Apply to resolve a European Works Councils dispute

How employees, employers and their representatives can resolve disputes about setting up and running a European Works Council (EWC).

An EWC is a forum in which a company or organisation informs and consults its employees.

As an employee, you can ask your employer to set up an EWC if your employer:

  • has at least 1000 employees in the European Economic Area (EEA)
  • has 150 employees in at least 2 countries in the EEA

Read the European Works Council Directive guide for more information on making this request to your employer.

As an employer, you can set up an EWC without waiting for a request from your employees.

Types of application and complaint

There are several types of applications or complaint that employees and employers can make. These include whether:

  • an employer has provided employees with information on the size and structure of the company
  • employees have made a valid request for an EWC
  • the Special Negotiating Body (this is a group of employee representatives which negotiates with the employer about setting up the EWC) is properly constituted
  • the EWC has been set up within the proper timescale
  • the EWC is operating effectively once it’s been set up

You can read a full list of EWC Applications and Complaints (PDF, 31.8KB, 10 pages)

Make an application or complaint

If the central management of the company is in England, Scotland or Wales, you should send your application to the CAC.

If it’s in Northern Ireland, you should send your application to the Industrial Court.

There is no application form for the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) so you should write or email with the following information:

  • your name and contact details
  • the name and contact details of the other party (the employer or employee as appropriate)
  • the Regulation number of your application or complaint listed in the EWC Applications and Complaints (PDF, 31.8KB, 10 pages)

  • a brief statement explaining your complaint

Send your email to

What happens next

The CAC will acknowledge your complaint and invite the other party to respond to it.

We will tell you the names of the panel members who will be considering your complaint and the name of the case manager who will be your contact.

The case manager will tell you what happens next. This could include:

  • providing further information
  • attending an informal meeting to discuss the issues
  • attending a formal hearing after which the CAC will issue a decision
Published 23 October 2014