Call to book: 01983 861133

11th Annual Working Effectively With Trade Unions Conference 2018

Danubius Hotel Regents Park , 18 Lodge Road, St. John's Wood, London NW8 7JT

 

Developing a strong and effective relationship with trade unions is still a top priority for employers in an increasingly turbulent socio-political and economic environment. The world of work is changing rapidly and those responsible for managing this relationship are required to be savvier than ever.

The importance of getting this right cannot be understated as the risks of not doing so loom large - industrial action, financial loss, costly tribunals, loss of talent, reputational damage and of course poor employee relations.

Now in its 11th year, this annual sell-out conference provides a practical blueprint to ensure you are working as effectively as possible with your union in whatever industry you may be in, and gives a unique chance to hear strategies and advice from leading companies who have faced and overcome these challenges. The day will provide extensive Q&A opportunities where you will be able to address specific questions that are relevant to your organisation.

Why attend this crucial conference?

  • Hear from the TUC on how global and post-Brexit challenges impact on employer’s relationships with Trade Unions.
  • Access top legal advice and updates from Eversheds Sutherland, and gain an understanding of the legal implications of digitisation and crowd-working in the new world of work 
  • Hear Oxford Internet Institute’s stance on managing union relationships in cyber space to ensure you’re aware of where you might come unstuck

  • Put your questions to the panel who will be taking a close look at the the future of union relationships 
  • ACAS will bring the latest guidance on effective policies and strategies for dealing with the sexual harassment, racism and bigotry in the workplace
  • Listen to case studies covering collective agreements, managing your relationships effectively, trade union representatives and the benefits to promoting and championing good workplace mental health - Co-Op, Network Rail
  • Sharpen your negotiating tactics with a hands-on practical session from the IPA

Which functions will benefit from attending

  • Directors, Senior Managers, HR and Recruitment professionals, Employee and Industrial Relations, Employment Policy, Legal, Trade Union Representatives, Employment Law, Operations, Conciliation and Arbitration, Directors and Managers with industrial and employee relations responsibilities

Hear from

Schedule

Coffee & registration

Chair’s welcome and opening remarks

Marc Meryon

Marc Meryon

Partner and Head of Industrial Relations
Eversheds Sutherland

View Bio
Eversheds Sutherland logo

Marc Meryon

Partner and Head of Industrial Relations , Eversheds Sutherland

Marc Meryon is a partner and Head of Industrial Relations in the London office. He is also an Honorary Senior Visiting Fellow at Cass Business School, City University. Marc specialises in helping companies with difficult labour relations issues, often arising from organisational change. He frequently advises on managing and resolving collective disputes, including preventing and mitigating the impact of strikes and responding effectively to union backed corporate campaigns, both within the UK and internationally. Marc’s role includes helping employers with union negotiations; new models for staff engagement; managing stakeholder relations; and using innovative legal challenges to protect businesses from disruption. Marc also advises on the growing impact of human rights on business and labour relations, and on the increasing use of contingent workers.

OPENING ADDRESS: GLOBAL AND POST-BREXIT CHALLENGES

Kevin Rowan

Kevin Rowan

Head of Organisation and Services
TUC

View Bio
TUC logo

Kevin Rowan

Head of Organisation and Services , TUC

Kevin Rowan was the Regional Secretary of the Northern TUC for 10 years before taking on the role of Head of Organisation and Services Department (OSD). Kevin is also Director of unionlearn, the TUC’s learning and skills organisation responsible for union learning, the Union Learning Fund (ULF) and TUC Education; the TUC’s extensive programme of workplace representatives’ training. Kevin began working life in the VSEL shipyard of Barrow in Furness, becoming a trade union representative shortly before his 18th birthday. Kevin joined Preston College in 1995 and was part of the team which established the Carlisle Trade Union Education Unit and moved to join GMB Northern as Education and Research Officer in 1997, becoming Regional Secretary of the Northern TUC in July 2002. Kevin represents the TUC on the Regional Skills Partnership, the Regional ERDF Programme Monitoring Committee and is a board member of NORCARE and Equality North East and a member of the North East Economic Forum.

  • Digitalisation: creating employment or outsourcing and replacing?
  • Investment in jobs
  • Climate change
  • Tackling inequality
  • Technical progress: pros and cons
  • Wealth versus marginalisation
  • Corporate responsibility
  • AI and downsizing: the real picture

1010 LEGAL - INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS

Marc Meryon

Marc Meryon

Partner and Head of Industrial Relations
Eversheds Sutherland

View Bio
Eversheds Sutherland logo

Marc Meryon

Partner and Head of Industrial Relations , Eversheds Sutherland

Marc Meryon is a partner and Head of Industrial Relations in the London office. He is also an Honorary Senior Visiting Fellow at Cass Business School, City University. Marc specialises in helping companies with difficult labour relations issues, often arising from organisational change. He frequently advises on managing and resolving collective disputes, including preventing and mitigating the impact of strikes and responding effectively to union backed corporate campaigns, both within the UK and internationally. Marc’s role includes helping employers with union negotiations; new models for staff engagement; managing stakeholder relations; and using innovative legal challenges to protect businesses from disruption. Marc also advises on the growing impact of human rights on business and labour relations, and on the increasing use of contingent workers.

  • Trade Union Act: recap and recent case-law
  • IR cases including Birmingham City Council v Unite; Royal Mail v CWU; and Nailard v Unite
  • Section 145B: where next after Kostal?
  • WhatsApp: making unions redundant?

LEGAL - EMPLOYMENT

Vince Toman

Vince Toman

Employment, Reward and Immigration
Lewis Silkin

View Bio
Lewis Silkin logo

Vince Toman

Employment, Reward and Immigration , Lewis Silkin

Prior to becoming a barrister, Vince worked in industry where he had first-hand experience in collective employment law and trade unions: as a shop steward; an adviser to independent trade unions; and an employment lawyer for a leading trade union firm of solicitors. Having then worked for a number of years in the Employment Department of a large city practice, he joined Lewis Silkin in January 2001. Specialties: He is an expert in trade union and collective employment law issues. He advises on industrial disputes, Information and Consultation Regulations matters (ICE and TICE), as well as European Work Council issues. He also have experience in health and safety issues, including disaster management and corporate manslaughter.

  • Digitalisation: is it time for new employment status in the new world of work (The Taylor Report)
  • Current case law: updates and lessons learned
  • Post-TUPE implications
  • LGBT/Gender Pay Gap: ensuring your policy is current, legal and workable

TERRITORIES NEW: MANAGING UNION RELATIONSHIPS IN CYBERSPACE

Alex J Wood

Alex J Wood

Researcher
University of Oxford Internet Institute

View Bio
University of Oxford Internet Institute logo

Alex J Wood

Researcher , University of Oxford Internet Institute

Alex J. Wood is a Researcher at the OII. He is a sociologist of work and employment, focusing on the changing nature of employment relations and labour market transformation. Alex is currently researching new forms of worker voice and collective action in the online gig economy as part of the iLabour project. Alex previously researched online labour markets and virtual employment relations in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia as part of the “Microwork and Virtual Production Networks in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia” project. This project investigates the economic and social implications of new forms of economic activities in the context of ICTs for development. Alex completed his PhD at the University of Cambridge Department of Sociology where he also worked as Research Associate on an ESRC impact acceleration project to evaluate potential ways of reducing workplace stress resulting from insecure scheduling. Alex’s PhD (2015) is titled the “The insecure worker: workplace control in the 21st Century”. His PhD focuses on the changing nature of flexible and insecure forms of work such as zero-hour contracts. New patterns of working-time flexibility and how this relates to insecurity, well-being, and issues of workplace control and resistance being central to account developed. He also has a long-standing interest in the relationships between industrial relations, union renewal and emerging forms of workplace representation and new patterns of class and inequality. Previously he received his MPhil in Sociology from the University of Cambridge (2011) with distinction. He received a first-class BSc (hons) degree in Politics and Sociology, from Aston University (2009).

  • Essential social media knowledge: where might you come unstuck?
  • New digital challenges
  • Digitalisation and the platform economy: a new social compromise?
  • The reality: job losses or creation?

PANEL: THE FUTURE OF UNION RELATIONSHIPS: HOW TO PREPARE FOR A NEW WORLD

Vince Toman

Vince Toman

Employment, Reward and Immigration
Lewis Silkin

View Bio
Lewis Silkin logo

Vince Toman

Employment, Reward and Immigration , Lewis Silkin

Prior to becoming a barrister, Vince worked in industry where he had first-hand experience in collective employment law and trade unions: as a shop steward; an adviser to independent trade unions; and an employment lawyer for a leading trade union firm of solicitors. Having then worked for a number of years in the Employment Department of a large city practice, he joined Lewis Silkin in January 2001. Specialties: He is an expert in trade union and collective employment law issues. He advises on industrial disputes, Information and Consultation Regulations matters (ICE and TICE), as well as European Work Council issues. He also have experience in health and safety issues, including disaster management and corporate manslaughter.

Alex J Wood

Alex J Wood

Researcher
University of Oxford Internet Institute

View Bio
University of Oxford Internet Institute logo

Alex J Wood

Researcher , University of Oxford Internet Institute

Alex J. Wood is a Researcher at the OII. He is a sociologist of work and employment, focusing on the changing nature of employment relations and labour market transformation. Alex is currently researching new forms of worker voice and collective action in the online gig economy as part of the iLabour project. Alex previously researched online labour markets and virtual employment relations in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia as part of the “Microwork and Virtual Production Networks in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia” project. This project investigates the economic and social implications of new forms of economic activities in the context of ICTs for development. Alex completed his PhD at the University of Cambridge Department of Sociology where he also worked as Research Associate on an ESRC impact acceleration project to evaluate potential ways of reducing workplace stress resulting from insecure scheduling. Alex’s PhD (2015) is titled the “The insecure worker: workplace control in the 21st Century”. His PhD focuses on the changing nature of flexible and insecure forms of work such as zero-hour contracts. New patterns of working-time flexibility and how this relates to insecurity, well-being, and issues of workplace control and resistance being central to account developed. He also has a long-standing interest in the relationships between industrial relations, union renewal and emerging forms of workplace representation and new patterns of class and inequality. Previously he received his MPhil in Sociology from the University of Cambridge (2011) with distinction. He received a first-class BSc (hons) degree in Politics and Sociology, from Aston University (2009).

  • Digitalisation and public services: the future
  • Crowdwork and online platforms: is there a trend in the UK to view this negatively?
  • The reality versus the promises: freedom and flexibility or complete lack of rights and protection?

Lunch and networking

CHALLENGES FOR THE NEW AGE: SEXUAL HARASSMENT, RACISM AND BIGOTRY IN THE WORPLACE

John Palmer

John Palmer

Senior Guidance Managing Editor
Acas

View Bio
Acas logo

John Palmer

Senior Guidance Managing Editor , Acas

John Palmer is the Senior Editor at Acas. He has worked there for 12 years and has extensive experience of advising employers and employees around existing and forthcoming legislation. He is lead writer of the joint Acas-GEO guide on Gender Pay Reporting. As part of that project, he has engaged with a wide range of employers, government policy advisers, legal professionals and other stakeholders around the implementation of Gender Pay.

  • Effective policies and where the challenges lie
  • Strategies to reduce harassment: key messages you need to send
  • Working with unions to tackle the issue

CASE STUDY: THE CO-OP AND USDAW STORY: FROM RESCUE TO RENEW

Amanda Ashworth

Employee Relations Manager
Co-op

View Bio
Co-op logo

Amanda Ashworth

Employee Relations Manager , Co-op

Amanda Ashworth joined the ER team at the Co-op in 2012, and since 2015 has been the ER lead for its Food Retail business, responsible for managing the relationship with the Usdaw at a National level and leading for the business on key collective issues. Prior to that, she was closely involved in much of the HR activity directly linked to the crisis which the Co-op faced in 2013 and then in delivering a number of Group level change activities which were part of the Rebuild plans. Before joining the Co-op, Amanda has worked for over 20 years both in a variety of generalist HR and specialist ER roles in manufacturing in British Steel and Zeneca, in the Utilities sector at United Utilities and also in Professional Services. Throughout her career she has worked with a variety of Trade Unions, including Unite, Unison, GMB, ISTC and Prospect and is a fully qualified Mediator.

  • The Co-op’s journey since 2013 – key events and challenges
  • Our relationship with Usdaw – why it was even more important we worked together through our crisis and rebuild period
  • Renew and beyond – future areas for focus

Afternoon tea

CASE STUDY: MENTAL HEALTH AND HOW UNION RELATIONS CAN OPTIMISE YOUR ORGANISATION'S APPROACH

Dr Richard Peters

Dr Richard Peters

Chief Medical Officer
Network Rail

View Bio
Network Rail logo

Dr Richard Peters

Chief Medical Officer , Network Rail

Dr Richard Peters is Chief Medical Officer at Network Rail, an organisation that owns and operates the railway infrastructure in England, Wales and Scotland on behalf of the nation. He provides assurance to the board, the company as a whole, regulators and the wider rail industry on the occupational health and wellbeing management of its c. 39,000 permanent employees. He holds an honorary position at University College London Medical School as a Clinical Senior Lecturer and works with the Faculty of Occupational Medicine to ensure a benchmark of standards for the teaching of the Occupational Medicine at medical schools throughout the UK. He is an elected member of ARIOPS (Association of Railway Industry Occupational Health Practitioners) and part of the Global Chief Medical Officers Network powered by BUPA. Prior to Network Rail he was Chief Medical Officer at Capita Plc. for their Personal Independence Payment (PIP) contract on behalf of the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) and Department for Communities Northern Ireland (DFC). His training is in Occupational Medicine and has worked as an Occupational Health Physician for an array of health organisations in the UK, such as Health Management Ltd, AXA PPP Healthcare and the NHS.

  • Understanding and fulfilling your legal obligations
  • Tackling stigma and discrimination

CURRENT TRENDS AND EFFECTIVE NEW TACTICS IN NEGOTIATION

Derek Luckhurst

Derek Luckhurst

Training and Development Director
IPA

View Bio
IPA logo

Derek Luckhurst

Training and Development Director , IPA

Derek Luckhurst has been the Training & Development Director of the IPA (Involvement And Participation Association) since December 2000 responsible for consultancy services. Previously he was the Manufacturing, Science And Finance Union’s National Secretary for Legal & General since 1996. He was instrumental in the establishment of a breakthrough partnership agreement, which was signed at L&G in 1997. At IPA he has developed partnership workshops for the Inland Revenue, the Audit Commission, Royal Fleet Auxiliary, Aintree NHS Trust, Bolton NHS Trust and Santander. In conjunction with the workshop, he has written a partnership induction programme specifically tailored for people working on partnership initiatives. He is the author of “A Practitioner’s Guide To Sustaining Industrial Partnership” published by the IPA with DTI support in 2004, updated and re-published in 2011. He also wrote a Staff Representatives’ Handbook, which has been commissioned by Sanctuary Housing, Halfords, BP, Coral Racing and Avon Cosmetics. He has worked with many organisations helping them with employee relations including United Welsh Housing Association, Steria, Standard Life, Santander, Norwich Union, Royal College Of Surgeons, The General Medical Council, The Prince’s Trust, Egg, Blue Arrow, Royal National Institute For Deaf People, Bank Of Ireland UK Financial Services, The Independent Police Complaints Commission, The Healthcare Commission, Avon Cosmetics, The Royal Fleet Auxiliary, The National Asthma Campaign, National Grid, Peabody Trust, British Bakeries, The Employers Organisation, Pizza Express, The Communication Workers Union, The Post Office, De La Rue Cash Systems, Peabody Housing, Corps of Commissionaires, The Cancer Research Campaign, South East Water, Inland Revenue, Eurotunnel, Siemens, Pfizer, Terrence Higgins Trust, Electoral Reform Services, Opportunity Links, Kelloggs, the CBI, Skandia, AOL Broadband, Vodafone, Kimberley Clark and BP, Pearson, City & Guilds and HCL. Derek has also introduced the option-based consultation model for the effective involvement of the representatives of employees, be they union or non-union in identifying opinions and influencing the decision making process at a strategic level within organisations. Described by Keith Sisson, Emeritus Professor of Industrial Relations at Warwick Business School as a ‘landmark in UK industrial relations’, Derek has been busy training managers and employee representatives in option-based consultation in organisations like the Healthcare Commission, Standard Life, Bank Of Ireland, United Welsh Housing and many others. Derek leads the IPA’s influential Best Practice Network and, with them, developed the “15 Strategic Questions” that have proved popular with representatives and senior managers alike. He is also the author of “The 5 Key Steps To Employee Engagement”, published in 2007, which explores the unique role representatives can play in ensuring staff lose the cynicism that blocks engagement. He was a key player in developing a framework for flexible working in Legal & General and was responsible for the training of both managers and union representatives in how the concept should work in practice. A new anti-harassment and bullying procedure was established during his term of office together with improved grievance and disciplinary processes.

  • Planning and preparing for a meeting
  • Understanding your legal position
  • Expectations of union stewards
  • Optimising communication with union reps

Closing remarks and end of conference

Contact us to book or discuss our events & services

Phone icon 01983 861133
Email icon info@bfi.co.uk

Exclusive offers

Get early bird offers, discounts and useful HR content straight to your inbox

By signing up you agree to our privacy policy

Get involved

Opportunities to speak, suggest a topic or sponsor and exhibit at BFI events

Go

In-house training

We can tailor this course to run in-house. Find out more

Go