Consulting staff: guidance

Find out how you should consult staff about proposed changes, and use our model consultation letters to invite staff to express their views on issues such as staff restructures and changes to holiday and pay arrangements.

Last reviewed on 8 June 2022
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 13543
  1. Planning a consultation
  2. Choosing a method
  3. Maintained schools: Check with your local authority
  4. Gathering and responding to feedback
  5. Consultation letters: templates and guidance

Planning a consultation

Consultation must take place before you make certain changes. A consultation means that you seek, consider, and listen to employees' views before making a decision.

It's helpful to: 

  • Start by agreeing the level of consultation
  • Inform people what the decision-making process after the consultation will consist of

Legally, you must consult about issues involving:

  • Possible redundancies
  • Changes to employment contracts
  • Changes to pensions
  • A business transfer / TUPE

The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) has advice on carrying out consultations with your employees. It includes tips on establishing a workplace forum to present ideas and listen to feedback.

Choosing a method

Consultation methods will vary depending on circumstances. As well as a workplace forum, you may use a formal agreement (also known as an ICE agreement, after the Information and Consultation of Employees regulations) to consult on significant issues.

Calling a staff meeting at which draft copies