When can the works council start legal proceedings before the subdistrict court?

The works council can start legal proceedings, if a provision of the Works Councils Act is violated (Wet op de Ondernemingsraden; WOR), for instance if:

  • The director has not consulted the works council for advice
  • The works council wasn’t able to give advice
  • The director doesn’t to follow up, in part, on the advice of the works council
  • The director has not asked the works council’s consent
  • Facts and circumstances emerged after the advice was given, which could have led to a different advice of the works council.

Apart from the above, the works council has a so-called independent standing. The works council can make use of this standing if it is in the interest of and desirable for the performance of its tasks. For instance, if the works council was a party in concluding an agreement and the validity of the agreement is challenged. Or if the works council intends to force a director to meet the agreements made in the context of a consultation.