The Engineering Employers Federation has urged the Government to be flexible in the way it implements the EU Directive on Information and Consultation.
The Government is about to publish its initial consultation on the directive, which will mean companies will be obliged to inform and consult with staff on issues that may have an impact on their employment, including redundancies and restructuring.
David Yeandle, the EEF's deputy director of employment policy, called for a legislative approach that allows employers and staff to comply with the directive in a manner that suits them. "The EEF recognises the valuable contribution that informing and consulting employees on a regular basis about business issues can make to improving organisational performance," he said.
"However, the way in which the Government implements this directive will have an important impact on whether the tangible benefits that can be obtained are achieved."
Yeandle believes that if the Government produces prescriptive legislation to enforce the directive it will be counter-productive.
Organisations with 150 or more employees have three years to implement the changes, those with fewer than 150 have five years and those with less than 50 staff have six years.