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Compare Countries

This tool allows you to compare countries, for example with regard to their national systems of trade unions, collective bargaining and workplace representation.

Country Austria [more ...] Belgium [more ...] Bulgaria [more ...] Croatia [more ...]
Board-level Representation

Employees are not represented at board level in Belgium, except in a handful of publicly-owned companies.


There is no employee participation at board level in Bulgaria, but under certain circumstances employee representatives can have a consultative role in shareholders’ meetings.

There is employee representation at board level in larger Croatian limited companies and all Croatian public limited companies. However, this representation is limited to a single member representing employees.

Country Cyprus* [more ...] Czech Republic [more ...] Denmark [more ...] Estonia [more ...]
Board-level Representation


Employees have no statutory right to be represented at board level in Cyprus, although for a period there were union representatives on the boards of two banks.

Employees have a third of the seats on the supervisory board of state-owned companies and, following a change in the law in 2017, once again in privately owned companies, although now only in larger ones.

Employee representation at board level starts in companies with 35 employees and these representatives have one third of the seats.

There is no legal provision for employee representatives to participate at board level in Estonia.

Country Finland [more ...] France [more ...] Germany [more ...] Greece [more ...]
Board-level Representation

Workers in companies with more than 150 employees have the right to participate in management decisions. The mechanism for doing so can be agreed between the company and the employee representatives. However, if there is no agreement, it is up to the company to decide the level at which employee are represented in a single-tier board, in a supervisory board or at operating level.

Legislation passed in 2013 greatly extended the range of companies covered by the obligation to have employee representatives at board level, and this was widened again in 2015. As well as state-owned companies which were previously covered, large private companies must in future also have at least one employee representative at board level. This is in addition to representatives of employees holding shares and employee representatives who can be present at board meetings, but are not board members.

Employee representatives have a right to seats on the supervisory board of larger companies – one-third in companies with 500 to 2,000 employees, half in companies with more than 2,000.

Employee representatives at board level in Greece are only found in some state-owned companies.

Country Hungary [more ...] Ireland [more ...] Italy [more ...] Latvia [more ...]
Board-level Representation

Employee representatives make up one third of the members of the supervisory board in companies with more than 200 employees. But new legislation, passed in 2006, allowed single tier boards for the first time, and here employee rights are much weaker.

Employee representatives in Ireland’s single-tier boards are only found in the state-owned sector, where they normally account for a third of the total.

There is no right to employee board level representation in Italy, and, although this has been proposed in the past,  change currently seems unlikely.

There is no legislation on employee representation at board level in Latvia.

Country Lithuania [more ...] Luxembourg [more ...] Malta [more ...] Netherlands [more ...]
Board-level Representation

There is no employee representation at board level in the private sector in Lithuania, but they are present in some state-owned enterprises.

Companies with more than 1,000 employees or with a substantial state involvement must have employee representatives at board level. They generally have a third of the seats.

Board-level employee representation in companies no longer exists in Malta.

Works councils have the right to nominate up to one third of the members of supervisory boards or a third of the non-executive directors in larger companies. However, neither employees of the companies nor trade unionists dealing with them can be nominated, so the works council nominees are often distant from employees’ day-to-day concerns.

Country Norway [more ...] Poland [more ...] Portugal [more ...] Romania [more ...]
Board-level Representation

The right to have a single employee representative at board level starts with companies with 30 employees in Norway. In companies with more than 50 workers, one third of board members are elected by and come from the employees.

There is no right to board-level employee representation in privately owned companies in Poland. However, Polish legislation provides for employee representatives at supervisory board level in companies in the process of being privatised, as well as even greater powers in fully state-owned enterprises.


There are constitutional provisions giving Portuguese employees the right to elect representatives on the governing bodies of state-owned companies and other public bodies. However, these provisions have been implemented in a way which means that they only have a consultative role, and relatively few state-owned companies are covered. There is no employee board level representation in private companies.

Employee representatives have no right to be board members in Romania, although they can be invited to attend board meetings for some items.

Country Slovak Republic [more ...] Slovenia [more ...] Spain [more ...] Sweden [more ...]
Board-level Representation

Employees have a right to a third of the seats on the supervisory board of public limited companies in the private sector with more than 50 employees, provided some other conditions are met. In state-owned companies they have the right to half the seats.

There is employee representation at board level in larger Slovenian companies. Employee representatives have between a third and a half of the seats on the supervisory board of Slovenian companies with a two-tier structure. In companies with a single board they have at least a quarter.

There is no overall right to employee board-level representation. However, there are a small number of employees on the boards of some publicly owned companies.

Employees are represented on the boards of companies with more than 25 employees. There are two or three employee members and they typically account for a quarter to a third of board members. They are chosen by the union and are generally important figures in a whole range of employer-union relations.

Country Switzerland [more ...] United Kingdom [more ...]
Board-level Representation

There is no participation of employees at board level.

UK employees have no statutory right to representation at board level. However, following a revision of the UK Corporate Governance Code, which came into effect in 2019, employee directors are a specified option for listed companies, and there are now a handful of employee representatives at board level.