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Collective labor, trade unions and industrial relations - UK law and best practice

Who should attend

This course is aimed at delegates new to industrial relations (IR), as well as delegates with more experience including those working in unionised environments. This is achieved by offering a flexible combination of in-person and modular training.


The training will not just look at the law, but also how to deal with ‘real life’ issues. Whether unionised or not, collective labor and employee relations are an important part of many organisations, in both the private and public sectors, with engaged employees underpinning a productive and positive workplace.

As worker disputes and conflict increases, reflecting a challenging economic environment, collective and trade union activity is becoming more widespread, and organisations in sectors that traditionally experienced low levels of unionisation are more frequently being served with applications for statutory trade union recognition. Therefore, industrial relations knowledge and skills are needed now more than ever by HR professionals and in-house legal, no matter what sector they are in. Combined with recent changes to trade union legislation and case law, it is important to understand how this applies to your organisation. This training is delivered by a dedicated team of labor lawyers with extensive practical experience of dealing with industrial relations / trade union issues both in the public and private sector.


The package price if you purchase the full day in-person foundation course, half day in-person module and all 3 E-modules is £995 +VAT . However, you can choose just to book onto just those elements of the course that are of interest to you on a 'pick and mix' basis, if you wish . If you select to purchase certain courses/modules separately, then the separate prices listed in the table below will apply. Purchasing the package price gives you a substantial discount compared to purchasing the courses/modules separately.

The Foundation full-day course

This in-person training course will provide you with a broad introduction to collective labor and industrial relations and is suitable for those who are new to employee/industrial relations or looking to build their collective labor knowledge. The course takes place in our London and Manchester offices – please contact us at if dates are not yet available in either location.

The half day negotiation course and the E-modules

Effective negotiations - In-person

This half day module will take place in-person in our Manchester office. Please check the table below under module 3 for the course details.

The E-modules

There are a number of virtual, bite-sized modules focusing on a specialist labor topic and these are suitable for those who have attended the in-person full-day foundation course above or for those with experience of industrial relations, collective employment issues and/or working with trade unions. As well as being digital, providing ease of access to delegates, each module is delivered live to facilitate discussion and your questions.

For further information, see the outline programmes below.

Full-day, in-person Foundation training course - £499 + VAT
23 November 2023, Eversheds Sutherland, Manchester Office

9.30 start

  • The current industrial relations environment
    • Who are the key industrial relations organisations (Acas, Central Arbitration Committee, Certification Officer and more)?
    • Trade unions: their aims, challenges and current trends
    • Hot employee/industrial relations topics and recent developments
    • Devolution: Northern Ireland labor law
    • International dimensions

The programme will include case studies, trainer-led discussion and other forms of interaction to support delegate learning

  • Collective agreements and bargaining
    • Collective bargaining: definition and negotiating rights
    • Collective agreements: definition, typical content, legal enforceability, incorporation into employee contracts, employer disclosure duties
    • Why recognition is important

  • Trade unions: individual and collective labor rights
    • Rights whether or not a union is recognised
    • Rights when a union is recognised
    • Individual protections – inducements, detriment, recruitment, dismissal, blacklisting
    • Time-off rights (for duties, activities, training and more)
    • Collective rights (TUPE, redundancies – in summary)

  • Industrial action and disputes – an introduction
    • The basic legal principles
    • Ballot and notice requirements
    • Picketing and secondary action
    • Employer responses
    • Other forms of protest

16.30 finish

E-module 1
£240 +VAT
27 November 2023

E-module 2
£240 +VAT
1 December 2023
9.30-11.30 GMT

In-person Module 3
£299 +VAT
5 December 2023
9.30-12.30 GMT

E-module 4
£240 +VAT
8 December 2023
9.30-11.30 GMT

Each live, online module lasts no longer than two hours Each live, online module lasts no longer than two hours

Half day, in-person module Eversheds Sutherland, Manchester office

Each live, online module lasts no longer than two hours

Employers’ collective information and consultation duties during:

  • Section 188 TULRCA and redundancies
  • Section 188 and changing terms and conditions
  • TUPE, health and safety, pensions
  • What, when, how, who: practical guidance

Responding to a trade union recognition drive, including:

  • Voluntary or statutory recognition
  • The statutory rules: law and practice
  • Alternatives to recognition

Effective negotiations:

  • In brief - what the law says about providing information and imposing changes to terms/conditions
  • Preparing for a union pay/conditions claim
  • Considering that claim and how to respond
  • Negotiation technique and communications strategy
  • Planning for the union to trigger the dispute procedure

A practical guide to the law and process for establishing and operating a successful European Works Council and UK information and consultation forum:

European Works Councils

  • Receiving a request
  • Choice of legal forum
  • Negotiation with Special Negotiating Body
  • Scope of information and consultation obligations
  • Post-agreement European Works Council obligations

Information and Consultation Arrangements

  • National legislation and requirements
  • Pre-existing agreements
  • Negotiating Information and Consultation Agreement
  • Minimum requirements and default
  • Establishing an effective voluntary information and consultation forum

Cost: £995

All prices are exclusive of VAT

Select a date

23/11/2023 - 08/12/2023
Manchester and virtual online
09:30 - 16:30 (Local time)