Following a legislative reform earlier this year, flight crews’ rights to obtain employee representation through a works council have been improved.

While employees from (almost) all fields of work can choose to elect a works council, sec. 117 of the Works Constitution Act formerly provided for an exemption for flight crews. Flight crews were only able to establish an employee representative body if their collective bargaining agreement provided for such representation. Consequently, only flight crews employed by companies bound by collective bargaining agreements were able to elect such a body.

As of 1 May 2019, this exemption does not apply anymore. The Works Constitution Act now also applies to flight crews, unless a representative body is established under the rules of their applicable CBA. This legislative reform was considerably pushed forward with low cost airlines in mind that are neither bound by CBAs nor willing to negotiate with trade unions.