Seminar for European Works Councils and SE Works Councils
(Level 1 and level 2)
14 - 17 April 2020, Montabaur Castle
Since 2009, we have held our basic seminar once a year: the EWC introductory days for beginners and the consultation seminar for advanced learners. Some of the participants still have the idea of setting up a European Works Council, others want to know about the design of transnational consultation procedures. One seminar module deals with the company constitution and collective agreements in the most important EU countries.
Level 1: Basic knowledge
The Directive on the European Works Council (EWC Directive) has existed since September 1 994. Many of the approximately 3,000 companies that exceed the threshold of 1,000 employees (1 50 of them in two different countries) and are thus subject to this directive still have the establishment of a European Works Council ahead of them. In Germany alone, this affects more than 300 companies. With this seminar we want to explain the legal basis of a European works council and provide practical initiatives for EWC work.
Establishment of an EWC
Dr Werner Altmeyer, Hamburg
Managing Director of the EWC Academy
- Structure and tasks of the EWC, statutory minimum standards
- The legal steps to form the Special Negotiating Body (SNB)
- Procedure and points of attention for the negotiations
The practical work of an EWC
Udo Verzagt, Rüsselsheim
Former Chair of Hewlett-Packard's European Works Council
- How do local workplace representatives benefit from an EWC?
- What options does the EWC have in case of restructuring?
- How can works councils organize their transnational activities?
Level 2: The new standards of information and consultation
A new legal definition for information and consultation of the European works council has been in force in all countries of the European Economic Area since June 2011. Many works council members face the question of how they can meet new standards in their practical work. What does a correct consultation procedure look like?
Rainer Appel, Griesheim
Consultant of the EWC Academy in reorganisation and restructuring issues
- Definition of information and consultation
- Practical layout of an information and consultation procedure
- Transnational competence of the EWC
- Cooperation between European and national works councils
- Practical procedure in the EWC based on a case study
- How to develop alternative scenarios during consultation?
- How to integrate local works councils in individual countries?
- Development of a reporting system
Consultation à la française
The blueprint for the EU Directive is based on the French philosophy of information and consultation. As a result, French-influenced EWCs are operating in familiar territory and make the most use of their rights. They analyse all business data with the assistance of consultancy firms before rendering their opinion.
Carl Guinet, Paris
Works council consultant at the French consultancy company Tandem Expertise
- What can non-French EWC bodies learn from France to make better use of their rights?
(The seminars on level 1 and 2 always take place at the same time but in different rooms)
Joint seminar for level 1 + 2: Workplace representation in EU countries
National labour law ends at national borders. An international company's works council must maintain regular exchange with employee representatives in other EU countries, if it wishes to prevent management from deliberately working with false figures and thereby playing off domestic and foreign sites, e.g. in the event of employment changes or restructuring. In addition to language barriers, intercultural conflicts could arise.
- What are the tasks of workplace representatives in other countries?
- Which models of industrial relations exist?
- How do works councils operate with their national participation rights?
- What attitude do employers have towards their works council?
Without an understanding of labour law and cultures, even simultaneous interpretation can quickly lead to misunderstandings. This seminar module aims to shed light on the different systems of industrial relations.