Published online by Cambridge University Press: 12 January 2010
The 2002/14/EC Directive establishing a general framework for informing and consulting employees in the European Community allowed considerable flexibility in transposition and implementation. Viewing – in line with reflexive law theory – the Directive as a key tool in allowing EC law to become embedded in the national legal and industrial relations systems, the paper assesses its transposition and impact in Britain. The very flexibility of the Directive made it possible for the British social systems to respond in an innovative way to the changing forms of employee representation. But the relative weakness of the regulatory design of the transposing legislation with regard to the nature of the legal obligations, the enforcement mechanism and the degree to which legal resources could be utilised by trade unions constrained the re-configuration of labour law and its coupling to employee representation arrangements traditionally associated with the British industrial relations system.