Europe and BERR

Conference on high performance workplaces

Green Paper on Labour Law – European Commission consultation

The European Commission published its Green Paper consultation document, “Modernising labour law to meet the challenges of the 21st century” (22 November 2006) with a view to starting an open EU-wide debate on how labour law impacts on labour market flexibility and how to facilitate new ways of working and promote employment. The paper posed fourteen questions on how labour law can be adapted to ensure flexibility and security for all. You can view the consultation document and the UK Government's March 2007 response in the related links attached.

Social dialogue – different voices, common vision

A UK Presidency conference was held on 17th November 2005 in London to discuss European Social Dialogue. Participants from the Commission, Member States, European social partners and national business representatives and trade union organisations attended in order to share ideas and good practice.

The conference focussed on practical ways to improve social dialogue, especially where sectors are mainly comprised of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). It also looked at the implementation of European social partner agreements by different Member States. A research paper produced prior to the conference looked at the ways in which SMEs are represented at both national and European levels, and suggested possible ways to encourage small firm workers and managers to participate in social dialogue. You can download a copy of the research report by clicking the link under related documents.

High Performance Workplaces – because people mean business

A Presidency conference on High Performance Workplaces was held in London on 15th September 2005 at the Hilton Paddington Hotel. A research report published prior to the conference highlighted common characteristics of HPWs and indicated ways in which government policymakers, trade unions and business representatives could work together to create a high performance culture.

The conference looked at different aspects of high performance companies, such as training and development policies, reward and commitment initiatives, work-life balance, diversity, information and consultation and the role of good employment relations.

Case study firms were invited to give short presentations of the ways in which they have become high performance workplaces, and discussion ensued on useful ways of encouraging the development of HPWs at European level.

It was decided that a web-based tool to support and promote good work organisation practices might be useful, and the Commission agreed to assist in taking this idea further.

For more information about the conclusions of the conference view the High Performance Workplaces page.

If you have queries about any of the issues on this page please contact Heather.Thomas@berr.gsi.gov.uk