Businesses should analyse their employee consultation systems, even if they believe they are compliant with forthcoming legislation, according to the deputy director general of the CBI.
On 6 April 2005, all companies with more than 50 staff will have to comply with the Information and Consultation Directive (ICD).
Under the terms of the ICD, staff have a right to be informed about the business' economic situation and important changes in the company if at least 10 per cent of employees request it.
John Cridland, deputy director general of the CBI, told delegates a the IPA High Performance Workplace conference that all firms need to consider how best to involve their employees and to continue to refresh their methods.
This included looking carefully at whether to use direct or indirect consultation methods.
"Many employees consider face-to-face or direct communication to be of the most value in delivering higher performance," he said.
Gerry Sutcliffe, under-secretary of state for employment relations, said that HR had to be central to information and consultation processes to ensure management buy-in.