Employers have expressed relief over the Government's decision not to significantly amend the Employment Relations Act 1999.
It was feared the DTI's review of the legislation would bow to union pressure and grant a range of concessions, including the extension of union recognition rights.
However, the Act will remain largely unchanged, a move labelled 'common sense' by CBI deputy director-general John Cridland.
Announcing the findings of the review last week, employment minister Alan Johnson said changes were unnecessary because the legislation was working successfully in its current form.
He said the Act was delivering better working conditions and promoting a new climate of co-operation between employers and staff.
"We've got the lowest levels of industrial action on record, the highest employment on record and the largest number of recognition deals. This legislation is working and is a success.
"Trade unions will take up whatever opportunity arises and they sent us a long list of demands. Some elements have only been in place for 22 months, so we weren't going to change them fundamentally," Johnson said.
The DTI has announced several minor changes to the Act. It has agreed to provide earlier access rights to unions in recognition cases and establish a new legal right for workers to use union services.
The review also clarified the right to be accompanied at disciplinary procedures, which should allow companions to actively participate, rather than just observe.
The TUC wanted the Government to make it easier for unions to win statutory recognition ballots and abolish the exclusion of employers with less than 21 employees.
Sarah Veale, senior employment officer at the TUC, said she was disappointed the DTI had failed to reform any key areas of the Act.
"The truth is, the DTI has gone along with the business lobby and we're very disappointed. The Act itself is a step in the right direction but doesn't go far enough," she said.
Feedback from the profession
Employment Act review is victory for 'common sense'
Diane Sinclair, lead adviser on public policy, CIPD: "We very much welcome this pragmatic approach to the review of the Act. The law has largely worked well, with fewer disputes than might have been feared w