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. A positive climate of employee relations - with high levels of employee involvement, commitment and engagement - can improve business outcomes as well as contribute to employees' well-being.

This factsheet explores what employee relations means to employers and looks at the current state of the employment relationship. It briefly looks at key employee relations competencies, specifically in the areas of communication and conflict management. Finally, the factsheet considers the continuing value of positive employee relations for trade unions, employers, HR practitioners and line managers.

This factsheet last updated by Lisa Ayling, solicitor and employment law specialist, and by Rachel Suff.

Rachel Suff

Rachel Suff: Employee Relations Adviser

Rachel joined the CIPD as a policy adviser in 2014 to increase the CIPD’s public policy profile and engage with politicians, civil servants, policy-makers and commentators to champion better work and working lives. An important part of her role is to ensure that the views of the profession inform CIPD policy thinking in ER areas such as health and well-being, employee engagement and employment relations.

As well as developing policy on UK employment issues, she helps guide the CIPD’s thinking in relation to European developments affecting the world of work. Rachel is a qualified HR practitioner and researcher; her prior roles include working as a researcher/editor for XpertHR and as a senior policy adviser at Acas.

You may also be interested in ...

Top