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Employee relations - working effectively with your union and employee representatives

Who should attend

This Employee relations - working effectively with your union and employee representatives training course is designed for experienced HR professionals and in-house lawyers (working in unionised environments in the private or public sectors) who may not have worked with unions recently or who have not had responsibility for ER.


A decline in industrial action and a trend within HR functions toward specialism, means that many senior managers lack experience of working with unions and employee representatives.

This course is designed to address this need, providing a chance to learn from specialist labour lawyers, HR practitioners and a conciliation expert. We cover the labour law framework, explain how it really works in practice. We also cover current union campaigns and tactics used. We consider the management of workplace information and consultation in practice and running successful national and trans-national consultation forums.


Day one

The current employee relations environment

  • Recent trends in industrial action
  • impact of Trade Union Act and the Modern Slavery Act
  • international dimensions including the ILO and UN
  • public expectations of employers and working conditions
  • the position of the Courts

Key players

  • trade unions’ aims, purpose and membership
  • the most influential unions and their approach
  • international union federations, CAC, the Certification Officer, Acas and TUC
  • employee representatives

Trade unions and individual rights

  • protection from inducements, dismissal and detriments
  • blacklisting
  • time-off rights

Practical employer led case-study

Collective agreements – the legal framework

  • the right to information for collective bargaining
  • scope, enforceability and drafting considerations
  • the range of agreements: formal and informal
  • statutory recognition agreements

At the end of day one there will be drinks and canapés for delegates

Day two

Reputation management

  • business, human rights and trade unions
  • leverage and protest
  • current issues, eg gig-working and supply chains

New ER models and new union deals

  • new for the UK: but used abroad
  • shared rights and responsibilities
  • communication channels

UK and European and global works councils

  • European works councils: latest developments
  • global framework agreements with trade unions
  • the interrelationship between national and transnational consultation

Negotiation skills workshop

  • stages
  • building the team
  • getting to ‘yes’

Industrial action

  • strikes and action short of a strike
  • balloting rules: what the union has to do
  • the role of conciliation and Acas
  • sanctions against the employee
  • facing the union, including injunctions
  • use of agency workers
  • new tactics of protest

Collective consultation rights

  • when the duty to consult applies
  • collective redundancies, TUPE and contract change, pensions and health and safety
  • protective awards

Download the full Employee relations training course programme

Advanced employee investigations skills training



Tom Player Partner, Employment Law, Eversheds Sutherland
Tom has extensive trade union recognition experience having appeared many times before the CAC, he also acts as a consultant to a number of EWCs and regularly negotiates and drafts EWCs on behalf of MNEs. Tom also assists companies faced with Industrial action issues.

Peter Harwood OBE ex-Chief Conciliator, Acas
Peter recently retired after 28 years in Acas helping management and unions work together to resolve their problems in organisations of all sectors and sizes. Peter is also an Honorary Visiting Professor for the Business School at Cardiff University.

Paul Kersey FCIPD HR Consultant
Until recently, Paul was Vice President Talent for a leading international financial services business. His experience is mainly in organisation development, talent management and employee engagement in market leading companies.

Martin Warren Head of Labour Relations, Eversheds Sutherland
Martin has 30 years of experience advising large employers on aspects of labour law and ER. He has been involved in a number of significant test cases before the EAT and CAC. He chairs the CBI Employment Policy Committee, is a member of the People Management editorial board.


Cost: £799

All prices are exclusive of VAT

Group discount:

10% discount for delegate 2 and subsequent delegates.

Online payment discount: 5%

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