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disclosure of information


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1 (in employment law) The communication by an employer to employees and their trade-union representatives of information relevant to collective bargaining, proposed redundancies, and the preservation of employees' health and safety at work. Under the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992, employers must disclose the following information to the representatives of a recognized independent trade union or to other employee representatives where there is no recognized trade union.(1) Information that is essential for the maintenance of good industrial relations or for the formulation of wage and related demands. The duty to disclose this information only arises if the union requests the information. When disclosure would damage national security or harm the business (apart from its effect on collective bargaining), or the information is sub judice or relevant only to particular individuals, disclosure need not be given. Guidelines on disclosure are published by ACAS (see also code of practice). When an employer refuses to disclose essential information, the Central Arbitration Committee is empowered on the application of the trade union to make awards of wages and conditions that are ultimately enforceable in the courts.(2) Details of any redundancies proposed by the employer. It must give the union 90 days' notice when 100 or more employees are to be made redundant over a period of 90 days or less, and 30 days' notice when between 20 and 99 redundancy dismissals are proposed within a 90-day period. The employer's notice must specify the reason for the proposals, the numbers and job descriptions of employees involved, the way in which employees have been selected for redundancy, and the procedures for their dismissal. It must consider any representations made by the union, but need not comply with its demands. If the employer fails to give the required notice, the union can apply to an employment tribunal, which may make a protective award to the redundant employees. Additionally, employers are required to notify the Secretary of State before giving notice to terminate an employee's contract (Case C-188/03 Junk v Kühnel [2005] IRLR 310 (ECJ).Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, an employer must give his employees at large such information, instruction, and supervision as will ensure their health and safety so far as is reasonably practicable. He must also give copies of any relevant documents to safety representatives appointed by a recognized trade union.

(1) Information that is essential for the maintenance of good industrial relations or for the formulation of wage and related demands. The duty to disclose this information only arises if the union requests the information. When disclosure would damage national security or harm the business (apart from its effect on collective bargaining), or the information is sub judice or relevant only to particular individuals, disclosure need not be given. Guidelines on disclosure are published by ACAS (see also code of practice). When an employer refuses to disclose essential information, the Central Arbitration Committee is empowered on the application of the trade union to make awards of wages and conditions that are ultimately enforceable in the courts.

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Subjects: Law.


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