Exercising voice across borders: workers’ rights under the EU Cross-border Mergers Directive

Exercising voice across borders: workers’ rights under the EU Cross-border Mergers Directive

This book contains the results of a study of workers' rights to information, consultation and participation in EU and national law covering cross-border mergers, which was undertaken by the ETUI’s GOODCORP network of academic and trade union experts on company law and corporate governance. Based on an analysis of available statistics, nine national legal regimes and seven case studies, this book argues that the provisions for workers’ rights…Find out more

The country-specific recommendations (CSRs) in the social field. An overview and comparison. Update including the CSRs 2019-2020

The country-specific recommendations (CSRs) in the social field. An overview and comparison. Update including the CSRs 2019-2020

This is the ninth cycle under the European Semester system since its launch in 2011, but it is also the second set of CSRs launched since the proclamation of the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR) in November 2017. This year, a total of 96 of what could be called ‘package’ recommendations (as they often contain several sub-recommendations) were delivered to 28 Member States concerning the fields of: public finance and financial sector…Find out more

Why aren’t there more European Works Councils? A Belgian perspective

Why aren’t there more European Works Councils? A Belgian perspective

This policy brief considers the lack of European Works Councils through a Belgian perspective. It discusses Belgian companies who are currently engaged in establishing one or have developed ‘functionally equivalent’ structures. The remaining companies are confronted with serious obstacles to establishing a European Works Council, principally: (i) a lack of knowledge about them, (ii) weak and time-consuming national-level information and…Find out more

Can anybody hear us?

Can anybody hear us?

This publication, that consists of unique survey data, gives an insight into the functioning of European Works councils (EWC) from the perspective of employee representatives. It presents the results of the largest survey of EWC representatives conducted to date. The survey documents the opinions on a wide range of topics of more than 1,600 employee representatives from all EU countries representing over 300 different EWCs and provides a…Find out more

Are European Works Councils ready for Brexit? An inside look

Are European Works Councils ready for Brexit? An inside look

On 31 January 2020, at 23:00, the United Kingdom (UK) officially ceased to be a member of the European Union (EU). One of the many areas that will likely be directly affected with regard to workers’ rights is the organisation and functioning of European Works Councils (EWCs). EWCs are company-level institutions set up in multinational companies (MNCs) to enable the provision of information to and consultation of employees on transnational…Find out more

EWC Confidential

EWC Confidential

The idea behind the establishment of European Works Councils (EWCs) is that these are bodies which should be informed and consulted on company decisions and actions. However, this flow of information is often disrupted by confidentiality constraints imposed by management. Three central research questions are: (1) what are the different practices of confidentiality and the withholding of information in EWCs; (2) what are the different handling…Find out more

Company law and corporate governance after Brexit

Company law and corporate governance after Brexit

Brexit has a number of implications for companies operating in the UK as well as for company law and corporate governance in both that country and the EU. Firstly, at the end of the transition period (currently 31 December 2020), the EU’s freedom of establishment will end in the UK, potentially ‘trapping’ foreign businesses that incorporated in the UK. This policy brief argues that individual Member States should provide for temporary…Find out more

Working life democracy

Working life democracy

Transfer stimulates dialogue between the European trade union movement and the academic and research community. It contributes research findings on issues of strategic relevance for trade unions, in particular with regard to developments at the European level. Transfer publishes original peer-reviewed research on issues such as new developments in industrial relations, social policy, and labour market developments. Volume 22 Issue 1, February…Find out more

An overview of the 2020-2021 country-specific recommendations (CSRs) in the social field

An overview of the 2020-2021 country-specific recommendations (CSRs) in the social field

In 2020, country-specific recommendations (CSRs) have shifted more markedly in favour of strengthening workers' digital skills and providing adequate social protection. This change of focus has conferred a rather social outlook to the 2020 European Semester cycle. For the first time since the launch of the European Semester process, the social recommendations appear to have been 'emancipated' from the growth rhetoric. The emphasis on the social…Find out more

Benchmarking Working Europe 2020

Benchmarking Working Europe 2020

→ www.benchmarking2020.eu A virus is haunting Europe. And it could strike again. This year’s 20th anniversary issue of our flagship publication Benchmarking Working Europe brings to a growing audience of trade unionists, industrial relations specialists and policymakers a simple warning: beside SARS-CoV-2, the virus that has caused the Covid-19 pandemic and thrown Europe’s economies into a sudden and profound recession, ‘austerity’ is the other…Find out more

Time to close the gender pay gap

Time to close the gender pay gap

Policy recommendations The Covid-19 pandemic has affected women disproportionately and is likely to have adverse effects on gender equality. It is essential that efforts to promote gender equality be increased in order to ensure that hard-won progress in this area is not reversed. As part of this effort, the European Commission should table a proposal on binding pay transparency measures strengthening the principle of equal pay between men and…Find out more

How to deal with confidential information

How to deal with confidential information

This training manual deals with two serious forms of obstruction that management may use to block information flows. Firstly, management may label information as ‘confidential’, thus forbidding the EWC to share this information with others (including the employees it represents or local works councils). Alternatively, management may use the specific clause in the legislation (Art. 8 of the EWC Recast Directive and its transposition into national…Find out more

European Works Councils: contested and still in the making

European Works Councils: contested and still in the making

Following the adoption of Council directive 94/45/EC (the EWC directive) more than 1,250 EWCs were established. This industrial relations institution was intended to ensure transnational information and consultation were available to worker representatives within MNCs that met the thresholds of the legislation. Initially the quality of information and consultation met neither standards required by the directive nor those specified in EU Charters…Find out more

Collective bargaining and the limits of competition law

Collective bargaining and the limits of competition law

Policy considerations An over-inclusive application of EU competition rules restricts access to collective bargaining for self-employed workers, treating collective agreements as illegal cartel agreements. EU competition law neglects power imbalances in the labour market and the universal right to collective bargaining, leaving self-employed workers in a vulnerable position without bargaining power. A reform of EU competition policies is one…Find out more

Friends in high places

Friends in high places

Policy implications European Works Councils (EWC) face many limitations in terms of timing and quality of information and consultation. One way of addressing this is through communication with board-level employee representatives. The mere presence of a board-level employee representative is not related to better EWC functioning, but EWC members that communicate with such representatives report more effective EWC functioning. Improving EWC…Find out more

The Europeanisation of board-level employee representation in France

The Europeanisation of board-level employee representation in France

In France, the legal obligation for private-sector companies to have, under certain conditions, one or two employee representatives on their boards goes hand in hand with the possibility for the company to decide to have its European Works Council (EWC) or SE Works Council (SE-WC) appoint the second member. This has become the preferred option for French companies. As the recent PACTE Law (“loi “Plan d’Action pour la Croissance et la…Find out more