Employee relations in the UK

HR Management has come a long way since the dark days of constant Industrial Disputes. The Profession has become an integral part of modern business and offers considerably more that just fire-fighting. The modern HR Manager is more able to act positively and proactively.

In recent years there has been an unprecedented increase in legislative areas, such as: European Law, Health and Safety legislation and Human Rights inputs, coupled with a more litigious mentality has meant a less compliant public, in all walks of life – including the workplace.

Chesterman Swann, through our highly experienced Employee Relations Consultants, offer a broad range of support to Companies facing these issues. Whether you need assistance to manage particular programmes of work, or to add experience to an existing HR team while developing their longer term expertise, Chesterman Swann is here to help you achieve your objectives and timescales.


Amongst the services we offer is experienced support in


Workplace Mediation

Workplace Mediation

“Where there are people, there will be problems”.

However well-organised a business is, however mature and enthusiastic its employees, people are people and there will be relationship issues.

Most of these will amount to nothing and be dealt with comfortably between themselves. Occasionally it may lead to managers having to become involved.

However the issues may continue, they may be intractable and begin to affect performance, not just of the people directly involved, but of those around them. Absence, sickness, stress all may arise. Employees may resign and then claim constructive dismissal and even damages for failure to offer proper duty of care. Tribunals are now looking to see whether employers went the ‘extra mile’ to try to overcome difficulties and are increasingly looking to see if Mediation services were offered.

Our qualified Workplace Mediator can offer these services from the base of extensive experience in industrial and office workplaces.

Call us to discuss issues as they arise and we may be able to help prevent them develop. If the issues have already arisen we would be happy to discuss options , including our Workplace Mediation service.

Discipline & Grievance Services

Discipline & Grievance Services

At some point most employees will feel disgruntled about some element of their working life. Also, at some stage most of us will have had dealings with employees whose performance is lacking to some extent.

99% of these matters are dealt with easily, amicably and informally. However, occasionally this does not solve the problem and more formal processes are required.

All Companies have Grievance and Discipline policies and procedures to deal with these when required. The management team may need assistance in handling this due to inexperience or unfamiliarity. Sometimes external input is beneficial as the issue may be too internalised.

As laws develop your procedures may need reviewing and updating.

Line managers may require training in how to apply the processes fairly and consistently.

We can help your Company re-establish its processes when they have been under, or over, used and a fresh start is required.

Chesterman Swann’s Employee Relations service is available to help you achieve these aims. Call us to discuss your Company’s issues.

Line Manager Training

Line Manager Training

Anyone who’s job requires managing people has a tough role to fulfil. Many managers are simply left to learn as they go … or not given refresher training as their role grows.

More legislation, more litigious times, more cost-conscious and competitive times add to the pressure the manager is under.

Training managers from first-line manger to senior manager levels in the art of people management is a speciality of Chesterman Swann’s Employee Relations team. They will help managers to understand their role in the process, to know when to seek expert assistance, to ensure the requirement of adequate records are met.

A thorough review of the Company’s procedures and on-going employment law will aid their ability and confidence in the very challenging area.

Workshops and case studies can be devised which, together with an advice surgery session, will help managers grow in their knowledge and let them realise that they are not alone in these situations. Establish a link with colleagues and our ER team who can be called for on-going advice. Someone to simply guide you in your thinking and to assist in stressful situations.

Call us to discuss how we may work with you.

Absence Management

Absence Management

Are you aware of the cost of absence to your business?

People will occasionally be ill and quite reasonably take time off. However, some businesses have levels of absence which are out of control.

Or it may just be a few employees who have levels of absence which are causing you concern.

Chesterman Swann’s Employee Relations service offer advice and support for Monitoring absence, knowing what is reasonable and what is not, controlling your costs, arranging “return to work” interviews in simple, low key ways which are effective yet not intrusive.

We will train, coach and advise your line managers to be more confident of what they can legitimately do, how to approach this sometimes sensitive subject and what signs to look out for to distinguish the problem areas from the standard.

Call to discuss your issues and see how we can help you in this vital aspect of running your business.

Pay and Conditions negotiations

Pay and Conditions negotiations

Our Employee Relations consultant has over 20 years of negotiations experience across a range of industries.

Having been a member of the leading trade body Chemical Industries Association’s Employment Affairs Board for over 5 years and a leading member of local HR Managers he has a vast range of contacts in this area of work.

If your business would benefit from assistance in preparing for negotiations, from simple advice on what to consider, through to coaching your negotiators, right through to being part of your negotiating team then call us to see how our experience may help you achieve quicker, less stressful conclusions.

We can also assist

By developing specific training and coaching programmes for managers and line management. Chesterman Swann also offer support on a consultancy basis to support business projects.

Smaller businesses which have limited need for full scale professional HR support, but do find an occasional need will find our retained services for an agreed number of days of access, a useful tool.

For longer term needs we offer a full Interim HR Management service.

Call us to discuss what requirements you have and how we can design a support programme to meet your particular needs. You will be glad you did.

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