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Irish Employers Say Directive Will Hurt Foreign Investment

Tax-news.com

22 November 1999


The Irish employers' organisation, IBEC, has criticised the proposed new EU directive requiring workers' information and consultation committees in all companies with over 50 employees.

The director of IBEC Gerry Dempsey said that while they support sharing of information with employees in principle, the directive goes too far by prescribing how this should be done. He also said that it would be detrimental to working relationships and could hurt Ireland's ability to attract foreign investment.

"The directive will not affect 90 per cent of the Irish business community as they are mainly SMEs employing ten people or fewer. But 80,000 people in Ireland are employed by foreign companies ­ a large proportion of these have parent companies based in the US," said Mr Dempsey. "They already have a direct relationship with their employees and we have had a negative response from them concerning this directive. It is essentially telling global companies how they can communicate with their subsidiaries."

If the directive is adopted by the EU, Ireland will be obliged to incorporate it into the successor to the current Irish business accord, Partnership 2000. IBEC believes that the existing chapter in Partnership 2000 which covers the voluntary sharing of information is a flexible system that works well, and this combined with attractive tax breaks, makes Ireland more attractive for foreign investors than other European countries where the directive is already in place

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