By Mark Carriban
Managing director, HR recruitment business, Hudson
Don’t underestimate the qualifications and experience you already have – you are CIPD qualified and you have run your own HR department in a fast-moving industry. It’s likely that recruiters will be more interested in this than a further qualification in law.
It’s not absolutely necessary to acquire a separate employment law qualification.
You could apply for a generalist HR role in a sector where employee relations are high up on the agenda, such as retail, manufacturing or the public sector.
This means you would be dealing with legal issues, such as disciplinary hearings, grievances and the like on a very practical level.
Ensure that you show enthusiasm for reviewing policies and procedures and are willing to get stuck in to legal compliance issues.
Once you’re settled in the role, you could always see if the company would pay for you to pursue further study of employment law.
It’s also possible for you to get more involved in the legal side of things in your current position, enabling you to add something to your CV now.
You could ask your current employer if it’s possible for you to have more involvement in reviewing policies on issues such as age discrimination, which will be high on the recruitment agenda in preparation for the new regulations in October.
On your CV, capitalise on any experience you have of dealing with employee relations – it’s highly likely in your retail role that you dealt with grievances, absence management and implementing new policies.
Finally, keep reading up on new developments in employment law. Many websites offer e-mail alerts.
There are also one- or two-day refresher courses available in different aspects of employment law, meaning it’s not necessary to pay out for a full-time qualification.
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