Employee Relations Institute formally launches

The Employee Relations Institute (ERI) has been formally launched, with the aim of improving relationships between employers and staff and help reduce the number of workplace disputes.

As well as offering advice and guidance to its members in order to address what it called a “skills gap” in workforce and employee relations, the ERI will offer a learning programme and routes to formal qualifications. The institute is currently looking to recruit a group of 20 founder members who are willing to sign up to its minimum standards.

Jo Swinson, minister for employment relations, said: “I am very pleased to announce the official launch of the Employee Relations Institute, which will foster good relationships between employees and management.

“A positive workplace environment is good for business. It will help companies attract and retain the most talented people and employers will benefit from more motivated, productive staff. Strong managers also make British business credible for trade and investment.

“This is why the Government is enhancing the employment law framework and working to promote culture change.”

Personnel Today first reported on the proposed launch of the ERI in September. Organisations that have already backed the institute include BP, the Royal Bank of Scotland, EDF Energy, Pearson, the Local Government Association, the TUC, Acas, and the Unite, Prospect, Usdaw and Unison unions.

Andy Cook, ERI executive chair, said: “With the Employee Relations Institute, we aim to improve the state of engagement of managers and employee representatives. It has been apparent that a fundamental issue surrounding the matter was that practical education was needed to educate management, who are sometimes just thrown in at the deep end without guidance.

“All this will help have a positive impact on the UK’s employment environment and business performance, not to mention a direct impact on disputes in the workplace where poor management is the main cause of tribunal cases, for example.”

For more on employee relations, visit XpertHR.

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