Under the Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations 2004 in what circumstances can an employer hold a ballot seeking endorsement of an employee request?

Where a valid employee request has been made under reg.7 of the Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations 2004 (SI 2004/3426) by fewer than 40% of employees and a pre-existing information and consultation agreement is in place the employer may, instead of initiating negotiations, hold a ballot to determine whether the workforce endorses the request.

Before holding the ballot the employer must inform the employees in writing, within one month of the date of the employee request, that it intends to do so. It must then wait 21 days before holding the ballot, to allow employees to challenge the validity of the pre-existing agreement should they so wish, but arrange for the ballot to be held as soon as reasonably practicable once this 21-day period has expired.