Paper 2: Voice (Bull, Gilman & Pyman) Presentation Transcript
The Impact and Significance of the Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations (ICER) in the UK Ms. Elaine Bull, Dr Mark Gilman & Dr Amanda Pyman University of Kent ‘ Performance & Sustainability for SMEs’ International Workshop on Innovation & Performance Management. Saturday 3rd July 2010
Overview of the ICER
Transpose into national law the EU Information and Consultation Directive (ICD)
Significance of the Directive in the UK
Widens statutory scope of information and consultation.
Tripartite approach to transposition between social partners
High degree of coverage of UK-based organisations.
The UK’s ‘light-touch’ approach to transposition
Compliance is not mandatory
Floor of minimum rights not guaranteed
Capacity for organisations to ‘opt-out’ of the provisions through establishing ‘pre-existing agreements’ (PEAs).
Research Aim: to explore the impact and significance of the ICE Regulations in the UK
Exploratory case study research (n=4)
40 semi-structured interviews with key HR personnel, senior management, employee representatives and union representatives (where present).
5 employee focus groups (Paper Co & Cake Co).
Themes for this paper surround the establishment, process and effectiveness of forum arrangements, established in response to the ICER.
Case Study Characteristics Case Name No of Emps Sector Union recognition (m/ship density) ICER structure (year implemented) Cake Co (Dutch-owned, Ltd company) 484 Food Manufacturing No Our Voice (2008) Paper Co (Swedish & American-owned, Ltd company) 370 Paper Manufacturing Yes (40% density) Manual workers only Joint Consultation Forum for non-manual workforce (2005) Operating Council for manual workforce (1994) Accounts Co (Limited Liability Partnership) 195 Accounting No Staff Forum (2004) Charity 75 Voluntary No (approx 12% density) Information and Consultation Group (2006)
Organisational Responses to the ICER
Establishment of ICER arrangements
Management-initiated in all cases
- 3 ‘pre-existing agreements’. At Accounts Co, an agreement or constitution had not been created.
Drivers of managerial responses varied. In most cases, Regulations were a ‘catalyst for change’ (Hall et al., 2008).
Charity : Arrival of new HR Director; organisational growth; union avoidance; democratic right. Overhauled existing body.
Paper Co : Extend voice to non-manual workforce; best practice. Implemented non-union forum alongside an existing union ‘council’
Cake Co : Appointment of senior HR position on board of directors; union avoidance. Overhauled existing body.
Accounts Co : Desire to be an employer of choice; improve communication and employee engagement following a staff survey; culture change. Forum predated Regulations. Some changes made to scope.
Content of Agreements Case Objectives of Arrangements Scope of Arrangements Charity “ ensure efficiency & sustainability of organisation; promote quality of service to clients, security of employment and development…to work together in a mutually beneficial & harmonious manner” Future plans of organisation organisational restructuring, proposed changes to t&c’s, org & financial performance; employment legislation; work organisation etc Paper Co ‘ to promote efficient and profitable development of Paper Co ..and safety and development of its employees” Economic situation of business, workplace, employment prospects, decisions leading to changes in work organisation or contractual relations. Cakes Co Increase staff involvement in decision-making and problem-solving. promote open communication and consultation Business developments, current/future staffing levels, H&S, T&D, customer & quality issues, improvement initiatives etc Accounts Co To discuss employee suggestions and ideas; provide info and solicit feedback on new initiatives or changes before being implemented Anything apart from individual pay or commercially sensitive information “such as a merger or acquisition”
Content of Agreements
Consultation defined in only 2 cases (Charity & Cake Co)
Reps allocated paid time off to conduct duties in all cases
Little employee influence in design and content of constitutions
Elections to select representatives held in 3 organisations
External training provided to representatives in 3 cases
Process & Operation of ICER Arrangements
Management-chaired with senior management presence
- Including CEO (Charity); Finance Director & Operations Director (Paper Co); HR Partner & Operations Partner (Accounts Co); HR Director (Cakes Co)
Meeting frequency varied (monthly/quarterly/bi-annually)
Representatives typically reactive in their approach
- Soliciting suggestions and providing feedback
- Networking between representatives limited - lacked solidarity
Nature of employee suggestions largely trivial or ‘employee demands’