One of the main benefits of working with employee representatives is that it can create a sense of trust between management and employees. If you can do this, it will improve business performance and can help prevent disputes.
The arrangements you use will depend on the size of your business and the type of consultation. However, it's important to aim for a balanced relationship and make roles clear. For example:
- Set out your expectations of the representatives' day-to-day role, identifying which issues are within the scope of consultation.
- Works/staff councils should have a constitution including their terms of reference and procedure for electing representatives. You should commit time and resources to enable it to operate - eg meeting or training facilities etc.
It's also important to meet your legal obligations and enable individual representatives to do their job well. Read more on employment-protection rights for employee representatives.