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Employee Relations Belgium

Employee Relations (Social Affairs) Manager (fulltime, 35 hours a week)

As the Employee Relations Manager, you’ll help ensure our people are proud to work for us by championing and developing our culture and DNA.

We are an international retailer that offers the latest fashion, beauty and homeware at the best value around. We operate in over 370 stores in twelve countries across Europe and America. In Belgium, we have 8 stores with over 1500 colleagues. We have something amazingly unique to offer you as an Employee Relations Manager in Belgium.

As an Employee Relations Manager on our retail People & Culture team (P&C is what we call Human Resources), your role is all about our employees. Although your focus will be employee relations, you will be highly involved in other areas of P&C within the country. The Employee Relations Manager is reporting to the P&C Business Partner Benelux. The Employee Relations Manager will be the point of contact for senior management, such as the Area Manager, as well as Store Managers and P&C Managers when it comes to Employee Relations and People & Culture matters. An important aspect of your role is managing all works council and union related topics. You will also be the point of contact for various external relations.

As the Employee Relations Manager in Belgium you will:
  • Give advice to senior management, Store Managers and (In-store) P&C Managers on several ER/P&C topics, such as dismissals, disciplinary procedures and performance management;
  • Identify legislative changes and check whether this has internal procedural implications. In that case you prepare a proposal for the management to implement this. You then communicate this to all internal and external stakeholders;
  • Be responsible for co-organizing and monitoring the works council and the committee for prevention and protection at work, including preparation for monthly and special meetings and organising social elections.
  • Be the point of contact for the union secretaries and you keep in touch with the union representatives.
  • Connect with external legal counsel on more complex topics if needed;
  • Play an important and pro-active role in successfully implementing, amending and communicating global and local P&C policies;
  • Making amendments to the colleague handbook when necessary;
  • Ensure that the information flow to the works council is being managed in a compliant manner and all steps are taken to implement business decisions;
  • Responsible for maintaining strong, productive working relationships with local unions, works councils and labour related government bodies and represent the company in external contacts in the field of HR and social law, including on the Comeos social committee and in sector negotiations.
  • Be the contact person for various external relations, such as payroll and health services, including periodical evaluations with these parties;
  • Prepare and maintain an Employee Relations Toolkit for In-Store P&C Managers and Store Managers to access.
  • Keep a clear overview of all current topics, projects and deadlines related to the works council and prioritize topics in cooperation with the Director of Sales, Area Manager and the P&C Business Partner Benelux;
  • Work on various ER and P&C projects, advising and coordinating these;
  • Organise when relevant internal workshops on ER/Legal topics for our local management and P&C teams;
  • Educate the P&C teams and our people managers on ER practices to prevent ER cases and improve the colleague experience;
  • Coach and support senior managers in all aspects when dealing with high profile cases on all employee relations issues;
  • Liaise with external legal providers and key stakeholders in any employment tribunal claims in order to build a case strategy and achieve the most beneficial outcome for the business;
  • Create, manage and review the legal budget for employment advice, including monitoring invoices;
  • Work with key stakeholders to gain a better understanding of the main issues experienced by them both from a business perspective and from an employee relations perspective; with a view to process improvement;
  • Drive ER strategy forward in line with the People & Culture plan and agenda.

We are looking for an experienced Social Affairs/Employee Relations Manager with:
  • A minimum of 5 years’ experience in the field of Social Affairs/Employee Relations;
  • A broad experience with works councils, unions and social committees, including negotiations and social elections.
  • In-depth knowledge of individual and collective labour law;
  • A master’s/university degree in employment law;
  • High attention to detail and an ability to work autonomously;
  • Practical experience in managing and overseeing complex ER cases;
  • Excellent communication skills, verbally and written in Dutch, French and English;
  • Strong advisory, negotiation, influencing, conflict management and networking skills;
  • Experience of policy development from inception to implementation;
  • A pro-active, hands-on, structured and diplomatic approach.

You would also need to be flexible and willing to travel across our 8 stores in Belgium if needed. It would also be required to travel across border for meetings, most of the time to the Netherlands and occasionally to other countries.

Why work with us?
At Primark, we know how hard everyone works to achieve our business goals. Having a competitive salary and annual bonus scheme is our way of acknowledging this. You will be working in a young and ambitious team and have many contacts throughout the business. You will be offered 25 days holiday on annual (fulltime) basis.

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