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New employee consultation rules

Tuesday 11 October 2005

Acas advises firms to seize the opportunity

Acas is providing good practice advice for organisations on the new information and consultation regulations coming into force today for companies with 150 or more employees. We are encouraging companies to consider the effectiveness of their current arrangements and how they can become more open and cooperative in their dealings with their workforce. Organisations with more than 150 employees will have to consult their staff directly or through representatives on matters that affect them, such as strategic direction, job losses or mergers.

Acas Chair Rita Donaghy said:

"We know that good communication with employees is one of the key elements to successful employment relations. Organisations should see these new regulations as an opportunity to ensure their arrangements for informing and consulting employees suit their workplace. Firms that do not have any existing arrangements will need to consider what they need to do to comply with the law but companies with arrangements in place should look to see if they can improve them.

"Directors or their equivalent often assume that managers are already fully catered for. But many line managers are not involved in the development of key decisions and even very senior managers may feel that their voice is not properly being heard. A failure to involve managers can undermine the best laid plans for informing and consulting with employees in general.

"Our website provides a free e-learning step by step guide to implementing the new regulations plus good practice guidance and training materials which companies can use in-house to help implement the new arrangements ."

Notes to editors

1. Acas' aim is to improve organisations and working life through better employment relations. It provides information, advice, training and a range of services working with employers and employees to prevent or resolve problems and improve performance. It is an independent statutory body governed by a Council consisting of the Acas Chair and employer, trade union and independent members.