What is the composition of works councils?
The works council is established by an employer (not applicable to public employers) who runs a business and employs at least 50 employees.
Workers’ council members are representatives of the company’s staff, elected by trade union boards or by employees through elections. It is worth noting here that the entity in question cannot include:
- employees managing the workplace,
- chief accountant and
- legal advisor employed in the company.
Moreover, employed adolescents can neither elect nor stand for a council.
The number of members of the works council depends on the number of people employed by the employer. According to Art. 3 of the Act on informing and consulting employees, the works council consists of:
- from 50 to 250 employees – 3 employees;
- from 251 to 500 employees – 5 employees;
- over 500 employees – 7 employees.
The number of employees employed by the employer is determined on the basis of the average number of employees working under the employment relationship during the last 6 months before the date of notification of the election of members of the works council. To calculate the average number of employees in the last 6 months, add the number of employees in the following months. The received sum is divided by 6. In a situation where the employer has been working for less than 6 months, in order to calculate the average number of employees, the number of employees in the following months is added, and the sum obtained is divided by the number of these months.
The election of members of the works council depends on the number of employees at the employing employer. If the employer employs:
- up to 100 employees – employees choose from among candidates proposed in writing by a group of at least 10 employees;
- over 100 employees – employees choose from among candidates proposed in writing by a group of at least 20 employees.
The term of office of the works council lasts 4 years from the date of its election, and membership in the council ceases in the event of termination or expiry of the employment relationship, resignation from the function or a motion to terminate the membership signed by at least 50% of employees employed by the employer for at least 6 months.