Employee representatives have an important and ever increasing role in the workplace.
In addition to their long-standing right to be informed and consulted about collective redundancies and business transfers, they also have the right to be informed and consulted about health and safety issues, pension scheme changes and proposed takeovers.
Larger employers may also need to set up works councils or other information and consultation bodies to enable them to consult with UK or Europe-wide workforces about economic and employment-related matters affecting the business.
European companies (Societas Europaea) also have to set up employee involvement arrangements to enable employee representatives to participate in their decision-making processes and a European company cannot be registered until an arrangement has been made in relation to the involvement of employees.
Likewise, any existing employee participation arrangements must be protected in the case of a cross-border merger (where a UK company merges with a company registered elsewhere in the EU). Court approval for the merger will not be given unless arrangements for employee participation in the merged company have been agreed.
Our employment lawyers have experience of advising both employers and employee representative bodies on the current plethora of information and consultation obligations and the process for electing employee representatives.
Some examples of our work:
assisting employee representatives in giving opinions on takeovers under the Takeover Code; and
advising on employee involvement arrangements in connection with setting up a European company.