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Trade Union Consultation Rights

Trade Union Consultation Rights

In the event of collective redundancies or business transfers, the employer must carry out the following duties to consult with trade union representatives or, if there are no trade union representatives, elected representatives of the affected employees.


If you are proposing to make redundancies you may have an obligation to notify, and carry out consultation with, recognised independent trade unions.

For 20 redundancies or more at one establishment within a period of 90 days, 30 days notice must be given to the union. Failure to notify as required can lay you open to a protective award if the union chooses to take legal action to enforce its rights.

Where there are fewer redundancies, consultation must nevertheless take place with each employee individually and long enough notice should be given to the union for sensible consultation to take place.

There is an obligation to consult with representatives of affected employees even where there is no union.

Business Transfer

If you are involved in a transfer of an undertaking, the prospective transferor must provide sufficient notice for proper consultation to take place and adequate information as to the reason for the transfer, i.e. when it will take place, its implications for affected employees and the transferee's intentions as to the workforce. This consultation may be with either the trade union representatives or other representatives of affected employees.

Agency Workers

In collective redundancy and business transfer situations, the employer must provide information on the total number of agency workers engaged, the type of business in which they are utilised, and the type of work they are contracted to undertake.


Employers are required to inform and consult unions recognised under the statutory procedure on their training policies and plans.

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