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Does individual employment legislation constrain the ability of hospitality employers to “hire and fire”?

Head, Jeremy and Lucas, Rosemary E. (2004) Does individual employment legislation constrain the ability of hospitality employers to “hire and fire”? International journal of hospitality management, 23 (3). pp. 239-254. ISSN 1873-4693

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Abstract

This paper examines the extent to which hospitality employers are free to exercise the managerial prerogative to “hire and fire” workers within the legal framework. Managerial prerogative is perpetuated by employment practices that rely on a highly casualised workforce without rights, a lack of formalisation, particularly for casual workers not issued with contracts, non-adherence to written procedures and a rise in the utilisation of zero hours contracts. A high extent of dismissal may belie the true rate, with some staff “let go” rather than “dismissed”. Together with a high rate of employment tribunal actions, this points to widespread arbitrary management practice. Despite recent and future initiatives to strengthen the floor of employees’ rights, key barriers still prevent many workers’ from securing a fair deal at work, while allowing managers to continue to behave in such determined fashion.

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