How can the Works Council accelerate an advice or consent process, especially now that everyone is working from home? Sometimes the organisation wants to speed things up, but it still needs to be done correctly. You can now experience this during our ‘pressure cooker session’,where we will train the Works Council how to work constructively and effectively (from a remote location).
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All organisations are now taking steps to adjust policies in the organisation. For example, arrangements about working from home are regulated, there are changes to the holiday or security policies and/or the NOW scheme is activated.
Logically, any measures should be taken quickly and at once. However, many of these policy adjustments still require the Works Council’s consent or advice.
That complicates things for the Works Council. As a Works Council, you understand very well that things need to be done (quickly), such as temporarily modifying existing arrangements for working from home or adjusting working hours. However, as a Works Council and Director, it is still wise to apply the advice and consent process, even if you think it is logical to take the necessary measures, and an advice or consent process seems only to delay the decision.
By providing official advice or consent and determining policy adjustments, you prevent that changes will be seen as ‘normal’ by the management or organisation in a few months, while you as the Works Council might have a different opinion.
Sometimes there’s an urgent need for a request for advice or consent because it is better for the organisation, or for the employees. However, as a Works Council, you do want to proceed with care.
In all these situations, a ‘pressure cooker session’ can be beneficial and useful.
complicated requests for advice and consent?
As a member of the Works Council, a lot is expected of you when dealing with requests for advice and consent. You feel the pressure to provide a good and well-founded answer quickly. But where do you start? When do you know enough? And also: how will you handle things? Can you relate to the issue?
we help you do it by yourself
Our guidance helps to accelerate the process in one afternoon, making it practical and applicable. We will get right to work with the entire Works Council. It is not just a meeting; we are getting things done. We will write, call and contact people. And make decisions.
also possible through digital conferencing
Dealing with a request for advice or consent is, of course, easier, faster and better if you can meet people in person. But such an intensive session is also possible via ‘video calling’ or digital conferencing. It requires a little more focus and perseverance, but it is a perfectly good option!
CONDITION 1: The Director must do their utmost to provide all the required information. All documents and/or reports relating to the intended decision must also be included. All questions they think the Works Council might have should be answered as much as possible in the request for advice or consent.
1 afternoon, 4 hours, 4 phases
The training session consists of 4 phases. We explore the situation, complete and share information, make a decision and write the consent or advice. All this can be done digitally via ‘video calling’.
phase 1: the situation
Phase 1 is usually the longest phase. The group will discuss the request for advice or consent by explaining the situation. This brings everyone to the same level of information. The experienced coach asks questions. If there are any answers, we will record them. If there are no answers, we will write down the questions that need to be answered.
phase 2: completing the information
In phase 2, we start collecting all the missing information on site. We divide the tasks, and the Works Council members start calling, emailing or visiting the premises (if allowed). The Director or HR manager is also a source of information: they can contribute information and explanations. A digital (very short) consultation meeting with the Director is required.
phase 3: sharing information
In the third phase, all information is shared. If there are any questions, we will go back to phase 2. This completes the joint efforts to complete the information gathering.
phase 4: making and implementing decisions
Based on all the information gathered, we will start making decisions in phase 4. What does the Works Council think? What does the Works Council want? But above all, how do we proceed?
We will start the implementation right away. That means we will conduct at least a (very short) consultation meeting with the Director. During this meeting, the proposed advice or the agreed consent is discussed. Is the decision being ‘negotiated’? In that case, it probably takes more time than just this afternoon.
In the end, we will write a letter to the Director and/or plan additional meetings. The actions depend on the decision of the Works Council. That determines the next steps.
After a ‘pressure cooker session’, you’ll be amazed at what you have achieved. At least, you’ll have taken enormous steps together. You will likely have completed the entire advisory or consent process.
Not all the information is available immediately? Is there still a need for further discussion about the outcome? Is the Director not available? Are there negotiations going on between the Works Council and the Director?
In that case, you will need to plan (at least) a second consultation.
longer or shorter: tailored to the situation
Is the request for advice or consent (very) substantial? For example, are there many documents? Or do you know in advance that there are significant consequences for the organisation and the application consists of just a few pages? And is the Director, or the manager involved, not available to answer questions?
In that case, it may be wise to estimate in advance that the completion of the request for advice or consent is not feasible in 4 hours. However, these steps can be easily expanded to multiple parts of a day.
support: process and legal
During the session, Sander Vrugt van Keulen guides the process. He is a very experienced coach and trainer. His extensive knowledge of Works Councils and his years of experience with group and decision-making processes ensure that you will achieve a great deal.
Karen Maessen, LLM (or one of her colleagues) will be available in the background. She is an employee participation rights lawyer, and she is available throughout the session, via email or telephone, to provide legal advice, review texts or make proposals.
fast and effective: that has to be expensive, right?
No, on the contrary. You only pay the coach/trainer for the four hours they are present. The trainer/coach usually does not have to prepare for a ‘pressure cooker session’. The lawyer charges one hour for their availability throughout the afternoon.
do you want to get started? call now to schedule an afternoon session!
Call or email Elma Harmans (040-2813128 / Elma.Harmans@CT2.nl), so we can schedule an appointment to get to work with all the Works Council members right away.
These special times call for thoughtfulness and decision-making on matters that we have not had to consider before. For your convenience, we’ve collected several articles that might be useful at this time:
- coronavirus: situations and considerations for the Works Council
- Vacation days in times of corona: what are the options for employers and employees?
- ‘General management has decided that our salary will be reduced. Is that allowed?’
- ‘pressure cooker’ advice or consent: because sometimes that’s what is required [just read]
Note: Please note that we are a Dutch organisation and that all our information is originally composed in Dutch. For the benefit of our English-speaking customers we have translated some of our online information. We are still in the process of translating even more of our information. It could therefore be that you will come across Dutch pages on CT2.nl. Please contact us if you would like more information.