Information and Consultation of Employees

The Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2005 give employees in larger undertakings rights to be informed and consulted on a regular basis about issues in the business which they work for.

This legislation came into operation on 6th April 2005.  They transpose a European Directive which establishes a right to minimum standards for workforce communication and involvement in undertakings within individual EU Member States.  Employees have the right to be informed about the business’s economic situation, employment prospects and about decisions likely to lead to changes in work organisation or contractual relations (e.g. redundancies, business transfers, etc).  The Regulations were phased in between 2005 and 2008, applying first to undertakings with 150 or more employees (April 2005), then to those with 100 or more (April 2007) and finally to those with 50 or more (April 2008).

If requested by 10% of the workforce, the Regulations require employers to establish arrangements for informing and consulting their employees by way of either a negotiated agreement or the standard provisions laid down in the Regulations.  The Industrial Court’s responsibility is to resolve disputes about the establishment and operation of such information and consultation arrangements.

There are 14 separate applications and complaints which can be made to the Industrial Court under the Regulations.  For information about all of these, please consult our guidance document Information and Consultation Regulations - Guidance for Employers and Employees (PDF 552 KB).

The Regulations also contain provisions relating to the protection of individuals who are information and consultation representatives.  However, claims under those provisions are dealt with by industrial tribunals.