European Works Council Directive: Brexit first victim?

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Leonardo Battista

Summary: 1. Preliminary remarks. 2. United Kingdom and EWCs: a problematic context even before Brexit. 3. European Works Council and Brexit: applicable law and quantitative requirements. 4. European Commission’s intervention. 5. British amendment to EWC Regulation: a new piece to the puzzle? 6. Conclusions.


Brexit has finally arrived, and its consequences are still unpredictable. The art. 50 TEU notice triggered by the British Government has been unique in European Union history and unique are the effects over economies, transports, and workers. While the Withdrawal agreements signed by European Union and United Kingdom has the aim of softening the economic effects and granting a stable collaboration, there are some loopholes that could deprive British workers of some rights that they were exploiting during their membership to European Union, such as transnational information and consultation rights enshrined in the art. 27 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights in the European Union and disposed by Directive no. 2009/38/EC: a Directive that no longer applies in United Kingdom since January 2021. The essay retraces and contextualizes the effect of Brexit on the Directive no. 2009/38/EC, mainly known as European Works Councils Directive. The analysis deals with the exclusion of British workers and British representatives from the rights of information and consultation granted by such Directive. Apart from the position of British representatives in many European Works Councils, also the fate of some of these bodies is at the stake due to the exclusion of British workers from the calculation threshold for their creation. This issue will be dealt looking at the clarifications set out by the European Commission to face the several legal implications brought by Brexit in the context of European Works Councils.


Brexit, European Works Councils, Information and consultations procedure, Withdrawal Agreement, European Labour Law.