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Workplace Representation

There is no common structure for employee representation in the UK and in many workplaces it does not exist. Unions are the most common way that employees are represented, and since 1999 they have been legally able to compel employers to deal with them, but only if they have sufficient support. Most non-union workplaces have no employee representation, and the regulations implementing the EU directive on information and consultation have only had a limited impact.

There is no formal legal mechanism providing for on-going workplace representation in the UK. In contrast to some EU countries there is no structure of works councils elected by all employees, and there is also no legislation or system of legally binding collective agreements which give wide ranging powers to local union organisations to represent all employees.

 

This means that the structure and influence of employee workplace representation is very varied. The position has not been fundamentally changed by the legislation, implementing the EU information and consultation directive, which came into effect for organisations with more than 50 employees in April 2008 (larger organisations were affected earlier), as it also does not set out a structure for employee representation (see below).

 

In most cases, the structure of employee representation at work depends on a combination of the strength of the union at the workplace and the wishes of the employer.

 

In many workplaces, the only representation will be through the union, and, where the union is recognised, this may involve negotiations on pay and conditions, as well as a union role in disciplinary and grievance procedures and health and safety, and consultation with the union on issues like redundancies and business transfers.

 

In other workplaces, employers will have decided to set up their own structures for employee representation, which are likely primarily to have a consultative role, but may also deal with staff grievances. These bodies have a variety of names, such as staff or colleague forum, company council or consultative committee, and they are likely to discuss issues such as training, pay, health and safety, performance appraisal and staffing arrangements.

 

In some workplaces these structures may coexist, with both union and non-union representatives present. This may be because the employer deals with the union for some members of staff, and with a non-union structure for the others, but it may also mean that there is a structure, often called a joint consultative committee, which involves both union and non-union members. (A study of joint consultative committees in 2014 found that their “incidence … is strongly associated with both the presence of union members in the workplace and trade union recognition”.[1])

 

The most recent substantial UK survey of employee representation is the Workplace Employment Relations Study (WERS11), which was carried out in 2011 and 2012 and examined at workplaces with five or more employees. It provided a breakdown by number of employees of the different forms of on-site employee representation:

  • only union representatives present on site (28%);
  • both union and non-union representatives present on site (7%);
  • only non-union representatives present on site (9%); and
  • no employee representatives on site (55%). [2]  

 

These figures, which show that, where employee representation exists, it is most likely to be provided by the union, are in line with the annual figures from the Labour Force Survey which asks whether union members are present at the workplace (a wider question than whether there are union representatives). In 2019, almost half (48.7%) of all employees stated that was the case, only slightly down on the 52.7%, who reported a union presence in 2012.[3]

 

However, both the 2019 Labour Force Survey and the WERS11 figures make it clear that there is a substantial difference between the private and public sectors. The Labour Force Survey figures show that almost nine out of 10 (88.2%) of employees in the public sector were in workplaces, where unions were present in 2019, but only around a third (32.2%) of employees in the private sector. The WERS11 figures show that union recognition, the most effective form of union representation (see below) was much more likely in public sector (92% of workplaces) than in private manufacturing (9%) or private services (12%).[4] 

 

Union recognition means that the employer has agreed to consult or negotiate with the union or unions over issues affecting the workforce. (It normally means that the employer will negotiate with the union on pay and conditions but there are some cases where unions are only recognised by the employer for individual grievance and disciplinary cases.) In addition, if the union is recognised, it has certain rights (see below).

 

Until 1999, union recognition was a matter of the balance of power between the unions and the employer, with the employer legally able to refuse to recognise a union, no matter how many members the union had. However, legislation passed in that year provides a legal mechanism which can compel employers to recognise unions. Unions must prove to an independent body, the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) that a majority of employees in a “bargaining unit”, which can be a workplace, several workplaces, or part of a workplace, want a union to represent them. Unions can do this either by showing that more than half the employees are union members, or by winning the support for recognition of a majority of employees in a ballot, although this must also be equivalent to at least 40% of all employees in the bargaining unit. The legislation only applies to employers with 21 or more employees.

 

In the 20 years since the procedure started, unions have submitted 1,166 cases to the CAC,  with 335 resulting in recognition (167 involving a successful ballot). [5] However, this may be an underestimate of the impact of the legislation, as often, where unions sought recognition and had substantial membership, they were able to achieve it on a voluntary basis, as the employer was aware that the legal avenue was open to the union if recognition were refused.

 

Where there are no unions, there is no general right or requirement to have employee representatives, although there are specific EU directives which require employee representatives to be informed or consulted, as on redundancies, business transfers and health and safety. In workplaces without unions, UK legislation implements these directives by requiring the employer either to inform and consult existing employee representatives, if these are present, or to inform and consult representatives specially elected for that purpose. It is important to emphasise that in none of these cases are there any precise rules in the legislation as to how this representation should be structured.

 

In addition, there are the Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations 2004 (ICE) implementing the EU information and consultation directive (2002/14/EC), which give employees in undertakings with more than 50 employees the right to be informed and consulted on developments in the business in particular in relation to employment.

 

However, the regulations do not require employers to establish a structure for information and consultation if one does not exist. The process must be either initiated by the employer or by a request of 2% of the workforce, with a minimum of 15 employees. (This threshold was reduced from 10% of the workforce in April 2020.) Once this has happened, the employer and employee representatives are required to start negotiations on an agreement on information and consultation, with fallback arrangements on setting up a committee if no agreement is reached. But these negotiations can be blocked in some cases if there is already a valid pre-existing agreement on information and consultation in place. They will also never start unless either the employer or 2% of the workforce ask for an information and consultation mechanism to be set up.

 

The evidence so far is that the regulations have not produced major changes in quantitative terms in employee representation at the workplace. In fact, the WERS 2011 survey showed a very slight fall in the proportion of workplaces and employees covered by on-site joint consultative committees compared with seven years earlier. The proportion covered dipped from 9% of workplaces and 38% of employees in 2004 before the regulations came into effect to 8%  and 37% of employees in 2011, by which time they had been in effect for three years.[6] A later academic study said that the ICE regulations had had  a “disappointingly limited impact “. and stated that “the initiative to establish or relaunch consultation bodies was almost invariably management’s”.[7] It remains to be seen whether the reduction in the threshold required to initiate the process from 10% to 2% of the workforce will change the situation.

 

The fact that there is no legal obligation to set up employee representation at the workplace in the UK, is reflected in the results of Eurofound’s 2013 and 2019 European Company Surveys. In 2013, 16% of establishments in UK with at least 10 employees had employee representation, either recognised union representation or a joint consultative committee. This was only half the EU28 average for employee representation of 32%.[8] 

 

The comparable figure for 2019 in the UK is slightly higher at 20%, but this may partially reflect differences in how the information was collected and a slight change in the question asked. The UK is again below the EU27 average of 29%.  As elsewhere in Europe, larger organisations are more likely to have such a structure than smaller ones. The 2019 survey shows that 58% of establishments with more than 250 employees had employee representation, and that in those with between 50 and 249 employees, the percentage of workplaces with representation was 30%. In smaller workplaces in the UK, those with between 10 and 49 employees, the survey indicates that only around one in six (17%) had employee representation.

 

Numbers and structure

 

There are no legal rules or guidance on the number of workplace union representatives who should be appointed. Unions aim to have at least one union representative – who may be known as shop stewards, workplace representatives, workplace stewards or staff representatives – in each workplace and department, with more in larger departments and where members work shifts. Unions are also increasingly trying to have workplace union representatives with specific roles, covering safety, equality, learning  and, in some unions, the environment. Safety representatives and learning representatives also have some statutory time-off rights.  

 

In larger workplaces, union representatives may come together as a shop stewards' committee (SSC) and elect a spokesperson, often known as a convenor or senior shop steward. Where there is more than one union at the workplace, representatives from different unions may come together to form a joint committee. This is sometimes known as a joint shop stewards' committee (JSSC) but also has many other names such as office or works committee. The structures are informal and can vary greatly from workplace to workplace.

 

There may also be a joint committee with the employer, which, as already noted, is often called a joint consultative committee. This can exist both in workplaces where unions are recognised and those where they are not. However, where there is such a body, there are no rules or guidance as to its size.

 

There are also no rules on the number of members of non-union representative structures, where these exist. However, a recent study by the CIPD, a body for human resources professionals, which included four case studies of organisations with non-union representative bodies indicated the extent of possible variation. The cases ranged from the DIY retailer, B&Q, which has multi-tiered “People’s Forum” with store-level, region-level and national forums, covering 22,000 staff, to the “Innovation Forum” with five to seven members for the 50 staff, employed at WorldSkills UK, an organisation providing careers advice.[9]

 

The only specific rules on numbers and structures are in the ICE regulations, introduced to comply with the EU information and consultation directive (2002/14/EC). These regulations apply to all undertakings, whatever their status and whether or not they are run for profit, provided they have at least 50 employees. This is calculated on the basis of the average number of employees over the previous 12 months. Employees who work 75 hours a month or fewer (approximately 3.5 hours a day) can be counted as half an employee, if the employer wishes. All employees are included in this calculation, irrespective of their position in the company (senior managers are not excluded), but agency workers are not included as they are not employed by the undertaking (Regulation 4, ICE).

 

As already noted, these regulations only come into effect at the request of either the employees or the employer, and the intention is that the arrangements should be negotiated. However, where the fall-back arrangements are used, they state that there should be one representative for every 50 employees or part thereof on an information and consultation committee, with a minimum of two members and a maximum of 25 (Regulation 19, ICE).

 

Tasks and rights

 

In organisations where unions are recognised, workplace union representatives, whether they are called shop stewards or have some other name, combine a variety of roles.

 

The TUC in its Workplace Manual lists the following tasks for workplace union representatives:

  • recruiting members into the union and organising them around workplace issues;
  • talking to members about workplace issues, advising them and keeping them informed of the latest developments;
  • representing members who have problems;
  • branch work and the wider union; and
  • negotiations with the employer.[10]

 

The references in this list of tasks to internal union priorities – branches are local union groups in the UK – reflects the fact that these are union structures. The obligations of workplace union representatives are limited to union members. They have no responsibility for other employees.

 

In practice, a survey carried out for the TUC in 2019 and 2020 found that supporting individual union members in disciplinary and grievance procedures was the task that workplace union representatives spent most time on and almost half the respondents (47%) said this was their most important issue.[11]

 

The workplace union representative will normally be the first port of call for a union member facing problems at work. They are usually responsible for pursuing grievances and complaints on behalf of members of the union.  They will also act as an advocate for members who are facing disciplinary action by the employer, although often, if they are unsuccessful, the employer’s procedures will allow for the involvement of a full-time officer of the union. Employees invited by their employer to attend a disciplinary or grievance hearing have a legal right to be accompanied either by a full-time union official (an employee of the union) or by a certified lay official (someone the union has trained to accompany individuals to such hearings), or by a fellow employee. This right to be accompanied by a full-time or lay union representative applies irrespective of whether the union is recognised at the workplace (Employment Relations Act 1999 Section 10).

 

The WERS11 survey also found that discipline and grievance was at the top of the list of issues union representatives spent time on, with 78% saying they spent time on this. It was followed by health and safety (69%), rates of pay (61%), pension entitlements (55%) staffing levels and hours of work (both tied on 54%).[12]

 

These are average figures, and there are differences in the balance of tasks carried out by workplace union representatives depending on the circumstances of the workplace. In many workplaces in the private sector negotiating on pay and conditions will be an important element of their activities, as, in the private sector, the most important level of collective bargaining is that of the company or individual workplace (see section on Collective bargaining). Local union representatives are less likely to be directly involved in pay bargaining in the public sector, although they may deal with the local implementation of industry-level deals.

 

However, it is important to recognise that there is no legal requirement for the employer to negotiate with the union except where there has been a legally binding decision that the unions should be “recognised” for bargaining (see above).

 

However, where unions are recognised, not just where there is a legal binding decision to recognise the union, the employer is obliged to inform and consult them on collective redundancies (20 or more employees being made redundant over the course of 90 days) and the business transfers (Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 (TULRCA) Section 188 onwards for redundancy and Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE) Regulations 13 and 14 for business transfers). Both these obligations are the result of EU directives, on redundancy (98/59/EC) and the transfer of undertakings (2001/23/EC)

 

In the case of collective redundancies, the employer must provide the union following with the following information in writing:

 

  • reason(s) for the redundancies;
  • number and descriptions of employees proposed to be made redundant;
  • total number of employees of any description;
  • proposed selection procedure;
  • proposed method for carrying out redundancy dismissals including timescale;
  • proposals for calculating redundancy pay, if it is to exceed the legal minimum;
  • the number of temporary agency workers working for the employer;
  • where those agency workers are working; and
  • what types of work they are carrying out.

 

Comparable information must be provided in the case of business transfers.

 

For both collective redundancies and business transfers, the information must be sufficient to allow effective consultation to take place. Consultation must begin “in good time” and for larger collective redundancies (100 or more employees) it must begin at least 45 days before the redundancies take effect; for redundancies involving between 20 and 99 employees it must start at least 30 days beforehand. There is no minimum period for consultation in the case of business transfers, but unions must be involved as early as practically possible, and for business transfers the requirement to consult begins when just one employee is affected.

 

The consultation must be meaningful and must be undertaken by the employer “with a view to reaching agreement” with the union. However, there is nothing in the legislation that requires the two sides to reach agreement, and the final decision lies with the employer.

 

Other consultation rights exercised by recognised unions include the right of union safety representatives to be consulted on health and safety issues (Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, Section 2), and to be consulted on some limited issues related to pensions (The Occupational and Personal Pension Schemes (Consultation by Employers and Miscellaneous Amendment) Regulations 2006 Regulation 12).

 

In the relatively few cases where unions have used the information and consultation provisions resulting from the EU directive on information and consultation (transposed in the UK through the ICE Regulations), the unions can reach agreement with the employer on the issues on which they wish to be informed and consulted. However, the standard provisions, which apply if no agreement is concluded, state (ICE Regulation 20) that representatives must be:

 

  • informed about the recent and probable development of the undertaking’s activities and economic situation;
  • informed and consulted about the situation, structure and probable development of employment within the undertaking and on any planned measures, particularly, where employment may be threatened; and
  • informed and consulted about decisions likely to lead to substantial changes in work organisation or in contractual relations.

 

In addition to consultation rights, in workplaces where unions are recognised, union representatives have the right to information from their employer which is needed for collective bargaining (TULRCA Section 181). This is information:

 

  • without which representatives would be impeded in carrying out collective bargaining; or
  • which, in accordance with good industrial relations practice, should be disclosed.

 

In practice, this typically involves details of pay rates and pay structures.

 

In workplaces where unions are not recognised, and employee representation is through non-union structures, the tasks and rights of the representatives will be as decided by the employer, although non-union representatives may have a legal right to be consulted on redundancies and business transfers, where they occur. However, it must be clear that they are authorised to negotiate with the employer, and if this is not the cases, special representatives must be elected from among those affected to deal with the redundancies or business transfer.

 

If an agreement has been reached with the employer on information and consultation, using the ICE Regulations (see above) non-union representatives may benefit from these rights.

 

Where there is no recognised union, employers must still consult employees on health and safety issues. This can either be done directly or through elected representatives. If representatives are to be elected, the employer must make arrangements for elections of “representatives of employee safety” (ROES) by the group of employees with whom they work (Health and Safety (Consultation with Employees) Regulations 1996 Regulation 4).

 

In practice, the WERS 2011 survey found that training was the issue on which the largest number of non-union representatives were involved – 58% said they had spent time on this in the previous year. This was followed by rates of pay (52%) and health and safety (50%), performance appraisal (49%) and staffing levels (46%). Non-union representatives were much less likely to have been involved in disciplinary and grievance issues than union representatives. Only 44% of non-union representatives had spent time on this in the previous 12 months, compared with 78% of union representatives.[13]   

 

Election and term of office

 

The methods for electing union representatives, who, of course, must be union members, vary from union to union.

 

Unite, the UK’s largest union states in its rules that members employed at each workplace “shall elect from amongst themselves” one or more representatives at a meeting in the meeting in the first three months of the year and the meeting to elect representatives should take place at least once every three years.[14]

 

The rules of the biggest public sector union, UNISON, provide for annual election for one or more stewards “for each work group or workplace by the members in that work group or workplace. However, the rules do not go into details on how this should be done.[15]  

 

The rules of the GMB, the third largest union, do not stipulate the frequency of elections but provide more details on how the choice can be made:

  • by a show of hands or a ballot by members at the workplace;
  • by a show of hands at a branch meeting (a meeting of union members which may cover more than one workplace); or
  • by appointment by a senior paid official (regional secretary) provided all the members concerned agree.[16]

 

As these rules indicate, there are few formal procedures around the choice of union representatives, although the rules of all three unions make it clear that once local representatives have been chosen their names must be passed on to higher levels in the union – to the regional offices in Unite and the GMB, and to the branch in UNISON.

 

The situation in other unions is similar with the union representative more typically being chosen by a show of hands rather than a secret ballot. They are normally chosen for a particular office or workshop, and where there is shift working there may be different shop stewards for different shifts. They are usually elected by the members in the area in which they work rather than by the workforce as a whole. Elections typically take place every year. In practice individuals may hold office for long periods. In some unions, the choice of the membership at the workplace must not just be passed on to a higher level in the union but must be endorsed by it. One reason for this is unions can also be held liable actions by their elected or appointed workplace representatives or shop stewards when carrying out union business, as a recent case made clear.[17]

 

The method for choosing non-union representatives and their period of office will normally be decided by the employer, although election is the most frequently used method.[18]

 

Where representatives are being chosen for the purposes of information and consultation, under the information and consultation regulations implementing the EU directive, the fallback arrangements state that they should be elected by a ballot of all employees (ICE Regulation 19). An independent ballot supervisor must be appointed to ensure that the ballot is fair and the employer should consult employees’ representatives (in many cases this will be the union) on the arrangements for the ballot (ICE Schedule 2). The ballot will normally be of all employees together, but the employer can decide to split the workforce into separate constituencies, if it “would better reflect the interests of the employees as a whole”. All employees, including senior managers, can vote in this election and all employees, again including senior managers, can stand. There are no nomination requirements, and no period of office is prescribed in the legislation.

 

Protection against dismissal

 

Dismissal and other forms of victimisation for trade union membership or activity are unlawful (TULRCA Sections 146 and 152), irrespective of whether the union is recognised. But union representatives have no specific protection against dismissal, and the code of practice from the government's conciliation and arbitration body Acas on disciplinary and grievance procedures recommends that the normal disciplinary procedure should be followed when an employer is considering taking action against a union representative. Nevertheless, it adds that “depending on the circumstances, however, it is advisable to discuss the matter at an early stage with an official employed by the union, after obtaining the employee’s agreement”.[19]

 

Non-union representatives only have specific protection against dismissal and victimisation, in as far as they are acting in relation to specific statutory rights – such as in cases of redundancy or business transfers.

 

Representatives appointed under the information and consultation regulations similarly have specific protection against their dismissal or detriment, if linked to the performance of their functions or the exercise of their rights (ICE Regulations 30 and 32).

 

Time off and other resources

 

Workplace union representatives, where unions are recognised, have a legal right to paid time off which is “reasonable in all the circumstances ” to carry out their duties as representatives and to receive appropriate training (TULRCA Section 168).

 

These duties relate to negotiations with the employer over terms and conditions or physical conditions of employment, recruitment, suspension, dismissal, work allocation, discipline, union membership, time off facilities and the machinery of negotiation and other procedures (set out in TULRCA Section 178 (2)). They also have a right to paid time off for statutory information and consultation duties concerning collective redundancies and TUPE transfers.

 

The law does not specify what is considered “reasonable” and the employer may refuse time off either if it is considered too frequent or too inconvenient at the time of the particular request.  However, an Acas code of practice sets out the issues that both sides should consider.[20]

 

For the unions they are:

  • the size of the organisation and the number of workers;
  • the production process;
  • the need to maintain a service to the public; and
  • the need for safety and security at all times.

 

Employers, on the other hand, should consider the difficulties facing trade union representatives and members in ensuring effective representation and communications with different groups of workers, such as those working shifts, part time or in different locations.

 

The Acas codes states that it would be reasonable to provide paid time off to:

 

  • prepare for negotiations, including attending relevant meetings;
  • inform members of progress and outcomes; and
  • prepare for meetings with the employer about matters for which the trade union has only representational rights.

 

It goes on to state that a good way to deal with this is through a formal “facilities agreement” setting out union rights to paid time, working facilities and training, and there are many examples of agreements of this sort.

 

The WERS 2011 survey provides some information on what happens in practice, although as the information relates to the most senior union representative in each workplace, the results do not reflect the position for all union representatives. The survey found that, on average, 17% of senior union representatives were fully freed from their normally duties and that senior union representatives spent an average of 13 hours a week on their role, although around half (49%) spent less than five hours a week.[21]

 

Paid time off for union duties, often called facility time has come under pressure from the government, which has introduced new reporting requirements for all employers in the public sector (Trade Union Facility Time Publication Requirements Regulations 2017). This requires employers, among other things to provide details of the total number of union representatives (both head count and full time equivalent), and the total amount of time representatives spent on facility time.

 

All trade union members, not just workplace union representatives are entitled to reasonable time of to take part in union activities, other than industrial action in workplaces where the union is recognised (TULRCA Section 170). However, this is not paid. Such activities could include attending union workplace meetings or meeting union officials to discuss workplace issues.

 

In workplaces with no union recognition there is no legal right to time off either for duties or for training, except in relation to specific statutory rights – such as in cases of redundancy or business transfers or under the regulations on information and consultation. The WERS11 Survey shows that non-union representatives spent an average of three hours a week on their duties.

 

The right of access to other facilities, both for union and non-union representatives, is limited to specific circumstances – dealing with health and safety, redundancy and business transfers. Union representatives have no general right to facilities to enable them to do their work and depend on reaching agreement with the employer for any facilities they have.

 

However, an Acas guide suggests that “employers should, where practical, make available to union representatives the facilities necessary for them to perform their duties efficiently and to communicate effectively with their members, other representatives and full-time officers.” Where resources permit the code states that these should include:

 

  • accommodation for meetings;
  • access to a telephone and other communication media used or permitted in the workplace such as email, intranet and internet;
  • the use of noticeboards;
  • an office, if the volume of work makes this necessary;
  • confidential space where employees involved in a grievance or disciplinary matter can meet their representatives;
  • access to members who work at a different location; and
  • access to e-learning tools where computer facilities are available.[22]

 

The WERS 2011 survey indicates what happens in practice – at least in 2011 and 2012. Around three-quarters of senior union representatives had use of an office (74%), a telephone (76%), meeting rooms (78%) and a photocopier (77%). More than two-thirds had use of a computer (69%).

 

For non-union representatives, all the figures were higher: office (84%), telephone (81%), meeting rooms (84%), photocopier (85%) and computer (84%).[23]

 

Since 2002, there has been the possibility of having a new union representative at the workplace – a union learning rep. In a workplace with a recognised union, union learning reps are entitled to a reasonable amount of paid time off to carry out their duties (TULRCA Section 168A and Employment Act 2002 Section 43). These duties include addressing employees’ learning or training needs, providing information and advice and promoting the value of learning and preparing and consulting with the employer. They also have the right to time off for drawing up learning plans and working with employers to promote the value of learning.

 

 

Training rights

 

Workplace union representatives also have a right to paid time of for training which is:

 

  • relevant to the carrying union duties (see above), and
  • approved by the TUC or by the union to which the representative belongs.

 

As with time off more generally the amount training permitted is not specified but must be “reasonable in all the circumstances” (TULRCA Section 168 (2)).

 

The Acas code of practice states that. “union representatives are more likely to carry out their duties effectively if they possess skills and knowledge relevant to their duties” And it goes on to state that, “in particular, employers should be prepared to consider releasing union representatives for initial training in basic representational skills as soon as possible after their election or appointment”. It also suggests that there may be other reasons why employees should be entitled to be given paid time off for training, such as developing their skills, dealing with specific circumstances affecting the workers they represent or where legislation has changed.[24]

 

Union learning reps, in a workplace with a recognised union, are also entitled to some time off for training as are union safety reps.

 

Representation at group level

 

Just as there is no statutory structure for employee representation at workplace level so there is no structure at group level. Meetings of employee representatives at group level are on a voluntary basis at the initiative either of the union or the employer. In some cases, the union may bring its representatives in the company together and sometimes the company itself may wish to do so.

 

Figures from the WERS 2011 survey show that at that point 20% of workplaces and 27% of employees were covered by a joint consultative committee at a higher level than the individual workplace. Under the WERS definitions, this could include a European Works Council. Higher-level consultative committees were much more frequent in the public sector, where 56% of workplaces were covered, than in the private sector where only 15% of workplaces reported them.[25]

[1] Joint consultative committees under the Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations: A WERS analysis by Duncan Adam, John Purcell and Mark Hall, ACAS 2014 Tables 2.1, 2.2 and page 24

[2] Figures from WERS 2011 survey provided to the Labour Research Department October 2014. The figures do not add up to 100% because of rounding.

[3] Trade Union Membership, UK 1995-2019: Statistical Bulletin, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, May 2020 https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/trade-union-statistics-2019  (Accessed 08.01.2021)

[4] The 2011 Workplace Employment Relations Study: First Findings by Brigid van Wanrooy, Helen Bewley, Alex Bryson, John Forth, Stephanie Freeth, Lucy Stokes and Stephen Wood, BEIS, 2013 https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/336651/bis-14-1008-WERS-first-findings-report-fourth-edition-july-2014.pdf (Accessed 08.01.2021)

[5] Progress chart of applications for recognition Annual Report 2019/20 Central Arbitration Committee, 2020 https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/916680/CAC_Annual_Report_2019-20.pdf (Accessed 08.01.2021)

[6] Employment relations in the shadow of the recession: Findings from The 2011 Workplace Employment Relations Study by Brigid van Wanrooy, Helen Bewley, Alex Bryson, John Forth, Stephanie Freeth, Lucy Stokes and Stephen Wood, 2013, Table 4.5

[7] Reforming the ICE regulations – what chance now? by Mark Hall, John Purcell and Duncan Adam

Warwick Papers in Industrial Relations, September 2015 https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/wbs/research/irru/wpir/wpir102.pdf (Accessed 08.01.2021)

[8] Eurofound (2015), Third European Company Survey – Overview report: Workplace practices – Patterns, performance and well-being, Figures for Table 44

[9] Information and consultation of employees (ICE): What, why and how, CIPD, March 2020 https://www.cipd.co.uk/Images/ice-guide-full_tcm18-73473.pdf (Accessed 08.01.2021)

[10] The TUC Workplace Manual, TUC, 2016

[11] General Council Report 2020 Section 6.6, TUC Congress 2020 September 2020 https://www.tuc.org.uk/research-analysis/reports/general-council-report-2020?page=6 (Accessed 08.01.2021)

[12] The 2011 Workplace Employment Relations Study: First findings by Brigid van Wanrooy, Helen Bewley, Alex Bryson, John Forth, Stephanie Freeth, Lucy Stokes and Stephen Wood, 2013 https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/336651/bis-14-1008-WERS-first-findings-report-fourth-edition-july-2014.pdf (Accessed 08.01.2020)

[13] ibid

[14] Unite the union rule book 2019 https://unitetheunion.org/media/3470/unite-rule-book-effective-following-2019-v2-072020.pdf (Accessed 08.01.2021)Trade union facilities template: National Organising & Leverage Department, Unite, July 2016 https://unitetheunion.org/media/1241/trade-union-facilities-template-word-version.docx (Accessed 08.01.2021)

[15] 2019 UNISON Rulebook https://www.unison.org.uk/content/uploads/2020/01/25913-1.pdf  (Accessed 08.01.2021)

[16] GMB Rulebook http://archive.gmb.org.uk/assets/media/RulebookfollowingCongress2018.pdf (Accessed 08.01.2021)

[17] Unite the Union v Nailard [2018] EWCA Civ 1203

[18] Joint consultative committees under the Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations: A WERS analysis by Duncan Adam, John Purcell and Mark Hall, ACAS 2014, page 28

[19] Code of Practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures, Acas, March 2015 https://www.acas.org.uk/acas-code-of-practice-for-disciplinary-and-grievance-procedures/html#the-code-of-practice (Accessed 08.01.2021)

[20] Code of Practice - Time off for trade union duties and activities, Acas, January 2010 https://archive.acas.org.uk/media/274/Code-of-Practice---Time-off-for-trade-union-duties-and-activities/pdf/11287_CoP3_Time_off_Union_Activities_v1_0_Accessible.pdf (Accessed 08.01.2021)

[21] The 2011 Workplace Employment Relations Study: First findings by Brigid van Wanrooy, Helen Bewley, Alex Bryson, John Forth, Stephanie Freeth, Lucy Stokes and Stephen Wood, 2013 https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/336651/bis-14-1008-WERS-first-findings-report-fourth-edition-july-2014.pdf (Accessed 08.01.2021)

[22] Trade Union Representation in the Workplace, Acas, 2014 https://archive.acas.org.uk/media/2307/Advisory-booklet---Trade-union-representation-in-the-workplace/pdf/Trade-Union-Representation-in-the-Workplace.pdf (Accessed 08.01.2021)

[23] Worker representation in Great Britain 2004 - 2011: An analysis based on the Workplace Employment Relations Study by Andy Charlwood and Dave Angrave, ACAS 2014, Tables 4.2.1 and 4.2.2

[24] Code of Practice - Time off for trade union duties and activities, Acas, January 2010

[25] Joint consultative committees under the Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations: A WERS analysis by Duncan Adam, John  Purcell and Mark Hall, ACAS 2014 Tables 2.1 and 2.2 

L. Fulton (2021) National Industrial Relations, an update (2019-2021). Labour Research Department and ETUI (online publication). Online publication available at http://www.worker-participation.eu/National-Industrial-Relations.