French ruling clarifiesOn 25 Sep 2001 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Restructuring and redundancies are going to be very much on the minds of HRpeople over the next few weeks as world markets go into free fall following theattack on the World Trade Center. In this climate it is important thatemployers are able to consult with staff about lay-offs in a way that does notjeopardise the company’s competitive position even further. In view of this, a French court’s decision last week in a case taken bytrade unions against Marks & Spencer will be welcomed by employers facingredundancies in Europe. The court ruled the company’s works council was legallyvalid as a forum to consult on closure of stores in France. This decision willgive confidence to all employers with works councils, provided the councilsmeet the requirements of the Works Council Directive. The story is not yet over for M&S however. The retailer faces anothercase which will decide on the technicality of whether the way it communicatedstore closures amounted to an announcement or a proposal. So firms will stillhave to take care to follow the correct procedures when consulting with staffabout restructuring. It’s so good to talk when you are at work Does it really make much difference what your office environment is like?Step into the average media, advertising or high-tech company these days andyou’re likely to find yourself in a funky, open-plan space more like a coffeebar than a traditional office. And the similarity doesn’t end there. Some organisations are deliberatelyencouraging employees to break off from work to chat with colleagues.