What does an Employee Relations Manager do?

Susan Grindstaff

The duties of an employee relations manager often vary, depending on the needs of the company. These managers usually have the responsibility of handling issues that may develop between the general work force and management. In addition, they often work in human resources, and may handle employment interviews, work evaluations and in some cases be responsible for employee termination.

Employee relations managers typically handle employee concerns and suggestions.
Employee relations managers typically handle employee concerns and suggestions.

In some instances, a relations manager may have the responsibility of working with various union representatives. This could include bargaining, contract negotiations, and determining the validity of union grievances. Labor unions are organizations formed by workers within a specific work group to help protect workers from unfair labor practices and to help ensure they are receiving the highest possible wages and benefits.

In some companies, employee relations managers handle healthcare benefits.
In some companies, employee relations managers handle healthcare benefits.

Most countries and regions have laws designed to protect workers and to ensure that practices of hiring and firing are not prejudicial. In many cases, an employee relations manager oversees employment and termination to make sure these laws are upheld. In addition, they will often help laid off or terminated employees gain access to unemployment benefits or new jobs. This is especially important when the terminated employees start looking for new employment. Most of the time, it will be the relations manager who will be responsible for verifying their references.

In some companies, people who work in employee relations also have the responsibility of handling health care benefits. This is especially true with smaller businesses that are not large enough to warrant their own health insurance divisions. In these companies, an employee relations manager would likely help with employee insurance claims, and may sometimes act as an arbitrator involving problems that may arise involving health care coverage.

Salary expectations for an employee relations manager vary a great deal depending on experience, education, and the company. In the United States, the average salary for this position is around $88,000 US Dollars (USD). The highest percentile averages are around $116,000 USD, and the lowest salary averages are around $65,000 USD. Most companies consider an employee relations manager as a member of their human resource team.

People interested in a career as an employee relations manager should probably seek a degree in business or administrative services. Course work in psychology or social services may also be beneficial in obtaining work within this field. In addition, having a working knowledge of labor laws and their application may also be helpful.

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