Information and Consultation of Employees

Information and Consultation of Employees Regulation extended.

This regulation first came into force in 2004 for organisations employing more than 150 people. This month it has been extended to include those with 50 or more staff. Introduced to help organisations effectively manage crises or major changes, it was a mechanism to ensure communication between workers and their representatives and management, on issues that affect the workforce.

For some organisations, the Information & Consultation systems have been well received by managers as well as employees, as a means of improving communication and involvement. For some, the new forums have presented employees with their first opportunity to raise and resolve issues, and for their representatives to be better informed.

Our view is somewhat different, in that the need for the legislation represents a sign of failure in management and leadership. Organisations where top-down or bottom-up communications are failing to meet, are missing one of the biggest tricks in the book. Employee engagement is possibly the single greatest opportunity for a business to increase its effectiveness and achieve success.

Through involvement and consultation comes the opportunity to improve customer service, to find ways of reducing wastage, bring in innovation, reduce accidents and develop staff potential. If this culture of openness and free communication is created, then broaching information about change and crises will be dealt with as a matter of routine. Communication and consultation should be a part of every good mangers skill set, and is essential for business leaders to perform well. Employment legislation is a heavy tool to introduce what should be there already.