I was interested to read ‘Broadcaster leads the way on employee consultation’, about BSkyB’s staff forum, which had been set up ahead of the Information and Consultation Regulations (Personnel Today, 22 March).
Having been aware that these regulations would be applicable in 2005 for employers with more than 150 staff, Harrow School set up a staff forum in 2001.
The boarding school has more than 400 staff, including cleaners, gardeners, nurses, shop assistants, laboratory staff and security officers. And a business department runs holiday courses and private lettings. The staff are represented by 15 volunteers.
Acas helped us to set up the forum and trained the representatives in conciliation and consultation.
The forum meets once a term, and over the past three years, representatives have gained more confidence in putting their views forward. It is now considered an excellent form of communication between management and employees, and very beneficial to both. All workers receive a copy of the minutes of the meetings and may raise any school-wide issues through their representatives.
So who really led the way: BSkyB, or Harrow School?
Beverley S Bailey
Personnel manager, Harrow School