Training for Works Councils

Basic rights and powers in the Dutch context

International companies based in The Netherlands with more than 50 employees need to have a works council. Often these works councils consist of members from different cultural backgrounds who aren’t (all) familiar with the Dutch system, laws and practice.

De Beuk helps starting international works councils by explaining the Dutch Works Council Act as well as the basic rights and powers of works councils in the Dutch context. In a one-day or two-day training we focus on the relevant knowledge and skills which can help you to make a good start and operate as a team while representing your colleagues and building a meaningful relationship with the management.

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Building blocks of our introduction training

We always try to create a tailor-made program, preferably based on an intake interview with the works council members. Possible building blocks for a first training are:

  • The new team: getting to know each other better and exchanging expectations and ambitions
  • Basic knowledge about the WOR (Works Council Act): your rights and powers
  • How to deal with organizational changes initiated by the management
  • Meeting skills
  • Different roles of Works Council and members
  • Working on a Team Strategy
  • The working relationships with management
  • Negotiation skills: Mutual Gains Approach
  • Communication within the organization, involving and informing employees by using skills and techniques, such as priming and framing
  • Teambuilding and team roles
  • Setting up a work plan with clear goals and ambitions, milestones and SMART results

Our experience and our vision

De Beuk has more than 40 years of experience in employee participation, training and advising works councils. Our vision is to create successful working relationships between the works council and the management, making employee participation not only part of the decision making process, but part of all organizational challenges and strategies.


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KCAP is an internationally oriented architecture firm. Bernard Jan de Groot did a number of sessions with the Works Council in 2022 to determine the strategy with regard to a number of employment conditions, such as a homeworking policy, which had to be negotiated with the management.

AMS-IX is a neutral member-based association that operates multiple interconnection platforms around the world. Tom Leest trained the Works Council a few times, focusing on subjects like negotiation, strategy development, co-operation with the management and team roles.

Align Technology is a global medical device company mainly focusing on orthodontic treatment. Tom Leest provided a training for the new Works Council members regarding the Dutch Works Council Act and their main roles, rights and powers. After the training session he advised the Works Council several times with regard to organisational changes.