislation
in hotels and catering from relevant case law. and the workings of the Industrial Tribunal
system, identifying that unfair dismissal is the most important aspect.
In order to ask to what extent dismissal law constrains the managerial prerogative, in the
light of recent socio-economic and legal changes, employer experience of, and attitudes
to existing employment rights and the Industrial Tribunal system are assessed. This is
achieved by means of a postal questionnaire to employers in the industry. This is then
augmented by follow-up semi-structured interviews with the employers.
The legislation was found to have more effect on employer behaviour than is apparent
prima facie. The ways in which many employers seek to circumvent the provisions of the
law provides evidence of this. The high rate of dismissal in the industry shows, however,
that employers are not constrained from using dismissal. Rather, the manner of making
dismissals is more formalised due to the threat of tribunal actions. The actual incidence
of dismissal could well be far higher since it appeared that some employers did not
regard the termination of employment of an employee without the service qualitication
as a dismissal. Tribunal actions themselves are quite uncommon, given the high
incidence of dismissal. The low success rate for employers at tribunals, and the
acknowledgement by employers that procedural requirements were often not met during
disciplinary matters, suggests that arbitrary management practice is still widespread.