The Regulations came into force as follows:
- in 2006 in the case of undertakings employing 150 employees and over;
- on the 23rd March, 2007, in the case of undertakings employing between 100 and 149 employees; and
- on the 23rd March, 2008 for undertakings employing 50 employees and over.
The Regulations do not apply to personnel employed on vessels which fall under the provisions of the Merchant Shipping Act.
Duty to inform and consult with employees
Every employer of an undertaking employing the number of employees referred to above is required to make arrangements to afford his employees access to information and consultation on, at least, the following matters:-
- recent and probable development of the undertaking’s activities and economic situation;
- the situation, structure and probable development of employment within the undertaking and any anticipatory measures envisaged, in particular, where there is a threat to employment within the undertaking; and
- information and consultation on decisions likely to lead to substantial changes in work organisation or in contractual relations.
Such access to information and consultation should be meaningful and effective so as to enable inter alia the information and consultation representative/s:
- to conduct an adequate study and, where necessary, to prepare for consultation;
- to meet the employer and to obtain a reasoned response from the employer with a view to reaching agreement on decisions within the scope of the employer’s powers.
Undertakings are not precluded from entering into alternative arrangements with their personnel concerning consultation and exchange of information that are more favourable than the provisions of the Regulations but in this case the following conditions are applicable:-
- the agreement has to apply to the whole workforce; and
- the agreement should clearly set out how the employer is to give information to the employees or their representatives and to seek their views on such information.
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