The EU directive on European Works Councils provides for a “Special Negotiating Body” to be established made up of employee representatives from all the EEA member states where the group or company has employees. See EWCs in Depth for more information on the composition of the SNB and its role.
The directive gives SNB members the right to receive training – at the company’s expense – in order to carry out their role negotiating an EWC agreement with the company’s management. This is an important entitlement, as SNB members may know little about the EWC legislation, what should go in an EWC agreement, what happens if no agreement is reached etc, and may have little experience of negotiating.
ProVizon provides training to members of Special Negotiating Bodies
We provide training to individual members, groups of members (eg from the same country) or to the full Special Negotiating Body, depending on what is required.
The training will cover some or all of the following topics:
- Legal background – the “recast” EWC directive, national legislation, and EWC agreements
- Understanding the purpose of a European Works Council and the role of EWC members
- The negotiation process – the aim of the negotiations, frequency and duration of meetings, pre-meetings without management, expert advice, taking decisions, time off for SNB members, protections for SNB members, the deadline for reaching an agreement.
- What happens if there is no agreement – the “Subsidiary Requirements” in the directive
- Contents of the agreement:
- Undertakings (companies, subsidiaries) within scope, composition of the EWC, number of members, allocation of seats and term of office, appointment of a select committee
- Definition of “transnational issues”
- Topics for discussion and the definition of “consultation”
- The information and consultation process – timing, frequency, provision of information, procedure for consultation, plenary and exceptional meetings, use of expert advisers
- Link between transnational and national consultation
- Protection of confidential information
- Time off and facilities for employee representatives
- Changes to the European Works Council – corporate restructuring, mergers and acquisitions, disposals, changes to the agreement, renewal, renegotiation and termination of the agreement.
- Legal status of the agreement, and enforcement of provisions
- Negotiating skills and approach to the negotiations
- The implications of Brexit
Training would typically take place over 1-2 days and can be held either at the company’s premises, or at a neutral location. If required, simultaneous interpretation can be provided, and translation of slide decks and documents, into the languages of participants.
The training is tailored to the specific needs and circumstances of each Special Negotiating Body, and is highly interactive so that participants learn how to negotiate in a way that achieves results.
Please contact us if you would like more information about our training programmes for SNB members, if you have any questions, or if you would like us to quote for providing SNB training.