New legislation has come into force on the recognition of a union at the workplace however, where there is no union and at least 50 employees are employed, then they have a right to elect a member from amongst themselves to represent them. As employer, you have the obligation to inform and remind them of this right. If you do not, then there is a hefty price to pay!
In terms of the Employee (Information and Consultation) Regulations, every workplace should have an information and consultation representative so that the employer will be able to communicate recent developments, financial standing and any decisions likely to affect the employees. While these would otherwise be communicated between the employer and trade union, the employer is obliged to make arrangements for the election of an employee representative in the event that there is no trade union representing the majority.
While there are various obligations and requirements to keep in mind when creating a system for the appointment of an employee representative, the employer has the duty to inform the employees in a given category at intervals of 3 months from the initial call. If the employer fails to do this, the fine is of up to €116 per employee, and it is uncapped.