1. Trade Unions
Workers have the right to be represented in the workplace in certain situations (such as in disciplinary and grievance hearings). Where the worker is a trade union member, they will usually be represented by a union representative or official.
2. European Works Councils
A European Works Council (“EWC”) is a consultative body set up by employers for the purposes of fulfilling its obligations to inform and consult employees at European level. The EWC has the right to receive information about the business and to be consulted about some of the business’ activities. Employers who have at least 1,000 employees throughout the European Economic Area (“EEA”) and at least 150 employees in each of at least two of the relevant member states must establish a EWC on receipt of a qualifying request. Where the European central management of an undertaking is situated in the UK, the employer’s obligations are contained in the Transnational Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations 1999 (“TICE”).
3. National Works Councils
A National Works Council (“NWC”) is a permanent consultative body made up of management and employee representatives whereby a UK-based employer can inform and consult its workforce about economic and employment-related matters. The Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations 2004 (“ICER”) provide that UK employers with 50 or more employees must put in place an Information and Consultation Agreement (“ICA”) if certain criteria are met. Under these rules, the employees must have made a valid request to negotiate or the employer must have given a valid notification of intention to negotiate. Once a valid request or notification has been given, the employer must negotiate with representatives of the employees to put in place an ICA. If the parties can’t agree on its terms within a specific timescale, the regulations provide a set of standard information and consultation provisions which will automatically apply until any agreement to the contrary.