An appropriate manager from the Service concerned will lead the consultation process.
For corporate issues affecting all Council employees, the lead officer is likely to be the Head of People and Organisation, or one of his/her representatives. For example, consultation on new or reviewed HR policies and procedures.
Consultation involves managers actively seeking out the views and ideas of trades unions and then take these views into consideration before decisions are made.
Managers must provide sufficient information and time to trades unions to enable them to consider the proposals; discuss the proposals and implications with their members; submit their response with suggested alternatives to any of the proposed changes; and receive feedback on their response including carefully explained reasons where views are rejected.
When consulting you should:
- ensure that communication is clear, simple and consistent;
- be open, honest and factual
- use face-to-face communication as much as possible
- avoid information overload
- listen and act on feedback
- ensure our communications are timely and relevant
On the basis that some decisions are likely to lead to significant changes in the way we organise, deliver and provide services to our customers, there is a legal requirement that consultation in such instances should be carried out “with a view to reaching agreement”. However, consultation does not remove the right of managers to manage – they still must make the final decisions which may result in not acting on some of the views received where there may be sound and practical reasons for not doing so.
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