R129 Recommendation concerning Communications between Management and Workers within the Undertaking
Geneva, 28 giugno 1967
The General Conference of the International Labour Organisation,
Having been convened at Geneva by the Governing Body of the International Labour Office, and having met in its Fifty-first Session on 7 June 1967, and
Noting the terms of the Co-operation at the Level of the Undertaking Recommendation, 1952, and
Considering that additional standards are called for, and
Having decided upon the adoption of certain proposals with regard to communications within the undertaking, which is included in the fifth item on the agenda of the session, and
Having determined that these proposals shall take the form of a Recommendation,
adopts this twenty-eighth day of June of the year one thousand nine hundred and sixty-seven, the following Recommendation, which may be cited as the Communications within the Undertaking Recommendation, 1967:
I. General Considerations
1. Each Member should take appropriate action to bring the provisions of this Recommendation to the attention of persons, organisations and authorities who may be concerned with the establishment and application of policies concerning communications between management and workers within undertakings.
(1) Employers and their organisations as well as workers and their organisations should, in their common interest, recognise the importance of a climate of mutual understanding and confidence within undertakings that is favourable both to the efficiency of the undertaking and to the aspirations of the workers.
(2) This climate should be promoted by the rapid dissemination and exchange of information, as complete and objective as possible, relating to the various aspects of the life of the undertaking and to the social conditions of the workers.
(3) With a view to the development of such a climate management should, after consultation with workers' representatives, adopt appropriate measures to apply an effective policy of communication with the workers and their representatives.
3. An effective policy of communication should ensure that information is given and that consultation takes place between the parties concerned before decisions on matters of major interest are taken by management, in so far as disclosure of the information will not cause damage to either party.
4. The communication methods should in no way derogate from freedom of association; they should in no way cause prejudice to freely chosen workers' representatives or to their organisations or curtail the functions of bodies representative of the workers in conformity with national law and practice.
5. Employers' and workers' organisations should have mutual consultations and exchanges of views in order to examine the measures to be taken with a view to encouraging and promoting the acceptance of communications policies and their effective application.
6. Steps should be taken to train those concerned in the use of communication methods and to make them, as far as possible, conversant with all the subjects in respect of which communication should take place.
7. In the establishment and application of a communications policy, management, employers' and workers' organisations, bodies representative of the workers and, where appropriate under national conditions, public authorities should be guided by the provisions of Part II below.
II. Elements for a Communications Policy within the Undertaking
8. Any communications policy should be adapted to the nature of the undertaking concerned, account being taken of its size and of the composition and interests of the work force.
9. With a view to fulfilling its purpose, any communications system within the undertaking should be designed to ensure genuine and regular two-way communication:
(a) between representatives of management (head of the undertaking, department chief, foreman, etc.) and the workers; and
(b) between the head of the undertaking, the director of personnel or any other representative of top management and trade union representatives or such other persons as may, under national law or practice, or under collective agreements, have the task of representing the interests of the workers at the level of the undertaking.
10. Where the management desires to transmit information through workers' representatives, the latter, if they agree to do so, should be given the means to communicate such information rapidly and completely to the workers concerned.
11. Management should, in choosing the channel or channels of communication which it considers appropriate for the type of information to be transmitted, take due account of the difference in the nature of the functions of supervisors and workers' representatives so as not to weaken their respective positions.
12. The selection of the appropriate medium of communication, and its timing, should be on the basis of the circumstances of each particular situation, account being taken of national practice.
13. Media of communication may include:
(a) meetings for the purpose of exchanging views and information;
(b) media aimed at given groups of workers, such as supervisors' bulletins and personnel policy manuals;
(c) mass media such as house journals and magazines; news-letters and information and induction leaflets; notice-boards; annual or financial reports presented in a form understandable to all the workers; employee letters; exhibitions; plant visits; films; filmstrips and slides; radio and television; (d) media aimed at permitting workers to submit suggestions and to express their ideas on questions relating to the operation of the undertaking.
14. The information to be communicated and its presentation should be determined with a view to mutual understanding in regard to the problems posed by the complexity of the undertaking's activities.
(1) The information to be given by management should, account being taken of its nature, be addressed either to the workers' representatives or to the workers and should, as far as possible, include all matters of interest to the workers relating to the operation and future prospects of the undertaking and to the present and future situation of the workers, in so far as disclosure of the information will not cause damage to the parties.
(2) In particular, management should give information regarding:
(a) general conditions of employment, including engagement, transfer and termination of employment;
(b) job descriptions and the place of particular jobs within the structure of the undertaking;
(c) possibilities of training and prospects of advancement within the undertaking;
(d) general working conditions;
(e) occupational safety and health regulations and instructions for the prevention of accidents and occupational diseases;
(f) procedures for the examination of grievances as well as the rules and practices governing their operation and the conditions for having recourse to them;
(g) personnel welfare services (medical care, health, canteens, housing, leisure, savings and banking facilities, etc.);
(h) social security or social assistance schemes in the undertaking;
(i) the regulations of national social security schemes to which the workers are subject by virtue of their employment in the undertaking;
(j) the general situation of the undertaking and prospects or plans for its future development;
(k) the explanation of decisions which are likely to affect directly or indirectly the situation of workers in the undertaking;
(l) methods of consultation and discussion and of co-operation between management and its representatives on the one hand and the workers and their representatives on the other.
(3) In the case of a question which has been the subject of negotiations between the employer and the workers or their representatives in the undertaking or of a collective agreement concluded at a level beyond that of the undertaking, the information should make express reference thereto.