ConFIRM Your Thought-Leadership: A Whitepaper on the Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations, Online Surveying and Reporting

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The key benefits include better staff motivation, retention, less absenteeism, better customer service and acquisition (if staff feel respected, they are more likely to empathise with customers), and this will present – tied together with compliance to other laws – an image of greater corporate social responsibility. The end result could be an increase in a company’s share price, which would please shareholders and even staff if the right incentives were also in place. It will also create a more collaborative and harmonious environment for improving industrial relations, helping employees to better understand the day-to-day issues.

The three steps to implementation

This law will, in the first instance, affect 3% of the UK’s organisations. Due to the potential disproportionate burdens that could be placed upon smaller organisations, the legislation comes into force in three stages:

  • 2005 for the aforementioned firms;
  • Those with at least 100 staff have until 2006 to complete the full implementation process;
  • SMEs, those with less than 50 employees, are being given until 2008.

The regulations establish Works Councils, which are elected representatives of an organisation’s employees. It is their responsibility to work with mangers to facilitate and ensure that the process is followed, and that pre-existing agreements are considered, re-negotiated if and when necessary, and abided by.

The regulations aren’t activated automatically though. At least 10% of an organisation’s employees, as shown by the DTI’s flowchart below, must sign and present a petition before they can be enacted. Part of the employee consultation process would include a ballot, and if less than 40% of the organisation’s employees participate, managers have no legal obligation to consult further or negotiate, where an agreement is required, with their representatives. If there is a pre-existing agreement in place, and less than 40% of the employees respond to any consultation, then that agreement continues...

To read the full report, please see the attached Word Document file.

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Graham Jarvis
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