Feb 16, 2008

Legal Eagle HR people needed in UK

Personnel Today says that HR people who are legally savvy have a better scope to advance professionally than others.

And now there's a new career trend taking hold, upstaging even the role of business partner: HR legal eagles.

Employers are crying out for legally-savvy HR practitioners to help them manage the ever growing octopus of employment legislation, say recruitment experts.

Alistair Cook, director at HR recruitment firm Digby Morgan, says he has seen a massive growth in demand for employment law specialists over the past year, especially on the interim side.

"There's been an increase of about 60% in the number of legal HR roles in the past 12 months. At a senior level, employment law and employee relations specialists can command £2,500 a day or £250,000 a year," he says.

Martyn Wright is director of Oakleaf Partnership HR recruitment specialists. He says that the advent of shared service functions has meant the responsibility for employment law is increasingly being devolved to HR, especially within London's square mile.

"Most generalist HR jobs involve some form of employee relations but now employers, particularly in the City, specifically want employment law specialists to work in HR."

In India, traditionally, for personnel and Industrial Relations professionals who paid their dues working in factories with blue-collared workforces, knowing the ins and outs of the various labour laws applicable to them was a prerequisite for success. Only in the recent past with more and more organizations applicable under the various state level Shops and Establishment Acts, has there been a plethora of HR professionals with a comparatively low knowledge of legal aspects.

I wonder if the UK experience would be applicable in India too in the near future?