Social dialogue helps to improve risk anticipation and make work organisation more flexible. The EU Directive establishing a general framework for informing and consulting employees (2002/14/EC) plays a key role in promoting social dialogue.
It sets minimum principles, definitions and arrangements for information and consultation of employees at the enterprise level within each country. Given the range of industrial relations practices across the Member States, they enjoy substantial flexibility in applying the Directive's key concepts (employees' representatives, employer, employees etc.) and implementing the arrangements for information and consultation. Management and labour play a key role in deciding those arrangements.
Information and consultation are required on:
- the recent and probable development of the undertaking's or the establishment's activities and economic situation
- the situation, structure and probable development of employment within the undertaking or establishment and any anticipatory measures envisaged, in particular where there is a threat to employment
- decisions likely to lead to substantial changes in work organisation or in contractual relations.
To avoid undue burdens on small and medium-sized enterprises, the Directive applies only to undertakings employing at least 50 employees, or to establishments employing at least 20 employees, according to the choice made by the Member State.
Timely information and consultation are key to meeting the globalisation challenge through the development of new forms of work organisation.
The text of the Directive, working documents and a synthesis report are available.
- Directive 2002/14/EC establishing a general framework for informing and consulting employees in the European Community
- Communication from the Commission on Worker Information and Consultation COM (1995) 547
- Proposal for a Directive establishing a general framework for informing and consulting employees in the European Community COM (1998) 612
- Amended proposal for a Directive establishing a general framework for improving information and consultation rights of employees in the European Community COM (2001) 296
- Commission Communication - Review of the application of Directive 2002/14/EC in the EU COM (2008) 146
- Commission Staff Working Document accompanying the Commission Communication on the review of the application of Directive 2002/14/EC in the EU SEC 2008 334
- Synthesis report on Directive 2002/14/EC establishing a general framework for informing and consulting employees in the European Community (October 2007)
- Reports (Executive Summaries) on the implementation of Directive 2002/14/EC in Bulgaria and in Romania (2009)