Is it compulsory to set up a works council (OR)?
If your company has fifty employees or more, you, as the entrepreneur, are required to set up a works council. The works council’s rights include a right to be consulted and a right of consent.
Right to be consulted
If the decision of the entrepreneur is not in line with the opinion of the OR, the entrepreneur cannot implement his decision within one month of having notified the OR in writing of that decision. The OR may seek performance of that obligation in court. After the said period of one month, the entrepreneur can implement his decision. Within that period of one month, the OR can lodge an appeal with the Enterprise Court.
Right of consent
If the works council does not agree to a proposed decision, the decision cannot be implemented. In such event, the next step may be for the entrepreneur or the OR to seek mediation from the Joint Sectoral Committee. If that mediation should not lead to a solution, the entrepreneur may request the subdistrict court to grant replacement consent.
A difference of opinion with the OR
First of all, it is important to know which party is legally right. The next question is how hard the difference of opinion should be played. This may not be advisable in every situation: after all, you, as the entrepreneur, will still need to work together with the OR.
We will be glad to advise you on setting up an employee participation structure, in advisory and consent procedures, and in the event of employee participation-related disputes.
Joost van Ladesteijn
Tel.: +31 88 407 0240