This article examines the involvement of civil society organizations (CSOs) in UK industrial relations. Organizations of this type, including advocacy, campaigning, identity and community organizations have attracted increasing attention from employment relations scholars in recent years. The study reported in this article demonstrates that CSOs have become increasingly active in the sphere of work and employment, partly in response to trade union decline but also owing to political opportunities, afforded by the labour market policy of the New Labour government. It is claimed that CSOs operate at multiple levels of the industrial relations system and interact with the state, employers and trade unions. They generate significant effects within UK industrial relations and can rightly be judged significant ‘new actors’ on the UK employment scene.