EWCs to get prepared for Brexit

Action needed

The European Trade Union movement calls to address the impacts of Brexit on EWC now to anticipate and manage changes in a socially responsible manner. To best secure that UK workers will still be represented in EWC and SE Works Councils, the European Trade Union Federations have issued guidance on how to adapt your EWC/SE Agreement. Find here the joint ETUF recommendations on managing the impact of Brexit on multinational companies (available in CZDEENFRITNLSV).


Since 1 January 2021, the United Kingdom is no longer a Member State of the European Union and the European Economic Area (EEA). The non-regression clause in the new Trade and Cooperation Agreement ensures that Brexit cannot lead to workers’ rights being reduced or weakened compared to the current agreement.

According to a UK legislation from 2018, EU regulations, decisions, and domestic laws from EU directives – such as the European Works Council Directive – are now automatically transferred into UK domestic law. Under that UK domestic law, representatives of UK workers in EWCs, as well as in works councils and corporate boards of companies under the Societas Europaea statute (SE), can keep their rights.

Although a deal has been reached, multinational companies may use Brexit to jeopardise workers’ information, consultation and participation rights. This is of particular importance since the provisions in the agreement are very vague. More than 700 multinational companies with an EWC or adopted SE statute have operations in the UK. At least 2,400 representatives of UK workers in EWCs and SEs are uncertain about their future.