I want to talk today about employee reps and what a tough job they've got.
Those employee reps will either be Trade Union reps or they will be elected employee reps purely for the purpose of this redundancy consultation.
In many ways it's a bit easier for Trade Union reps purely because they've normally had excellent training through the Trade Union and they’re well-practiced and well-versed in representing employees. But it's still an incredibly tough situation even for Trade Union reps.
In terms of employee reps that have been elected purely for this redundancy exercise, I've talked before about ensuring you train those reps and getting to know the reps, so hopefully you've built a good foundation for those reps to be in as good a position as possible. But still this is an incredibly difficult role for those reps.
First of all, they might be affected themselves. So they're both employees that could be affected, and they're representing a group of employees.
Secondly, if anybody's ever tried to represent a group of employees, it's incredibly difficult because everyone has different opinions - everybody's got their views and everybody wants to chip in. Often, it's people that are really very vocal but didn't put their hands up to be an employee rep,
but they give the employee rep some real stick sometimes and make their job very difficult.
In consultation processes, it's up to us as managers to really support those reps in that really difficult role. Whilst obviously we can’t tell them what to say, or do their job for them, we can sure as hell support them! It’s a very difficult job. I personally would really struggle to be an employee rep because of the multitude of different opinions that people have, so massive credit in my view to people that volunteer and put themselves forward to be a rep. Equally, because they're so valuable in the process, we should really support them and constantly recognise what a difficult role they've got.
I hope that helps and if you require any more information on this or workplace mediation then give us a call!