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Employment Law Update


On 6 April 2008 The Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations 2004 (“The Regulations”) began to apply to businesses with 50 or more employees.

The Regulations gave employees the right, subject to certain conditions, to request that you set up or change arrangements to inform and consult them about issues in the business on a regular basis.

However, the Regulations do not impose an automatic requirement to negotiate an Information and Consultation (“I&C”) Agreement. Instead the requirements are triggered either by:-

  1. A formal written request for an I& C Agreement from at least 10% of your employees, with a minimum of 15 and a maximum of 2,500; or:
  2. You, as an employer, choosing to start negotiations yourself.

If the former case arises you must make arrangements for the appointment of negotiating representatives within three months of receiving valid request to negotiate an I&C Agreement.

Negotiations can last up to six months and the agreement must:-

  • Set out the circumstances in which you will inform and consult your employees.
  • Provide for direct consultation with employees or with their representatives.
  • Include all of your employees.
  • Be approved by your employees.
  • Be in writing, dated and signed by or on behalf of you, the employer.

If you do not reach an agreement standard I&C rules will apply. They require the election of employee representatives, and that you inform and consult employees about:-  

  • Your business’ activities and economic situation.
  • The employment situation in your business.
  • Decisions likely to lead to changes in your business’ organisation or contractual relationships.

If you have an existing I&C Agreement that is in writing, covers all of your employees, and sets out how you inform and consult them then it may meet your obligations under the Regulations.

If you would like any further guidance on your obligations under the Regulations or the best way to proceed then please do not hesitate to contact Roger Cheves.

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