Where you’re likely to work…
The title industrial relations officer may also be used in this context as many of the roles in the region are in manufacturing and engineering companies with a strong unionised representation. But many large organisations, regardless of their sector, now have employee relations officers to ensure the smooth running of employer-employee relations.
What you need to succeed…
You will almost always need a CIPD qualification, and any unionised organisation will expect prior exposure to a similar environment. You will need a generalist background, with two to three years’ experience in specialist employee relations roles.
What is involved…
Working both strategically and operationally, you will manage various HR policies affecting working relations and working life, including those relating to working conditions, performance and absence management, equal opportunities and disciplinary/grievance procedures.
You will advise managers and staff on these policies and procedures, as well as on external legislation.
Your day-to-day work may include some or all of the following:
- Building effective relationships with staff and managers by providing advice and assistance.
- Ensuring there is a stable and effective framework for the conduct of fair employer/employee relations.
- Designing new policies and ensuring their effective implementation.
- Assisting in the resolution of specific disciplinary or grievance cases, including acting as an arbiter between employee and line manager.
- Negotiating with unions on issues relating to pay and working conditions.
- Ensuring that grievance and disciplinary proceedings are carried out in line with company policy and legal requirements.
As with other specialist areas within HR, you can usually expect to attract a higher salary than for a more generalist role asking for similar experience.
The market is buoyant and demand for candidates is high – so high that even those with limited experience in employee relations can find roles that ordinarily expect a higher level of experience.