You have certain rights to be informed and consulted about changes that affect you and your work. Changes to your own contract of employment should not be made withour prior consultation with you; in an attempt to gain your agreement.
You’re entitled to individual consultation with your employer if you’re being made redundant. This involves speaking about:
- why you’re being made redundant
- any alternatives to redundancy.
If your employer is proposing making 20 or more people redundant at the same time, or over the next 3 months, the consultation should take place between your employer and a representative (rep). Depending on the numbers of proposed redundancies, the group or collective consultation must start at least 30 days before any dismissal notices are given.
This rep will either be:
- a trade union rep (if you’re represented by a trade union)
- an elected employee rep (if you’re not represented by a trade union, or if your employer doesn’t recognise your trade union). If there is nothing in place your Employer must allow time for you to elect reps.
Collective consultations must cover:
- ways to avoid redundancies
- the reasons for redundancies
- how to keep the number of dismissals to a minimum
- how to limit the effects for employees involved, eg by offering retraining
Your employer must also meet certain certain legal requirements to inform and consult with you.
If you are not being consulted over redundancies, take advice quickly.
Changes to employment terms.
If there is a recognised trade union your Employer is required to speak to your Union before significant changes can be made to your employment terms.
The Union must also be consulted if there are plans transfer employees to another business (TUPE) or if there are likely to be redundancies from the business.
The Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations (often abbreviated to the ICE Regs) were introduced on 6 April 2005 and apply to businesses with 50 or more employees. The regulations give you the right subject to certain conditions, to request that your employer sets up or changes arrangements to inform and consult you about issues in the organisation.
The requirement to inform and consult employees does not operate automatically. It can occur either by a formal request from employees for an agreement, or by employers choosing to start the process. If a company already has a pre-existing agreement in place to inform and consult it may not be necessary to make any changes.