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Informing and consulting on employment matters

Updating author: David Whincup

Summary

  • The Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations 2004 (SI 2004/3426) give employees the right to be informed about their employer's economic situation and to be informed and consulted about employment prospects. (See Workplace information and consultation overview)
  • The Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations 2004 apply to undertakings with 50 or more employees in the UK. (See Application)
  • If an employer receives a valid request from its employees it is required to enter into negotiations to establish a procedure for informing and consulting them. (See Valid employee requests)
  • An employer may decide to start the negotiation process itself by issuing a written notification. (See Employer notification of decision to start negotiations)
  • Where an employer has in place a valid pre-existing information and consultation agreement, it may not be required to make any changes. (See Pre-existing agreements)
  • Following a valid employee request, the parties have six months in which to negotiate and approve an information and consultation procedure. (See Negotiated agreements)
  • The fallback procedure will apply where attempts to reach a negotiated agreement have failed within a six-month period. (See Fallback procedure)
  • There is a three-year moratorium on employee requests to enter into negotiations if an existing agreement is in place. (See The duration of an agreement)
  • Part VII of the Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations 2004 makes specific provision for confidential information. (See Confidential information)
  • The parties are under a duty to work in a spirit of cooperation when negotiating and implementing a procedure. (See Cooperation)
  • In circumstances where the employer is required to consult under the collective redundancy or business transfer obligations, it may opt to consult under the relevant legislation, rather than under the Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations 2004. (See Other statutory consultation requirements)
  • Negotiating and information and consultation representatives are entitled to protection against dismissal or other detriment relating to activities they carry out in the course of their duties. (See Protection for representatives)
  • Failure to comply with the Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations 2004 may result in a fine of up to £75,000. (See Penalties)
  • In deciding how to approach the legislation, individual employers will need to consider which is the best strategy for their organisation. (See Possible approaches to the legislation)

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