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
Enhanced to include information on how the obligation to consult may be triggered where groups of redundancies are aggregated.
Updated to provide guidance for line managers on the implications of making redundancies during the coronavirus pandemic.
Many employers will be faced with the possibility of carrying out redundancies over the coming weeks and months. Employment lawyer Darren Newman navigates you through the law on carrying out a collective redundancy exercise.
Practical guidance on carrying out collective redundancy consultation with a remote workforce, when employees are on furlough or working from home during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, including electing employee representatives and conducting the consultation process.
Nick Chronias, partner at DAC Beachcroft, guides you through the legal and practical considerations of running a collective consultation process with a remote workforce.
Changing the defined contribution (DC) pension scheme might be something organisations are considering in the context of furlough or simply in the course of your ordinary business. Done well, change exercises can be a great opportunity to educate and engage employees about pension benefits. Helen Rowan identifies eight practical steps that HR teams should consider to make the pension change a success.
With many employers potentially having to make redundancies as a result of the coronavirus crisis, consultant editor Darren Newman considers the likelihood of the "special circumstances" defence applying if they fail to comply with their collective consultation obligations.
Although the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme currently offers a short-term alternative to redundancies, when it comes to an end there is no doubt that many organisations will have no alternative but to make some of their workforce redundant. This raises the question for HR of how the redundancy consultation obligations run alongside this period of furlough. Consultant editor Darren Newman examines the issues.
Updated on 21 April 2020 to include a note from the ONS in response to the coronavirus pandemic and changes to the labour disputes section of the monthly labour market report.
Updated to include a reference to the Pensions Regulator's approach to regulatory action for failure to consult about decreased pension contributions for staff furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to collective employee relations.