Industrial Relations Business Partner

Network Rail

We offer an optional compressed 4 day work week (35hrs)

  • 4 x 9hr days
  • Ā£56k - 62k per year
  • Hybird Remote, Milton Keynes

Only considering candidates who are eligible to work in Milton Keynes, UK āš ļø

Senior Industrial Relations Business Partner


Milton Keynes, GB

Department Name

Human Resources

About Network Rail

About Network Railā€¦

šŸŒŸ Join Our Team at Network Rail! šŸŒŸ

Are you ready to make a difference in people's lives? At Network Rail, we connect passengers and freight customers, ensuring safe and efficient transportation across the country.

We're dedicated to building a diverse and inclusive organisation that reflects the passengers we serve. To achieve this, we're committed to becoming an open, diverse, and inclusive workplace, leveraging the skills and expertise of our talented workforce. Together, we strive to create a safe and accessible railway for everyone.

Investing in our people is key to enhancing the safety, reliability, and efficiency of our railway system. If you're passionate about making a meaningful impact, then this opportunity is for you!

Brief Description

About the team..

Join Our Team as a Senior Industrial Relations Business Partner!

Are you passionate about fostering positive relationships and driving effective collaboration between employers and employees? Are you experienced in navigating the intricacies of industrial relations and employment policies? If so, we have an exciting opportunity for you!

Who are we looking for?

We are looking for aĀ Senior Industrial Relations Business Partner to fill aĀ PermanentĀ opportunity to manage the development of a constructive relationship between Network Rail, its Trade Unions and employees and act as a centre of expertise to the business on appropriate bargaining and consultation approaches and on the application of employment policy and legislation, to enable Network Railā€™s objectives to be achieved.

About the role (External)

What does the average day look like?

In this multifaceted role, you will be the driving force behind our industrial relations initiatives. Your responsibilities will include:

Ā·Ā Ā Leading the industrial relations aspects of the business efficiency agenda enabling the agenda to be achieved whilst minimising risk

Ā·Acting as change agent in supporting delivery of business objectives through developing a clear understanding of business strategy and close relationships with business-facing HR, senior business leaders and other specialist functions

Ā·Developing positive relationships with business leaders and trade union representatives to provide a platform for the achievement of business aims.

Ā·Developing and implementing appropriate bargaining and consultation strategies and tactics to achieve business objectives

Ā·Managing the bargaining and consultation agenda at national level and lead on the employee relations aspects of the agenda

Ā·Modernising existing agreements so that they are fit for purpose and enable business aims to be met

Ā·Providing industrial relations leadership when disputes arise to ensure that the companyā€™s interests are protected and appropriate resolution and/or risk mitigation approaches are adopted

Ā·Contributing to the development of the overall employee relations (ER) and industrial relations (IR) strategy of the company.

Ā·Contributing to the development and implementation of ER and IR policies within the functions.

Ā·Advising on ER and IR implications of business initiatives and act as a centre of knowledge and interpretation on policies, procedures and legislation.

Ā·Providing specialist input and leadership in collaboration with business representatives and other specialists (e.g. legal; R&) to enable resolution of collective legal claims and actions

Person Specification / Essential Criteria

Ā·Significant ER and IR experience of a large multisite complex unionised organisation

Ā·CIPD qualified or equivalent or relevant experience to demonstrate level of competence

Ā·In depth knowledge of HR policies and procedures and employment legislation

Ā·Demonstrates strong business/commercial approach and understanding of business needs.

Ā·Ability to establish professional credibility quickly

Ā·Ability to manage trade union negotiations on collective bargaining issues

Ā·Broad experience of advising on theER/IR implications of large scale complex organisational changes (eg TUPE, Organisation re-design, redundancy programmes etc)

Ā·Change agent experience

Ā·Passionate about customer service with the ability to deliver successfully against customer requirements

Ā·Excellent communication skills and ability to negotiate and influence effectively at all levels in the organisation

Ā·Proven track record of operating in a large complex unionised environment

How to apply (External)

Duration: 2x Permanent

Location: This role is based in The Quadrant:MK, for Milton Keynes roles you must live within 75 / 60 minutes or willing to self-relocate.

Flexibility of location will be discussed at interview.

Band & Salary: 3C Ā£55,596 - Ā£62,546

Closing date: 29th April 24. On occasions, we may need to close the advert early based upon application volumes. Late applications may not be accepted.

Next Steps: Interviews will be held W/C 6th May 24

About our people and the recruitment processā€¦

We're an inclusive employer of choice and weĀ welcome applications from everyone!

We encourage our colleagues to work flexibly, as we know traditional working patterns don't always fit. If you want to consider working flexibly, let us know and we'll do our best to help and invest in your career with us,Ā whilst you have a healthy work life balance.

We're alsoĀ aĀ Disability Confident LeaderĀ employerĀ and we'll try our best to adapt the process and offer a reasonable alternative to help support people with disabilities access, apply and interview for roles. We will interview all disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria.

Safe behaviour is a requirement of working for Network Rail. Applicants should be able to demonstrate their awareness of our Safety Vision

Visit Evenbreakā€™s Career Hive should you need accessibility support to apply or should you require any reasonable adjustments/modifications, please contact [email protected] and have your IRC number ready as this will be required.

A message from our Chief Executive, Andrew Haines:

ā€˜Our passengers and freight customers are at the heart of everything we do. We help connect people to their friends and families and get goods to their destination safely and efficiently. We're an organisation where people matter.Ā Ā Watch our video to find out more!

We're continuing to build a diverse organisation which is representative of the people we serve. We want to harness the skills and expertise of our people and attract the best talent, to enable a safe and accessible railway for everyone. To learn why inclusion is important to us, please clickĀ here.

What can we offer you in return?

We have a range of benefits including:

šŸŒž Generous annual leave (28 days plus statutory days), with the option to buy/sell days.

Defined benefit pension scheme

šŸš‚ 75% subsidy on train tickets.

šŸŽŸļø Interest-free travel loan for train and car park season tickets.

šŸŽ Discounts at stations with your Network Rail pass.

šŸŒ Flexible/hybrid working arrangements.

šŸ•Šļø Volunteer leave to make a positive impact.

Plus moreā€¦.


As an armā€™s length department of the UK Government, Network Rail is required to comply with a well-established pre-employment vetting process for all prospective employees. Baseline Personnel Security Standard (BPSS) checks require prospective employees of Network Rail to meet the following requirements.

ā€¢ Provide eligibility to work in the UK and identity documentation

ā€¢ Complete a satisfactory 3-year employment history check

ā€¢ Complete a satisfactory unspent criminal conviction disclosure check for more information regarding BPSS pre-employment related checks, please visit the UK Government website for further information - UK Government - BPSS Checks

Network Rail welcomes applications regardless of age, disability, marital status (including civil partnerships), pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, transgender status, sex (or gender), employment status, trade union affiliation, or another factor.

Drugs and Alcohol Standard:

Our Drugs and Alcohol Standard is changing as of 16.01.2023. All prospective candidates who have not been offered a conditional role by 16.01.2023 will be required to undergo and pass a drugs and alcohol test. Your application will be rescinded if you record a positive test. All positive drugs and alcohol test results for prospective candidates will be securely held onĀ SentinelĀ database and a 5 year suspension from applying for a safety critical role, a role which requires PTS certification or a Key Safety role on Network Rail Managed Infrastructure will be enforced.


We own, repair and develop the railway infrastructure in England, Scotland and Wales.

Working Week

We offer an optional compressed 4 day work week (35hrs)

  • Mon
  • Tue
  • Wed
  • Thu
  • šŸ–ļø

Our Vacation Policy

We offer 28 days annual leave, plus public holidays

  • 37 days
  • 52 Fridays
  • 89 days off per year

Remote Working Policy

Some staff work fully on-site with other teams working hybrid remotely.

  • United Kingdom

Company Benefits

  • Health insurance
  • 401(k) company contribution
  • Flexible working hours
  • Generous parental leave
  • Childcare support
  • Equipment allowance
  • Professional Development Budget
  • Mental Health Support

Our Team

We're a team of 43k across 19 departments:

  • engineering
  • business development
  • information technology
  • operations
  • finance
  • support
  • education
  • human resources
  • +11 more teams

Desirable Skills and Experience

  • Employee Relations
  • Industrial Relations
  • Human Resources
  • CIPD Qualified
  • Negotiation Skills
  • Leadership Skills
  • Change Management
  • Communication Skills
  • TUPE Understanding
  • Influence Effectively
  • Customer Service

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