We help building bridges: Between employees of different countries, between competitors and colleagues and if possible between employees and management. In this work we rely on our network of high-profile specialists in labour law, ecomomics and social sciences across Europe. In advising European Works Councils, we incorporate our experience from comparable situations in other companies. As independent advisors we can help you stay on track during information and consultation with management.
Example British Airways: The mandate to advice the EWC on a regular basis was given to us in 2004. In 2005 a new EWC Agreement was concluded which allows for comprehensive information and consultation rights already in the planning phase. By holding two annual meetings, various training courses and at least seven Select Committee meetings, the British Airways EWC belongs to the most active European bodies for employee representation. "Be Brave!" is the motto of the EWC members.
Negotiating EWC Agreements
Just one third of all companies covered by the EWC Directive have set up a European Works Council. We help by providing detailed advice concerning any issue from the initial contact to your colleagues abroad until the signing of the Agreement. For international projects we benefit from long-lasting working relationships with our partners in different European regions. In a significant number of companies we have drafted the initial requests for a EWC on behalf of the employee representatives. In more than fifty companies we have been assisting in the negotiations with the employer on a new Agreement. Whether global player or medium-sized company: our EWC Agreements go far beyond the minimum legal requirements. Even in countries with hardly any traditions of works councils such as the the United Kingdom or Ireland, we achieved remarkable results: The European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions has praised our EWC Agreements at British Airways or the logistics company Wincanton as “the most innovative Agreements ever concluded in the UK”.
Example Deutsche Post: The former state-owned federal post operates today under its global brand DHL all around the world. With 54 representatives form 29 European countries the company has one of the largest European Works Council. The coordination with management is arranged via five Business Committees which operate under the roof of a joint Select Committee. Hellmut Gohde (TCI) acts as the permanent expert for the employee reps since 2001.
Regular EWC expert advice
European Works Councils are legally entitled by external experts of their choice. According to European law the can call in experts at any time unless this right is restricted in their EWC Agreement with management. Expert can be called in for meeting but could also be involved for studies, research projects or legal advice outside meetings. In many companies a standing expert advises the EWC and the Select Committee on a regular basis. Such a permanent mandate we were given by a number of multinational including Deutsche Post, British Airways, Wincanton, Cookson, Oracle or FCI.
Example EADS: The employee representatives of the aviation company (e.g. Airbus) mandated us with a research project on the planned merger with the Italian defence company Alenia-Aeronautica. Together with our Italian partner we were able to explore merger plans and to assess their potential impact on employment. Together with unions and works councils from all countries involved we agreed on a joint strategy. Eventually, the merger could be avoided and a significant number of jobs were secured.
Our expert support in a nutshell:
Assisting and facilitating EWC meetings (incl. preparatory meetings).
Regular advice to EWC Chair / Secretary and Select Committee
Informing on latest changes in European labour law
Supporting negotiations with management
Recommending and preparing interesting topics for the EWC work
Ensuring full participation by arranging elections in EU member state countries
Preparing training projects
Advising in special meetings on restructuring, closures, redundancies, relocations
Setting up EWC work programmes (e.g. working time, health and safety vocational training
Strengthening the information and consultation rights
Analysing new management proposals such as outsourcing, shared service centres, business reengineering etc.
Is your EWC agreement still up-to-date? What are it´s strengths and weaknesses? Obtain your expert´s advice free of charge.
New EWC Directive
On 17 December 2008 the EU Council of Ministers has adopted the new EWC Directive. Please view all relevant documents and the key priorities for a new legal framework.
For your international meeting we arrange for professional interpreters and translation of documents into any European language.
The EU makes project resources available to European Works Councils every year. We help with the application process.
Can you communicate with your colleagues abroad? Together with our partner institute we provide exciting and tailor-made language courses.