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Frequent Questions

Frequently asked questions on European Works Councils (EWC)

What is a European Works Council?

What is the goal of establishing an EWC?

What companies are affected/covered by the EWC Recast Directive 2009/38/EC?

At which level should an EWC be established?

Which companies in principle covered by EWC Recast Directive 2009/38/EC are exempt?

Who represents a company which has its headquarters (=central management) outside the EU/EEA?

How can it be determined whether a company/group of companies meets the criteria in terms of numbers of employees?

What is the geographical scope of the EWC Recast Directive 2009/38/EC?

How are negotiations (=process of establishing) on EWCs initiated?

How to select the members of the special negotiating body (SNB)?

What is the aim of the SNB?

Can an SNB be assisted by external experts?

Is an EWC the only legally possible solution under EWC Recast Directive 2009/38/EC?

What issues have to be regulated in any EWC agreement?

How is ‘information and consultation’ defined in the Recast Directive 2009/38/EC?

What happens if the negotiations between an SNB and central management fail?

What are the ‘subsidiary requirements’ and in what circumstances do they find application?

Why is confidentiality of information an important issue for the functioning of an EWC?

Are EWC members in any way protected by law in performing their functions?

Is there any legally prescribed size for a European Works Council?

Where can I obtain more information on European Works Councils or seek assistance?

Advanced FAQ

More questions and answers on European Works Councils

In case of a group of undertakings, what is the appropriate level for the establishment of an EWC?

What does it mean for a company to exercise a ‘dominant influence’ over another?

What makes companies a group of undertakings? Types of links within a ‘community-scale group of undertakings’ and ‘monopsony’

Why do different transposition laws apply to the EWC itself and to its members, and what are the differences?

Does the law on European Works Councils provide for any substructures (for example, working groups) within the EWC itself?

What are the so-called ‘Article 13 Agreements’, 'Art. 14' and ‘Article 6 Agreements’?

What is the difference between a German- and a French-type EWC?

How often should an EWC meet?

How can the frequency of EWC meetings be increased?

Are EWC members entitled to training?