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Employee representatives key when facing difficult times

Employee representatives key when facing difficult times

Acas is urging employers to acknowledge the role employee representatives play in contributing to good employment relations and improving change management as in these challenging times it is even more vital to give employees a voice and to work collaboratively as a team as much as possible.

Research carried out by the BIS estimates there are around 320,000 onsite employee representatives in the UK who play a vital role in reflecting employee views to their managers, communicating with the workforce and problem solving. Acas has highlighted that there can be a lack of understanding around what employee representatives do in practice and precisely what role they play in disciplinary and grievance discussions and negotiations with management.

Acas point out that over the past thirty years the role of the employee representative has changed dramatically from focusing on pay and conditions to providing employees with a voice on very specialist areas such as equality, the environment, learning and pensions.

Acas has published a new guide, Representation: finding its voice which covers: (i) the benefits of employee representation and kinds of employee representatives there are; (ii) how employee representatives are elected; (iii) what managers need to do; (iv) training and self-development; (v) communication and consultation on issues such as health and safety; and (vi) legal rights and responsibilities.

February 2011

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