Employee relations has replaced industrial relations as the term for defining the relationship between employers and employees. Today, employee relations is seen as focusing on both individual and collective relationships in the workplace, with an increasing emphasis on helping line managers establish trust-based relationships with employees.

This factsheet examines the concept of employee relations within the context of the decline of industrial relations. It explores what employee relations means to employers and looks at the current state of the employment relationship. The factsheet briefly looks at key employee relations competencies, specifically in the areas of communication and conflict management, providing brief advice on managing conflict in the workplace. Finally, the factsheet considers the continuing value of employee relations for trade unions, employers, HR practitioners and line managers.

CIPD viewpoint

What is employee relations?

The decline of ‘industrial relations’ in the UK

The state of the employment relationship

Employee relations competencies

The continuing value of employee relations


Further reading

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