Call to book: 01983 861133

Effective Negotiations with Trade Unions Workshop

Trade union negotiations can be tough; morale, reputation and bottom line are all at risk. Inexperienced staff need a toolkit to understand process and tactics

Time: 0915 - 1600

Cost: £395 + VAT per attendee

For all dates: register here

  • Thursday 14th March '24

This best selling workshop takes your employee relations staff through the labyrinth of legal framework, union structure and how to prepare for and engage in negotiations. 

For two decades we have been preparing delegates for optimum outcomes in tough negotiation settings. This expert course featuring heavy-weight experience trainers is run under the Chatham House Rule. In a confidential, practically-focused day, delegates are walked through strategy, background, preparation and delivery to engage with Trade Unions. 

Learning from the UK's most experienced negotiators, delegates take away the skillset and confidence to tackle negotiations and achieve a fair and satisfactory outcome for all. 

Attend this workshop to:

  • Understand the psychology, process and behaviours of the negotiating process
  • Gain insight into the impact of the cost-of-living on UK industrial relations and legislation
  • Monitor, manage and influence social media challenges
  • Maximise your relationship with your workplace unions and develop a joint-problem-solving culture
  • Get to grips with key legal changes and developments and ensure your unions relationships are legal and workable
  • Gain the tools to apply new skills in resolving real-life negotiations
  • Move past brinksmanship and stalemate to facilitate honest, open dialogue
  • Take part in practical exercises and scenarios 
  • Learn how to foster positive union relations both day-to-day and during negotiations

Why train with us

This comprehensive, interactive one day programme, addresses the current challenges facing employers and explores effective negotiation tools and techniques as well as the latest legal updates, solutions, policies and strategies. 

Hear from our hand-picked industry experts, take part in practical scenario exercises, join in a live Q&A and take away a negotiating toolkit developed with specialists as part of our 27-year track record in industrial relations training. Strictly private and run under the Chatham House Rules. 

Delegate feedback:

"Informative & interesting. Affirmation too of the good things we are already doing" – Nationwide Building Society

"A really useful day with lots of constructive ideas" – HCS Group

"All speakers were well-informed on topic. It made the course interesting and interactive" – Svitzar Marine Ltd

"Well-organised, good facilities" – Lincolnshire Fire & Rescue

"Excellent speakers – focussed, entertaining, knowledgeable" – IPPF

"Good practical focus rather than just looking at legal aspects" – NFU Mutual

"Fantastic, very easy to follow and engaging, was able to digest the information". - NHS Property Services

Platform: Zoom - An encrypted zoom platform with password access. Click here for further information and to test access 

Prefer to run this course In-house?

We offer this course as a face to face or online in-house training option for groups of 5 or more – a cost effective training solution for teams. If this would be more suitable, please email

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


Welcome & objectives for the day

Approaches to negotiation

Simon Long

Simon Long

Senior Advisor

View Bio
Acas logo

Simon Long

Senior Advisor , Acas

Having worked in ACAS for over 20 years Simon has developed particular expertise in helping Trade Unions and Managers achieve the best mutual outcomes from their working relationship. In addition, Simon also carries out mediations, conciliations and plays an integral role in London's training program, delivering courses in our London offices or in-company. Simon has a wealth of experience in tailoring training and business solutions to meet the unique requirements of individual organisations. This comes in part from previously working as an Individual Conciliator in ACAS, dealing with a huge variety of scenarios arising from employer - employee disputes. Simon holds a Post Graduate Certificate in Dispute Resolution and is the designated Adviser for organisations in Islington, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey and Waltham Forest.

  • Trade unions response to the cost-of-living crisis 
  • Understanding & expectations: the difference between communication, consultation & negotiation
  • How can union policies & processes impact your negotiation?: local vs. national policies, dealing with different levels of union representation
  • Why do talks break down?: Encouraging and communicating directness & transparency, failure to share information, use of specific terms
  • How to approach negotiations – attitudes & pre-conceptions: building better relationships with trade unions prior to negotiation & consultation
  • Q&A

Comfort break

What legal issues must employers consider right now?

David Hopper

David Hopper

Lewis Silkin LLP

View Bio
Lewis Silkin LLP logo

David Hopper

Partner , Lewis Silkin LLP

David Hopper is a Partner at Lewis Silkin in London, which Legal 500 2022 recognises as being noted by some as having ‘the strongest team in the UK for some industrial relations issues, particularly union recognition’. David specialises in advising on industrial relations, with Chambers UK having repeatedly commended him for his expertise in collective employment law and referred to him in 2022 as ‘outstanding’. He is regularly called upon by employers to develop proactive industrial relations strategies. This includes negotiating collective agreements and advising on their operation in practice. He also advises on all aspects of industrial action, including union balloting, picketing and the strategic considerations involved in deciding whether to seek a strike injunction. David regularly advises employers with both unionised and non-unionised workforces on business reorganisations, business transfers and labour cost reductions. He also regularly defends collective employment law proceedings in the Central Arbitration Committee and Employment Tribunal. He has acted for clients at all levels up to the Supreme Court.

  • The difference between recognition, collective and national agreements;
  • The legal framework, how a collective agreement works (ie. Incorporation), the formalities required to make a collective agreement;
  • How collective bargaining works in practice;
  • Dealing with disputes, internal and external dispute resolution
  • Are your employees and representatives prepared for negotiation: what legal & contextual awareness should be in place?
  • Recent case law: what lessons can be learnt?
  • Q&A


Masterclass I: Principles of negotiation

  • Perceptions – TU strengths & weaknesses
  • Strategic planning: Core Business Objectives: Identifying the actual issue from the 'noise'
  • How to prepare for a negotiation using principles: 15 questions & their multiple uses including:
  • Moving away from point-scoring to constructive dialogue and building shared outcomes - avoiding confrontation
  • Supporting representatives facing issues with members
  • A detailed insight: How does the negotiation process work?
  • How can this be practically applied in the workplace?
  • Option-based negotiation model: Decision making timescales – in the moment vs. considered; ensuring best outcomes & better operations

Comfort break

Masterclass II: Negotiation scenario exercise - likely trade union situations

Delegates will have the chance to put what they have learnt throughout the day into practice and develop their negotiation skills and approaches in this valuable training exercise. Attendees will receive feedback including lessons learnt from other examples and insight into how we can get tricky negotiations right.

Wrap-up and outstanding questions

End of workshop

Contact us to book or discuss our events & services

Phone icon 01983 861133
Email icon

BFI BLOG #HRAction - Trade Unions

Ask an expert - HR current thought-leadership and Q&As


Let us provide your employees with the tools, skills and mindset they need to meet today's HR challenges. In-house courses to suit your budget and learning objectives.