Employee Participation and Works Councils
Employee participation is a separate specialisation within employment law focused on the Works Councils. Organisations with over 50 employees is obliged to form a Works Council (or employee participation council) in accordance with the Works Councils Act (WOR). A Works Council has a variety of rights based on the WOR. These employee participation rights can have significant impact on the decision-making processes of organisations. JPR's specialist lawyers can be of service to you for each of these fields. Feel free to contact us if you would like to know more about the following topics:
Works Council Right to Prior Consultation (Article 25 WOR)
One of the primary rights in the field of employee participation is the Works Council's right to prior consultation. Article 25 of the WOR sums up the topics to which the Works Council's right to prior consultation applies. This includes, for example, restructuring, acquisitions or relocation of the organisation.
Right of Appeal (article 26 WOR)
Intended decisions for which the Works Council has a right to prior consultation must be presented for advice to the Works Council in a timely fashion. If the Works Council issues a negative advice, then the entrepreneur must suspend the execution of their decision for a period of one month. If the Works Council has not appealed to the Netherlands Enterprise Court, then the decision can be executed after this month.
Right of Consent (Article 27 WOR)
The right of consent governs decisions regarding changes, adoptions and retractions from terms of employment and working conditions. Think of decisions regarding pension insurance, sickness absence and the dismissal policy. The implementation of a decision requires the permission of the Works Council. If the Works Council does not give their permission, then the subdistrict court could be asked to grant permission.
Right to Be Consulted (Articlel 23 etc. WOR)
A consultation meeting must take place at least twice a year. During this meeting, the entrepreneur is obligated to inform the Works Council on the state of affairs of the company and any decisions the entrepreneur is preparing.
Works Councils in groups
Works Councils can practice employee participation at multiple levels within a group. For instance, a group can have a separate Works Council and/or an overarching central Works Council for every company. There are also group Works Councils for a subgroup within a group.
Works Councils for specific markets
Specific markets have specific Works Councils. These councils are not always the same as Works Councils, but can sometimes coexist. These include, for example, client councils in healthcare or university/student councils in education. It is also possible to appoint voluntary employee participation councils.
Experienced lawyers for employee participation and Works Councils
JPR's lawyers have assisted many companies and institutions as well as Works Councils in employee participation processes. They are often involved at the start of an advisory or consent process. Apart from an advisory role in the preliminary process, they can also assist you with court proceedings.
JPR's lawyers also offer courses to broaden knowledge of the rights and obligations in terms of employee participation. The courses are provided to both entrepreneurs and Works Councils. Feel free to contact us for more information.