Employee relations is about aligning the values of your organisation with the experience of your people. It’s about creating and delivering people practices which develop and maintain a positive working relationship between an organisation and its people.

People practices will be fairer and more transparent if developed in partnership with unions and employee representative bodies, so the standards encourage knowledge of how to work with employee bodies, and how to ensure that practices represent and are in line with an organisation’s brand.

This area is also about employment law – specialists in this area need a deep understanding of how employment law is created, and ensuring they are up to date with legislative developments in order to advise the business and line managers on how to be compliant and protect the organisation’s reputation.

It’s also important to understand what to do when the employment relationship breaks down and how to implement proactive approaches to prevent issues occurring in the future.

'The success of any business starts and ends with your people. People practitioners bring management practice to managing people especially in professional areas such as employee relations.'

Alan Price, CEO, Bright HR

Things to start thinking about

Use these prompts to reflect on your understanding of Employee relations and uncover areas for future professional development.

  1. Do your people policies reflect the core values of your organisation?

  2. When did you last work with unions and employee representative bodies to develop your people practices?

  3. Do you understand how employment law is created and developed?

  4. What proactive resolution processes do you regularly use and what alternative options could be used?