How do employees request the establishment of a European Works Council?

Only a public or private entity carrying out an economic activity employing over 1,000 persons throughout the European Economic Area (EEA) with at least 150 employees in each of two separate EEA states is affected by employees' right to request the establishment of a European Works Council. Employees may require the management to provide information on employee numbers in order to determine whether or not they are eligible for a council. A petition of 100 or more employees in at least two of the EEA member states or their representatives can request the establishment of a special negotiating body to oversee the creation of a European Works Council. The request must be made in writing, dated and sent to relevant management.

The rules on establishing European Works Councils apply in the UK under the Transnational Information and Consultation of Employees Regulations 1999 (SI 1999/3323), which implement the European Works Council Directive (2009/38/EC). The UK is treated as if it were an EU member state (and so within the EEA) for regulatory purposes during the transition period, which is now in place until 31 December 2020 following the UK's exit from the EU on 31 January 2020. After the end of the transition period, the rules on European Works Councils will become subject to Parliament's control over domestic law.