Unit of competency details

BSBHRM604A - Manage employee relations (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to BSBHRM604 - Manage employee relationsUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages 24/Mar/2015

ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 10/Mar/2009

Training packages that include this unit

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SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 080303 Human Resource Management  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 080303 Human Resource Management  25/Jul/2008 
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Modification History

Not applicable.

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge to develop and maintain a positive and productive workplace environment. It covers all aspects of employee relations impacting on managers at the strategic level.

Application of the Unit

Application of the unit

The unit is designed for non-specialist HR managers and covers the application of the broad range of employee relations activities.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not applicable.


Prerequisite units 

Employability Skills Information

Employability skills 

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements describe the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised text is used, further information is detailed in the required skills and knowledge section and the range statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the evidence guide.

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Implement employee relations strategy and policies for own work area

1.1. Ensure employee relations  strategy is consistent with organisational strategic objectives

1.2. Develop strategies and policies  through the application of a risk management approach and extensive consultation and participation by relevant groups and individuals

1.3. Ensure strategy and policies take account of equal opportunity, family/work relationships and promote the absence of discrimination and/or harassment

1.4. Develop risk management  strategies which take account of the withdrawal of labour and other potential outcomes of disputes

1.5. Identify potential areas of conflict (if any) and ensure strategies and policies take account of the objectives of relevant groups and individuals

2. Build and maintain a productive culture

2.1. Negotiate awards, agreements, and contracts which balance organisational objectives and employee rights and obligations 

2.2. Identify and meet all legal and organisational requirements within the conditions of employment 

2.3. Undertake regular and timely consultation and communication with individuals and relevant groups

2.4. Develop policies and practices to facilitate employee recruitment, retention and satisfaction

2.5. Provide induction programs and training to develop competence and confidence, and to ensure work is performed safely and effectively

2.6. Provide opportunities for employees to understand their role and how it contributes to the achievement of organisational objectives

2.7. Develop, regularly review and update individual and team development plans

2.8. Evaluate and revise employee relations policies regularly

3. Resolve employee relations problems

3.1. Establish processes for early intervention to identify and minimise problems or grievances

3.2. Communicate problem solving processes  to, and obtain support from, all relevant groups and individuals

3.3. Provide training to develop competence in conflict management, negotiation and dispute resolution

3.4. Obtain specialist  advice where appropriate or where formal hearings are required

3.5. Ensure processes are fair, equitable and consistent with all relevant awards agreements and legislation

3.6. Ensure problem solving processes provide for external mediation and conciliation, and arbitration where appropriate

4. Manage diversity

4.1. Develop plans for the promotion of diversity  within the organisation

4.2. Openly promote diversity and its benefits within the organisation

4.3. Develop education and communication plans  to promote and encourage diversity

4.4. Develop and implement processes to deal with events which inhibit the organisation from meeting its diversity objectives

Required Skills and Knowledge


This section describes the skills and knowledge required for this unit.

Required skills 

  • ability to relate to people from a range of social, cultural and ethnic backgrounds and physical and mental abilities
  • communication/consultation skills to ensure all relevant groups and individuals are advised of what is occurring and are provided with an opportunity for input
  • conflict management skills to mediate, negotiate and/or attempt to obtain consensus between individuals/groups in conflict situations which are dysfunctional in relation to the organisation's performance
  • networking skills to ensure support from key groups and individuals for concepts/ideas/products/services
  • risk management skills to analyse, identify and develop mitigation strategies for identified risks.

Required knowledge 

  • human resource planning
  • human resource specialist assistance available
  • industrial agreements
  • key result areas of the organisation
  • organisational plans and objectives (strategic, tactical and operational)
  • organisational policies relating to balancing family/work relationships
  • organisational support services for employees (external and internal)
  • performance measurement systems utilised within the organisation
  • relevant legislation from all levels of government that affects business operation such as:
  • award and enterprise agreements and relevant industrial instruments
  • Occupational Health and Safety
  • environmental issues
  • equal opportunity
  • industrial relations
  • anti-discrimination
  • relevant industry codes of practice
  • staff development strategies
  • unfair dismissal rules and due process.

Evidence Guide


The Evidence Guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Overview of assessment 

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit 

Evidence of the following is essential:

  • While the unit is designed for non-specialist HR managers, there is an expectation that competence will be demonstrated in the implementation of the full range of employee relations activities
  • Negotiation of employment agreements/contracts and the maintenance of high standards of performance in respect to equal opportunity and the management of diversity are key areas of assessment
  • Conflict management and early intervention in respect to employee grievances/problems are also key elements of the evidence to be presented during assessment.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure:

  • access to appropriate documentation and resources normally used in the workplace.

Method of assessment 

A range of assessment methods should be used to assess practical skills and knowledge. The following examples are appropriate for this unit:

  • assessment of written reports on employee relations
  • direct questioning combined with review of portfolios of evidence and third party workplace reports of on-the-job performance by the candidate
  • observation of presentations on employee relations management
  • oral or written questioning to assess knowledge of human resources function/s being reviewed and policy frameworks
  • evaluation of research undertaken
  • review of documentation analysing the strengths and weaknesses of employee relations' policies and strategies
  • review of documentation of behaviours associated with managing diversity and, resolving employee problems and grievances.

Guidance information for assessment 

Holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role is recommended.

Range Statement


The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. Essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) may also be included.

Employee relations includes:

  • all of the activities in an organisation which impact on the employees' terms and conditions of employment and their personal well-being and satisfaction with their work environment

Strategies and policies  may include:

  • discipline
  • equal opportunity
  • human resource strategy
  • induction and training
  • industrial/labour relations
  • organisational values statement
  • performance management
  • racial discrimination/vilification
  • remuneration and benefits
  • selection/recruitment
  • sexual harassment

Risk management  means:

  • the process of identification of potential negative events and the development of plans to mitigate or minimise the likelihood of the negative event occurring and/or the consequences in the event it does occur

Employee rights and obligations  refers to:

  • those contained within any award agreement or contract of employment, or implied terms of those agreements, together with all rights and obligations under the laws of the Commonwealth and the relevant state/territory

Conditions of employment  may include:

  • grievance procedures
  • holidays and leave entitlements
  • hours of work
  • penalty rates
  • salary/wages
  • superannuation

Problem solving processes  may include:

  • arbitration
  • conciliation
  • dispute resolution procedures
  • grievance procedures
  • mediation

Specialist  means:

  • person expert in the conduct of formal hearings in the relevant jurisdiction

Diversity  refers to:

  • any difference between individuals and groups, and includes age, gender, race, nationality, political and philosophical beliefs, or any other different individual or group characteristic

Education and communication plans  refers to:

  • a structured program for the dissemination of information, and the receipt of feedback information from individuals, relevant to the process or activity

Unit Sector(s)

Unit sector 

Competency field

Competency field

Workforce Development - Human Resource Management

Co-requisite units

Co-requisite units