Under the Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations 2004 what requirements must an endorsement ballot satisfy?
An employer is required to make such arrangements for the ballot as are reasonably practicable to ensure that it is fair. Anyone who is an employee of the undertaking on the day of the ballot, or, where it is to be held on more than one day, the first day of the ballot, must be entitled to vote in it, and to do so in secret so far as is reasonably practicable. The employer must then ensure that the votes are counted accurately and that the employees are informed as soon as reasonably practicable of the result.
The employee request will be regarded as having been endorsed if at least 40% of employees in the undertaking and the majority of those taking part in the ballot vote in favour of endorsing it. If the request is endorsed the employer must initiate negotiations in respect of a new information and consultation agreement. This does not necessarily mean that the pre-existing agreement will no longer stand - for example if the pre-existing agreement is a collective agreement with a trade union it will continue in force. It will, however, mean that the pre-existing agreement does not suffice under the employer's obligation to negotiate an information and consultation agreement under the Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations 2004.