Employee relations, trade unions and the law


There are still well over six million trades union members in the UK, yet it can be hard to find practical advice and guidance from HR consultants who have both the necessary in-depth experience of unionised environments and the training skills to impart their knowledge in a stimulating and refreshing manner. Look no further! This one-day course will equip your team to deal with all union-related issues confidently and successfully.

Learning objectives

The course will help you:

  • Appreciate the context within which unions and employers operate
  • Understand the key legal and HR issues
  • Get to grips with the requirements for consultation
  • Negotiate with union representatives
  • Manage the dispute resolution process effectively
  • Deal confidently with all union-related issues


This course is intended primarily for HR practitioners operating in a unionised environment, but it would also benefit senior managers from the organisation as well.


A highly-participative, practical and informative one-day course, presented in an outgoing, informal and relaxed style. Business examples, case studies and discussion briefs are used to stimulate participant interest and to cater for a range of learning styles.

Special feature

The trainer is particularly well-qualified to present this course, having been an HR Director within the BAA group of companies, where she was responsible for a number of different business areas and was involved in both unionised and non-unionised environments.

Expert trainer

This programme was designed and is delivered by Toni Trevett. See her profile here.


See what participants have said about this programme:

‘Fantastic communicator and the day was a pleasure.’

‘Great course. Toni was very flexible in covering topics and questions.’

‘Toni is great.’

‘Very knowledgeable on the topic of unions and employment law in general.’

‘Held room brilliantly – diverse bunch were all kept engaged!!’

‘Toni is great.’

‘Very good.’

‘Sound advice / knowledge.’

‘Very good.’

‘Good trainer – interesting and controlled a difficult group.’

‘Fantastic communicator and the day was a pleasure.’

‘A great insight to the subjects covered.’

‘Presentation spot on and engages really well to get everyone involved.’

‘Excellent course!’

Workshop outline

1 Employee relations overview

  • What is ‘employee relations’? The legal and HR perspectives
  • Agreements, rules, policies and practices
  • The role of external institutions

2 The law and its effect

  • Legal framework
  • Key employee relations legislation
  • Rights of trades unions
  • Collective agreements
  • Codes of practice

3 Trades unions

  • Rights and protection for union members
  • Statutory recognition and de-recognition
  • Industrial action; strike ballots; picketing
  • Time off for trade union duties and activities

4 Information and consultation

  • Staff Councils in Europe and the UK
  • The Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations
  • When to legally inform and consult
  • Obligations to inform and consult under TUPE
  • Collective redundancies
  • Information to be disclosed in collective bargaining

5 Negotiating terms and conditions

  • Collective bargaining with recognised trades unions
  • Partnership agreements
  • Maximising the five stages of the negotiation cycle

6 Dispute resolution

  • Internal procedures:
    • Grievance
    • Bullying
    • Harassment
    • Whistle-blowing
    • Discipline and dismissal
  • Arbitration
  • Rights to be accompanied

7 Review and close

For a no-obligation discussion about running this programme for your organisation on an in-house basis, just give us a call on 01582 463462.