Industrial Relations. DIY or Outsource?

Photo Credit: Coastline Windows & Conservatories via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Coastline Windows & Conservatories via Compfight cc

Your business has grown and employed a number of additional staff members. With this growth comes the additional challenges of deciding which tasks/duties to outsource, and which ones to handle in house.

One of the most common for small business to outsource or ignore altogether is industrial relations.

Both in house and outsourced management of industrial relations have their benefits and drawbacks, though how do you decide which ones to handle yourself and which ones not to?

When To Outsource

Even though I am of the belief that any competent manager should be able to adequately handle a majority of industrial relations challenges, there may come a time where outsourcing it, is the best option for the company.

Some examples of these would be where the matter requires a level of expertise that isn’t available within the company, there is a conflict of interest or the matter isn’t able to be adequately dealt with internally.

When Not To Outsource

There are also some things that shouldn’t be outsourced at all.

In my opinion, anything that directly relates to your staff as a whole should be handled in house. This includes things like dealing with unions, and enterprise agreement negotiations.

The reason for this is that despite what others may say, when you are dealing with the union, you are dealing with your staff as a collective. If you can’t be bothered to meet with their representative when they come to visit you, what does that say about your relationship with your staff?

The same goes for enterprise agreement negotiations. For a majority of employees this is an important part of the employer/employee relationship. Once again, you as a manager can’t find the time to take part in these discussions, then management probably isn’t for you.

If you are having troubles getting your head around Australia’s industrial relations framework, then the IR Simplified course, Understanding IR may be for you.

The finishing touches are being put on the course as we speak, so to find out more, simply subscribe to the IR Simplified newsletter below


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