Senior Workplace Relations Advisor

Job Type:Full Time

About the opportunity

The Senior Workplace Relations Advisor (SWRA) provides accurate, timely and high-quality workplace relations advice, guidance, coaching and support to managers to resolve issues relating to staff performance and misconduct, enterprise agreement and policy interpretation, early intervention, disputes with unions (but not Fair Work Commission appearances as we have a specialist separate legal unit) organisational change and complaints handling and investigations. In this role, you will be responsible for matters that are more complex and sensitive in nature, requiring significant independent judgement, planning and careful execution to achieve resolutions having regard to acceptable and variable risk profiles peculiar to each matter. This role will see you aligned to a client group and will work collaboratively with a team of HR practitioners to ensure consistent and seamless HR service delivery to customers.

You will be responsible for developing, building and managing key relationships with internal and external stakeholders across the workplace relations function, including with the most senior University staff, and will provide guidance and support to resolve often complex operational and strategic workplace relations matters. You will establish yourself as a knowledgeable and trusted specialist and must successfully influence senior staff, through engaging, effective and meaningful communication to comply with due process and effective and efficient practices. The role will connect ideas and bring original concepts to the forefront to provide options and solutions for stakeholders.

In this role, you will be expected to adapt and translate workplace relations best practice to deliver quality support and advice to staff and management across the university. You will also take an active coaching role with other members of the HR team. Working as part of a Centre of Expertise within the HR model the role will work closely with HR Partners and will occasionally develop education programs, awareness sessions and capability development programs within the HR function.

About you

The University values courage and creativity; openness and engagement; inclusion and diversity; and respect and integrity. As such, we see the importance of recruiting talent aligned to these values and are looking for a Senior Workplace Relations Advisor who has:
  • extensive experience of superior capability in the timely and effective management of complex workplace relations cases, such as performance and disciplinary matters and bullying complaints in a large complex and unionised organisation. Formal investigation skills and experience;
  • demonstrated ability to liaise with key internal and external stakeholders including human resources staff, lawyers and unions regarding such matters or associated proceedings in a court or Tribunal;
  • extensive experience in providing expert advice, coaching and support to senior staff, preferably within the Higher Education or Government sector, and the ability to influence senior staff by establishing yourself as a trusted and respected specialist
  • demonstrated capacity to accurately interpret and apply discrete and sound knowledge of employment laws and regulations and industrial instruments in managing complex and sensitive matters as well as educational material to facilitate and improve the effectiveness of workplace relations
  • demonstrated capacity to develop and present educational material to facilitate and improve the effectiveness of workplace relations in a large complex workplace
  • excellent ability to influence senior staff through engaging, effective and meaningful communication while articulating a believable message in a timely and accurate manner with integrity and transparency
  • project/case management skills and experience, including the ability to develop and communicate plans and strategies, and implement through to resolution
  • experience in conflict resolution and other alternative dispute resolution methods

About us

The Human Resources function provides people management advice, support and services across the university. There are three parts to the HR operating model; the HR Service Centre (HRSC); Centres of Expertise (COE) and HR Relationship Group (HRRG). There are a number of Centre’s of Expertise (COE) designed to provide strategic design and consultative services necessary to execute HR initiatives identified in the Strategic Plan.

In the University, Centres of Expertise operate on two dimensions: setting strategic direction for each speciality and designing the conceptual frameworks and processes for its implementation. In this role they provide strategic design and consultative services that are utilised by the HRRG and solve workplace relations issues that come through the Service Centre. The COE are comprised of technical HR experts (e.g. compensation & benefits design, Learning & Development).

The Workplace Relations team (WRT) is one of the Centres of Expertise. Its role within Human Resources is to develop a frameworks, diagnostic ability and toolkits to assist with managing the remedial aspects of the workplace relationship, which includes working on the prevention of and early intervention into specific workplace relations matters and for the assessment, management and resolution of complaints and allegations of misconduct, workplace conflict, and performance management. The WRT also provides specific support, advice, coaching and project management to resolve industrial matters involving union or other representation in a timely, effective, risk mitigating, cost effective manner preventing external referral wherever possible.

The SWRA manages the most complex and sensitive matters allocated from any area of the University and works closely with the HR Relationship Group, and the Office of General Council to advise on, manage and assist in resolving matters. The SWRA will be required to display composure, balance, and thoughtfulness while navigating and managing multifaceted political situations.

Since our inception 160 years ago, the University of Sydney has led to improve the world around us. We believe in education for all and that effective leadership makes lives better. These same values are reflected in our approach to diversity and inclusion, and underpin our long-term strategy for growth. We’re Australias first university and have an outstanding global reputation for academic and research excellence. Across our campuses, we employ over 7600 academic and non-academic staff who support over 60,000 students.

We are undergoing significant transformative change which brings opportunity for innovation, progressive thinking, breaking with convention, challenging the status quo, and improving the world around us.

How to apply

For more information on the position and University, please view the candidate information pack available from the job’s listing on the University of Sydney careers website.

All applications must be submitted via the University of Sydney careers website. Visit and search by the reference number 1565/0819C apply.

Closing date: Sunday 1 September 2019

The University of Sydney is committed to diversity and social inclusion. Applications from people of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds; equity target groups including women, people with disabilities, people who identify as LGBTIQ; and people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent, are encouraged.

© The University of Sydney The University reserves the right not to proceed with any appointment.