If an agreement already exists
Your employer may say there's already a valid agreement about keeping employees informed and consulted on workplace matters.
For this agreement to be valid, it must:
- be in writing
- cover all employees
- set out how and when your employer will inform and consult employees or their representatives
- have been agreed by employees
If the employer believes there's already a valid agreement, they could ask for an employee ballot (vote) to decide whether a new agreement is still needed.
If more than 40% of employees request a new agreement
If more than 40% of employees make a request for a new information and consultation agreement, the employer must start negotiations.
'Negotiations' in this context means employees and the employer (or their representatives) work together to agree:
- how informing and consulting will happen
- when it will happen
If a ballot is needed
If a ballot is needed, your employer must:
- tell you no more than 1 month after they get your request that they're going to hold a ballot
- hold the ballot no sooner than 21 days after they tell you about it
Your employer might decide to hold a combined ballot of all employees if there's already an agreement covering other parts of the business as well as your own.
All employees must be allowed to vote in the ballot.
The voting must be done in private.
If more than half of employees vote for a new agreement
The employer and employees must start negotiating a new agreement if more than 50% of employees vote for this.
Requesting a new agreement
If employees are satisfied with the existing agreement, then another request cannot be made for 3 years from the date the request was made.
If you have a complaint
You can complain to the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) if you do not believe there's already a valid related agreement. You can get the form to complain about a pre-existing agreement on GOV.UK.
You can also get the relevant complaint form on GOV.UK and send it to the CAC if:
- the employer has not told you that they're holding a ballot within 1 month of getting your request – use form 8(7)
- you think the employer is taking too long to hold a ballot after they've said they would and 21 days have passed – use form 8(8)
- you believe the ballot was not fair – make the complaint within 21 days of the ballot using form 10(2)