Works Council Work for starters

As a newly elected works council member, you have a lot to deal with. It is important to know what the task, role and position of the works council (WoCo) is and what possibilities a works council has to be able to influence company policy and get results. It is important for you to get up to speed quickly, so that you can take up your own place in the works council and become an effective member of this forum of workers’ representatives.

This training gives you insight into the tasks and rights of the WoCo, practical working methods and communication with the director and staff in a multinational environment.

Working method

Apart from short introductions, you get the opportunity to practice and deepen your skills and to discuss your experiences with WoCo members from other international organisations.


After the training:

  • You know what the position, tasks and rights of the WoCo are;
  • You have insight into the way WoCo work is and can be organised efficiently;
  • You have gained insight into the chances and pitfalls of communication with an international community of staff;
  • You have improved your negotiation and decision-making skills;
  • You are able to apply your new knowledge and skills with the help of a personal action plan.


Dag 1

9:30 - 9:45

  • Arrival

    Reception with coffee and tea.

9:45 - 10:00

  • Start of the training

    Discussion of programme and practical matters.

10:00 - 10:45

  • Getting acquainted

    An exercise that will help us all to get better acquainted.

10:45 - 12:30

  • The basic tools of the WoCo: The Dutch Works Council

    A short introduction into the historical background of the Dutch works council and labour relations in the Netherlands. What is the role and purpose of a works council and what are the main differences between a works council and a trade union? What is the position of the works council within the company?
    Objective: you know what the legal position of the works council is and have basic insights into the Dutch system of labour relations. What its main tasks and rights are. You also know how to make strategic use of your rights.
    Method: short introduction, questions and discussion, the WCA puzzle and exercises in subgroups.

12:30 - 14:00

  • Lunch break

14:00 - 17:00

  • The basic tools of the WoCo: the Works Councils Act

    The following hours we will concentrate on the tasks and rights of the Works Council. You will get the opportunity to put your own questions and experiences to the other participants.
    Objective: you know what the main tasks and rights of the WoCo are. You also know how to make strategic use of your rights.
    Method: A short introduction, the WCA puzzle and exercises in subgroups.

17:00 - 17:30

  • Snack break

17:30 - 19:50

  • Communication with the employees

    Most WoCo’s struggle with the communication with employees. In a multinational and multi-cultural environment this becomes even more complicated. How does your WoCo organise its communication with staff and what improvements are necessary?
    Objective: You get ideas and tools for improvement of your communication with your employee-base.
    Method: Introductions, discussions to exchange experiences and information and practical exercises.

19:50 - 20:00

  • End of training day and dinner
Dag 2

9:00 - 9:15

  • Start

    Short reflection on day 1. What has it brought you and what are important points to be addressed today?

9:15 - 12:30

  • Practical working methods

    Every WoCo develops its own working method. As a new works council or works council member it is important to know what a good practical working method entails. This morning we will focus on these important practicalities. A good organisation of WoCo work makes the WoCo more efficient and productive.
    Objective: You know how to organise your work efficiently and know what you would like to see improved in the way your works council has organised itself.
    Method: assignments and discussion in subgroups, plenary discussion of results.

12:30 - 13:30

  • Lunch break

13:30 - 15:30

  • The consultation meeting

    After a short discussion of the do’s and don’ts during the consultation meeting, the meeting between WoCo and director, you will get the opportunity to sharpen your negotiation skills.
    Objective: Enhancing of insight into present negotiation skills.
    Method: Practise.

15:30 - 16:00

  • Personal action plan

    An assignment that will assist you in setting out your own personal action plan.
    Objective: you know what steps you want to take and how you are going to take them.
    Method: Exercise.

16:00 - 16:15

  • Evaluation and homewards

    Evaluation of the training.