This opportunity has now been filled

Director of Employment Relations and Legal Services

About the role

The Royal College of Nursing is the largest trade union of nursing staff and students in the UK – with over 465,000 members – and represents nurses, midwives, student nurses, health care assistants, assistant practitioners, nursing degree apprentices and trainee nursing associates across the UK.

We are 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 all we can see are the infinite possibilities for a brighter future!

The RCN is seeking to appoint a credible, experienced and enthusiastic Director who will work as a key member of the RCN Senior Leadership Team with accountability for Employment Relations and Legal Services across the UK, in collaboration with the Directors for England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, & Wales. The post holder will provide overall strategic direction to drive business transformation and cultural change that enables the organisation to advance employment relations practice, and to enable the negotiation of all nursing terms and conditions. The Director will be responsible for managing all RCN Legal Services with the exception of those provided by external legal companies.

The Director will report to the Deputy General Secretary/ Chief Executive and have responsibility for developing a comprehensive employment relations strategy for the RCN clearly setting out the short, medium and long-term direction of travel for the organisation for both the NHS and independent sector.  The Director Employment Relations and Legal Services is the Lead Director for all employment relations activities and will lead the Trade Union Committee which is established as part of the RCN formal governance arrangements as well as the Pay Working Group, and the UK Representatives Committees. The Director will also be a key member of the Senior Leadership Team within the College.

Candidates should be able to demonstrate:

  • Experience of developing and leading on the successful implementation of key employment relations organisational strategies
  • Experience of achieving successful organisational change and management of significant projects within agreed budgets
  • Experience of developing strategic and operational organisation-wide solutions
  • Having delivered strategic priorities within a complex organisation, reporting to a governing Council or Board equivalent

We are looking for:

  • An expert who has been engaged at a strategic level in advising on and/or negotiating national pay, terms and conditions throughout the UK or other related high-level negotiations relating to employment practices that are transferrable to this position
  • A high-level strategic understanding and experience of applying current employment legislation within a trade union setting
  • Highly developed interpersonal skills with business acumen, vision, sound judgement and influence
  • Sound financial and budgetary management skills, experience and commercial awareness
  • Ability to influence and have high level impact to shaping organisational priorities, culture and behaviours
  • High level of presentation, engagement, advocacy and debating skills

This is an exciting opportunity to work as part of a focussed, talented and collaborative Senior Leadership Team across the UK.

For further information please download the candidate brochure here.

To apply, please send your CV with a covering letter to Ailsa Sutherland, Director, FWB Park Brown at