Depending on the size and geographical scope of your business, you may have to set up an ongoing information and consultation (I&C) arrangement with your employees.
Ongoing I&C on a national level - the Information and Consultation of Employees (ICE) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2005
As long as they make a valid request, employees of organisations with 50 or more employees have the right to negotiate an I&C agreement with their employer.
If you receive a valid employee request, you must make arrangements for employees to elect or appoint negotiating representatives. They will negotiate with you to reach an I&C agreement.
As part of the I&C agreement, you may decide to inform and consult your employees through I&C representatives. I&C representatives do not necessarily have to be the same individuals as the negotiating representatives.
If you do want I&C representatives, you should agree with the negotiating representatives:
- how many I&C representatives there will be
- who they will represent
- how they may be replaced
- how long they will serve for
- how they will be appointed or elected
- whether anyone other than an employee may be an I&C representative
Read more on how to inform and consult your employees.
Ongoing I&C on a transnational level - European works councils
European works councils (EWCs) are a particular type of works council used by larger companies with sites in more than one European Union (EU) member state, to inform and consult their employees about transnational issues.
Read more on European Works Councils.
Rights of employee representatives
Employee representatives elected or appointed under the ICE Regulations, or as Special Negotiating Body (SNB) or EWC representatives, have certain rights, which - if you breach them - could lead to an industrial tribunal claim against you. See employment-protection rights for employee representatives.