European Works Councils
The European Works Council, or EWC for short, is a body composed of employee representatives of a multinational European company. The EWC consults on behalf on the workers, with the core management (at the European level). Companies with more than 1000 employees within EU member states and with at least 150 employees in at least 2 member states can form an EWC. And it should include at least one representative from each EU country.
Tens of millions of employees in Europe currently have representation and consultation rights through EWCs. Hence, their role is imperative to efficient functioning of the organization, across the various countries and cannot be understated.
Challenges EWCs face
Since EWCs are made up of representatives of diverse countries, very often EWCs must contend with cultural differences between members. Working from different language and cultural mindsets also implies that it is not easy to understand each other and have a point of view you agree on.
Besides cultural differences, one also must be aware of the different regulations that apply to various member states when it comes to their understanding of workers’ rights and requirements. Often it is possible that new EWC members are not aware of what to expect, or how to express, assert and listen effectively, when they are first exposed to a European-level council.
Do I really need to invest in (European) Works Council Training?
Participation in decision making leads to better organization and employee engagement. European (as well as Dutch) works councils need to advise the employer about their perspective on various matters that affect employees: like HR policy, for example. This requires that they comprehend the human resources policy well, especially in pan European context for EWCs. Similarly, they may be required to understand other domain strategy, maybe in finances or resource allocation.
To make this communication more effective, the trainers at MZ Services, equip the EWC members with better skills. These include negotiation, relationship building, selling their point of view, and presenting ideas. We help them look at issues from a Works Council point of view. At the core of our training, we enable the council members to get the most out of the input they put into their roles.
Read how the EWC for DSV feels about their training experience.
About MZ Services
We are a consultation party whose core expertise lies in providing training and advice to both Dutch and European Works Councils, about a whole range of subjects that fall under their purview. This includes rights pertaining to the Works Councils acts as well as effective management and communication practices. Whether it refers to Dutch law or the rights of European Works Council, we are well versed in both and offer needs-based training and advice.
We are aware that increasingly specific know-how and attention is required to be able to fulfil your role as a works council member. Our advisors are equipped with substantive knowledge and can support specific works council issues that come up ‘on the job’. Consequently, this strengthens collaboration between (European) Works Council and the directors. We consult on all matters, including long term and complex subjects like
- Mergers and acquisitions
- Employment conditions and social policy
- Health and safety
We are a team of dedicated trainers from diverse professional backgrounds. Our collective skills and expertise range from working in human resources to being part of workers’ unions. We rely on experience and a deep understanding of rights and legislations, along with the knowledge and tools that are essential for effective functioning of the Works Council.
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Customized European and Dutch Works Council training
Despite the similarity in their roles, every European Works Council faces its own unique set of challenges. Our trainings are exclusively tailored to your specific needs. We start with an intake where we try and understand your requirements. We can then create a customized plan to target your individual Councils’ needs. This can be done both in person as well as on the phone.
An intake interview gives us a chance to get to know your organization and the training needs, better. Especially, for European Works Councils which may comprise of several different nationalities. This is also an opportunity for you to get to know the trainer and establish a connection. We can then create a customised program for you. This is completely free of obligation.
A sizeable part of the Works Council’s focus is on organization policy. Reorganization, personnel policy, process changes and strategies, merger, reclassification, collaboration as well as financial policy are all examples of this. As a participatory council you contribute towards the company objectives as well as help direct strategy and policy. Consequently, this is a major area of training interest.
Internal Functioning of the European Work Council
It is imperative that the EWC functions well internally, to succeed. Our trainings aid the working methods and skills of members for effective division of task and collaboration. This includes functioning as a team, creating work plans and follow ups. We encourage members to rely on negotiation, debates, and presentation to share their ideas or perspectives.