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Information and consultation under the ICE Regulations: evidence from longitudinal case studies

Mark Hall, [Sue Hutchinson], John Purcell, Mike Terry and Jane Parker

Employment Relations Research Series No 117, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills 

This is the final report to present findings of longitudinal research in 25 organisations looking at employee consultation practice in the light of the Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations 2004. Despite being established around the time the Regulations came into force, the reasons for establishing information and consultation (I&C) arrangements were most often attributed to internal factors concerned with the management of change. Management was, in all cases, the instigators of I&C and they dominated the operation of I&C bodies. Two distinct categories were identified. ‘Active consulters’ provided information on strategic issues and consulted over these. ‘Communicators’ used I&C to listen to employee views and gain reaction to management decisions after they had been announced. Employee representatives in ‘active consulters’ were better organised and more stable than in their ‘communicator’ counterparts. Where unions were recognised they generally took part in I&C bodies alongside non-union representatives. There is no evidence of management using I&C to derecognise unions, but some set up I&C as a means of avoiding unions. The impact of the Regulations on the practice of I&C was low.

The full report can be downloaded here