In brief

This month’s news in brief

Vote on new draft of Consultation directive

A vote is expected later this month on a new draft of the Information and
Consultation directive which abandons the phased implementation that would
allow up to seven years to bring in the provisions in the UK. The new draft
also includes prescriptive sanctions against companies that breach the

M&S gets thumbs up from French courts

Marks & Spencer’s European works council has been given the thumbs up by
the French courts after the unions challenged its validity. A further case
later this year will decide whether the company followed the correct procedures
in consulting staff over staff closures.

Government abandons plans for tribunal fees

The Government is said to have dropped plans to introduce fees for tribunal
applicants in the face of union opposition. A report in The Guardian said the
DTI feared rows over this issue would "poison" its efforts to reform
the creaking tribunal system. The CBI said it was disappointed at the reports.

Tribunal reforms come under fire from Acas

Acas has criticised government proposals to remove some of its duties as
part of the employment tribunal reforms. It said stopping Acas conciliating in
cases involving wage deductions, breach of contract and redundancy payments
would result in thousands of extra tribunal cases.

On`line legal advice 24 hours a day

City law firm Norton Rose has launched an online employment law extranet
service for HR practitioners, offering instant legal advice through a 24-hour
e-mail helpline, access to specific employment information and precedents, and
help to create their own documents, such as tailored severance agreements.
Existing clients will also have electronic access to their own files.

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