Home / European Works Councils / EWC / SE-WC / SNB Training / EWC Training rights across Europe

EWC Training rights across Europe

EWC Training provision in national legislation transposing the recast EWC directive (2009/38/EC)

  • Key findings and future issues for research
  • Overview of training provisions in national law

Key findings and future issues for research

Key findings

 

This report is made up of three separate sections covering:

  • the national transposition of training rights in the recast EWC directive;
  • the national transposition of training rights in the SE directive; and
  • an overview of rights to time off and training for employee representatives at national level.

 

In the case of both the EWC and SE directives, it is clear that in most countries legislators have been content to reproduce the wording of the directive almost without alteration, and, where there are significant changes, the influence of national legislation covering national employee representatives is often evident.

 

However, there are differences in who is covered by the training rights provided by the directives, particular in the case of the SE directive. While most countries limit training rights to members the employee representative body in the SE, where it is set up under the standard rules, four countries give these rights to national members of the employee representative body, irrespective as to whether it is set up under the standard rules. Two of these also extend these training rights to employee representatives at board level.

 

The general terms in which most national legislators have transposed these rights leaves room for substantial variation in how they are interpreted, and national legislation and practice is likely to influence this.  An examination of national legislation shows that 13 states make statutory provision for specific time off for training for employee representatives, although only eight define time limits. Closer examination of the situation in the three EU countries with the largest number of companies with EWCs, shows that there are significant differences in the terms under which training rights are provided.

 

 

Issues for future research

 

To gain a better understanding of how employee representatives training is normally provided it would be helpful to have answers to the following questions (some of which involve confirming or rejecting the findings of this research):

 

Is there a specific right to time off for employee representative training?

 

Questions where the answer to this first question is yes

 

  1. What is its legal basis?
  2. Who is entitled to receive this training (several different groups may have a right and may therefore have different answers to the following questions)?
  3. Who is entitled to apply for training (the individual or the body to which they belong)?
  4. Is there a specific length of time set aside for this training, and, if so, what is it?
  5. Is time off paid by the employer and if so, at what rate?
  6. Who pays for the training itself (course fees, travel, accommodation, subsistence)?
  7. Are their limits to the amounts that can be spent on training (overall or for a specific course) and, if so, who sets them?
  8. What is the content of the training (as set out in the legislation or through case law and in practice) and does this vary according to the type of representative?
  9. Who provides the training (the legal situation and in practice) and is there an authorised list of training providers?

10. What are the restrictions on the timing of training (operational needs, sufficient notice)?

11. What happens if the two sides disagree on training (can training take place in the interim, must it await a resolution, or does the employer have a complete veto, or the employee representatives an absolute right)?

12. How are disagreements between the two sides resolved (court, an arbitration body or in some other way)?

 

 

Questions where the answer to the first question is no, there is not a specific right to time off for employee representative training?

 

  1. Is a specific right to time off for employee representative training provided through collective agreements?
  2. If yes, what is the mechanism and who do the agreements cover?
  3. Most of the earlier questions are relevant if training rights are provided through collective agreements.

 

  1. Is employee representative training included within the overall time-off rights for employee representatives?

 

If training is included in overall time-off rights: how does this work in practice?

  1. Again many of the earlier questions will be relevant if training is included in overall time-off rights.

 

  1. In cases where training is nor provided through collective agreements or within overall time-off rights, the question is whether employee representative training takes place in any circumstances and, if so, the form it takes.

 

 

 

Training and the recast EWC Directive

 

What the directive says

 

The recast EWC directive (2009/38/EC) contains two specific references to the right to training. In the preamble it states that “employees’ representatives … must be able to receive the training they require” in order to “perform their representative role fully and to ensure that the European Works Council is useful.” This is then translated into a legal requirement in Article 10 on the role and protection of employee representatives, where the directive states that “in so far as this is necessary for the exercise of their representative duties in an international environment, the members of the special negotiating body and of the European Works Council shall be provided with training without loss of wages”.

 

However, this right to training is not available to the members of all EWCs. Article 14 of the directive makes it clear that most of the obligations of the directive, including the obligation to provide training, do not extend to many existing EWCs. The EWCs not covered by the obligations are the so-called voluntary agreements, signed before the directive came into force[1], as well as agreements signed or revised between 5 June 2009 and 5 June 2011.

 

The arguments for the right to training

 

The benefits of a right to training are set out in the report of the group of experts on the implementation of the directive published in December 2010. They noted that, although the right to training was the measure with the largest cost impact on companies, the measure was, nevertheless “not controversial and meets the interests of both workers and companies”. They drew attention to the 2005 “Lessons learned” document published by the social partners which stated that ‘the ability to understand complex issues discussed in the EWC determines the quality in communication. Investing in language as well as technical/content training helps to optimise the functioning of the EWC and to reduce overall functioning costs’”.[2] 

 

The national transposition of training rights

 

In most countries[3] national legislation implanting the training provisions of the directive has followed the wording of the directive fairly closely. The main areas of difference relate to:

  • the content and type of the training;
  • the groups with a right to training; 
  • how those being trained are chosen;
  • the conditions under which paid leave is provided; and
  • the length of leave for training

 

However, it is important to emphasise that the differences are generally small and in most cases only apply to a minority of countries.

 

The content and type of training

 

The content and type of training is the area where the largest number of countries diverges from the directive, with15 countries having provisions which are different. For 11 it is simply that there is no reference to the need for training to be that necessary for the exercise of duties “in an international environment”. The countries in this position are: Croatia, the Czech Republic, France, Germany (where although there is no reference to an international environment, the legislation refers specifically to “knowledge required for the work of the European Works Council”), Lithuania, the Netherlands (whose training rights were included in the initial EWC transposition legislation in 1997), Poland (where the international environment is referred to in relation to training for the SNB but not for the EWC), Portugal, Slovakia, Sweden and the UK.

 

In Austria and Germany, the type of training described in the legislation “training and educational events” (Schulungs- und Bildungsveranstaltungen in the German text) is different from the simple “training” (Schulungen) included in the directive. In Greece, as well as referring to the exercise of representative duties at an international level, the legislation also allows SNB and EWC members to take paid leave to go to “meetings or conferences related to this law and organised by a recognised body doing work or tertiary trade union organisation [the union confederation] in the country”.

 

The Hungarian legislation is much more detailed in its description of the training for which there is a right to have paid time off. It sets out what should be particularly considered as being training necessary for the exercise of representative duties in an international environment. This is:

"Training that aims at providing knowledge required for the fulfilment of needs relating to practical requirements of  the activity of the European Works Council, including communication skills and foreign language skills, and for the understanding of the legal and labour background, international structure and strategy of the Community-scale undertaking or Community-scale group of undertakings …”

 

The Hungarian legislation does, however, go on to say that “an application for training shall not be rejected if the training is reasonably necessary for the exercise of representative duties in an international environment by the members of the special negotiating body and of the European Works Council”.

 

In Italy and Latvia, the legislation deals specifically with the question as to who decides the content of the training, stating it should de decided jointly by the two sides.

 

In Italy the wording of the legislation is that “the content of the training … is decided jointly by the central management and the select committee or, where no such committee exists, the European Works Council”. In Latvia, the transposition legislation states that the “content of training shall be determined by mutual agreement of the central management and the special negotiating body or the European Works Council”. (This section of the Latvian legislation also refers to the need for training – see below).

 

The groups with a right to training

 

The directive states that the groups with a right to training are “the members of the special negotiating body and of the European Works Council”. This wording has been adopted in all the states examined, with the exception of Croatia, where the section of the legislation referring to training rights for EWC members (Article 190 of the Labour Act), does not give similar rights to SNB members.

 

There are also two countries (Bulgaria and Lithuania) where the specific right of the select committee for training is referred to, although as the select committee is made up of EWC members, the failure to specify them would not remove their training rights.

 

  • Bulgaria: “Where necessary for the exercise of their representative duties in an international environment, the members of the European works council or standing committee shall be provided with training”
  • Lithuania: “Members of the European Works Council or of the committee of the European Works Council, as well as members of the special negotiating committee who are on the staff of the establishment of the European Union-scale undertaking operating in the Republic of Lithuania or the undertaking of the European Union-scale group of undertakings having its registered office in the Republic of Lithuania shall be … provided with training opportunities where required by their representation duties, while retaining their job and average wage.”

 

Greece and the Netherlands also refer to the training rights for other representatives under alternative arrangements for informing and consulting employees.

 

How those being trained are chosen

 

The directive says nothing about how those being trained are chosen, and in most countries the transposition legislation is also silent on this issue. However, there are two exceptions.

 

The German legislation states that, “the European Works Council may [“kann” in German] designate members to take part in training and educational events where such events impart knowledge necessary (“erforderlich”) for the work of the European Works Council. It goes on to say that this task can be delegated to the select committee.

 

In Luxembourg, the EWC legislation states that training for EWC and SNB members should be in line with national provisions on employee representative training. Among other things these state that the choice of those receiving training should be decided within the framework of a list agreed between the employers and the most representative unions at national level, although it is not clear how this can be applied to EWC members.

 

The conditions under which training is provided

 

This is also an issue which is not regulated in the directive and which also is not covered in the transposition legislation of most states. The few exceptions are:

 

  • Germany, where the EWC or the select committee is required to “notify the central management in good time of participation and date [of training]” and where in setting the date “operational needs shall be taken into account”

 

  • Greece, where employees “must, if necessary, provide the employer with proof of attendance at meetings and conferences to qualify for the relevant paid leave”. (This relates to meetings and conferences organised by the union or other recognised bodies.)

 

  • Hungary, where “applications for training shall contain information on training needs, the content and other relevant data of training and the reasons which support the fact that it is necessary for the exercise of representative duties in an international environment”.

 

  • Latvia, where the “need for”, as well as the content of training (see above) “shall be determined by mutual agreement of the central management and the special negotiating body or the European Works Council”.

 

  • Portugal, where training as well as other aspects of the EWC’s work “may be regulated differently by agreement with central management”.

 

  • UK, where the legislation states that the time off for training shall be “reasonable”, wording that in a national context has been taken to involve the content of the training as well as its timing and who is providing it.

 

The length of leave for training

 

The length of training to be provided is not regulated in the directive and Luxembourg is the only country to do so in its transposition legislation. This is because the legislation in Luxembourg makes specific reference to national training provision, stating that “members of the special negotiating body and the European Works Council receive training without loss of pay in line with the provisions of Article L.415-10 [of the Labour Code]”. 

 

This article states that employers are required to provide paid time off for training (congé formation) to employee representatives allowing them to attend training organised by the unions or other specialised bodies. In smaller workplaces – 50 employees or below – this is one week over the five-year period of office, paid for by the state; in workplaces with between 51 and 150 employees it is two weeks, with one week paid by the state and one by the employer; in workplaces with more than 150 employees it is one week per year, paid by the employer. As with the choice of individuals receiving training (see above), it is not clear how this national legislation relates to training for EWC and SNB members.

 

The legislation in Hungary also makes reference to the length of training, although it does not itself set a limit. Instead it states that “the minimum time allotted for the training may be set by the parties in an agreement”.

 

Conclusions

 

The most striking aspect of the transposition of the training provisions of the recast EWC directive is how closely most countries have followed the wording of the directive. Those where there are the most significant changes are:

  • Croatia, where training rights for SNB members appear not to have been transposed;
  • Germany, where EWC members are to be designated by the EWC, or select committee, the training must impart the knowledge “necessary”  for the work of the EWC and the timing must take account of operational concerns and be notified to management in good time;
  • Greece, where EWC members can go to meetings and conferences organised by a recognised body or the national trade union confederation, although they must provide proof of attendance;
  • Hungary, where the type of training which is to be approved is set out in detail;
  • Italy, where the content of the training is to be agreed between the select committee and management;
  • Latvia, where the content of and need for the training shall be agreed between the two sides;
  • Luxembourg, where the length of the training as well as a mechanism as to who should receive it is set out in the legislation;
  • Portugal, where there is a specific possibility of training being regulated in a different way through an agreement with management; and
  • the UK, where time off for training should be reasonable.

 

Where there are differences from the directive, it is clear that national legislation has often played an important role. This is obvious in Luxembourg, where the national legislation applies directly in some cases, but is also clear elsewhere. For example in the UK, the reference to reasonable, echoes the reference to time off rights which are “reasonable in all the circumstances” in the UK national legislation.[4]  Similarly in the German transposition, the rights for training for EWC members are similar to those provided to national works council members.[5]

 

In contrast, in most countries, the transposition legislation does not resolve the detailed issues of what training can be provided under what circumstances, by whom, to whom and when. However, here too national legislation and custom and practice are likely to prove decisive.

[1] “Agreements covering the entire workforce, providing for the transnational information and consultation of employees … concluded pursuant to Article 13(1) of Directive 94/45/EC or Article 3(1) of Directive 97/74/EC”

[2] Report Group of Experts: Implementation of Recast Directive 2009/38/EC on European Works Councils, December 2010

[3] The following sections are based on an examination of the transposition legislation in 29 of the 31 countries affected by the directive. There is no information on the position in Iceland and in Liechtenstein, although it appears that the legislation has been passed, it has not been possible to examine the text.

[4] Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 s 168 (3)

[5] See Works Constitution Act (Betriebsverfassungsgesetz) §37 (6)

Overview of training provisions in national law

Directive

Preamble (33) In order to perform their representative role fully and to ensure that the European Works Council is useful, employees’ representatives … must be able to receive the training they require.

Article 10 …

4. In so far as this is necessary for the exercise of their representative duties in an international environment, the members of the special negotiating body and of the European Works Council shall be provided with training without loss of wages.

Directive 2009/38/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 May 2009 on the establishment of a European Works Council or a procedure in Community-scale undertakings and Community-scale groups of undertakings for the purposes of informing and consulting employees (Recast)

Austria

49. The text of the former § 205 shall now be numbered as paragraph ‘(1)’; the following paragraph 2 shall be added:

‘(2) Without prejudice to § 118, each Austrian member of the special negotiating body and of the European Works Council shall be entitled to leave from their employment to attend the training and educational events necessary to enable them to carry out their duties of representation on the international stage whilst continuing to be paid.’

 

§ 118 subpara. (1) states that all works council members have the right to up to three weeks’ paid time off for training during their period of office (unpaid in workplaces with fewer than 20 employees).

Federal Law No 101 amending the Labour Constitution Act, the Post Office Employee

Representation Act and the Agricultural Labour Act 1984

 

Belgium

Section V – Training

Article 49

In so far as this is necessary for the exercise of their representative duties in an international environment, the members of the special negotiating body and of the European Works Council shall be provided with training without loss of wages.

Collective agreement on the information and consultation of employees in community-scale undertakings and community-scale groups of undertakings

Collective agreement No 101

Meeting of Tuesday 21 December 2010

Bulgaria

Section 4. Article 7 is amended as follows: …

2. The following paragraph 3 is inserted:

‘(3) Where necessary for the exercise of their representative duties in an international environment, the members of the special negotiating body shall be provided with training. The cost of the training may not be deducted from their wages.’

Section 8. Article 11 is amended as follows: …

2. The following paragraph 9 is inserted:

‘(9) Where necessary for the exercise of their representative duties in an international environment, the members of the European works council or standing committee shall be provided with training. The cost of the training may not be deducted from their wages.’

Act amending the Act on informing and consulting employees in multinational undertakings, groups of undertakings and European companies

15 March 2011

Croatia

Protection of employees' representatives in the Republic of Croatia

Article 190

The provisions of Article 155 and Article 156 of this Act with regard to rights and protection shall apply, mutatis mutandis, to members of the European Works Council referred to in Article 180 and Article 182 who are employed in the Republic of Croatia.

Article 155 states in paragraph 6 that “The employer must permit members of the works council to undergo training necessary for work in the council.”

Labour Act

Cyprus

18. 4) In so far as this is necessary for the exercise of their representative duties in an international environment, the members of the special negotiating body and of the European Works Council shall be provided with training without loss of wages.

Law of 2011 providing for the establishment of a European works council for the purpose of safeguarding employees’ rights to information and consultation in community-scale undertakings and community-scale groups of undertakings

No 106(Ι) of 2011

Czech Republic

18. In Section 288(2) the word "activity" shall be followed by the words "essential training". [In fact activity is in 288(1) not 288(2).]

It now reads as follows:

“An EU-scale undertaking shall … and cover the costs of organising meetings, interpreting, travel and accommodation of members (of the special negotiating body or the European Works Council) relating to their proper activity, essential training and expenses per one expert, unless the settlement of other costs (expenses) is agreed with the central management.”

185 Act of 8 June 2011

Amending Act No 262/2006, the Labour Code, as subsequently amended

Denmark

29. In § 28 subpara. (2) the following shall be added after No 1:

"In this connection, the members [of the European works council and select committee] shall be provided with training without loss of wages in so far as this is necessary for the exercise of their representative duties in an international environment."

Act amending the European Works Councils Act (Lov om ændring af lov om europæiske samarbejdsudvalg)

Act No 281 of 6 April 2011

Estonia

Section 401. Right of members of the special negotiating body and of the European Works Council to training in so far as this is necessary for the exercise of their representative duties in an international environment, the members of the special negotiating body and of the European Works Council shall be provided with training. They shall keep their average wage for the time they are attending training.

16.06.2011 RT I, 04.07.2011, 1 14.07.2011

Finland

Section 40. The members of the employees’ special negotiating body and of the European Works Council shall be provided with the necessary training to enable them to perform their duties as representatives in an international context.

The representatives of the employees covered by this Act shall be entitled to release from their work tasks to enable them to perform their duties and undergo training. The employer shall pay compensation to them for any loss of income as a result thereof. Any other instances of release from work and compensation for loss of income shall be agreed in each individual case between the employees’ representatives  concerned and the employer.

620/2011

Act amending the Act on cooperation in Finnish groups of undertakings and Community-scale groups of undertakings

10 June 2011

France

5. After Article L. 2342-10, Articles L. 2342-10-1 and L. 2342-10-2 shall be added which shall read as follows: …

"Article L. 2342-10-2.- The members of the European Works Council set up by agreement shall, without any loss of salary, be given the training they require in order to perform their duties as provided for in the agreement."

After Article L. 2344-8 of the Labour Code, Article L. 2344-9 shall be added which shall read as follows:

"Article L. 2344-9. – The members of the special negotiating body and of the European Works Council created in the absence of an agreement shall, without any loss of salary, be given the training they require in order to perform their duties."

Ordinance No 2011-1328 of 20 October 2011 transposing Directive 2009/38/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 May 2009 on the establishment of a European Works Council or a procedure in Community-scale undertakings and Community-scale groups of undertakings for the purposes of informing and consulting employees

Germany

§ 38 Training

(1) The European Works Council may designate members to take part in training and educational events where such events impart knowledge required for the work of the European Works Council.

The European Works Council shall notify the central management in good time of participation and date. When the date of the event is being set, operational needs shall be taken into account. The European Works Council may transfer its tasks under this paragraph to the Committee referred to in § 26.

(2) The first, second and third sentences of paragraph (1) shall apply mutatis mutandis to the special negotiating body and its members.

[The Committee referred to in § 26 is the steering committee.]

Second Act amending the Act on European Works Councils

transposing Directive 2009/38/EC on a European Works Council

(2. EBRG-ÄndG)∗)

14 June 2011

Greece

Article 64

4. Representatives as in the preceding paragraph [members of the SNB, EWC members and other information and consultation representatives] shall take paid leave from the business for the time they spend in meetings or conferences related to this law and organised by a recognised body doing work or tertiary trade union organisation in the country. Employees must, if necessary, provide the employer with proof of attendance at meetings and conferences to qualify for the relevant paid leave.

5. For the purpose of informing employees EWC members shall be granted leave of up to two (2) hours per week, which may not exceed fifteen (15) days in total per year.

6. To the extent necessary for the exercise of their representative duties at international level, paid training shall be provided to members of the SNB and the EWC.

LAW NO. 4052

Later Coding Law 4150/2013 on 29.04.2013

Chapter XII

Rights of workers to information and consultation in community  scale business enterprises and groups in compliance with the directive 2009/38/EC

Hungary

Article 68

Act XXI of 2003 on the establishment of the European Works Council and on the establishment of the procedure for informing and consulting employees shall be supplemented by the following Articles 21/A to 21/C: …

“Article 21/B (1) In so far as this is necessary for the exercise of their representative duties in an international environment, the members of the special negotiating body and of the European Works Council shall be entitled to receive training. The minimum time allotted for the training may be set by the parties in an agreement.

(2) Training that aims at providing knowledge required for the fulfilment of needs relating to practical requirements of  the activity of the European Works Council, including

communication skills and foreign language skills, and for the understanding of the legal and labour background, international structure and strategy of the Community-scale undertaking or Community-scale group of undertakings shall in particular be considered training necessary for the exercise of representative duties in an international environment.

(3) Applications for training shall contain information on training needs, the content and other relevant data of training and the reasons which support the fact that it is necessary for the exercise of representative duties in an international environment.

(4) An application for training shall not be rejected if the training is reasonably necessary for the exercise of representative duties in an international environment by the members of the special negotiating body and of the European Works Council.

(5) Members of the special negotiating body and of the European Works Council shall be entitled to an absence fee for the time of the training.

Amendment of Act XXI of 2003 on the establishment of the European Works Council and on the establishment of the procedure for informing and consulting employees

Iceland

Not known

 

Ireland

Amendment of section 17 of Act of 1996

13. Section 17 of the Act of 1996 is amended— …

by inserting the following subsections after subsection (4): …

(6) In so far as it is necessary for the exercise of their representative duties in a transnational setting, the members of the Special Negotiating Body, the European Employees’ Forum or European Works Council, as the case may be, shall be provided with appropriate training by their employers without loss of wages. ”

European Communities (Transnational information and consultation of employees Act 1996) (amendment) Regulations 2011

S.I. No. 380 of 2011

Italy

Article 13

Insert paragraph 4 after paragraph 3:

"4. In so far as this is necessary for the exercise of their representative duties in an international environment, the members of the special negotiating body and of the European Works Council shall be provided with training without loss of wages. The content of the training, considering the agreements in place, is decided jointly by the central management and the select committee or, where no such committee exists, the European Works Council."

Joint declaration in favour of the implementation of Directive 2009/38/EC of 6 May 2009 on the establishment of a European Works Council or a procedure in Community-scale undertakings and Community-scale groups of undertakings for the purposes of informing and consulting employees

of: CONFINDUSTRIA, ABI, ANIA and CONFCOMMERCIO – Imprese per l’Italia and CGIL, CISL, UIL

12 April 2011

Amendments to Legislative Decree 74/2002

Followed by Legislative Decree 113/2012 of 22 June 2012

Latvia

Section 6

(5) In order to ensure effective information and consultation, the central management shall, where necessary, provide employees' representatives with training in so far as this is necessary for the exercise of their representative duties in an international environment. The need for and content of training shall be determined by mutual agreement of the central management and the special negotiating body or the European Works Council.

Section 30

(3) If the representatives from Latvia referred to in Paragraph one of this Section take part in training that is

necessary for the exercise of duties in an international environment, they shall retain their wages during the

training period if they are employed by the hour, or their average earnings, if they receive an accord salary.

Law on informing and consulting employees of Community-scale undertakings and Community-scale groups of undertakings

19.05.2011 ("LV", 82 (4480), 27.05.2011.)

Liechtenstein

Not found

Gesetz betreffend die Abänderung des Gesetzes über Europäische Betriebsräte”, LR 822.12

Lithuania

Article 13. Protection of the rights and guarantees of employees' representatives

1. Members of the European Works Council or of the committee of the European Works Council, as well as members of the special negotiating committee who are on the staff of the establishment of the European Union-scale undertaking operating in the Republic of Lithuania or the undertaking of the European Union-scale group of undertakings having its registered office in the Republic of Lithuania shall be … provided with training opportunities where required by their representation duties, while retaining their job and average wage.

Law amending the law of the Republic of Lithuania on

European works councils

22 June 2011, no xi-1507

Luxembourg

20  Article L.433-2 is supplemented by subsection (6) as follows:

"(6) To the extent necessary for the exercise of their representative duties in an international environment, members of the special negotiating body and the European Works Council receive training without loss of pay in line with the provisions of Article L.415-10."

Article 415- 10 states that

Employers are required to provide paid time off for training (congé formation) to employee representatives allowing them to attend training organised by the unions or other specialised bodies. In smaller workplaces – 50 employees or below – this is one week over the five years period of office, paid for by the state; in workplaces with between 51 and 150 employees it is two weeks, with one week paid by the state and one by the employer; in workplaces with more than 150 employees it is one week per year, paid by the employer.

Time off for training may not be set against holiday entitlement; it is part of working time. It should be given to employee representatives within the framework of a list agreed between the employers and the most representative unions at national level.

Law of 26 December 2012 amending Title III of Book IV of the Labour Code

Malta

(5) In so far as this is necessary for the exercise of their representative duties in an international environment, the members of the Special Negotiating Body and of the European Works Council shall be provided with training without loss of wages.

Employment and industrial relations Act (Cap. 452)

European Works Council (Further Provisions) Regulations,

2011

L.N. 217 of 2011

Netherlands

3. Insofar as is reasonably necessary for the exercise of their duties they[*] shall be afforded the possibility - during working hours and without loss of pay … of undergoing education and training.

* Defined as “employees working in the Netherlands who are members of a special negotiating body or of a European Works Council or act as representatives under alternative arrangements for informing and consulting employees.”

Act of 23 January 1997

for the implementation of Council Directive 94/45/EC of 22 September 1994 on the establishment of a European Works Council or a procedure in Community-scale undertakings and Community-scale groups of undertakings for the purposes of informing and consulting employees

(European Works Councils Act)

Norway

§ 6 The EWC's practical work …

To the extent necessary to be able to carry out its tasks as representatives in an international environment, the members of the special negotiating body and EWC shall receive training without loss of salary.

Supplementary Agreement VIII

Agreement regarding European Works Councils or equivalent forms of cooperation

Poland

Article 1

9) In Article 15, the following paragraph 4 shall be inserted:

“4. In so far as this is necessary for the exercise of their representative duties in an international environment, the members of the special negotiating body shall be provided with training, with the right to remuneration calculated in accordance with the rules concerning leave for the members of the management of a trade union organisation in the establishment.”.

20) In Article 34, paragraph 1 shall be replaced by the following:

“1. The operating expenses of the European Works Council, and in particular the costs of organising meetings, board and accommodation, travel expenses of members, costs of interpretation and necessary training with retention of the right to remuneration, shall be borne by the central management, unless the central management and European Works Council decide otherwise.”.

1265 Act of 31 August 2011 amending the Law on European Works Councils

Portugal

1— The central management shall: …

d) provide the members of the special negotiating body and the European Works Council with the training needed to perform their duties, without any loss of pay. …

4 — With regard to the European Works Council, the provisions of the above paragraph may be regulated differently by agreement with the central management, except with regard to the costs of one expert.

Law No 96/2009 of 3 September 2009

European Works Councils

Romania

27. A new article, i.e. Article 421, shall be introduced after Article 42 to read as follows:

“Article 421

In so far as this is necessary for the exercise of their representative duties in an international environment, the members of the special negotiating body and of the European Works Council shall be provided with training without loss of wages.”

Law No 186 of 24 October 2011 amending and supplementing Law No 217/2005 on the establishment, organisation and functioning of the European Works Council

Slovakia

Section 250

Protection of members of a special negotiating body, members of a European Works Council and employees’ representatives implementing another procedure for informing and consulting employees

(2)Members of a special negotiating body and members of a European Works Council shall be provided with professional training and with replacement pay within the scope necessary for the performance of their role as an employees’ representative.

Section 240 “Conditions of activity of employees’ representatives and their protection” also applies to SNB and EWC members

48 Act of 8 February 2011,

amending Act No 311/2001, the Labour Code, as amended and amending certain other laws

Slovenia

Article 35

(Training)

In so far as this is necessary for the exercise of their representative duties in an international environment, the members of the special negotiating body and of the European Works Council shall have access to training without loss of pay.

2352. European Works Councils Act (ZESD-1) 24 June 2011

Spain

Fourteen.

Paragraph 4 shall be inserted in Article 28 as follows:

'4. In so far as this is necessary for the exercise of their representative duties in an international environment, the members of the special negotiating body and of the European Works Council shall be provided with training without loss of wages.'

Law 10/2011 of 19 May amending Law 10/1997 of 24 April on the right of employees in Community-scale undertakings and groups of undertakings to information and consultation

Sweden

Training

Section 57. The Community-scale undertaking or the controlling undertaking in a Community-scale group of undertakings shall provide the members of the employees’ special negotiating body and the European Works Council with any training required for them to carry out their tasks.

Act (2011:427) on European Works Councils

UK

Right to training for members of a European Works Council, etc

19B.—(1) Subject to paragraph (2), the central management shall provide an employee

who is—

(a) a member of a special negotiating body; or

(b) a member of a European Works Council,

with the means required to undertaking training to the extent necessary for the exercise of the employee’s representative duties.

(2) The obligation on central management referred to in paragraph (1) does not include an obligation to provide time off during working hours to undertaking training, or remuneration for such time off (as required by regulations 25 and 26).

Amendment of regulation 25

16. In regulation 25 (right to time off for members of a European Works Council, etc) after paragraph (1) insert—

“(1A) An employer shall permit an employee who is—

(a) a member of a special negotiating body; or

(b) a member of a European Works Council,

to take reasonable time off during the employee’s working hours in order to undertake the training referred to in regulation 19B.”

2010 No. 1088 Terms and conditions of employment

The Transnational Information and Consultation of Employees

(Amendment) Regulations 2010

20  Article L.433-2 is supplemented by subsection (6) as follows:

"(6) To the extent necessary for the exercise of their representative duties in an international environment, members of the special negotiating body and the European Works Council receive training without loss of pay in line with the provisions of Article L.415-10."

Article 415- 10 states that

Employers are required to provide paid time off for training (congé formation) to employee representatives allowing them to attend training organised by the unions or other specialised bodies. In smaller workplaces – 50 employees or below – this is one week over the five years period of office, paid for by the state; in workplaces with between 51 and 150 employees it is two weeks, with one week paid by the state and one by the employer; in workplaces with more than 150 employees it is one week per year, paid by the employer.

Time off for training may not be set against holiday entitlement; it is part of working time. It should be given to employee representatives within the framework of a list agreed between the employers and the most representative unions at national level.

L. Fulton (2013) Worker representation in Europe. Labour Research Department and ETUI. Produced with the assistance of the SEEurope Network, online publication available at http://www.worker-participation.eu/National-Industrial-Relations.