Guide

Inform and consult your employees

Legal requirements for communicating with employees

As an employer, you are required to inform and consult employees in certain circumstances. See consulting your employees.

You must inform employees of:

  • The main terms and conditions of employment in written form - see the employment contract. This must be provided within two months of an employee commencing employment.
  • Any changes in the terms and conditions of employment.
  • The reason in writing for dismissing them (for employees with 12 or more months' service). This is only necessary if they request it - unless they are a woman who is dismissed while pregnant or on maternity leave, or statutory adoption leave when in these cases 12 months service is not required. It can be wise to provide this even to employees that haven't completed 12 months employment as this clarity of communication can avoid potential misunderstandings and unnecessary claims. Such consideration, even though is not required, is good practice.
  • Certain matters when your business is involved, eg in the transfer of an undertaking - see responsibilities to employees if you buy or sell a business.

You must give recognised trade unions the information they require for collective bargaining. For more information on recognising trade unions and collective bargaining, see recognising and derecognising a trade union.

Read LRA guidance on disclosure of information to trade unions for collective bargaining purposes.

You are also required by law to:

  • provide employees with an itemised pay slip whenever you pay them
  • communicate in writing if asking shop workers or betting workers in Northern Ireland to work on a Sunday - see Sunday working and night working
  • consult your employees or their representatives when considering collective redundancies, business transfer or changes to pensions

Regulations give employees of businesses and organisations employing 50 or more employees the right to be informed and consulted on issues affecting them and the business they work for. See legal requirements for informing and consulting employees.

Smaller employers should agree and create formal procedures for informing and consulting with employees, in the interests of good employment relations. See informing and consulting - ways and means and examples of good information and consultation in practice.