Euro directive may make consultation worse, industry body claims

Standards
of staff consultation could actually be lowered if Brussels introduces a less
flexible information directive, warns the UK Chemical Industries Association.

It
follows last week’s amendments to the Information and Consultation Directive by
the Employment and Social Affairs Committee of the European Parliament.

The
CIA claims the new measures will remove the seven-year phasing in period
secured by UK ministers on 11 June 2001, and allow Brussels to define sanctions
in UK employment law for the first time.

In
response, the CIA will now be working with the CBI and other industry
organisations to persuade MEPs of the folly of these changes.

Dr
Anil Kumar, CIA director of people, knowledge and communication, said, "I
am unable to think of a worse outcome. We are fully committed to employers
consulting with their workforce and our members spend a great deal of their
time doing that but these changes go far beyond anything that is
necessary."

The
detail of these amendments will only become clear once the directive is
translated into national law within individual EU member states, but the CIA is
concerned that the existing draft is already over-prescriptive and calls for
unnecessary change.

"The
proposals could actually lead to a lowering of standards as firms scrap
well-enshrined and successful voluntary arrangements," explained Kumar.

By Phil Boucher

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