first_imgDraft directive can still be challengedOn 30 May 2001 in Personnel Today Of all the draft EU directives sitting on the desks of power in Brussels,employers have always been most fearful of the one on information andconsultation. Now speculation is rife among the Euro-watchers that at nextmonth’s Council of Ministers’ meeting it could finally get voted through – a UKlaw could follow in three years’ time.This spectre has been raised before and employers’ organisations like theCBI keep dismissing it as rumour-mongering. Employers say national workscouncils’ proposals, as the directive is more colloquially known, will have adamaging impact on UK business. It allows staff access to information on themost sensitive areas – from mergers to redundancies and business sales. Andemployers face paying out 90 days’ wages for each employee disadvantaged by thelack of consultation. It looks like HR professionals will have to live with this legislation. Butthere is no reason why they should let it go through unchallenged – it is stilla draft directive. The text of an EU proposal does not have to impose a rigid works councilstructure on every company. Before it is translated into the UK legislativeframework, senior HR practitioners should contact European lobbyists or MEPs topush for a long lead-in time. They should insist on clauses that say if acompany has an effective consultation scheme, it should be acceptable. Thedetail should be left to individual firms. There are some benefits to good consultation – a well-informed workforceshould equal a motivated workforce. And if consultation with staff is going tobe key to a successful merger or business sale, it will give HR more clout inthe boardroom as the executive team turns to HR before the investment bankerfor advice. Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. last_img