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Confidentiality

Article 6 of the directive envisages two important limits on employees’ right to be informed and consulted: 1. Employees’ representatives and their experts may be forbidden to reveal to third parties the information provided to them in confidence. 2. The employer may not be obliged to communicate information where it might seriously harm the functioning of the undertaking, to the extent that it can argue that there are objective criteria for its action and that it is a specific situation as envisaged by the laws of the Member States.

In general, either the Member States have followed the text of the directive to the letter or their existing national measures were already sufficiently detailed not to call for amendments, as in Sweden, where the employer can negotiate the confidentiality of an item of information. However, little domestic legislation organise the “conditions and limits” allowing the employer not to communicate information to representatives of its personnel. This may lead to the abuse in qualifying some information as confidential.

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