What it is
Job titles vary considerably between employers. You could find yourself called HR adviser or HR manager (employment law) or employment law specialist, consultant or adviser. It is also common to include this specialism in the employee relations function.
What you need
A minimum of five years’ HR experience, and a CIPD qualification. You will also need an in-depth knowledge of employment law issues and relevant specialist experience, for example, outsourcing or knowledge of Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations, and previous experience of transfers or employment tribunals.
You will need excellent written and verbal communication skills, good decision-making skills and the ability to deal with contentious issues in a discreet and sensitive manner.
How to get into it
You are likely to have started out in a generalist role and have gained specialist knowledge and direct experience in the field of employment law.
However, it is also possible for someone from a legal background to move into an HR role, generally at a more senior level. It depends on what the employer is looking for. Many (particularly smaller ones) will be looking for the post holder to provide generalist HR advice, but with employment law as a particular specialism.
What is involved
You will support managers and the business on aspects of employment law, ensuring compliance with all statutory requirements and employment law obligations. You will be responsible for monitoring and advising on all employee and industrial relations.
Prospects are very good, particularly as more organisations are beginning to recognise the benefits of having an in-house specialist, reducing the costs of buying in external advice and support.