New rules on informing and consulting employees about major business decisions will have little impact, because most companies are already involving workers, according to CBI chief Sir Digby Jones.
The EU Information and Consultation Directive comes into force today. It requires firms employing more than 150 employees to set up formal mechanisms for discussing a wide range of issues (including the business’ economic situation, structure and future plans for employment), if 10% or more of the workforce request it.
Jones said: “These new rules will be irrelevant to most companies because they already have systems that employees are happy with arrangements for discussing developments with them.
“Few employers have to be told it’s good business practice to make sure staff know what’s going on and they don’t need legislation to make them do it.
“The rules rightly avoid imposing costly, one-size-fits-all structures on companies when they are not wanted,” Jones said. “They only kick-in if negotiations on how employees should be involved in the business fail.
“In reality it will rarely come to that. And they won’t allow a vociferous minority of employees to upset existing arrangements or hand new power to unions when that isn’t supported by the bulk of the workforce.
Jones said: “I sincerely hope that unions don’t think they can play the old game of using well intentioned legislation to grab more power, to the detriment of efficient businesses.”