The right approach to communicating with and providing information to your employees can improve employee motivation and performance. Employee consultation can also give management useful insights and ideas.
You should develop an information and consultation policy that helps your business communicate effectively with employees. As a minimum, you must ensure that your information and consultation meets the minimum legal requirement.
Information and consultation - routine issues
You are legally required to give all employees a written statement of employment terms on or before the first day of work. You can provide the employment particulars in instalments as long as they are all are provided within two months and the majority are issued on or before the employee's first day of work.
You must provide your employees with any health and safety information they need: for example, by communicating safety procedures and displaying appropriate warning signs. You must also consult employees on health and safety issues.
If you have a recognised trade union, you are broadly required to provide them with the information they ask for to help with collective bargaining.
Larger businesses may need to inform and consult employees on other issues affecting them. Businesses with 50 or more employees must set up an information and consultation agreement if asked to by a significant percentage of employees. Large multinationals operating in more than one EU country may also need to set up a European Works Council.
If you do not have an agreement for information and consultation and 2% or more of your employees make a formal request for an agreement, you will have to introduce a process. The request must be made by a minimum of 15 employees but can be made over a rolling period of six months if you initially receive fewer than 15 requests or 2% of employees.
Information and consultation in redundancy and pension arrangements
If you plan collective redundancies - making 20 or more employees redundant - you must consult over the plans with your employees.
You may be required to inform and consult employees if you plan to transfer your business, for example, by selling it. The requirement to inform and consult applies to any business transfer covered by the TUPE regulations.
Employee consultation may be needed for plans to change an occupational pension scheme.
Trade unions and employee representatives
In small businesses, it may be possible to involve every employee in information and consultation procedures. Alternatively, you might work with a recognised trade union or other employee representatives.
You should check the detailed legal requirements to confirm who you are required to inform and consult with.
Browse topics: Employment law