Phil Boucher finds out how some of the UK's employers are responding to the new regulations on informing and consulting with employees
Head of industrial relations,
Royal Mail Group
Three years after the European Union agreed a new legal framework for informing and consulting employees, the UK will soon enter the first phase of implementing new information and consultation regulations.
We were already renegotiating our recognition and procedural agreements with both of our recognised trade unions, so rather than developing something specific to the information and consultation regulations, we have simply rolled up the policy within this.
The result has been what we call IR Frameworks, which basically details a variety of means for gaining strategic involvement that suits our company and meets our obligations under the regulations. The idea is to make sure everyone is covered by the framework as far as possible.
Through looking closely at the make-up of the Royal Mail we have identified a series of systematic forums that will meet with trade union representatives on a quarterly basis. They are designed to have two-way, strategic involvement and will be run throughout the business at all levels. This means our information and consultation needs will be met at group, business unit and workplace level.
At the same time, we have involved our non-union members through a process called Worktime Listening and Learning that enables anyone to have their say. So far, this has been 70% deployed within the business.
To deal with major issues we have developed a scheme called Talkabout, which uses special packs to communicate specific themes. This touches on issues ranging from pay to business standards, dealing with competition and attendance. If something is high-profile, this enables us to roll out an information and consultation strategy across the board.
We feel this approach has put us in good shape, but like anything new, we will be reviewing and reflecting over the next couple of months. It is basically a case of seeing how it pans out and looking at other firms to see how they have approached the problem and maybe tweaking a few things here and there.
Head of employee relations, KPMG
Two years ago, KPMG set up an Employee Business Forum as a sign of its strong commitment to open and honest communication with all employees about the key issues for the business.