Employee relations: an overview
This factsheet was last updated in July 2016.
What is employee relations?
The term 'employee relations' was conceived as a replacement for the term 'industrial relations'. Although historically the term was interpreted to refer to how collective relationships are conducted between employers and their workforce, today’s interpretation is much wider and refers to individual as well as collective relationships in the workplace. This reflects the increasing individualisation of the employment relationship at work following the rise of individual workplace rights and the decline in trade union reach and influence.
Our report Managing employee relations in difficult times concluded that dealing with the trade union relationship remains an issue in many workplaces but is not widely seen as problematic. Trade union influence is still an everyday reality for some organisations, particularly in the public sector, but continues to decline across the wider economy. The report also found that, in line with the growing focus on individual relationships, there is an increasing emphasis on helping line managers to establish trust-based relationships with employees.
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- 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
- CIPD viewpoint
- Further reading.