Works Council Netherlands Rights About Changes in Employee Data and Privacy.

The Works Council [ondernemingsraad, OR] is an internal body representing, promoting and protecting the interest of the employees. The Works Council Netherlands rights are described in the Dutch Works Councils Act [WOR].

General Works Council Netherlands Rights

The Dutch Works Council has four key rights in respect of certain significant proposed management decisions. Furthermore, they have approval rights in respects of intended company decisions regarding employment policies. In this article we will deep-dive into the role of the Works Council regarding personal data and privacy matters.

Employers process a lot of personal data of their employees and taking their privacy into account is therefore extremely important.

The Works Council plays an important role, in case the employer proposes to change or implement systems related to employee data.

Works Council Rights in Changes Affecting Employee Data and Privacy

Right of Consent

The Works Council Netherlands Right of Consent (article 27 of the Works Councils Act) could be applicable in case of changes or implementation of new regulations regarding the use of personnel data.

Examples are: the registration of absenteeism/sick leave, payroll system, HR systems, performance management systems, tracking system (GPS tracker in company vehicles) and a change in the system of employee filing.

Right of Initiative

Works Council Netherlands Right of Initiative (article 23 of the Works Councils Act)

The Works Council could also decide to ask the entrepreneur on their initiative about the use of employee data on its own initiative. This is described in the Works Councils Act article 23.
Examples are: asking questions in response to a security incident or questions or complaints from employees.

Right to be Consulted

Works Council Netherlands Right to be Consulted (article 25 of the Works Councils Act)

The employer must ask the Works Council for advice in the case of introducing or changing a technological provision, with such a technological facility, personal data may be processed.

Examples are: staff monitoring via CCTV or screening at the entrance of the office by the means of fingerprints or other biometric data.

The Works Council plays a role in safeguarding employee data and privacy rights. By actively participating in meetings with the entrepreneur, the Works Council ensures that employees’ interests are upheld and that any changes affecting their data and privacy are implemented in a fair and transparent manner.

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