Careers

Associate Director, Employment Relations - RCN01450

Employment Relations and Nursing | Negotiable Location | £77,238

Contract type: Fixed Term Contract

At the Royal College of Nursing we’re an optimistic organisation. And we’ve got good reason to be. We all share the same voice when it comes to changing the shape of the health policies of the future. And as the largest trade union of nursing staff and students in the UK – with over 450,000 members – all we can see are the infinite possibilities for a brighter future. Join us and you will too.

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Associate Director, Employment Relations

Negotiable with some travel to London required

35 hours, 6-month Fixed Term Contract/Secondment opportunity

Please note, should we receive a high volume of applications for this role, your application may not be shortlisted if you do not submit a Supporting Statement. A Supporting Statement is an important part of our application process, so we would encourage you to submit one as part of your application.


As our Associate Director you’ll set the strategic direction of the Employment Relations function of the RCN in collaboration with elected members of the Trade Union Committee and other key stakeholders. Your strategic direction will provide a framework for all trade union activity and negotiations across the UK.

As well as leading the Employment Relations team, you’ll be a key resource for our country directors and their designated staff to refer to on key strategic issues of principle and direction of travel. You’ll also will provide expert trade union advice about member pay, pensions and terms and conditions to the Executive Team, Council and relevant sub committees, to ensure that there is a clear and consistent approach to all trade union activities across the RCN.

Monitoring the political climate for salient and emerging pay and terms and conditions issues with be key part of this role, as well as working effectively with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders to achieve consistency, clarity, appropriateness and timeliness of key organisational positions and messages.

What we offer you

We expect you to look after our members. And we expect you to be rewarded for it. As well as a whole range of learning and development opportunities we can also offer you an impressive range of benefits. We have a highly competitive pay structure, as well as flexible working, and annual leave of up to 32 days.

Balancing work and life commitments is important to us as an organisation. We are a diverse organisation and understand everyone has different needs. All employees can ask for flexible working and when personal circumstances change we will work with you to find a smarter working solution that suits everyone. In fact, many of our employees enjoy home working, flexible working or compressed hours, enabling them to deliver results with minimum impact to their professional and personal commitments. We also offer generous Maternity, Paternity and Adoption leave packages.

A strong leader and motivator, the ability to foster strong professional relationships and encourage close collaboration between departments is at the heart of this leadership role.

You will need senior management and leadership experience including strategic planning and management of change – preferably in a Trade Union environment with experience in or knowledge of employment relations partnership forums at local or national level.

You’ll need in-depth knowledge of the role of trade unions within a public sector landscape as well as an understanding of relevant legislative and decision-making frameworks and current changes within Nursing and health care.

To succeed at the Royal College of Nursing all you need to do is think bigger, better and brighter. And with an attitude like that, anything’s possible.

Please note, that due to Covid-19, while we are trying our best to accommodate our Assessment Centres and Interviews on the dates outlined in our adverts, we may need to be flexible about how and when we run our Recruitment processes for the time being.

We are currently running Assessments and Interviews remotely should we need to, in accordance with Government advice, so if you envisage any issues with accessing a computer, webcam or a sufficient internet connection for a video call, then please do highlight this in your Supporting Statement. We will of course do all we can to ensure you have the best experience in applying to work with us during this challenging period.

Please note, should we receive a suitable number of applications for this post after a week of posting this advert, this vacancy may close early, before the closure date stated below.

For more information or for an informal discussion about the role please contact Jude Diggins, Interim Director of Nursing on 020 7647 3895.

For more information on the Recruitment & Selection process, please contact recruit@rcn.org.uk

Opening Date: 26 April 2021
Closing Date: 06 May 2021
Assessment Centre & Interview Date: 17 May 2021

Interview date: 17/05/2021

Contracted hours: 35

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