Head of Employee Relations, Europe, Open to flexible working

London (Greater)
24 May 2019
24 Jun 2019
Contract Type

Who are we?

Diageo’s ambition is to create the best performing, most trusted and respected consumer products company in the world.  We are recruiting for a Head of Employee Relations and Policy for our Europe business; the purpose of the role is to ensure that we have the right conditions in place to enable us to brilliantly execute the strategy by creating a high performing organisation where people can perform at their best.  It will ensure that we have a culture and values that foster a positive employee relations environment and ensures fair and respectful treatment of our employees. 

The Head of Employee Relations and Policy role will be responsible for all Employee Relations activity across the Europe Market, driving initiatives and change programmes with its HRD counterparts in the different geographies, which includes topics such as organisation effectiveness, culture, reward, benefits, policies, legislative changes, Health & Safety and Wellbeing.

It will a member of the Europe HR Leadership team and lead a team of Employee Relations specialists who manage the resolution of all Employee Relations cases, collective consultation and engagement on key initiatives across multiple business areas and geographies and will represent Diageo at external forums.


The purpose of the Head of Employee Relations and Policy is to ensure a rewarding workplace culture that attracts first-class talent, promotes a high performance culture and provides leadership and direction to delivery transformation at scale.  It’ll work alongside Leadership of the Europe Market, driving sustainable short and long-term change to support the commercial success and growth agenda in the market through delivery of change and transformation programmes.

The role…

Develop and leadership of the European Employee Relations Strategy in service of building a strong performance and compliance culture.

  • Develop Employee Relations strategy and policy that drive a positive employee relations culture.
  • Monitor trends in employment practices and advise on appropriate action.
  • Lead the development and review of all employment policies and employment contracts, ensuring they are legally compliant, are relevant in today’s context, whilst driving the culture and values of our business.
  • Develop employee relations and collective consultation strategies on critical employee relations issues and lead resolution with minimum business impact (continuity, cost, reputation).
  • Support the enablement of a High-Performance culture: Owns the adherence to performance management standards and tools and drives initiatives to deliver sustained performance.
  • Supports an agile environment where change is the norm, ensuring enhanced employee engagement as measured through Values Survey, Pulse Survey and other KPIs

Overall governance of compliance and reputation agenda associated with employee relations:

  • Oversee the ER case management system monthly and review and create insights from data on a quarterly basis to assess where action can be taken to simplify a process, train and managers and ensure consistency across the market.
  • Minimise the exposure of employment related litigation, by working with HRDs and legal team on complex employment matters.
  • Build ER capability across the organisations (HR Function and Line) alongside knowledge sharing via the structured cascade of employment law changes, case law etc.
  • Ensure governance of our compliance and business reputation by being a Custodian of Diageo’s reputation externally, ensuring local legal and business requirements are met reflected in CARM compliance and satisfactory GAR audits.
  • Manage the agenda and ongoing engagement with the Diageo European Forum (DEF).
  • Relationship management with various external advisory bodies and other key stakeholders such employment Law specialists, Employee Forums, internal & external employee representatives.
  • Manage legal and ER budget to ensure financial risks and cost are effectively managed.

Lead key initiatives against our Resource Plan and End to End HR transformation:

  • Jointly own the Europe Resource plan and fully deploy all relevant components within the country/functions of the role and orchestrate resources across the market to deliver this.
  • Govern major in-market change programs including Productivity/OE to deliver strategy, Managing/ leads employee Relations framework.
  • Partner effectively with Reward, Shared Services and the End to End HR transformation team to identify opportunities to improve agility and speed in the organisation by simplifying, standardising, create efficiencies and facilitate the improved effectiveness of the business ensuring a One Europe focus. This will include review of policies and processes to create much more synergies across our geographies creating a much more consistent and engaging experience for our people.

Dimensions of the role


  • The Head of Employee Relations and Policy will manage the ER budget for Europe and should ensure ongoing, sustainable and efficient spend, seeking productivity opportunities wherever possible.  The role holder will lead the resolution of internal and external individual and collective claims which may adversely impact the profitability and reputation of Diageo.

Market Complexity

  • Europe is made up over 24 countries which are grouped in different clusters (e.g. Northern Europe) and functions (Finance, Marketing, etc.).   Alongside the commercial organisation different locations would also have global functions employees based in their geography which this team would support from time to time.
  • Diageo operates a Centre of Excellence model for functions like Talent Engagement, Reward and an HR Shared Service Centre for HR operations, which includes payroll, pensions, share programmes, employee services and operates with a self-serve model using the HR system Workday. 

Leadership Responsibilities

  • Assist HR BPs and Line managers in dealing with employee issues, policy development and interpretation, investigations and compliance, leveraging support for our centres of excellence and shared services.  The role will also provide guidance to HRDs in countries where we have Employee Forums, Trade Unions and works councils, including leading the planning and ongoing management of the Diageo Europe Forum.
  • Lead, coach and develop the Employee Relations team to ensure that we have the best talent in place to deliver on our ambition and deliver outstanding performance.

Who are you?

  • Proven track record of strategic leadership of the ER agenda, demonstrated ability to delivery large scale change and transformation programmes.
  • Experience of developing and implementing Employee Relations strategy to drive business performance.
  • Experience as Senior HR or Employee Relations leadership role; experience in leading people directly and indirectly.  
  • Experience of conducting complex investigations and managing significant employee relations challenges in a multi-national organisation.
  • Experience in dealing with Trade unions and works councils.
  • Solid understanding of EU employment and employment legislation.
  • Analytical with experience of analysing trends, developing insight to drive strategic decision making.
  • An outstanding business partner agile, connected and accountable for delivery.
  • Highly commercial able to engage in business development discussions with significant credibility.
  • Proven ability to build strong partnerships and work collaboratively with Leaders at all levels.
  • High levels of trust, humility and integrity to act as the conscious of the business.

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