For UK businesses, collective consultation has always been intrinsically linked with redundancies, changes to terms and conditions and TUPE transfers. And that’s pretty much it! We now need to think again.
The Government’s ‘Back to Work’ sector guidance published on 11 May was a game changer for consultation requirements. One of the key requirements which cuts across sectors and applies to all businesses looking to get employees back to work is to ‘carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment, in consultation with workers or trade unions’ and then to go public with the assessment on the business website (if over 50 employees). This means that all UK businesses should be starting to consult or plan the consultation process. Many are not yet set up to do so, where there is no union recognition, no works council, no employee representative body in place or a body whose authority does not cover this scenario.
The Government also believes that high levels of employee engagement lead to higher business performance, and so on 6 April 2020, they lowered the threshold for an employee request to set up information and consultation arrangements from 10% to 2% of employees, for businesses employing more than 15.
This webinar will help your business understand its consultation obligations during COVID-19 and beyond. We will address:
- when you need to inform and consult, covering redundancies, variation of contracts (including pensions) and COVID-19 risk assessments;
- what needs to be included in the consultation process and timeframes in the above three scenarios;
- how to set up an employee consultation forum (including election of employee reps, the role and rights of reps and key constitution elements);
- the role of trade unions (including recognition, rights of trade union reps);
- April 2020 changes to employee’s triggering the set-up of consultation bodies;
- the penalties if you get it wrong; and
- practical tips in carrying out consultations with a predominantly agile workforce including the involvement of furloughed workers.