Under the European Works Council Directive, employers or groups of companies with 1000 or more employees in the European Economic Area (EEA), and at least 150 employees in a minimum of two separate Member States are required to establish a European Works Council (EWC) for informing and consulting employees on transnational issues. Changes were made to the Directive and it was recast in 2009. The implementation date for these changes was 5 June 2011.

Whilst the majority of EU Member States have adopted the legislation to implement this amended directive, Ireland and France have yet to do so. However, it is expected that the regulations to transpose the Directive in Ireland should be published in the coming weeks. 

The changes include the introduction of new obligations on the way information and consultation should take place in EWCs, and how EWC agreements should be adapted following significant company restructures. There is also a new right for EWC representatives to receive training