“The Works Councils Act gives the works council access to important company information and a voice in strategic and social decision-making”

Through a works council (OR) employees can influence the policy and the course of business in the company in which they work. An employer can often create support for important decisions at an early stage through consultation with the works council.

Under the Works Councils Act (WOR) a works council must be established in companies employing at least 50 employees.

The works council is entitled to (financial) information. The works council also has the right to give prior advice on important strategic decisions. Think of the intention to merge with another company, or to relocate production facilities and implement redundancies. In some decisions of a social nature, for example about the working conditions policy, the works council has the right of consent.

When it comes to employee participation we help with:

  • determining whether a works council should be established
  • setting up employee participation. For example, an ‘ordinary’ works council, a staff representation, a ‘joint works council’ (for several companies at the same time), or a ‘central works council’ (an umbrella works council if there are several works councils)
  • guiding employers in advice and consent processes, so that the content of the documents meets legal requirements and that the process takes place carefully
  • guiding works councils in advice and approval processes, so that the right questions can be asked and a balanced advice or approval decision can be presented
  • assisting employers and works councils in legal proceedings, for example at the Enterprise Chamber of the Amsterdam Court of Appeal
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Employee participation in practice

An employer wants to restructure the company: what exactly must be stated in the request for advice to the works council? What questions should a works council ask an employer who plans to merge with another company? And does a works council remain in place after the activities of the company are transferred to another organization?

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