Editor's message: Establishing good relations with trade unions and employee representatives can reap numerous benefits for your organisation. A good relationship will help when it comes to consulting in connection with key business changes, such as large-scale redundancies and TUPE transfers. Having an effective and productive relationship with your representatives can help consultations to run smoothly and avoid the risk of multiple employment tribunal claims.
Beyond any legal requirement to consult, establishing a culture where collective employee relations is fundamental to the way in which your organisation engages with its workforce can help to engender trust and transparency. Where there is the potential for conflict, good employee relations can provide a mechanism for resolution and open channels of communication. Conversely, where collective employee relations have broken down, organisations are exposed to the risk of industrial action, business disruption and a loss of productivity.
Laura Merrylees, senior employment law editor
Updated to reflect that the Court of Appeal will not hear the appeal in Awan v ICTS UK Ltd because the parties reached a settlement.
Updated to include official statistics from the ONS for September 2019 on days lost to labour disputes and the number of stoppages. The next ONS release date is 17 December 2019.
Updated to reflect the postponement of the date of the UK's exit from the EU.
Updated to include a reference to the guidance by the EHRC on the use of confidentiality agreements where sexual harassment or any other form of discrimination has been alleged.
UK employers face a 30-minute "general strike" in support of the Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg, according to a motion proposed at next month's Trades Union Congress in Brighton.
In Kostal UK Ltd v Dunkley and others, the Court of Appeal held that the employer had not made unlawful inducements when it sent letters to employees asking them to agree a pay deal that had been rejected by their trade union.
Updated to include information on Kostal UK Ltd v Dunkley and others, in which the Court of Appeal considered if a pay offer made directly to the workforce was an unlawful inducement.
Last month the High Court dismissed a case which claimed outsourced workers should be able to negotiate pay and conditions for the organisations they work for. Tom Long, legal director and employment law specialist at law firm Shakespeare Martineau, looks at what impact the case could have had, had it been successful.
Updated to reflect an increase in the limits applying to employment tribunal awards, with effect from 6 April 2019.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to collective employee relations.