This case study explores how a need to improve internal communications within The Peabody Trust led to the development of a new model for representative information and consultation and the establishment of a Staff Council, balancing formal recognition with a commitment to all-staff representative consultation.

The Peabody Trust is a London based housing association, which provides over 19,500 affordable homes to around 50,000 people and encourages community regeneration across the capital. The Trust is a non-for-profit organisation regulated by the Housing Corporation and an interesting example of a medium-sized, multi-site organisation, employing over 700 paid staff, split between head office and dispersed estates and projects around London.

Trade unions have always been free to represent their members at disciplinary hearings, although Peabody did not formally recognise any until November 2001, after an approach by Amicus (MSF), who are now the largest trade union presence in Peabody.

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