Employee consultation

Employee consultation

"The "exceptional" employment group at Shoosmiths"

The Legal 500 2011

Although trade union membership is in overall decline, many sectors are still highly unionised, and the economic difficulties of the last few years have resulted in an increase in collective disputes over pay and conditions.

Not all workplaces have a trade union presence, but many employers recognise the benefits of having some form of employee consultative body, while many multi-national companies have cross-border consultation bodies.

Within our employment team we have lawyers with extensive experience helping clients to:

  • deal with requests for recognition by a trade union
  • manage industrial relations disputes, including applications for injunctions to prevent strikes
  • negotiate collective agreements with trade unions
  • consider de-recognition of trade unions
  • understand the individual rights of trade union members and representatives
  • set up other types of employee consultation bodies, including under the ICE Regulations
  • deal with European works councils and cross-border consultation issues

Work highlights

  • advising a large plc client on the implications and process of de-recognising its recognised trade union
  • advising a manufacturing client on injunctive and practical relief for the containment and dispersal of a picket affecting it and other occupants of the targeted workplace, and managing the subsequent resolution of the industrial dispute with the two unions involved on behalf of over 350 employees
  • drafting an ICE-compliant agreement for a large retail client and providing training to the elected employee representatives
  • reviewing a collective agreement and assisting a large traditional manufacturing client in its negotiations with its recognised trade union in updating the same
  • negotiating the terms of an EWC agreement with a multi-national services company