HR & ER Advisor (12m FTC)


Gowling WLG is an international law firm with more than 1,400 legal professionals and a presence in Canada, the UK, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and South America. We provide our clients with in-depth expertise in key global sectors and a suite of legal services at home and abroad. We see the world from the perspective of our clients, and collaborate across countries, offices, service areas and sectors to help them succeed – no matter how challenging the circumstances.

'Our people and distinct culture are what makes us different. We know this through client and employee feedback and this drives everything we do'' Chris Oglethorpe, HR Director.

There are great opportunities for all our people to flourish. Through training and personal development they can grow in their role. Our people are the cornerstone of our success, across legal, business support and early talent. We care about their happiness and believe in the power of teamwork. We want them to feel empowered and recognise that by supporting, respecting and embracing everyone's different contributions we achieve more.

Main purpose of the role: 

The HR Advisor works closely alongside the HR Business Partners and Client Group Line Managers to identify and address any people and work related issues by providing accurate, fair, timely, commercial advice and solutions on all aspects of HR policy, queries and issues. 

Location: Remote/ Birmingham (There is flexibility with the location but travel will be required to our Birmingham office 2/3 days a week once circumstances allow).

Working flexibly, working fairly

Agile working offers people more freedom and flexibility in where, when, and how they work. As technology advances and our workforce becomes more diverse – and with clients often working to a 24/7 rhythm – having extra flexibility is key to helping us balance work and other commitments sensibly and productively.

By supporting people to choose where and when they get their work done, we help them to make a full and fair contribution to their team – while maintaining that all important work-life balance.

Main Duties and Responsibilities: 

  • Lead on a broad range of ER issues including complex matters, such as investigations, disciplinary, grievances and appeals;
  • Build and maintain trusted advisor relationships with client base, develop  insight and understanding of specific group requirements, and how they work, to enable them to deliver the most appropriate commercial solution;
  • Support Business Managers with operational issues including resource management, absence management and implementation of firm policies and processes;
  • Provide advice and coaching to management and employees;
  • Provide advice and support to managers on recruitment;
  • Work closely with senior management to support and facilitate Global Mobility of staff within assigned Business Services and Practice Groups;

  • Support HR Business Partner(s) in driving, delivering and managing change programmes;

  • Participate and, where appropriate, lead on best practice projects in relation to HR strategy;

  • Produce accurate and high quality data and analysis for wider publication in user friendly format, including, but not limited to, employee leavers data;

  • Act as a role model for HR team leading the evolution of the team to true strategic partnering
  • Work with HR Operations team to build capability, irrespective of direct line management responsibility

  • Continuously review/develop and implement all HR processes, policies and procedures;

  • Any other reasonable duties delegated by the HR Leadership team.


Key Skills and Experience:

  • Established HR experience with at least two years' experience at Advisor level in a regulated environment

  • Experience of taking a lead role supporting in a broad range of disciplinary, grievance and performance management processes;

  • Experience of handling contentious matters including liaison with ACAS and external solicitors;

  • Part or fully CIPD qualified

  • Excellent and up to date knowledge and understanding of employment legislation and its practical application

  • Experience of providing a results-orientated service and creative, pragmatic solutions to HR issues
  • Proven ability to work autonomously as well as part of a team

  • Proactive, flexible and adaptable approach

  • Excellent communication skills with the ability to quickly build effective working relationships at all levels within the business

  • Excellent planning and organisational skills

  • Good IT skills with excel, powerpoint

  • Commercial thinker

Equal Opportunities:

Gowling WLG is committed both to promoting equality and diversity in the firm and to Equal Opportunities in employment.  The firm believes in equality of opportunity regardless of race or racial group (including colour, nationality, ethnicity, national origins), religion or belief, age, disability, sexual orientation, sex, gender re-assignment and gender identity, marriage and civil partnership, and pregnancy, maternity and paternity.  This also includes any incidents of perceptive or associative discrimination and harassment.

At Gowling WLG we seek to attract and retain talented people from a diverse range of backgrounds and cultures, to create an exciting and rewarding place to work.  Our aim is to fulfil everyone's potential and together to achieve personal and business goals.

Standard hours of work are 9.30 am to 5.30 pm Monday to Friday with one hour for lunch (35 hours per week).  Some flexibility with these standard hours is required. This role will also involve some travel between the Birmingham and London offices

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