Collective dismissals, the loss of salary or holidays, abolition of a bonus arrangements, change in pension schemes. All of these may result from the economic crisis. They virtually always have to be taken in consultation with trade unions and/or the works council (OR). GMW lawyer can act both for the entrepreneur and for the works council.

The interests of the works council

The works council has rights and our advice to every works council is to make serious use of these rights. In fact, the employer also benefits from a works council which takes the possibilities of the Works Councils Act (WOR) seriously. After all, an employer’s policy that is supported by that Act will have the support of the entire company.

The right to advice

The works council has the right to be informed of important decisions which the entrepreneur wishes to take at an early stage. It can advise on a large number of financial and or organisational intentions an entrepreneur might have. It is important that the works council includes any possible objections in its advice, because no new objections may be introduced during possible proceedings.

The right to endorse decisions

In addition, the works council has the right to endorse decisions. The entrepreneur must ask the works council to endorse decisions which are proposed, for example, to change a bonus scheme or a pension scheme.

The rights of the works council to institute proceedings

In addition to the above-mentioned cases and those described in the WOR, it is accepted in jurisprudence that the works council also has an independent right to institute proceedings.

Costs of works council work

Therefore the works council can find itself involved in proceedings, but can also initiate proceedings itself. In this case the costs of the works council for using a legal advisor will, in principle, be paid by the entrepreneur.

Advice about participation

We can advise both works councils and entrepreneurs about issues related to participation, both in the private and in the public sector. We can also institute proceedings related to this before the district court and the Netherlands Enterprise Court. If you have any questions about this or would like to submit a case directly, we invite you to contact the Employment & Pensions department.

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