Works Councils

In the Netherlands the Works Council (ondernemingsraad, OR) promotes and protects the interests of the employees in a company.

The Works Council has consultation rights in respect of certain significant proposed management decisions. Furthermore, they have approval rights in respects of intended company decisions regarding employment policies.

The rules concerning staff representation are described in the Dutch Works Councils Act (Wet op de ondernemingsraden, WOR). According to this Dutch Works Councils Act every entrepreneur with 50 or more employees is obliged to set up a Works Council.

If it is the case your organisation is a multinational company, which operates in at least 2 countries in the European Economic Area (EEA), you need also to comply with the European Works Council Directive (EWC). In other words, it might be the case that your organisation should establish also an European Works Council.

The Works Council Service by Human In Progress can support your organisation in:

  • Draft of local instructions on Works Council Process (for CEO, HR, Manager and Shared Services Centers);
  • Prepare the Covenant Employer / Works Council;
  • Design the Annual Works Council Calendar for Employer / Works Council meeting;
  • Mobilise, build and run the end-to-end process to establish a Works Council;
  • Assist in submitting RfAs on proposed business changes;
  • Training on Works Council process, duties, roles and responsibilities.


Over the years, we have assisted many clients and by study we noticed, online documentation on Works Councils in Dutch was available, however not in English. We took this opportunity to launch the free HR Netherlands source in English on Dutch Employment Law and HR practises when employing staff in the Netherlands. In case you need a more background information, please read the section on Works Councils here: