Under the Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations 2004 can an employer initiate the process for negotiating an information and consultation agreement?

Yes. There is no need for an employer to wait for a valid employee request in order to start the process for negotiating an information and consultation agreement under the Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations 2004 (SI 2004/3426). It may initiate the process itself by issuing notification under reg.12(1). The notification must state that the employer intends to start the negotiation process and that the notification is given for the purposes of the Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations 2004. It must also state the date on which it is issued.

The notification must be published in such a way as to bring it to the attention of all the employees in the undertaking, so far as this is reasonably practicable.

Once the employer has initiated negotiations, the negotiation process is the same as if a valid employee request had been received.