Setting up EWC

Setting up a European Works Council

Pemota Consultancy assists in setting up European Works Councils and the negotiation of company specific EWC-Agreements. When companies have more than 1000 employees in the EEA and at least 150 employees in two member states, a request to set up a European Works Council can be done on behalf of at least 100 employees, in at least two Member States. Central management is responsible to initiate negotiations and the creation of a European Works Council.  

We can support the employee representatives in this whole process of setting up a Special Negotiation Body (SNB), negotiating the EWC Agreement and the setting up of the EWC. It is important to know that every SNB is entitled, by law, to expert support.

Steps in the negotiation of an EWC (European Works Council) agreement typically include:

  1. Identification of the company or companies that will be covered by the EWC;
  2. Selection of the employee representatives for the Special Negotiation Body (SNB) who will participate in the negotiations;
  3. Identification of the content of the agreement: scope, and the topics that will be covered by the EWC, such as employment conditions, health and safety, acquisitions and divestitures, transfer of activities and company restructuring;
  4. Adaptation of the EWC agreement by the employee representatives and the company management;
  5. Implementation of the EWC agreement, including the establishment of the EWC, the selection of its members, and the scheduling of regular meetings;

It’s important to note that the EWC agreement is legally binding and must be respected by the company.

EWC negotiations can be challenging

Challenging for a number of reasons:

  • Language barriers: EWC negotiations often involve representatives from multiple countries, which can make communication difficult if not all participants speak the same language fluently;
  • Cultural differences: Representatives from different countries may have different attitudes and expectations regarding labor relations, which can make it difficult to reach agreement on certain issues;
  • Legal complexity: EWC negotiations must comply with a complex set of European Union regulations and laws, which can make it challenging for the parties to understand and navigate the legal requirements;
  • Time constraints: EWC negotiations are often time-sensitive, as the company may need to implement changes quickly in order to remain competitive. This can make it difficult to reach an agreement on certain issues;
  • Difficulty in reaching consensus: Negotiations often involve a lot of stakeholders with different agendas and interests, and it can be difficult to reach a consensus that is acceptable to all parties;
  • Resistance to change: EWC agreements often involve changes to the way the company operates, which can be met with resistance from employees and management alike;
  • Lack of trust: EWC negotiations are often conducted under the shadow of mistrust between the management and the workers, which can make it difficult to reach agreement on important issues.

Do you want to know more about setting up an EWC? Let us know!