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United Kingdom

COUNTRY OVERVIEW

There is no right to employee representation at board level in UK companies and, other than in a tiny handful of companies, it does not exist in practice. The government produced a consultative document on the proposed legislation but there were few responses and no wider public debate.

For further information on the SE legislation, such as the choice of SNB members, click on the more button.

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Transposition of the SE legislation in the UK (Final report: October 2004 )

Regulations to implement the European Company Statute in Great Britain were laid before Parliament on 13 September. They come into effect on 8 October 2004. The European Public Limited-Liability Company Regulations 2004 set out which of the various Member State options in the EU Regulation Britain has adopted. The Regulations also prescribe the documentation that will need to be filed at Companies House (the official institution with which companies must deposit information for public inspection) in order that a European Company can be registered. They also implement the EU Directive. The Regulations are little changed from the original proposals put forward by the government in October 2003. Their main aim is to implement the EU legislation, while making the fewest possible changes to the current UK situation.

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Transposition of the SE legislation in the UK (Report: March 2004)

The UK is relatively well advanced in transposing the directive and making the necessary changes to domestic company law to allow the regulation to take effect. The official period of consultation on the issue is now over. The government’s aim is to give companies maximum flexibility and make as few changes as possible to existing company legislation, while limiting the employee participation provisions to those set out in the directive.

Responses from the employers and the unions suggest only limited changes to the government’s plans and final legislation, probably little changed from the initial proposals, is expected by summer 2004. The main question is how many companies will decide to make use of it. So far there is no evidence that the number of European Companies in the UK will be large.

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Translated transposition laws 

The full text of the transposition laws and (for most countries) unofficial translations into English can be downloaded from the EU Commission website

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Lionel Fulton (2006) Anchoring the European Company in national law