The Works Council – It does work!

2 minute read

Typical Dutch: democracy in organizations

For those of you who do not know: the Dutch love Democracy. The Dutch government has been calling upon employees to help further develop the organisation they work for, in the Dutch Works Councils Act (WCA) of 1972. Employees from all walks of the (Dutch) company are given a chance to be elected to the Works Council, a dedicated group of co-workers tasked with being a conversational partner for those who run the company. And in being so, keeping a healthy balance between the organisation’s goals and its employees. Most people in the Netherlands have heard, in some way, about the Works Council (‘Ondernemingsraad’). After all, it has been a common occurrence here for half a century. However, there is a reason you are reading this in English, being that the world has been in flux for quite some time. 

Globalisation as a challenge

Globalisation has posed us with some intriguing dynamics within organisations and the way a business is ran. For example: decisions are often times made somewhere abroad, then to be implemented locally. Teams are expected to be able to work together on an international stage. Consequently, the cast of characters working for these widespread companies is becoming increasingly more diverse in nationality. As a result, a local Dutch Works Councils within the organisation, is subject to the same globalisation process its company goes through. 

This makes for some interesting challenges where Works Councils are dealing with cultural differences and subsequent outlooks on (working) life within the team. Not to mention Dutch local law, in the form of the WCA, constantly being challenged by decisions made abroad. Knowing your rights as a Works Council and understanding how to approach some of these challenges is key to making an impact on the company locally.

What does globalisation mean for a Works Council?

Rest assured, you are supported by the law in the form of the WCA. But should binding the global organisation tightly to Dutch local law truly be your take off point? In our opinion, it should be much more about truly understanding what impact global decisions have on Dutch local level. Accordingly showing your added value by being a serious conversational partner that is there to assist in keeping the organisation healthy and balanced. This includes finding the right conversational partners and stakeholders (not just locally!) to maximize your influence in the decision making process as a Works Council. Have the WCA be your safety net, not your first priority.

Loof understands the challenges for a Works Council

At Loof we understand the challenges a Works Council awaits in organisations on a global level. Keeping a healthy balance between organisation goals and the employees is not an easy feet. However, by balancing yourselves between being a strong team, understanding the Works Councils Act and how to implement it as well as having good relations with stakeholders, as a Works Council you can achieve great results and be of service to both the organisation and your co-workers.

Watch the video to see how Loof can educate you about the dutch law called the Works Councils Act

Training for Works Councils Members

For starting works councils members. Get to know the Works Councils Act in one day.

Read more here.


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