In the Netherlands the Works Council [ondernemingraad, OR] is an internal body representing employees, promoting and protecting the interest of the employees. The Works Council has consultation rights in respect of certain significant proposed management decisions. Furthermore, they have approval rights in respects of intended company decisions regarding employment policies. The rules concerning staff representation are described in the Dutch Works Councils Act, [WOR].
The composition of the Works Council is described in article 6 of the Works Councils Act. The members of a Works Council shall be directly elected by the persons working in the enterprise. In an enterprise:
- with 50 to 100 employees, there shall be 5 members;
- with 100 to 200 employees, there shall be 7 members;
- with 200 to 400 employees, there shall be 9 members;
- with 400 to 600 employees, there shall be 11 members;
- with 600 to 1000 employees, there shall be 13 members;
- with 1000 to 2000 employees, there shall be 15 members;
- and so forth, with an additional 2 Works Council members for every further 1,000 employees, up to a maximum of 25 members.
In the Rules of Procedure [OR-reglement], the Works Council may, with the permission of the entrepreneur, decide upon a different number of members.