Employees in the dark over forthcoming consultation rights

Information and consultation legislation comes into force tomorrow, yet research, commissioned by business adviser Croner, has revealed that 74% of employees remain unaware of their new right to be consulted on major employment issues in the workplace.

More than three-quarters (76%) of the 790 respondents who took part in the YouGov poll said they would like to have the opportunity to express an opinion about major issues surrounding their employment and the company in which they work.

Employers could be facing fines of up to £75,000 when Information and Consultation legislation giving employees a new legal right to be involved in significant workplace changes comes into force tomorrow.

Croner has warned employers about the danger of a ‘them and us’ situation and said that employers should view Wednesday’s legislation as an opportunity to achieve best practice by improving the way they communicate with their employees. This could ultimately improve employee commitment to and support of the business, and help meet the requirements of the new legislation.

Andrew Auld, HR Development manager at Croner, said: “Employers are best advised to set up proactive channels of communication whereby staff have an opportunity to collectively express opinions on major company developments, and through which employers can communicate with them.

“Allowing TV or radio to take the place of good HR practice could see the employer facing grave fines, or having their name dragged through the media mud – with the potential negative impact on share prices and reputation.”

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