Employee Relations Consultant

11 Jul 2019
28 Jul 2019
Specialist Area
Employee Relations
HR Jobs Level
Contract Type
Full Time
CIPD Membership
CIPD Member

SOAS, University of London is the world’s leading institution for the study of Asia, Africa and the Middle East, offering programmes in arts, humanities, languages, law and social sciences. Inaugurated in June 1916, SOAS has had an international reach since the arrival of its first students in February 1917 and celebrated its Centenary in 2016.

This is an exciting time to be joining SOAS, as we look to develop and improve the services we provide to our staff and our students, alumni and academic partners across the world.

2 posts – one permanent and one maternity cover 
The maternity cover could be a fixed term contract or secondment


1.6 FTE in total.  This could be covered by 1.0 FTE plus 0.6 FTE or two posts of 0.8 FTE.

SOAS is committed to flexible working from day one.  Part-time hours can be discussed but the whole team needs to be in the office on Wednesdays.  Regular working at home once a week would be possible for both posts. 

Reports to:

HR Business Partner


  1. Job Summary:  

The Employee Relations team are responsible for managing HR casework including disciplinary, capability, and grievance procedures.  The HR team has recently been restructured and the ER team created as a centre of excellence, advising managers at the informal and formal stages and taking responsibility for policy development.  ER Consultants are allocated to specific teams, alongside the HR Business Partner for those teams, but also support some cases and take on project work in other areas. 


  1. Main Duties & Responsibilities:  
  • To manage a wide variety of casework including probation, sickness, grievance, disciplinary and dignity at work cases in line with SOAS’ strategy and core values, up to and including Employment Tribunal cases.
  • Provide expert guidance to managers on implementation of HR policies and procedures or strategic people management issues, ensuring compliance with relevant legislative changes and best practice; 
  • To advise on managing individual people management issues at an early, informal stage, proposing pragmatic approaches to historical or other sensitive situations, promoting early resolution and a risk-based approach; 
  • Responsible for the development of new or amended policies, researching approaches in other comparable institutions, consulting with a diverse range of stakeholders, conducting equality impact assessments and drafting clear policies that meet SOAS’ operational needs;
  • Work constructively with a range of internal stakeholders including representatives from the recognised trade unions, UCU and UNISON, to progress individual cases and consult meaningfully on policy development;
  • Coach managers to improve their people management capabilities, usually on a one-to-one basis but also delivering occasional group manager inductions and training sessions. 
  • To work with the School’s occupational health provider in progressing occupational health and other employee well-being issues;
  • Maintain effective casework records and documentation, collating evidence and analysing trends, reviewing and improving systems and processes to improve the effectiveness of the service and reducing the time to resolve cases.
  • Work effectively with HR Business Partner to understand the needs of different employee groups and departments within SOAS, proactively identifying opportunities to provide support to improve people management in those areas
  • Lead or contribute to projects to fulfil the People Strategy, including participating on working groups and other cross-SOAS initiatives;
  • Maintain own continuous professional development and knowledge of employment law, including best practice across the Higher Education sector and other organisations, developing external networks as appropriate; 
  • Contribute to the work of the wider HR team or other parts of SOAS as required, working within and promoting the HR Business Partner delivery model and promoting a customer-focused service that supports SOAS’ strategic objectives. 
  1. Core Requirements  
  • Adhere to and promote the School’s Equality and Diversity policies; 
  • Ensure compliance with Health & Safety regulations; 
  • Actively promote the School’s Core Values, leading by example. 

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