The new majority in Parliament has announced, and in some cases already enacted, many changes. Among them, those dealing with employees’ representatives are important, as they reshape a significant part of the Labour Code.
While these changes are not expected to radically alter industrial relations in the workplace immediately, some of the major modifications and their general characteristics are worth highlighting.
Three becomes one
The first major transformation is that the three previous institutions – that is, personnel delegates (in companies with over 11 employees), works councils (in companies with over 50 employees, in addition to personnel delegates) and health and safety committees (in companies with over 50 employees) – will now become single social and economic committees.
A company must elect a social and economic committee if it has 10 or more employees for 12 consecutive months. While social and economic committees enjoy substantial rights in terms of consultation (as works council used to), their precise powers depend on the number of employees (ie, above or below the 50 employee threshold).
Even then, the acquisition of their powers may be subject to an additional 12-month waiting period after the company has reached the 50 employee threshold.