Whenever the scarce resources of capital and labour combine, employee relations risks are common and can take many forms.

The most visible, and the one that receives the most attention of course, is labour disputation in the form of strikes (protected and unprotected), stop work meetings and “manufactured” disputes.

But this is only the tip of the employee relations risk iceberg.  Other employee relations risks that can negatively affect the work environment include: poor selection of employees; shortage of appropriately skilled labour; low skill levels; inexperienced supervision and management; poor work organisation; restrictive work practices; ineffective attendance management; low standards of accommodation and facilities; poor logistics management; inaccurate payroll processes; restrictive employment agreements; lack of appreciation of reasonable and competitive labour costs; a general lack of awareness of history; and present and future labour relations environments all contribute to employee relations risk and other negative indicators.  These include low labour productivity, schedule slippage, increased labour costs and delayed cash flow.

Take the projects and construction environment. The conventional approach to project employee relations management is to build on the costs and arrangements on the last comparable project, develop a list of inflexible parameters for contractors and manage disputes by past practice and reaction. But what happens when it all goes wrong? Well, conventional wisdom would have you believe that the Unions are to blame: correction, they are not. It is invariably the project and its contractors’ inability to manage labour relations proactively and flexibly that is the root cause. The definition of insanity is: “Always doing the same thing as you have always done and expecting different and better results”. The challenge to better employee and industrial relations is for management to execute better. SHR’s deep experience based on over 20 years of continuous service in the field of ER and IR Consulting offers clients a range of practical solutions, from the strategic through to day-to-day tactical response level.

This service includes:

  • Industrial Relations strategy, options and plans
  • Construction labour risk management
  • Vessel inspections in  preparation for maritime negotiations
  • Enterprise agreement design
  • Employee relations management plans & audits (ERMP & IRMP)
  • Contractor & third party management practices
  • Developing employment contracts, offers and acceptances
  • Executive employment contract advice
  • BOOT & award comparisons
  • Industry pay rates & conditions
  • IR Regulatory compliance & support
  • Investigations services
  • Grievance & fair treatment process
  • FWC advocacy services
  • Counselling, discipline & termination advice
  • Consultation & negotiation with Unions
  • Employer Representation
  • Employee relations communications strategy
  • Project investment advice
  • Strategic project advice
  • Climate surveys and employee engagement
  • Employee Relations workshops for HR practitioners and project managers
  • Managing Change via agreement provisions.


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