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EU regulation and the UK employee consultation framework

Mark Hall
Economic and Industrial Democracy, 31, 4S, 55-69


The growth in statutory provisions in the UK requiring employers to inform and consult employee representatives has been driven primarily by EU law rather than domestic policy. The 2002 EU information and consultation Directive was widely seen as having far-reaching implications for UK law and employment relations practice, but the ‘reflexive’ design of the UK regulations transposing the Directive has limited its impact to date. An assessment of the available evidence suggests that the regulations have prompted considerable voluntary activity in terms of reviewing, modifying and introducing information and consultation arrangements but that this has been largely employer-led. The article argues that the reform of key aspects of the UK regulations is necessary to overcome trade union ambivalence towards the legislation and the low uptake of its provisions by employees.