Informing and consulting employees

All employers must inform and consult their employees on:

Get legal advice if you’re unsure whether you need to tell your employees about something.

If you have more than 50 employees you may also have to:

If your employees ask for an information and consultation agreement

You must legally make a formal agreement about what business information you will share with your employees and when you will consult them if all of the following apply:

If you have less than 50 employees (or not enough of your employees make a request) it’s up to you if you want to make an information and consultation agreement.

If your organisation is based in Northern Ireland

There’s a different process if your organisation is based in Northern Ireland, unless both of these apply:

  • its head office or registered office is in England, Scotland or Wales
  • most employees work in England, Scotland or Wales

Challenge an information and consultation agreement request

Apply to the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) if you’ve received a request and you don’t think you need to make an agreement.

The CAC will decide if you must make an agreement with your employees or not.

Negotiate an information and consultation agreement with your employees

You must:

  • make sure all employees in the organisation are represented in any discussions
  • start discussions with employees’ representatives within 3 months of receiving a valid request for an agreement
  • come to an agreement within 6 months of negotiations starting about what exactly you will share or consult on (unless you and the employee’s representatives agree you can take longer)

If you do not make an agreement

If you cannot come to an agreement, you must still inform and consult your employees about:

  • the economic situation of the business
  • job prospects
  • major changes in how work is organised

Change an information and consultation agreement

You must make a new agreement if 40% or more of the workforce asks for an existing agreement to be changed.

If less than 40% of your workforce asks for a change you do not have to discuss making a new agreement, but you can if you want.

Make or respond to a complaint about an information and consultation agreement

If you think that revealing some information as part of an agreement would harm the business, you can ask the CAC to review the information and make a decision.

You also have the right to respond to complaints made by your employees that you are:

Completed forms must be emailed to the Central Arbitration Committee.

Central Arbitration Committee

Find out more about the regulations

Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) has further guidance.