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European Works Council (EWC)

A European Works Council is a group of representatives elected by employees. In cooperation with the company’s management, these representatives participate in dealing with employee matters. EWC activities strengthen employee collaboration across Europe.

European Works Councils are involved in statutory collaboration between companies and their employees in the EU/EEA. An EWC is therefore a worker’s body. It’s a meeting place for representatives of employees in multinational companies where the representatives have the right to be informed and consulted at least in matters specified in the law.

An EWC must be established if a company has at least 1,000 employees in the EU/EEA and 150 employees in at least two EU/EEA countries.

The employees’ representatives and the company’s management enter into an agreement on European-level collaboration. The agreement determines the common rules for this collaboration. An EWC agreementis made in accordance with the laws of the country where the company has its head office.

The council consists of employee representatives elected from all the EU/EEA countries where the company has employees. An EWC representative has rights and obligations similar to those of union representatives and occupational safety representatives in accordance with the laws of each country.

More than 200 companies operating in Finland have an EWC. In service sectors, these include such companies as L&T, Fazer, Compass Group, Sodexo, Scandic Hotels, Nordic Choice Hotels, SSP, H&M, Ikea, Inditex, ISS, Nokas Avarn and Securitas.

Is an EWC discussed at you company?

We recommend that you contact PAM as soon as there’s talk of establishing an EWC at your company.

Contact our expert

Tiina Huotari

Tiina Huotari

Kansainvälisten asioiden asiantuntija, Edunvalvontaosasto

EU-asiat, pohjoismainen yhteistyö, EWC-asiat

Guide for PAM members serving as EWC representatives

Have you been elected as the EWC representative for your workplace? We have a guide for PAM members serving as EWC-representatives.

Notify us if you are serving as an EWC representative

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Further reading

Last updated: 14.09.2023