Many aspects of a company’s business and its decision-making are complicated and technical, as is the information that goes with it. EWC members are not usually specialists in corporate strategy, but are “normal” workers drawn from all parts of the business. Most will have little, if any, experience analysing corporate financial and other information and assessing what could be the impact on employees. They therefore need help in understanding company strategy, the competitive environment in which the company operates, the drivers for corporate decision-making, company financial information, and the potential implications for employees.
With training and on-going expert advice and support, EWC members can be more effective in their role discussing the company’s situation and prospects with senior management, and the implications of business decisions. It is also in the interests of management to have well-informed and well-equipped employee representatives, and so to get more value from the investment the company makes in its European Works Council.
The EU directive on European Works Councils gives EWC members a right to receive assistance from experts to help them carry out their role effectively. EWC members must have the means required to apply the rights given to them by the directive in order to represent the interests of the company’s employees. Many EWC agreements provide that the EWC is entitled to receive expert assistance to help them carry out their role. The “Subsidiary Requirements” in the annex to the directive state that the EWC may be assisted by experts of its choice in so far as this is necessary for it to carry out its tasks, with the company required to cover the cost of one expert.
ProVison provides expert advice and assistance to European Works Councils
We provide on-going advice and support to European Works Councils, in accordance with the EWC directive and the relevant national legislation.
This includes advising on:
- Financial interpretation of company results
- The economic and financial situation of the company, and the competitive environment in which it is operating
- Forecasts and projections
- Workforce planning, footprint strategy
- Planned company investments
- Company restructuring, including acquisitions, mergers, disposals, production transfers, site closures
- The introduction of new working methods or production processes
- The implications of any of these changes for employment levels generally, including recruitment or redundancies, and for ways of working
- The implications of Brexit for the company as a whole, and for the EWC in particular
- Preparing for meetings with senior management
Advice is provided on the basis of information supplied by management (we advise on what you should ask for) plus our own market research and experience. Our experts have long experience working within multinational companies, with strong knowledge of corporate and HR strategies, practical experience of change resulting from corporate acquisitions, disposals and restructuring, and an “insider’s knowledge” of the way multinationals are really run.
We advise EWC members ahead of, during and after, regular meetings held with management, whether plenary meetings of the full EWC, or meetings of the Select Committee. We also advise EWC members where there is a specific issue on which they are being consulted by management. We help them understand the information provided by management, and its implications for employees, we help them formulate questions and comments to put to management, and we help them draw up a formal opinion regarding the issues on which they are being consulted, and to propose possible alternative options to management.
Please contact us if you have any questions, would like further information, or would like a quote for advising and supporting your European Works Council, whether on a one-off basis or on-going.