Requirements of Fair Consultation

What are the basic requirements of a fair consultation process?

In R v London Borough of Haringey the Supreme Court endorsed the four ‘Gunning’ principles as the essential ingredients of a fair consultation:

  • consultation must take place when the proposal is still at a formative stage
  • sufficient reasons for the proposal must be put forward to allow for intelligent consideration and response
  • adequate time must be given for consideration and response
  • responses must be conscientiously taken into account

These are important concepts for employers to understand. They underpin redundancy proposals, re-structures, transfers, contractual changes and are central to the management process when dealing with changes in working practices and procedures.

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