Policy Adviser, Employment

Location:Greater London

Role summary

Based at our Cannon Place office, the successful Policy Advisor will join the CBI’s Employment Policy team. It works with businesses and the government to influence policy that improves the UK labour market and firms’ ability to hire the people and skills they need. The team’s work is underpinned by the challenge of building public and political confidence in a vision for UK employment that is flexible and fair. The flexibility of the UK’s labour market supports jobs growth and makes it one of the most competitive in the world. Equally, being treated fairly by your employer has a big impact on the UK’s productivity and trust in business. The successful Policy Advisor will join the team at a time when the UK’s departure from the EU brings questions about what the future of work looks like, both domestically and internationally, into sharp relief.

Reporting to the Head of Employment Policy, the successful candidate will be responsible for:

  • Consulting with CBI members to develop policy positions that represent the business view on a wide range of employment issues
  • Providing CBI members with political and policy insight and intelligence so that they can make more informed HR decisions
  • Working with stakeholders and partners, such as civil servants, trade unions, public agencies and international employers’ organisations, to support the objectives of CBI members
  • Engaging with CBI members to share learning on collective challenges that helps firms better attract, develop and engage their staff
  • Co-ordinating with colleagues in the Employment Policy, Press and Marketing teams to ensure consistency and coherence in our messages to government and businesses
  • Contributing to the delivery of a compelling offer on Employment Policy issues that encourages more businesses of all sizes and sectors to join the CBI

This role is a great opportunity to join the UK’s largest business representative organisation at a time of unprecedented political and economic change. All CBI members are employers so it’s an especially unique opportunity to join the team shaping a top priority for UK businesses.

Key responsibilities

Developing the CBI’s employment policy positions, both new and existing, including:

  • Building a strong grasp of the policy issues affecting employment policy, including relevant employment law, good practices in employee relations and the wider political context
  • Developing policy by consulting CBI members to produce positions with broad support from employers of all sizes and sectors
  • Working on multiple discrete projects (e.g. policy briefs, reports, consultation responses), using project management skills to track progress, manage risk and measure success
  • Drafting papers for the Exec-level Employment & Skills Board which meets quarterly and informs and mandates the CBI’s work on employment, labour markets, education and skills.

Communicating the value of the CBI’s employment policy work to members and in the media, including:

  • Publicly campaigning on the role employment plays in evidencing the social impact of business and for a labour market that enables firms to hire the people and skills they need
  • Distilling political and practical insight on employment policy issues into accessible and engaging content for CBI members
  • Providing CBI members with examples of good employment practices to inform how they respond to shared challenges in attracting, developing and engaging the people and skills they need.

Building strong internal and external relationships, including:

  • Acting as a point of contact within the CBI for members, staff, and other stakeholders on employment policy, including advising your line manager and director of relevant debates in the wider political and media landscape
  • Working alongside colleagues in Press and Marketing to maximise the impact of the CBI’s employment policy work with CBI members and stakeholders in the government, the opposition, and media
  • Meeting with officials in key government departments, including the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Department for Work and Pensions and HM Treasury
  • Meeting with business leaders with responsibly for people issues at CBI member companies to ensure that the Employment Team’s work meets business’ priorities.

Supporting the CBI’s commercial strategy, including:

  • Acting as a representative for the Employment Policy team’s work to support commercial colleagues to recruit and retain CBI members, including strategic accounts
  • Contributing to a strong member proposition on employment policy, including working with commercial colleagues to secure partnerships that grow the CBI’s non-subscription income.

Knowledge and experience

What an individual must know or understand to be able to fulfil the role’s requirements.


  • Demonstrable interest in politics and public policy
  • Enthusiasm for employment and labour market issues
  • Awareness of the commercial environment facing businesses.


  • Knowledge of the UK’s policymaking process
  • Experience working on employment or labour market policy
  • Familiarity with the workings of business, particularly HR.


The practical actions required to be able to fulfil the role’s requirements.

  • Strong research and analytical skills – including quickly picking up new issues and concepts, crafting solutions and advising senior colleagues.
  • Excellent oral and written communication – including the ability to communicate to a wide range of stakeholders and audiences.
  • Influencing skills – including the ability to persuade policy makers of the benefits of working together with business to achieve joint aims.
  • Good stakeholder management and interpersonal skills – including the ability to manage relationships with external stakeholders to maintain member satisfaction, and internal stakeholders to effectively coordinate the CBI’s wide range of regional policy work.
  • Organisational skills - including overseeing complicated projects with multiple moving parts in a shifting external environment.
  • High personal efficiency/productivity and flexibility, with the ability to work well in a team – including the ability to work in a fast-paced, pressured environment.


The behaviours and characteristics required to be able to fulfil the role’s requirements.

Collaborative– Listening, seeking views and sharing information; constructively challenging when appropriate.

Taking ownership– Ensuring delivery and holding others to account; can influence, irrespective of hierarchy.

Agile– Proactive and responsive to provide a strong member service; responding positively to shifting priorities.

Commercial– Awareness of the wider business environment.

Innovative– Exploring, sharing and integrating best practice; generating new ideas and challenging a mind-set of “what we’ve always done”.

Analytical– gathering information and using logic to analyse, problem solve, evaluate risk and make decisions.

Equal opportunity employer

Our aim is to create prosperity for all. To do that well, we need a workforce that is more representative of the businesses we serve.

We know through experience that different ideas, perspectives and backgrounds create a stronger and more innovative work environment that delivers better results. To support an inclusive environment where employees feel empowered to share their experiences and ideas, we’ve encouraged the creation of a variety of Employee Resource Groups - Women, LGBT+, BAME and Working Families.

We recognise the many benefits flexible working can bring. Many of our employees work flexibly in many different ways, including part-time. Please talk to us at interview about the flexibility you need. We can’t promise to give you exactly what you want, but we do promise not to judge you for asking and will accommodate where possible.

How to apply

Please submit your CV and cover letter torecruit@cbi.org.ukwith 'Policy Adviser' as the subject.