Employee Reps Training – Role, Skills & Legislation

This one-day training course explains the role of the employee rep together with an overview of key employment legislation and the skills needed to be effective.

Employee representation is an essential element of most successful business. The effective employee representative plays a critical link between staff and management, helping both to understand the others views and perspectives. This, especially in times of turbulence and change, helping to improve the quality of planning and decision-making, keeping staff informed, on-board and providing a route for challenge if things go astray.

For businesses and organisations that don’t recognise a trade union, the employee representative often take on similar duties; for example providing an independent point of advice and support for staff on grievance or disciplinary matters, providing formal representation in the event of redundancies, business transfers, pay and pension negotiations.

The role of the trade union rep and employee representative is seldom an easy one. Individuals, the workforce as a whole and the business itself often have different needs and priorities and the employee’s representatives need to show loyalty to all. In many cases, tough but well-reasoned decisions have to be taken and explained clearly.

For Whom
This workshop is for new, potential or recently elected employee representatives from all business types and sectors, including trade unions representatives.

It also acts as a refresher for existing employee representatives or union representatives looking to understand how they can be more effective in role.

Aims and Objectives
This one-day workshop aims to improve the employee representatives’ knowledge of their typical duties, responsibilities and good practice and develop their skills and confidence in a way that help improve their effectiveness in role.

Delegate Feedback


  1. The Role of the employee representative
  • General duties and responsibilities of the Employee Representative
  • The benefits on offer to both the employer and the employee/s
  • Consultation and Negotiation, what, when and why
  • Representing Staff
  • What makes for an effective representative
  • Personal qualities, skills, experience and knowledge
  • Identifying skills gaps and areas of personal development
  • Identifying who can offer support for Group members
  • Business needs v individual staff needs – managing conflicts
  • Maintaining a Professional Position
  1. Overview of roles and duties in some sample situations
    • Consultations
    • Redundancies
    • Grievance issues
    • Disciplinary issues
    • Contract changes
  1. Personal Skills Awareness
    Building on the above participants are taken through a personal audit determining what soft skills are needed, collectively and individually, and the areas they may need to refine their abilities in. There is a focus on the following five key soft skill areas:-
  • Self-Awareness
  • Communication
  • Influencing
  • Negotiation
  • Reporting Back and Public Speaking

This third session also considers the unofficial demands that colleagues and workers may place on the employee representative in terms of counselling and financial advice. It considers how these initial requests can be responded too, sympathetically and effectively and explores some of the third party support services workers can be sign-posted to.

  1. Legislation and Technical Knowledge
    Session 4 provides an outline overview of the key legislation that Employee Representatives need to understand. It provides guidance on where participants can obtain further information on the law and good practice relating to the activities Employee Representatives are commonly involved with, including:
  • Redundancy Legislation and Good Practice
  • Grievance and Disciplinary Issues Legislation and Good Practice
  • Employment Legislation inc Business Transfer, Pay and Pensions

The workshop can be expanded to contain more detailed guidance on any of the above and can be linked to your own in-house policies and procedures but expanding content will require additional delivery time or reduction in coverage of soft skills development.

The above course or elements from it are available through 2.5 hour online virtual classroom modules, as below. All three modules are required for full coverage

Module One – An Overview of the Role and Responsibilities (2.5 hours online virtual classroom)

  • Key definition – The modern Employee Representative
  • Other definitions – Consultation/Negotiation/Collective Bargaining
  • Seven mutual benefits from an Employee Representative scheme
  • Six typical activities of an Employee Representative
  • ACAS Seven Point Code of Practice for Employee Representatives
  • Client’s specific Employee Representative arrangements
  • Technical knowledge and soft skills needed to perform well in role
  • Final Q and A’s – including a focus on any further support needed
  • Signposting of potential internal and external resources

Module Two – Understanding the Technical Skills (2.5 hours online virtual classroom)

  • Brief overview/reflection on module 1
  • Changing World of Work – Breaking News
  • Five major laws governing employment arrangements in the modern
  • workplace
  • Nine key legal definitions
  • Case studies around these laws and definitions
  • The client’s policies reflecting these laws and definitions
  • Understanding a suite of 10 to 12 policies
  • The role of the clients Employee Representative in the light the above
  • Final Q and A’s including a focus on any further support needed
  • Signposting of potential internal and external resources

Module Three – Skills in Action (2.5 hours online virtual classroom)
This module explores some of the skills needed to be successful in role. Pre/in course discussion informs the level of detail given to each topic. Where necessary/required additional modules are available to help explore individual topics in more detail. This session is supported by a hints and tips reference pack.

  • Active Listening
  • Assertiveness
  • Observation
  • Questioning Skills
  • Meeting Skills
  • Presentational Skills
  • Record and Note Taking Skills
  • Self-Awareness
  • Time Management

Module Four – Legislation (2.5 hours online virtual classroom)
This module is under development