On 31 January 2020, at 23:00, the United Kingdom (UK) officially ceased to be a member of the European Union (EU). One of the many areas that will likely be directly affected with regard to workers’ rights is the organisation and functioning of European Works Councils (EWCs). EWCs are company-level institutions set up in multinational companies (MNCs) to enable the provision of information to and consultation of employees on transnational matters. This policy brief shows that

  • Brexit will have an immediate effect on about 14% of all EWCs because they are based on UK national law.
  • There are also UK representatives in more than 70% of EWCs.
  • By 2018, most UK-based EWCs had already discussed the impact of Brexit. However, almost half of the EWCs with UK representatives had not yet discussed what will happen.
  • Of those EWCs with UK representatives, most think the UK members will remain members of the EWC, quite a few do not know, and about 16% predict that they will not remain members.

Table of contents

Are European Works Councils ready for Brexit? An inside look