European Works Council Directive 2009/38/EC implemented in Luxembourg: rights of workers to information and consultation within transnational companies strenghtened. The law of 26 December 20121, applicable as of 3 January, 2013, transposed Directive 2009/38/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 May 2009 concerning the establishment of a European Works Council or a procedure in Community-scale undertakings and Community-scale groups of undertakings for the purposes of informing and consulting employees (“Directive 2009/38/EC”) into Luxembourg law.

Directive 2009/38/EC requires the establishment of a European works council responsible for representing employees in companies or groups of companies.A European works council or a procedure should be set up in enterprises or Community-scale group enterprise, when two conditions are met:

  • these entities must employ at least 1,000 workers within the European Union and other countries of the European Economic Area,
  • these entities must employ at least 150 employees in at least two institutions, such procedure being applied for each establishment or company being located in a different Member State.

However, Directive 2009/38/EC replaces Directive 94/45/CE in that the former guarantees the right to information and consultation of employees, increases the proportion of European works councils already established and ensures legal security in their establishment.  Regarding the establishment of a European works council, as a matter of principle the central management of the company or the group is responsible for setting up a committee or for a procedure of information and consultation.

These works councils help keep workers informed and consulted by management about the evolution of the company’s activity and any significant EU-scale decision that may affect their working or employment conditions.

The main changes to the existing legislation concerning the special negotiating body. A special negotiating body may be made by the workers’ representatives. They are elected or appointed, depending on the number of employees in each Member State. This group's mission is to conclude an agreement with the central management in order to define the operation of the European works council and how to implement and operate a procedure for cross-border information and consultation of workers.

Members of this group receive the same protection as workers' representatives, as provided for by national legislation.

These changes were made to strengthen the workers’ rights to information and consultation within transnational companies with a European dimension.

The law of 26 December 2012 is also part of the broad field of social dialogue, to ensure the professional well-being of workers. This should result in harmony in the work place allowing for a employers and employees to work together to solve disputes.