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Employment law guide

Consultation with Employees

The EU Directive on National Information and Consultation applies in the UK to workplaces where there are more than 50 employees, and it was brought into UK law by The Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations 2004.

The Directive requires that employees shall have the opportunity to be informed and consulted on management decisions affecting their future, such as decisions relating to changes in work organisation or contractual relations, including redundancies and transfers of the undertaking.

Where an employer already has in place arrangements for employees to be given information about the business that employs them, it will need 40% of the workforce to agree to change them. Otherwise, if 10% of the workforce wants them to do so, employers must appoint information and consultation representatives from their workforce.

Consultation about health and safety

All employers are obliged to consult with employees about health and safety.

Safety Representatives are appointed by a trade union where the employer recognises the union.

They will have been employed by the employer for two years or have two years’ experience in similar employment. They represent their fellow employees in consultations about health and safety arrangements. The employer must consult with them and provide them with assistance to perform their functions.

Non-union employees must be consulted directly or may elect employee representatives to consult with the employer on their behalf.