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European Works Councils

The establishment of a European Works Council (EWC) is a major step for any business. Typically, an EWC involves consulting a forum of employee representatives from across the EU member states about workplace change with cross-border implications. For senior executives from outside Europe who are unfamiliar with continental works councils, they can also demand a change in mindset. This may involve sharing sometimes confidential information and consulting before decisions are made.

The first challenge for employers is dealing with the process of setting up an EWC, if a valid request has been received. Negotiating a tailored EWC agreement is an essential basis for a constructive information and consultation mechanism.
Similarly, how employers respond to requests to amend, or terminate, existing EWC agreements is critical to the future impact of the EWC on the business.

Our team includes some of the foremost experts on European Works Councils. We have experience of setting up, drafting and re-negotiating more EWC agreements than any of our peers across a number of sectors and jurisdictions, including the defence , telecoms, engineering, manufacturing, logistics, packaging and aviation sectors. Our work includes negotiating with European trade union experts, merging EWCs, formulating EWC strategy and evaluating options based on different EWC national laws.

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