The promise of European works councils: Twenty years of statutory employee voice

Andrew Timming, Michael Whittall

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapter


This chapter critically examines twenty years of research on
European works councils (EWCs). These are statutory,
company-level forums that bring together workers’ and
employers’ representatives for purposes of information and
consultation. It evaluates the extent to which EWCs have lived
up to the promise of providing a ‘voice’ to employees in
multinational corporations across Europe. Optimistic and
pessimistic prognostications are weighed against each other in
the context of the question of the extent to which EWCs have
‘added value’. The analysis we provide is framed through the
lenses of varieties of capitalism. We conclude that, in spite of
the challenges associated with cross-national information and
consultation forums—and there are many—EWCs have made some limited progress in giving employees a greater ‘voice’ in
the employment relationship.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFinding a voice at work?
Subtitle of host publicationNew perspectives on employment relations
EditorsStewart Johnstone, Peter Ackers
Place of PublicationUK
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages33
ISBN (Print)9780199668007, 9780199668014
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2015
Externally publishedYes

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