Head of Employee Relations
Home Based

Job reference: 13048

Location: Home Based

Closing date: 10/11/2019

Department: HR

Hours per week: Not specified

Head of Employee Relations

We have an exciting opportunity to join the UK’s leading Foodservice businesses, working across the Fresh Direct Group and Brakes, as Head of Employee Relations.

Both businesses are undergoing transformation following investment from their parent company Sysco, a $55bn global business that acquired both companies as part of a European expansion programme 3 years ago.  This investment includes Supply Chain technology and Digital platforms that will improve the Customer proposition significantly and secure both businesses’ competitive market leadership in the long-term.  Product innovation is high on the agenda, as is breaking into new markets.

Fresh Direct Group is the collective of Sysco’s specialist Fresh brands in the UK; Fresh Direct, M&J Seafood, Wild Harvest and Fresh Fayre.  The brands combined employ c1,000 people and operate out of multi-sites across the UK and the Group is headquartered in Bicester.

Brakes was established 60 years ago and is the largest of the operating companies in Europe.  It enjoys a share of c20% of the UK foodservice market, employs 6,700 people and supplies a product range of 50,000 lines, which includes an extensive own-brand portfolio of more than 4,000.  All products are delivered through Brakes’ in-house distribution network comprising over 20 sites across the UK, with its head office based in Ashford, Kent. 

Both businesses deliver to a diverse customer base that includes pubs, restaurants, hotels, schools, hospitals and contract caterers. The businesses are fully committed to providing their customers with outstanding service, products and foodservice solutions, its people with a ‘great place to work’ and its suppliers with a great company to do business with.

Five core values guide how colleagues work together across all of the Sysco companies;

 Integrity, Inclusiveness, Excellence, Teamwork, Responsibility

Scope of the role:

This position will lead the Employee Relations strategy across Fresh Direct Group and Brakes and develop organisational capability to manage change to support the transformation agenda;

Key Responsibilities:

  • Provide specialist ER expertise and guidance on organisation wide people related activities and oversee complex case management assessing risk against commerciality
  • Provide support and guidance to HR and Operational leadership in respect of Unionised operations in the day to day management of TU activity. Provide guidance on changes to contracts of employment and act as the gateway for effective governance of T&Cs and contracts.
  • Work with our outsourced service providers to ensure that the line management and HR advice services are fit for purpose and providing effective support to the organisation
  • Work collaboratively with Key stakeholders to develop clearly defined people policies, processes and practices. Assess impact of current and proposed policies and make recommendations for improvement or to address areas of inconsistency

The ideal candidate will be a highly influential, commercially astute, and credible ER professional. They will be a confident, resilient and self-sufficient individual with strong business acumen and a successful track record in business partnering. They will be an excellent relationship builder with a collaborative approach and have an exceptional focus on project execution and delivery. 

Experience in a food manufacturing or logistics led business within a multi-site environment would be advantageous.   

The successful candidate could be based almost anywhere in the UK but ideally in the Midlands area as we anticipate the majority of the working week will be spent in the businesses working across the multi-site locations and in both head offices.

If this opportunity appeals, then we’d love to hear from you.  This really is a fabulous opportunity to be part of a high-profile transformation working across a number of business brands where two days are never the same!

We aim to represent the diversity of our local communities and positively encourage applications regardless of age, race or ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion or belief.

We use a third party to undertake a number of checks. Any offer of employment made would be conditional upon receiving a satisfactory; reference, identity document(s) and basic DBS certificate


The closing date for this job has now passed.