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Consultation at WorkRegulation and Practice$
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Mark Hall and John Purcell

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199605460

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199605460.001.0001

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Legislating for Employee Consultation: The Significance of EU-Level Regulation

Legislating for Employee Consultation: The Significance of EU-Level Regulation

(p.43) 3 Legislating for Employee Consultation: The Significance of EU-Level Regulation
Consultation at Work

Mark Hall

John Purcell

Oxford University Press

The growth in British statutory provisions requiring employers to inform and consult has been driven by EU legislation. This chapter analyses the changing basis and reasoning for EU intervention and the emergence of employee consultation as a ‘fundamental right’ and key element of the ‘European social model’. Employer opposition and resistance from some governments, notably the United Kingdom in the 1980s, meant that early ambitious plans had to be substantially modified. The Maastricht social policy agreement in 1991 created the conditions for the adoption of a cluster of ‘second generation’ consultation measures such as the revised collective redundancies directive and the European Works Council (EWC) directive. The negotiation of the information and consultation (I&C) directive illustrates the complex dynamics of social policy regulation within the EU leading to the adoption of a less prescriptive, more flexible approach to regulation typical of ‘reflexive’ employment law.

Keywords:   eu legislation, fundamental right, opposition, Maastricht, EWC, collective redundancy, information and consultation, reflexive law

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