The European Commission has updated the European Works Council (EWC) Directive, with a view to improving the role of EWCs in relation to corporate restructuring and involving employees in decision-making. The original EWC Directive was implemented in the UK by the Transnational Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations 1999. Changes to the amended Directive include:

  • stronger definitions relating to the timing and manner of information and consultation before decisions are made;
  • clarity on the transnational nature of decisions;
  • the right for representatives to have training; and
  • a requirement for Member States to ensure "effective, dissuasive and proportionate" sanctions against employers in breach of the Directive.

The amended Directive will be published in the next few weeks and comes into force 20 days later. Member states will then have 2 years to implement the new rules at national level.