A Legal Perspective on Employee Participation

Glenn Patmore

in The Oxford Handbook of Participation in Organizations

Published in print February 2010 | ISBN: 9780199207268
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191584817 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Business and Management

A Legal Perspective on Employee Participation

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This article examines a specific aspect of regulation: that covering indirect participation at the workplace through employee committees. The purpose of these committees is to provide representative consultation or structured communication between employee representatives and management. This form of participation is regulated through voluntary and collective agreements as well as through legislation. The article focuses on the regulation that institutionalizes consultation through workplace representatives. At the same time, though to a lesser extent, attention is given to the important relationships between employee representatives, managers, and trade unions. This article describes the spectrum of legal regulation, from legal rights, through voluntary entitlements, to prohibitions. It examines a brief history of each jurisdiction's legal arrangements and the legal and practical operation of its laws. The article also shows that the law has had both intended and unintended consequences, and that these have both advanced and defeated its purposes in various jurisdictions.

Keywords: regulation; legislation; employee representatives; managers; trade unions

Article.  12173 words. 

Subjects: Business and Government ; Business Ethics

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