1. Overview

You can ask your employer to set up a European Works Council (EWC) if you work for a company with offices across the European Economic Area (EEA).

An EWC is a forum where your company can:

  • tell you about plans and decisions at the same time as employees in other countries - this is known as being informed
  • exchange views with you in the same way as employees in other countries - this is known as being consulted

An EWC only informs and consults on issues that affect more than one country where the business operates.

Who can ask for an European Works Council

You can ask your employer to set up an EWC if they have:

  • at least 1,000 employees in the EEA
  • 150 employees in each of at least 2 countries in the EEA

You can write to your employer to find out information, eg how many employees it has or where it operates, to help you make your request.

Your employer can also set up an EWC without waiting for a request.

After you’ve made your request

Your employer will set up a special negotiating body (SNB) to negotiate an EWC agreement with central management of the business.

You can complain about the way a EWC has been set up or run.