Consulting employees: past, present and future- Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations: 20 years on (2002-22)

It’s 20 years since the European Union adopted its Directive* on informing and consulting employees across the member states. It became law in the UK in 2005 through the Information and Consultation (ICE) of Employees Regulations, and was phased in to cover all companies with 50 or more workers from 2008, amounting to around 75% of the total workforce.
The seminar opens with a brief examination of the role of works councils across Europe, against which the aims of the Directive must be understood. It then explains trade union expectations of the Directive at the time and the current situation across Europe, before leading into more detailed analyses of its implementation and impact in Ireland and the UK. There will be ample time for observations and discussion at the end. 


  • Michael Gold, Chair, Emeritus Professor of Comparative Employment Relations (RHUL)  Origins and significance of the ICE Directive 
  • Aline Conchon, Senior Policy Advisor (industriAll Europe) Union expectations of the ICE Directive and where we are today 
  • Brian McGann, Head of Organisational Development (Services, Industrial, Professional and Technical Union, SIPTU)  Implementation of the ICE Directive in Ireland 
  • Tony Burke, Assistant General Secretary (Unite the Union) Implementation of the ICE Directive in the UK 

*Directive 2002/14/EC of 11 March 2002 on establishing a general framework for informing and consulting employees in the European Community. 

Further reading: Hall, M. and Purcell, J. (2012) Consultation at Work. Regulation and Practice (OUP)