A survey by IRS shows that employers are reluctant to consult with employees or their representatives on an organisation’s financial performance and prospects.
The research into more than 80 organisations, collectively employing more than 106,000 people, shows that just 4 per cent would consult on their finances and prospects. However, 77 per cent said they would keep staff informed of these issues.
The Information and Consultation of Employees (ICE) Regulations – which will enable staff in businesses with 150 or more employees to demand that their employer consults them on a wide range of business issues – are due to be phased in from 6 April 2005.
The survey shows that nearly all (98 per cent) of the employers surveyed use team meetings or briefings to communicate with staff. Noticeboards (91 per cent), individual letters or e-mails (83 per cent) and staff newsletters or journals (78 per cent) were the next most popular methods of communication.
Just over half of all organisations polled said they have some form of standing body to communicate with staff, such as a joint consultative committee, staff forum or works council.
The two top issues among employers for consultation with staff are changes to employment levels or status, and pay and working conditions. These were the only two issues where a higher percentage of employers said they had consulted staff, rather than just informed them.