Call to book: 01983 861133

12th Annual Working Effectively With Trade Unions Conference 2019

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

“Unions have more influence than at any time since 1979”

Smart employers are placing industrial relations even higher on the HR agenda. Is your organisation prepared to tackle a slew of new legislation and social justice movements?

Registration fee: £395 plus VAT

The fallout of Brexit, tackling equal pay, providing safer working conditions, reducing sexual misconduct, zero hours contracts, religious discrimination, #metoo and TUPE are amongst the challenges employers told us they are currently facing within the HR function.

New media are forcing corporates to hear different voices and new unions are working hard to establish better conditions for workers hitherto silent.

Failure to engage and support can lead to expensive and disruptive grievances and litigation; good relations mean better productivity, happier and safer employees and can make or break your reputation as an employer of choice.

This long-running event, now in its 12th year, tackles the ways in which employers and employees are listening to each other in 2019, and highlights the issues challenging both employers and workers.

The areas for discussion were identified during extensive research. We are confident it will be a day of comprehensive and robust examination of the issues, pinpointing the key areas of industrial relations to look at in 2019, and providing workable, practical solutions through a hand-picked panel of legal and industrial relation experts, union spokespersons and forward-looking corporate employers.

Delegates will benefit from hearing the best approaches and learn how to optimise industrial relations in their own organisations, as well join debate and discussion throughout the day.

Here’s what delegates thought last year….

"Great day, lots of opportunities and learnings" - HR Director

"Enjoyed the range and variety of sessions" - Employee Relations Manager

"Really helpful and insightful" - Head of Group Employee Relations

"Good pace and interesting speakers throughout the day" - HR Director

"Informative and relevant" - HR Projects Manager

Please note: Speakers are still being confirmed and will be added shortly. If you have a case study you might like to present please see how to get involved here.

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 and 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.

THE EVOLVING TU RELATIONSHIP: HOW ARE THINGS CHANGING AND WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS?

Carl Roper

Carl Roper

National Organiser
TUC

View Bio
TUC logo

Carl Roper

National Organiser , TUC

  • The rise of less formal relationships: collective representation versus collective bargaining
  • The power of social media in creating momentum and support for issues
  • The changing nature of employment – increasing preferences for ‘worker’ status
  • Tactics to ensure your employment practices keep pace with employee expectations
  • Recognising and representing employees for whom union representation is not relevant
  • Pop-up unions
  • Coordinating negotiations with multiple on-site unions

INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS UPDATE

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.

  • Challenges for the gig economy
    • new law
    • new relationships
    • new protest
  • Challenges for the traditional economy:
    • bypassing collective bargaining
    • tackling democratic deficit

Morning coffee and networking

MAXIMISING YOUR STRATEGIC RELATIONSHIP WITH TU DURING TRANSFORMATION

Lisa Micallef

Lisa Micallef

Vice President Human Resources (Industrial Relations)
Centrica

View Bio
Centrica logo

Lisa Micallef

Vice President Human Resources (Industrial Relations) , Centrica

Highly driven, leading international HR professional with 20 years experience across a number of industry sectors including Manufacturing, Logistics, Oil and Gas & Commercial. Having held HR Director positions at Group, Regional, Country level for large corporates. International experience has covered a platform serving Europe, Middle East, Africa, & Latin America and includes UK PLCs, privately owned businesses and subsidiaries of US corporates. Working also as a change management expert; is a natural leader with keen business acumen and unmatched ability in providing pragmatic solutions to drive successful pursuit of new business opportunities. Excels in advancing revenue objectives and costs savings objectives defining winning Talent strategies; developing and implementing People integration plan and Talent & Succession Strategy to drive attraction, development and retention of key talent and effectively leading teams to achieve their goals. A reputation for relationship management and delivery; thrives in change and transformational situations; inspiring at all levels. Specialties: Delivery; Applying high levels of business acuity; driving solutions within complex and competitive arenas; influencing decisions; overseeing process improvements. Skills: Relationship management, implementing Talent strategies; team leadership; ensuring delivery; issues & resolution, Executive stakeholder management; process improvement & project implementation

  • Working effectively and in partnership with TU’s during transformation
  • Communicating your strategy and big picture objectives
  • Building trust and engagement
  • Balancing what’s important to the Trade Union i.e. operational vs strategic
  • Overcoming inexperience, and empowering leader accountability

SOCIAL MEDIA: HOW WILL THE FUTURE LOOK?

Richard Justham

Richard Justham

Employee Relations
Govia Thameslink Railway

View Bio
Govia Thameslink Railway logo

Richard Justham

Employee Relations , Govia Thameslink Railway

  • Effective communication with staff
  • The importance of direct communications: lessons learned
  • Understanding how it changes relationships
  • Playing catch up with Unions on employee engagement innovations
  • New ways to engage using Yammer
  • Experiences with more traditional Social Media streams

Lunch and networking

LABOUR’S PROPOSALS FOR INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS

John Hendy QC

John Hendy QC

Barrister, Chair of the IER and Advisor to Laura Pidcock MP (Shadow Minister of Labour)
IER

View Bio
IER logo

John Hendy QC

Barrister, Chair of the IER and Advisor to Laura Pidcock MP (Shadow Minister of Labour) , IER

John Hendy QC is Chair of the Institute of Employment Rights. He is a leading employment law barrister, operating from Old Square Chambers London, and H P Higgins Chambers in Sydney Australia. He is also vice-chairman of the International Centre for Trade Union Rights (ICTUR)and Joint Secretary to the United Campaign for the Repeal of Anti Trade Union Laws. John is standing counsel to UNITE, ASLEF,CWU, NUJ, NUM, POA, RMT and UCU.

  • Recreation of a Ministry of Labour
  • A Labour Inspectorate
  • The revised Industrial Relations Bill
    • Sectoral collective bargaining
    • Binary status for workers: worker or self-employed

PANEL Q&A: WORKFORCE TRANSFORMATION AND CULTURE CHANGE

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.

John Hendy QC

John Hendy QC

Barrister, Chair of the IER and Advisor to Laura Pidcock MP (Shadow Minister of Labour)
IER

View Bio
IER logo

John Hendy QC

Barrister, Chair of the IER and Advisor to Laura Pidcock MP (Shadow Minister of Labour) , IER

John Hendy QC is Chair of the Institute of Employment Rights. He is a leading employment law barrister, operating from Old Square Chambers London, and H P Higgins Chambers in Sydney Australia. He is also vice-chairman of the International Centre for Trade Union Rights (ICTUR)and Joint Secretary to the United Campaign for the Repeal of Anti Trade Union Laws. John is standing counsel to UNITE, ASLEF,CWU, NUJ, NUM, POA, RMT and UCU.

Carl Roper

Carl Roper

National Organiser
TUC

View Bio
TUC logo

Carl Roper

National Organiser , TUC

Tony Dobbins

Tony Dobbins

Professor in HR Management & Employment Relations, Birmingham Business School
University of Birmingham

View Bio
University of Birmingham logo

Tony Dobbins

Professor in HR Management & Employment Relations, Birmingham Business School , University of Birmingham

Tony is Professor of Employment Relations and HR Management at Birmingham Business School, University of Birmingham. He is also Visiting Professor at University of Limerick, Ireland. Previously, he was Professor of Employment Studies, Bangor University. Tony has 25 years’ experience in employment relations, having worked in various posts in academia and the private sector, including eight years as a journalist in Dublin with Industrial Relations News. His research on work and employment issues has been published widely, and he regularly engages in public knowledge exchange, including with the BBC, Guardian, RTE, Huffington Post.

STRIKES AND CONFLICT AT WORK

Tony Dobbins

Tony Dobbins

Professor in HR Management & Employment Relations, Birmingham Business School
University of Birmingham

View Bio
University of Birmingham logo

Tony Dobbins

Professor in HR Management & Employment Relations, Birmingham Business School , University of Birmingham

Tony is Professor of Employment Relations and HR Management at Birmingham Business School, University of Birmingham. He is also Visiting Professor at University of Limerick, Ireland. Previously, he was Professor of Employment Studies, Bangor University. Tony has 25 years’ experience in employment relations, having worked in various posts in academia and the private sector, including eight years as a journalist in Dublin with Industrial Relations News. His research on work and employment issues has been published widely, and he regularly engages in public knowledge exchange, including with the BBC, Guardian, RTE, Huffington Post.

  • Conflict at work
  • Strike trends
  • Recent industrial action / new forms of protest
  • Lessons and conclusions

Afternoon tea and networking

NEW WAYS OF NEGOTIATING

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.

  • Preparing for and conducting negotiations
  • Understanding the impact of good vs bad negotiations
  • Practical negotiation techniques
  • The importance of early proactive engagement
  • Avoiding and unlocking deadlock
  • Improving employee engagement during difficult times
  • Funding restrictions
  • Reputational risk challenges

INDUSTRIAL DISPUTES: MANAGE THE ISSUE BEFORE IT BECOMES A CRISIS

Mark Harris

Mark Harris

Lead Crisis Consultant
Blindside

View Bio
Blindside logo

Mark Harris

Lead Crisis Consultant , Blindside

As Blindside’s Lead Crisis Consultant, Mark allocates resources to ensure clients are serviced throughout the Crisis and Issues Management cycle from identification and preparation, prevention through planning and training, to response and recovery. Blindside’s crisis management preparedness and response services ensure clients are ready to face situations and events of a challenging nature, throughout the world. Over the last 24 years, Mark has worked at the forefront of crisis management and communications internationally and held senior positions with leading consultancies such Control Risks, and Burson-Marsteller. Mark has worked on over 150 incidents of kidnapping, extortion, and hostage taking around the world, and 19 cases of vessel hijack. He has also advised numerous companies as they have prepared to restructure, close facilities, or transfer operations to other countries. Mark regularly presents at conferences and is often invited to comment on news stories on a regular basis by news channels such as the BBC, ITN, Channel 4, CNN, NBC, and Al Jazeera.

Ian French

Ian French

Lead Risk Consultant
Blindside

View Bio
Blindside logo

Ian French

Lead Risk Consultant , Blindside

Ian French is the founder and Lead Risk Consultant at Blindside Limited. Blindside helps clients improve their resilience to risks and minimise the impact of incidents and crises, no matter what triggers the event. Ian has held senior positions with leading risk consultancies where among other things he advised clients on operational risk mitigation for companies, executives and staff during strikes and industrial disputes in the UK and internationally. Ian has in house experience as the head of risk and security for multinational mining and oil and gas companies where relations with employees, communities and governments were often key to success.

  • Do you have an issue? Are you prepared?
  • Developing scenarios - what are the essentials?
  • Reputations matter - industrial disputes put good ones at risk
  • Keep plans alive - Practice the team
  • Recovery - working together again

Chair's closing remarks

End of conference

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