Backing for staff consultation urged

The
Industrial Society has launched a campaign to persuade the Government to drop
its opposition to extending legislation on employee consultation.

In a
report, The Silent Stakeholders: Reforming workforce consultation law, the
society says recent cases such as BMW’s treatment of its Rover workforce show
there is an urgent need for better workplace consultation.

It says
pressure from the French presidency to extend EU consultation legislation to
companies with more than 50 employees makes the prospect of changes to UK
legislation increasingly likely, and it urges the Government to seek its own
solution.

The report
says the Government’s position on consultation is inconsistent with a wide body
of evidence showing that consultation has proven business benefits.

UK-specific
legislation would ease the bureaucratic burden created by the "piecemeal
approach" to legislation on consultation as well as recognising
employees’  stakeholder rights, it adds.

Patrick
Burns, director of policy at the Industrial Society and author of the report,
said, "If the Chancellor wants to lift UK productivity, he should persuade
ministers to widen consultation rights.

"Consulting
staff on big decisions that affect them pays off in employee trust, commitment
and performance. This report shows that the Government can spread the benefits
of consultation without Brussels writing the script."

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