Under the Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations 2004 what are the requirements for conducting negotiations?

Within three months of the date that a valid employee request to negotiate an information and consultation agreement was made, the employer must initiate negotiations to reach an agreement. In order to do this it must make arrangements for the employees to elect or appoint negotiating representatives, inform the employees in writing of the identity of these representatives and invite the representatives to enter into negotiations to reach an agreement. All the employees of the undertaking must be entitled to take part in the election or appointment, and they must all be represented during the subsequent negotiations.

The negotiations may last for up to six months, although this period can be extended without limit by agreement between the employer and a majority of the negotiating representatives. When negotiating an agreement the parties are required to work in a spirit of cooperation and with due regard for their reciprocal rights and obligations, taking into account the interests of both the undertaking and the employees.