After many delays the European Parliament has adopted the Directive on Staff
Information and Consultation.
Under the national works council directive, as it is known, companies will
be obliged to inform and consult with employees on any issues affecting the
organisation that may have an impact on their employment. This covers anything
from day-to-day business to redundancies or company closure.
Undertakings with 150 or more employees have three years to implement the
changes; those with fewer than 150 have five years and those with fewer than 50
Robert Stevens, research and information officer at the Involvement and
Participation Association, which has published guidelines to help organisations
put a consultative framework in place, sees the directive as a positive force.
"Employers should look on it as an opportunity, supported by a real
business case, to build effective processes with their employees. It will lead
to better planning and decision making as well as a more committed and