The Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations 2004 (the ICE Regulations)

The Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations 2004 (the ICE Regulations)

The ICE Regulations (not to be confused with the obligations under a European Works Council) provide that employers are required to have in place an information and consultation agreement (‘ICE Agreement’) for the purposes of informing and consulting employees about economic and employment-related matters within the business, if:

1)    The business employs 50 employees or more; and

2)    Its employees make a valid request to negotiate an ICE Agreement (or the employer gives notification of intention   to negotiate the terms of an ICE Agreement).

The obligations under the ICE Regulations may seem to be yet another onerous consultation and information burden placed on employers. However, in times where businesses are looking for ways in which to encourage better performance of employees the ICE Regulations may be worth a second thought. Keeping employees involved and updated about the business they work in and asking them to contribute with input on various issues could result in a more dedicated workforce and improved performance. Setting up an ICE Agreement is also likely to result in improved internal communications and encouraging input from employees may strengthen your business by drawing attention to where systems or procedures could be more time and cost-efficient or where more business could be generated.

Overview of Employment Law Changes in 2012

We conclude this first newsletter of the year by highlighting a number of employment law changes scheduled to take place during 2012.

February 2012:

  • New employment tribunal award limits will come into force;

April 2012:

  • Qualifying period for claiming unfair dismissal is planned to increase from one year to two years;
  • Unpaid parental leave will increase to four months;
  • Statutory maternity/paternity/adoption pay increases;
  • Increase in statutory sick pay

October 2012:

  • Start of pensions auto-enrolment for larger employers;

Other proposed developments for 2012:

  • Proposed penalties for employers in breach of employment rights;
  • Amendment of whistleblowing rules;
  • Simplification of dismissal process;
  • Early ACAS involvement in all tribunal claims;
  • Simplification of compromise agreements.

If you have any questions to the issues raised above or would like us to advise you on the ICE Regulations, please do not hesitate to contact the Employment Team at ebl miller rosenfalck.

The material contained in this newsletter is provided for general purposes only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice. Appropriate legal advice should be sought for specific circumstances and before action is taken.

© , January  2012

Please contact:

Sara Kennedy - Solicitor

DD +44 (0)20 7553 9937

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