Non-union employee representation (NER) can be generally defined as ‘one or more employees who act in an agency function for other employees in dealings with management over issues of mutual concern, including the terms and conditions under which people work’ (Kaufman and Taras 2000: 7). More specifically, Kaufman and Taras (2010) describe the way NER works as

Selected workers’ representatives meet with managers, usually in committee-type structures in which communication and exchange of thoughts is fostered. Representatives usually are internal to the company and serve in leadership roles for limited terms. NER is based on a quid pro quo between managers and workers. In setting up such plans, management expects that the plans will encourage cooperative, advisory, and consultative modes of interaction so that problems can be creatively resolved and frictions amicably reduced. In taking on a representational function, workers expect that NER will provide a meaningful forum for employee voice, a capacity to influence managerial decision making and recognition by managers that workers have a right to fair and respectful treatment.

(p. 259)