INFORMING AND CONSULTING EMPLOYEES
Amended draft Directive establishing a general framework for improving information and consultation rights of employees in the European Community.
||Article 137 (2) EC; co-decision; qualified majority voting
||23 May 2001|
|Forwarded to the Council:
||29 May 2001|
|Deposited in Parliament:
||20 June 2001|
||Trade and Industry|
|Basis of consideration:
||Official letter of 20 June 2001
|Previous Committee Report:
||None; but see (21790) : HC 23-xxx (1999-2000), paragraph 1 (22 November 2000)
|Discussed in Council:
||11 June 2001|
||Legally and politically important
||Cleared, but request to be kept informed
25.1 An earlier version of this draft Directive
was debated in European Standing Committee C on 28 February, although
the House did not subsequently agree a motion before the dissolution
25.2 On 20 June, the Private Secretary to the
Minister of State for Employment Relations and the Regions (Mr
Alan Johnson) wrote to our Clerk to update the Committee on progress,
and on developments at the Employment and Social Affairs Council
on June 11.
25.3 The document is a revised version of the
Commission's original proposal which incorporates some of the
European Parliament's amendments. It was circulated on 30 May
in advance of the Employment and Social Affairs Council.
The letter from the Minister's Private Secretary
25.4 The Minister's Private Secretary explains
that, in the event, the document was not considered by the Council.
It was effectively superseded by a new text which the Presidency
issued on 8 June, just before the Council meeting. At the meeting,
it became clear that a qualified majority of Member States could
accept the new text, with the addition of an amendment providing
an opportunity to phase in the application of the measure to undertakings
of between 50 and 150 employees.
25.5 The Minister's Private Secretary continues:
"The UK indicated at
the Council that it would join the consensus for a political agreement
on the text. Not to do so would have put in jeopardy the package
negotiated which in the Government's view is a considerable improvement
on the original Commission proposal. The agreed text will allow
for flexible arrangements, which can be adapted to suit the needs
and practices of different undertakings. There is also the opportunity
to phase-in the application of the Directive to undertakings of
50-150 employees, thus facilitating a smooth implementation."
25.6 Once the text has been consolidated, a common
position will be adopted before the measure is sent to the European
Parliament for its second reading.
25.7 Had there been a Committee in existence
in early June, it would have commented adversely on the production
of new texts so soon before the Council, since there would have
been no time for their proper scrutiny.
25.8 As it is, we thank the Minister's Private
Secretary for telling us what happened at the Council, and for
giving us the reasons for the UK's actions. We clear the document,
but ask to be kept informed as the draft Directive progresses
through its final stages.
47 (21790) - ; see headnote to this paragraph. Back