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Head of Employee Relations

People Services

London, Waterloo Campus


  • Posted on: 10th Nov 2021
  • Salary: £56,848 - £65,318 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance
  • REF: 036545
  • Closes: 28th November 2021
  • Contract Type: Permanent
  • Hours: Full Time

Job description

The HR department has a strategic aim to align advice and guidance of HR procedures and the coordination of HR casework at King’s; enabling interpretation, advice, and best practice to King’s policies and procedures to be within one team.

You will report to the Acting Director People Services & People Technology Solutions and manage a team of HR advisory specialists. You will have previous senior experience of advising managers and staff, be an HR expert on case and employment law and provision of high quality informal and formal advice at all levels.

As a senior HR professional, you will combine strategic focus with the ability to get things done and be a skilled communicator ensuring excellent HR professional advice for all. You will lead on liaising with internal stakeholders including people partners and trade unions and to King’s external stakeholders including ACAS and Employment Tribunals.

Leading and coordinating the Employee Relations team; managing cases will include (but not limited to) long term sickness, conduct and discipline, grievance and grievance panels; appeals against warnings and dismissals. Leading on engagement with solicitors and legal team on employment tribunals cases, providing expert advice and solution focused proposals taking into account reputational risks and opportunities.

Ensuring cases are managed in a timely manner and appropriate conclusions met; you will be ensuring that the team are adhering to employment law, policies/procedures and working with faculties to meet business and operational need.

You will be an internal expert to colleagues within the HR Department in relation to all employee relations matters. Contributions include proposing and implementing improvements to working practices, policies and procedures and current working methods and will include the detailed management of HR related data.

This post will be offered on a full-time, indefinite contract.

Key responsibilities

  • Lead and manage the newly formed Employee Relations team to deliver quality professional advice and informal/formal casework solutions meeting regulatory and statutory requirements enabling effective management and facilitation of sensitive or problematic employee relations issues.
  • Ensure timely processing of highly complex, high risk or highly sensitive ER cases, partnering with HRPPs and business leaders to include Employment Tribunals.
  • To take leadership on coaching and advising managers on complex HR cases up to and including appeals and Employment Tribunals.
  • To work in collaboration with the People Partner Team in providing case management support and ensuring coordination, communication and a seamless transition between the two teams.
  • Provide advice and counsel to leaders on sensitive employee situations, such as policy interpretation, conflict resolution, performance management and disciplinary actions, including terminations, and other issues presenting risk to the organisation.
  • Strategically collaborate with HR People Partners to identify trends within business groups and determine root causes.
  • Manage the diverse portfolio of HR advice and HR cases from Academic and Professional Services areas. Cases will include (but be not limited to) Employment Tribunal, disciplinary, conduct, capability (sickness and performance), harassment, grievance and whistleblowing related matters.
  • To actively contribute to the formulation and implementation of HR policy to ensure the university makes effective use of its people resources and achieves its strategic long-term objectives.
  • Manage and oversee sickness absence casework which arises as a result of/during an existing formal process.
  • To lead on the provision of employment and equalities law advice as required.
  • Partner with key stakeholders to improve the reputation, experience and confidence in the HR advisory service including the systems used to coordinate advice and guidance and manage casework and the reporting of the activities.
  • Drive the use of data led insights to monitor, understand and improve the HR service and customer experience.
  • Lead on the delivery of coaching/training to managers on an on-going basis to undertake formal investigations and hearings.

The above list of responsibilities may not be exhaustive, and the post holder will be required to undertake such tasks and responsibilities as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the post.

Skills, knowledge and experience

Essential criteria

1. CIPD qualified or equivalent

2. Demonstrable experience and detailed knowledge in leading HR casework and advice/guidance on policies and procedures

3. Proven track record of effectively challenging and influencing sources / stakeholders at all levels to broken solutions and obtain required deliverables.

4. Proven HR people partner/business partner experience in a large complex organisation

5. Proven experience of dealing with Employment Tribunals, external solicitors, key stakeholders and other associated activities

6. Thorough knowledge and understanding of employment law

7. Excellent Stakeholder Management skills with the ability to present and influence stakeholders at all levels

8. Ability to roll sleeves up and get on with the tasks sometimes with conflicting priorities

9. Excellent managerial/advisory skills including coaching, motivating, and managing performance of a team to drive a high-performance culture

10. Analytical with experience of analysing trends, developing insight do drive strategic decision making

11. Proven experience in managing differing and conflicting priorities

12. Ability to work with ambiguity and complexity

Desirable criteria

1. Experience in Higher Education

2. Accredited Mediator and qualifications in negotiating skills (or equivalent experience)

Please use this link for the full job pack: https://www.kcl.ac.uk/hr/assets/job-packs/head-of-employee-relations.pdf

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