30+ days ago


Senior Employee Relations Manager (12 month FTC)-(20000073)


Freshfields overview

We are a leading international law firm with 27 offices in 16 countries across Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the US. We provide the highest quality legal advice – locally and internationally – in the practice areas of key importance to our clients. We are now the best European firm across most of our practice areas. We have eight global practice groups, supported by professional business services functions. There are around 55 HR professionals in the London office, with additional HR professionals working in our Manchester office, within seven teams: Compensation and Benefits, HR Consulting, Learning and Development, Employee Relations and Performance, Graduate Recruitment, Trainee Recruitment, and Internal Communications and Diversity.

We think and work globally - we don’t just say we are one firm; we act like one firm right across the world. We work wherever our clients need us. This is how we define ourselves, not by reference to where we have offices. Cross-border work isn’t just what we do, it is what we excel at. We understand what it really takes to work across different legal systems and commercial environments and to bridge language and cultural gaps.

Location overview

Our London office is at the heart of our global network, in one of the most exciting world cities.

Function overview

HR creates value for the firm by attracting and developing the best talent, building a culture of high achievement and delivering excellent HR processes. Operating within a respected HR team, your role will be to provide advice and guidance on HR programmes, policies and practices, resolve queries and deliver first-class customer service to colleagues across our international office network.


Role Summary

You will report into the Head of ER (UK) and also work closely with the other members of the firm’s Employee Relations team to provide excellent ER guidance and support to the business. This role will involve providing senior level ER advice and support to HR colleagues and the business on all employee relations matters, with the purpose of facilitating an organisational culture of high performance, high integrity and employee engagement.



Key Responsibilities and Deliverables

Working with the Head of ER (UK) and other members of the ER team, the role will support HR colleagues, partners and business managers by:




  • Advising on all employee relations matters, such as performance management, grievance and disciplinary issues, and long term sickness absence, with a particular focus on the fee-earning population.
  • Managing complex and contentious grievance and disciplinary investigations, including decision-making.
  • Managing complex and contentious performance issues including firm managed exits.
  • Keeping fully up to date with all developments in terms of employment legislation and employee relations issues, and updating colleagues and maintaining company policy and procedure accordingly.
  • Supporting other team members and ER support as appropriate on ER-related initiatives and training.
  • Drafting policy and other employment-related documentation as required.
  • Developing and sustaining strong business relationships to promote good employee relations across the firm and be a trusted advisor.


Key Requirements

  • Wide ranging HR and ER experience.

  • Experience of leading challenging HR/ER projects.

  • Experience of senior stakeholder management, ideally including some experience within a partnership.

  • Strong up to date working knowledge of employment law.

  • Excellent knowledge of ER procedures and processes.

  • Ideally experience within a professional services organisation or a company known for HR excellence.

  • Ideally experience of working in different cultures.

  • Experience of working on own initiative within a demanding environment with the highest professional standards.


  • High level of integrity and conscientiousness. Known for being straightforward, honest and discreet.

  • Excellent judgement with a logical, meticulous and pragmatic approach to decision-making.

  • Ability to think strategically about ER issues.

  • Highly adaptable – calmly, intelligently and readily responsive to unforeseen circumstances. Able to prioritise multiple requests and then take charge to meet those deadlines.

  • Highly effective interpersonal and influencing skills, with the ability to gain others’ confidence quickly.

  • Ability to quickly build strong and trusting relationships at all business levels and to work effectively in a small, collegiate, committed and high performing team.

  • Highly effective communication skills (both orally and in writing), with excellent attention to detail.

  • Strong strategic planning and implementation skills.

  • On projects, ability to gain commitment, drive things forward, be highly organized and ensure that deadlines are met.

  • Resilient and able to maintain humour and sense of proportion.

  • Able to give, receive and act on feedback.


Freshfields is an equal opportunities employer and all applications received by the firm will be considered by the firm on the basis of their merit alone and we welcome applications from all suitably qualified individuals regardless of background. All offers of employment will be conditional on the candidate having/securing the right to work in the UK and providing the firm with evidence of that right (as required by the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006) prior to employment commencing. Please note that, in line with the requirements of the UK Border Agency, non-EEA candidates may not be appointed to a post if a suitably qualified, experienced and skilled EEA candidate can fill the position.

Freshfields is a Ban the Box employer. We ask applicants to disclose criminal convictions only when a conditional job offer is made. A conviction does not automatically lead to withdrawal of the offer: we make decisions on a case by case basis and take a number of factors into account (eg the role you are applying for and the circumstances of the offence). You would have the opportunity to discuss the matter with us before we make a decision.


:Human Resources




:Day Job

Employee Status


Job Type


Job Posting

:Sep 8, 2020, 8:49:53 AM