We provided a service for over twenty years supporting ESA (European Space Agency) in the scheduling and management of their network link infrastructure to their network of Satellite Ground Stations around the World. We were responsible for all HR and Service aspects for a team of twenty, twelve of whom were working 24×7 shifts supporting the network control centre.
We managed this via a centralised HR team based in the UK and with a small team locally in Darmstadt, Germany. Key challenges included the resolution of employment issues in a timely manner, managing absence appropriately and the upskilling of staff as technology evolved.
We managed regular interactions with the Works Council who saw their role more akin to one of a union. Whilst the legislation in Germany is subtly different to the UK, the method of managing employment disputes to a satisfactory resolution is similar – gaining a shared understanding of stakeholder’s relative positions and then developing (perhaps innovative) compromise solutions.
This is something that our HR team has a huge amount of experience in negotiating. We have managed grievance and disciplinary, performance, unapproved absence and discrimination disputes, all to satisfactory resolution.