The SCE Regulation and the associated Directive on employee involvement in European cooperative companies (SCEs) have now been transposed in Denmark. The Directive was transposed through the Act on employee participation in SCE companies (Lov om medarbejderindflydelse i SCE-selskaber) of 27 March 2006. The Act was presented to parliament on 25 January 2006 and entered into force on 18 August 2006.
The content of the Act is very similar to the Act transposing the Directive on employee participation in SEs. There was no public discussion in relation to the legislative process, and the debates in parliament were very brief and without any substantial disagreements. Before the readings in parliament the Act was discussed in the implementation committee of the Ministry of Employment. This is a tripartite committee that always discusses EU Directives on labour and employment issues before they are presented to parliament. Due to this discussion process, the peak labour market organisations – the LO and the DA – had no reservations concerning the proposed legislation when the official hearing of interest organisations took place in late autumn 2005. However, at this stage a few concerns were raised by the Agricultural Council (Landbrugsraadet) and the employers’ organisation for agriculture (SALA). They both opposed what they see as a new practice among Danish cooperatives, namely that the Act (Article 25, 2) obliges the board and general assembly to make meeting agendas available to employee representatives (on the SCE representative body). Likewise, they complained about one item in the list of issues that companies have to discuss with their employee representative body, namely ‘initiatives concerning social responsibility’, claiming that this should be defined more precisely. Perhaps the most interesting element in the Danish transposition act is article 4, which states: ‘However, if there are no employees in any of the participating legal persons, affected subsidiaries and operational units, an SCE company can be founded without a special negotiating body being established’.