Inform and consult your employees
Consulting your employees
Consultation involves managers and business owners seeking and taking into account the views of employees before making a decision. You are required by law to consult with employees, their representatives or recognised trade unions on:
health and safety issues
- changes to the contract of employment
- redundancies - if 20 or more are planned
- undertakings or transfers, ie the business is to be sold or part of it is to be contracted out, or the contractor is to be replaced by another
changes to pension schemes
- training policies, progress and plans - if the Central Arbitration Committee has imposed a bargaining method in the statutory trade union recognition process - see our guide on recognising and derecognising a trade union
You must use the appropriate consultation method depending on the circumstances, eg through employee representatives, joint consultative committees/works councils, joint working parties or trade unions/collective bargaining units.
If your business or organisation employs more than 50 employees your employees can require that you negotiate arrangements to inform or consult them on issues that may affect them and the business. See the page in this guide on legal requirements for informing and consulting employees.
Your business may benefit from consulting employees on a regular basis and making staff aware of ways they can contribute ideas and raise concerns. You do not need to have complex structures for consultation - often ad hoc groups can work better. See the page in this guide on legal requirements for consulting and informing employees.
For effective consultation, you should consider:
- explaining final decisions - particularly when employees' views are rejected
giving credit and recognition to those who provide information which improves a decision
- ensuring that the issues for consultation are relevant to the group of employees discussing them
- avoiding minor issues and petty grievances
- making the outcome of the meeting available to everyone
Subjects covered in this guide
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