Govt consults on Information and Consultation Directive

Trade
and Industry Secretary Patricia Hewitt today announced the launch of a
consultation paper on the EC Information and Consultation Directive which is
due to be adopted in the UK from March 2005.

The
directive gives employees new rights to be informed and consulted on major
issues arising from the running of the business, such as redundancies and
restructuring, and is likely to have a radical effect on the way UK employers
manage and communicate with their workforce.  

Elizabeth
Slattery, an employment partner at law firm Lovells, said it is clear from the
discussion paper that the Government anticipates a sea-change in workplace
practices, with employees being informed and consulted on an ongoing basis
about general company matters.

"Although
short on detail, the Government’s discussion paper highlights the impact that
the new directive is likely to have on the way UK employers manage and
communicate with their workforce. In just a few years time, it is possible that
employees will have greater involvement, at a much earlier stage, in the
business decisions of their company," she said.

Slattery
is unhappy that the consultation paper sets out no concrete proposals on how to
implement the Information and Consultation directive.

www.dti.gov.uk

By Ben Willmott

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