UK will ‘dilute’ EU directive on consultation

The EU
directive on information and consultation will not transform the way UK
companies have to communicate with their workforce according to the CIPD.

Sinclair, CIPD adviser on employee relations, believes the UK will be able to
introduce its own interpretation of the directive which will set a legal requirement
for all companies with more than 50 staff to consult them on all business.

UK firms
with more than 150 employers have just three years to implement the directive,
those with more than100 staff have five years and firms with a workforce of
more than 50 have seven years following a decision by the EU social council on
June 11.

She said,
“The directive clearly leaves the practical arrangements for informing and
consulting employees to be defined by the member states. Thus, much will depend
upon the way that the directive is implemented in the UK.

“Given its
persistent opposition to the proposal, and its abstention from the final vote,
it seems very unlikely that the UK Government will ‘gold-plate’ the directive.
Indeed, it has already stated that it will take full advantage of the
flexibility allowed by the text, which it worked hard to negotiate.”

added that where management and employees agree, rather than representative
structures such as works councils, organisations may be able to meet the
requirements of the new law by communicating directly with employees.

suggests emails or letters could be sent to employees informing them of
business issues or changes to work organisation, and inviting them to comment.
Staff briefings could also be used to inform and consult employees.

said, “Research shows that direct involvement and communication with employees
is more important for business performance than representative structures. Good
employers know the value of effective communication and consultation with

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