This is one method that employers use to work with trade unions or works councils to negotiate matters such as terms and conditions of employment for certain groups or all their employees.
The Industrial Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1992 places a general duty on employers to disclose, when requested, information to trade union representatives that is necessary for the purposes of collective bargaining. The trade union must be recognised by the employer for collective bargaining purposes and the information is that which is in the possession of the employer and is that without which a trade union representative would be impeded in the bargaining process.
The Labour Relations Agency has a duty to provide practical guidance on the application of articles 39 and 40 of the Industrial Relations (Northern Ireland) Order 1992 in relation to the disclosure of information by employers to trade unions for the purpose of collective bargaining.
The information that employers may have a duty to disclose under article 39 is information that would be disclosed in accordance with good industrial relations practice. In determining what would be in accordance with good industrial relations practice, regard is to be had to any relevant provisions set out in the Agency’s code of practice, which can be accessed in the ‘Related tools and publications’ section.