CIPD calls for flexible approach to works councils

The
forthcoming information and consultation legislation must not be used to force
works councils on employers.

This
is the message from the CIPD in its response to consultation on the
legislation, which will ensure companies consult with staff earlier and in more
detail about issues which affect their employment such as redundancies and
mergers.

The
CIPD is calling for flexibility in the legislation, which comes into force for
the largest firms as early as 2005.

Diane
Sinclair, lead adviser on public policy at the CIPD, fears that forcing
organisations to introduce bureaucratic structures such as works councils will
be counterproductive.

She
believes they are often too remote to have a positive effect on staff
involvement.

The
CIPD only wants work councils to be introduced if specifically requested by
employees.

Sinclair
said: “The Government should take a light touch on implementing the EU
directive on information and consultation in the UK.

"It
must ensure that the regulations maximise flexibility and allow organisations
to develop arrangements best suited to their circumstances.

"Legislation
must not prescribe a one-size-fits-all structure that will not benefit either
party.”

By Paul Nelson

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