Guidance

Non-disclosure of information: how to complain

How trade unions can complain to the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) when an employer has failed to disclose information for collective bargaining.

Make a request to the employer

You must write to the employer requesting the information you require to carry out collective bargaining.

If the employer does not supply the information you can apply to the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) if you believe that:

  • you’ve been impeded in carrying out collective bargaining
  • disclosing the information would be in accordance with good industrial relations

Acas (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) has published a Code of Practice to help employers and unions agree the sort of information that should be disclosed.

Apply for disclosure of information

The qualifying conditions for making an application to the CAC are set out in the application form.

We’ll tell you and the employer:

  • the names of the CAC panel members who’ll be considering the application
  • the name of the case manager who will be your contact in the CAC

What happens next

CAC will ask the employer to complete a response form which will be copied to you. There are some safeguards for an employer and they may not be required to disclose information which:

  • has been communicated in confidence
  • relates specifically to an individual
  • could cause substantial injury to the business.

The employer may comment on these issues in the response form.

The case manager will tell you if the panel needs any additional information.

CAC informal meeting

The CAC will offer parties an informal meeting with the panel chair to see if there is a possibility of resolving the matter voluntarily.

CAC hearing

If the matter cannot be resolved, the panel will hold a formal hearing and issue a declaration. The declaration will specify the information that should have been disclosed and the date by which the employer should supply the information.

Further complaint

If the information is not supplied by the employer by the specified date, you can make a further complaint to the CAC. If the CAC decides in your favour you can make a claim that the contracts of employment of the employees you represent should be amended.

Published 23 October 2014