Employee Relations Adviser - The BESA

Employee Relations Adviser

Date:  Nov 2017

Office Location:  St Katharine's & Wapping, London

 Responsible To:  Director of Legal & Commercial


The Association

The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) is the UK's leading trade organisation for building engineering services contractors – representing the interests of firms active in the design, installation, commissioning, maintenance, control and management of engineering systems and services in buildings.

The BESA has a proud heritage, having been established in 1904 as the National Association of Master Heating and Domestic Engineers. BESA’s headquarters are in London, but we are active throughout the UK. We have a separate presence in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as eight regional offices across England. This regional presence facilitates member networking and sharing of best practice, business opportunities and advice on local and national developments.

The Building Engineering Services Association group of companies offer a vast range of services, all developed with the needs of businesses operating in the building engineering services sector in mind:

BESA Employment Department

The Employment Department is one of BESA’s key service departments and is a highly valued and visible benefit of membership.

 As well as providing advice and guidance to BESA members on a wide range of employment and people related matters, the Employment department also negotiates and supports national agreements with trade unions and staff associations. These Agreements set the pay rates and conditions of employment which BESA members are able to incorporate into the contracts of employment with individual employees or use as a benchmark.  

The principal activities of the department are to:

  • prepare and deliver in innovative ways, general guidance to members on a wide range of industrial relations and human resource issues
  • represent members’ interests to improve the commercial environment and ensure equitable management of labour in the market in which members operate
  • actively seek member support services of an industrial and human resource nature
  • advise on and enable management of human resource matters to assist other internal service departments or group subsidiaries
  • advise members on a wide range of IR, HR and legal matters including:
    • employment law, including TUPE
    • personnel management best practice
    • industrial relations
    • wages and salaries
    • employment law tribunals
    • engagement, employee discipline and redundancy
  • manage and negotiate national agreements


Key Duties

One of a wider team of 7, the role will be to:

  • undertake, research and provide advice and guidance to members on a range of matters concerning, for example, interpretation of the National Agreement(s), employment law, personnel management matters – including assisting members deal with employment tribunal claims from their (ex-) employees
  • represent the needs and interests of BESA members
  • provide other departments and parts of the group with advice, guidance and assistance
  • attend and make presentations at national and regional meetings including lecturing and/or coaching members on relevant and topical or making presentations on commercial, employment and industrial relations issues
  • prepare agendas, minutes and supporting documents for BESA committees
  • undertaking a range of duties – either individually or as a member of a team – linked to projects in the employment field for which the Department is responsible or with which the Department is involved
  • manage multiple tasks and projects with competing priorities
  • respond to external consultations on matters that affect members


Qualification, Knowledge & Experience


  • Proficient knowledge of current employment law practices, and experience in employment law research skills
  • Good analytical and written and oral communication and presentation skills
  • Ability to travel within the British Isles
  • Understanding of employment contracts
  • Proficient IT skills – familiarity with the use of Microsoft Office is essential


  • Experience of advising on human resource issues
  • Sound knowledge of the UK construction industry
  • Familiarity with the legislative framework that affects employment contracts and national agreements
  • Professional member of CIPD or equivalent


Preferred experience:

  • A minimum of 6 months’ experience in HR, construction/FM or other demonstrable and relevant expertise


General Skills & Abilities

  • Client-focussed and responsive
  • Ability to build professional and effective relationships with BESA members and stakeholders
  • Personable and able to work well within a small dynamic professional team and across a wider corporate group
  • Self-motivated, able to multi-task and manage competing priorities
  • Willing and flexible attitude and readiness to take on new challenges
  • Commercially aware
  • Enthusiastic, ready to make decisions, take the initiative, and originate action
  • A desire to exceed internal & external stakeholder needs

No job description can cover every issue which may arise within the post at various times.  The post-holder is therefore expected to carry out other duties as required by their line manager from time to time which are broadly consistent with those in this document.

To apply for the position please email a covering letter and CV with current salary/salary expectation to recruitment@thebesa.com.

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