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Board-level employee representation: state of play in 2017

Board-level employee representation: state of play in 2017

The ETUI has recently published (January 2017) an updated map of board-level regulations in the EEA countries. The original map by N. Kluge, M. Stollt and A. Conchon (2013) was updated by the ETUI expert in the field, Sara Lafuente Hernandez.

In 19 of the 31 members states of the European Economic Area countries there exists some legislation on employee board-level representation. Even in countries that have no legal regulations, such as Italy and Belgium, instances may be found (albeit exceptional) of workers’ representatives sitting on the company’s board as the result of a collective agreement.

The situation in 2017 slightly changed from that of 2015, since board-level employee representation rules were reintroduced in the Czech Republic for the private sector in January 2017. Thus, this country is now back to the group of countries where regulations have a wider scope, covering both state-owned companies and the private sector. The updated situation is presented on the below map.

Depending on the company structure in the respective member state, the workers’ representatives may either sit on the board of directors (in a monistic system with only an administrative board) or on the supervisory board (in a dualistic system with a management board and a supervisory board). In every country a specific system has evolved and (board-level) representation is always embedded in the wider context of the national industrial relations system. Consequently, the situation differs significantly among the member states.

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