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Procedures

Austria

Appointment by existing structures in the following order of priority: group committee, works council or works committee. Trade union representatives may be appointed even if they are not members of a committee or council.

Belgium

Election by the members of the works council if there is one, or otherwise by the health and safety committee (these are union only bodies). Failing this, the joint committee may allow the trade union delegation to select members.

Bulgaria

In principal elected at a General Assembly of employees and/ or their representatives. However, the General Assembly can choose to transfer the choice to the union or to existing employee representatives.

Cyprus

Elected from existing trade union organisations which represent employees in the company and if no union exists they are elected directly from the employees.

Czech Republic

Chosen from employees at a meeting of all employee representatives. These are local unions or (only if there is no union) works councils. Where there are no existing employee representatives at all, the employees elect someone for this specific purpose.

Denmark

Election by the representatives of the cooperation committee, otherwise by the shop stewards, or failing that by the employees.

Estonia

Elected at general meeting of all employees or, where there are several companies, by delegates elected at general meetings.

Finland

Organisation of an election by agreement; in the absence of an agreement, the election must be organised by the health and safety delegates and the most representative workforce delegates

France

Appointment by the trade union organisations from among the elected members of the works council or establishment council or from the trade union representatives in the group; in the absence of a trade union organisation in the group, election by the employees.

Germany

Appointment by the existing structures in the following order of priority: group committee, central works council (Zentralbetriebsrat), works council (Betriebsrat), or works committee (Betriebsauschuss).

Greece

Election in the following order of priority: by the trade union organisations, in their absence by the works council, or failing that by the workers.

Hungary

Appointed in order of priority: by all the central works council (or councils jointly if there is more than one), by the works council(s) or, if there are no works councils, directly elected by the workforce.

Ireland

Appointment or election by the employees, possibility of an agreement between central management and employees.

Italy

Appointment by the trade union organisations that have signed the collective agreement. Otherwise, agreement between the trade union organisations and the central management on the appointment of members.

Latvia

Must be employees chosen at joint meetings of employee representatives (either union representatives or authorised workplace representatives). Voting proportional to employee numbers represented.

Liechtenstein

Chosen by the existing employee representation, which should be elected where there are 50 or more employees.

Lithuania

Appointed by employee representatives. These are local unions or (only if there is no union) works councils. Where there are no existing employee representatives, the employees elect SNB representatives.

Luxembourg

Appointed by central employee delegation or if none exists the main employee delegations. If there are blue and white collar employee delegations, the regular member is chosen by the body representing the majority of employees, with the replacement chosen by the other.

Malta

Elected by secret ballot of all Maltese employees.

Netherlands

Election by the highest-level council: group council, central council, works council; if not all the works councils are represented in these other councils, the appointment must be made jointly by the councils that are not represented and the group council; if some of the workers are not represented on the works council, they must be consulted on the choice of SNB members; in the absence of a works council, election by the employees.

Norway

Chosen by local trade union bodies provided they represent two-thirds of employees and the unions agree.

Poland

Chosen by the local union. If there are several unions they should agree on the members and where they cannot agree there is an election based on union lists. If there is no union the members are elected by the workforce in a secret ballot.

Portugal

Appointment by joint agreement between, in order, the elected bodies and trade unions, between the elected bodies if no trade unions are represented in the undertaking or establishment, between the trade unions representing at least two thirds of the workers, or between the trade unions representing at least 5% of the workers; failing agreement, if no representatives are appointed, if there is no elected body or trade union, or if at least one third of the workers so request, the SNB members are directly elected by secret ballot, on the basis of lists presented by at least 100 or 10% of workers.

Romania

Romanian members of European bodies linked with European Works Councils and the European Company are chosen by the existing employee representatives, who, in the vast majority of cases, will be the trade union representatives at company level.

Slovak Republic

Appointed by employee representatives. These can be the local union body or the works council. In most cases they will be the union body

Slovenia

Employees’ councils, representative trade unions and groups of at least 50 employees have the right to propose candidates for SNB elections. All employees then elect representatives by secret ballot.

Sweden

Election by the trade union which has signed the collective agreement with the controlling undertaking; if there are several such unions they must negotiate an agreement to organise the election; in the absence of agreement, the most representative union makes the appointment.

UK

Elected by employees unless there is an existing “consultative committee”. In most cases this consultative committee will not exist

Iceland

Chosen by the trade unions.

Spain

Appointment by joint agreement among the trade union representatives, who together form the majority of members of the works council(s), or the employee delegates where appropriate, or by agreement of the majority of the members of those councils and delegates.