Conciliation service Acas is urging companies to see the Information and Consultation Regulations, which came into force today, as an opportunity to improve the workplace.
It is encouraging companies to consider the effectiveness of their current arrangements and how they can become more open and co-operative in their dealings with their workforce.
From today, organisations with more than 150 employees will have to consult their staff directly or through representatives on matters that affect them, such as strategic direction, job losses or mergers.
Acas chair Rita Donaghy said: "We know that good communication with employees is one of the key elements to successful employment relations. Organisations should see these new regulations as an opportunity to ensure their arrangements for informing and consulting employees suit their workplace."
She also warned directors and company owners not to assume that managers are already fully catered for. "Many line managers are not involved in the development of key decisions and even very senior managers may feel that their voice is not properly being heard.
"A failure to involve managers can undermine the best-laid plans for informing and consulting with employees in general," she said.