Think-tank calls for law to improve CSR in UK: information and consultation

A left-leaning think-tank wants to see more employment legislation that would force employers to co-operate more closely with staff and take corporate social responsibility more seriously.

Academics at the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Foundation believe closer ties between employers and staff can lead to greater innovation, better change management and improved efficiency – but also claim that many firms are still not doing enough.

Tim Arnold, a leading member of the foundation, said the voluntary approach had not worked and that information and consultation laws did not go far enough.

“If companies aren’t doing this voluntarily then greater compulsion is needed. It’s very difficult to make new laws in this area but I think the UK should follow the European model more closely. The trouble with the current laws is that bad management can still use them to maintain the status quo,” Arnold said.

He said that forcing employers to work in partnership with staff would actually help improve the bottom line by creating more innovative and competitive organisations.

“Speedier decision making, earlier awareness of potential problems and improved efficiency helps change management to be successful and safeguards a company’s long-term future,” he added.

The CSR Foundation also called for more training for managers and warned that UK companies were starting to fall behind international competitors.

The Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations were introduced in April 2004, giving employees the right to be informed and consulted on major business issues that could affect their future.

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