Some frequently asked questions about employee participation
Through participation, employees and/or third parties can influence policy and the course of events in a company or institution. The participation council has the right to be informed, the right to be consulted, and the right of consent. In practice, it is not always clear when the participation council should be involved. Our specialists provide answers to questions such as whether a proposed decision relevant if no jobs are lost? And when should the works council be involved? Make sure that all agreements are clear.
If part of the company’s activities is terminated or a major cutback is planned, the works council has the right to be consulted. When requesting advice, the entrepreneur must also provide insight into the consequences for staff. This is often done by means of a social plan, which is agreed with the trade unions as a starting point.
The Works Councils Act (in Dutch: Wet op ondernemingsraden, WOR) stipulates when a Works Council must be established and specifies its composition and powers. In addition, the WOR regulates employee participation in small enterprises.
For some decisions, the Works Council must give its consent. This right of consent particularly concerns company regulations in the field of social policy.
For intended decisions that have important financial, economic and/or organisational consequences for the company, the employer is obliged to request written advice from the Works Council (in Dutch: ondernemingsraad, OR). The advice must be requested in good time and awaited before taking a final decision and before implementing any measures. If the OR issues a negative advice, a waiting period of one month will apply, in which the OR can have the decision reviewed.
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