Rules needed to protect information

The article by Stefan Martin ‘Share and share alike?’ (24 August) touched on the issue of information disclosure and the forthcoming requirements of the new information and consultation regulations.

This issue has been a central concern of many employers in connection with European Works Councils. The EWC directives confidentiality rules mirror those applicable in the new regulations.

One key issue is that the UK listing rules and the New York stock ex-change were drafted with a view to stopping financial gain from disclosure. That is not the problem. Neither is it enough to only exclude price-sensitive information. Many European Works Councils have experienced that the disclosure of even ordinary information can provide strategically important data to a competitor.

Disclosure can happen by error rather than intention, particularly in training exercises organised with employee representatives from different companies in the same sector. We need to find effective rules to protect both companies and advisors.

Peter Reid
Principal, Peter Reid Consulting

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