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Regulations implementing the Directive on European Works Councils in the UK, came into force on 15 January. Many of the changes made to the government's initial proposals are in line with recommendations made by the Institute of Personnel and Development (IPD). The institute now urges the government to ensure that the relevant bodies - in particular the key enforcement agency, the Central Arbitration Committee - are made adequately prepared to help employers and employees deal with the regulations. The new law requires organisations with 1,000 or more employees in the European Economic Area (EU plus Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland), and at least 150 employees in two or more states, to set up arrangements to inform and consult their workforces on European-level matters. Diane Sinclair, IPD adviser, says: "Employers and employee representatives should work towards ensuring that information and consultation arrangements set up under the regulations promote good employment relations. But European works councils or similar arrangements should not be seen as alternatives to communicating directly with employees, which evidence shows has a strong influence on productivity."