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Chapter

Cover Employment Law

28. Consultation and bargaining  

This chapter looks at the regulation of collective bargaining and at ways in which employers can, in certain circumstances, be required in law to recognise trade unions and to consult collectively with their workforces. After briefly considering why the UK maintains a tradition of voluntarism as far as collective bargaining and collective agreements are concerned, it goes on to assess the work of the Central Arbitration Committee—the authority which has the major enforcing role in respect of the law in this field. This is followed by an analysis of four distinct, but interrelated areas of regulation: disclosure of information for collective bargaining purposes, compulsory union recognition, European Works Councils and the Information and Consultation Regulations.