Managing and negotiating in the Modern Manufacturing Workplace

Drawing upon on our unique insight, research, recent on-the- ground intelligence and our expertise in helping manufacturers manage employee and industrial relations, this event will help you to plan for and effectively manage and negotiate change, whether a unionised site or not.

Who Should Attend?

This event is designed for:

  • Manufacturing and Operations Directors
  • HR Directors and Managers 

from businesses that work with and recognize trade unions as well as those that don't but wish to foster better employee engagement to help manage change more effectively.

Why Attend?

Against today’s fragile economic environment, manufacturers are implementing a range of flexible and innovative working practices to remain competitive.

Whether it’s negotiating on pay or changing terms and conditions, implementing lean manufacturing, optimising working time or working smarter with your headcount, the degree of your success will depend upon your ability to get the engagement and support of your people and trade unions.

Add to this, an increasingly volatile social environment where trade union activism is on the rise, and the challenges may seem even greater. After all, managing and negotiating in the modern manufacturing workplace isn’t easy.

At EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, industrial and employee relations in a manufacturing environment are what we know best.

Drawing upon on our unique insight, research, recent on-the- ground intelligence and our expertise in helping manufacturers manage employee and industrial relations, this event will help you to plan for and effectively manage and negotiate change, whether a unionised site or not.

If you are planning for pay negotiations or future strategic or operational change, join us at this must-attend event to:

  • Gain insight from our latest research into how manufacturers are implementing flexibility in the workplace
  • Access the latest on-the-ground intelligence regarding the current employee and industrial relations climate and its likely affects on your strategy
  • Understand the landscape for collective conciliation and the role of ACAS
  • Find out how you can successfully manage and negotiate change and how to gain the buy-in and support from your people and the trade unions.

Programme

09:00-9:30 Registration

Tea, coffee & networking

09:30 Welcome, introductions and objectives of the day

Jeff Nield, National Head of Employee and Industrial Relations, EEF

09:40-10:10 Flexibility in the Modern Manufacturing Workplace 

Tim Thomas, Head of Employment Policy, EEF

Drawing upon EEF’s research, this session explores how manufacturers are achieving flexibility and highlights how they achieve this in partnership with their workforce. We also explore the regulation that hampers UK manufacturers and how we are campaigning to government to ensure that the UK’s labour market remains relatively flexible and competitive in relation to some of our major competitors in the world. 

10:10-10:45 Scanning the horizon– the employee and industrial relations environment

Jeff Nield, National Head of Employee and Industrial Relations, EEF

During hard times, many manufacturers took tough decisions, often in partnership with employees, to protect their businesses and prepare for the return to growth. Pay cuts, pay freezes, short-time working arrangements together with changes to terms & conditions and working practices figured in many manufacturers’ strategies to enable them to stay afloat

So, what’s the current employment relations climate like in manufacturing and what’s on the horizon? 

This session explores these issues and will help you to plan and prepare for future change and avoid disputes. 

10:45-11:00 Tea & coffee

11:00-12:15 The alchemy of dispute resolution - and the role of collective conciliation 

to be confirmed, ACAS

As trends in unofficial action emerge, and employees in non-unionised workplaces are now representing colleagues in what can be complex and stressful consultation processes, managers are finding it more difficult to predict the course of a dispute. This may lead to tactical errors which cause parties to end up in positions they may not have foreseen and situations they may not have handled before.

  • What’s the landscape like for collective conciliation?
  • What happens when internal procedures have been exhausted and discussions have reached a deadlock? 

In this session, ACAS explores the current environment for collective conciliation, what it is, who uses it, how it works and why. They will also cover alternative dispute resolution. 

12:15-13:00 Lunch 

Workshops (run in parallel with delegates rotating between sessions)

13:00-14:00 Workshop 1: Fail to prepare, prepare to fail - collective bargaining and negotiation strategies and techniques

  • Preparation and key strategies to consider
  • What the law says
  • Getting the process right – what to include, what to avoid
  • Avoiding dispute/industrial action
  • Negotiating essentials and techniques
  • Managing industrial action and resolving disputes
  • Essential management skills & training 

Workshop 2: Managing flexibility and change

Whether you’re introducing new working practices such as changing hours worked, varying shifts, annualized hours, using temporary or agency workers or outsourcing production and supply chain practices to achieve greater flexibility, you’ll need to manage the change effectively and understand the legal issues surrounding this.

So whether a unionized environment or not, we’ll show you in this session how you can introduce new working practices that your employees will buy into and your unions will support.

14:00-14:15 Coffee

14:15-15:15 Repeat of workshop sessions (see above)

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