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Selection methods of SNB members (post-2009 Recast situation)

This comparative table presents detailed provisions at national level governing the selection methods for SNB members.
Source: Jagodziński and Hoffmann (forthcoming).



Nomination/Election of SNB members

Directive 2009/38/EC


Article 5


2.  For this purpose, a special negotiating body shall be established in accordance with the following guidelines:


a)      The Member States shall determine the method to be used for the election or appointment of the members of the special negotiating body who are to be elected or appointed in their territories.


Member States shall provide that employees in undertakings and/or establishments in which there are no employees’ representatives through no fault of their own, have the right to elect or appoint members of the special negotiating body.


The second subparagraph shall be without prejudice to national legislation and/or practice laying down thresholds for the establishment of employee representation bodies.


(b)  The members of the special negotiating body shall be elected or appointed in proportion to the number of employees employed in each Member State by the Community-scale undertaking or Community-scale group of undertakings, by allocating in respect of each Member State one seat per portion of employees employed in that Member State amounting to 10 %, or a fraction thereof, of the number of employees employed in all the Member States taken together;


Principal nominating body

Nomination/Election process

Nomination/Election by (SNB)

Who is eligible for election?




Works Committee (group or central) / works council

  • The Austrian SNB members shall be appointed by resolution of the works committee (group or central); If no, by the works council; If two or more works committees (works councils) exist which do not belong to the same undertaking in Austria, a meeting of the members of the works committees (works councils) appointed in the establishment shall be convened by the chairman of the works committee (works council) of the Austrian establishment which is largest in terms of the number of employees entitled to vote; this meeting shall be responsible for adopting the resolution as to the appointment;
  • In undertakings, appointed by resolution of the central works council; In groups, appointed by a resolution of the group representative body;
  • If a works council has not been established in any Austrian establishment the appointment shall be made by the competent statutory body representing the interests of the employees;
  • The adoption of resolutions shall require the presence of at least half the members;
  • Resolutions shall be adopted by simple majority; Due consideration shall be given to appropriate representation of the following groups : wage-earning and salaried employees, the individual establishments and undertakings, and female and male workers

Members of the works council or, instead, an official or employee of competent union or statutory body (Chamber of Labour) representing the interests of the employees may also be appointed

Article 179 and 180 (1996)



Works council

Appointed by the employees' representatives sitting on the works councils; If no WC, appointed by the members of the committees for prevention and protection at work; if no,  "commission paritaire" (sectorial level) may authorise the union delegations of the undertakings or establishments coming under its sectoral competence to appoint the employee members of the SNB; If no, election or appointment by the employees

In accordance with the rules in force in the national legislation applicable

Employees' representatives sitting on the works councils; If no WC from the members of the committees for prevention and protection at work; If no, an union official; If no, an employee 

Article 14 and 15



General Assembly of employees

Employees shall elect at a General Assembly its representatives for participation in the SNB (reference to the Article 6a of the Labour Code); The General Assembly may concede its functions to representatives elected by the management of the trade unions or to representatives of the employees' social and economic interests (for information and consultation according to Article 7, paragraph 2 of the Labour Code)


All employees; the candidatures for election of representatives may be proposed by single employees, by groups of employees as well as by trade union in the undertaking (The Bulgarian legislation does not specify, whether the individuals elected must be employees of the company)

Article 5 (2006)




Croatian members of the SNB are elected by the employees of the company involved in a secret ballot; The lists with candidates may be proposed either by trade unions with members in the company concerned or by a group of at least 10% of the employees


Not specification whether or not SNB members must be employees of the company (The government will issue detailed regulations covering the election of employee representatives from Croatia)

Article 174 (2010)



Trade unions / employees

Elected according to this order of priority: trade unions or if absence, directly by the employees in a direct election

Elected according to this order of priority: trade unions or if absence, directly by the employees in a direct election

From unions or, if no, employees

Article 8.3


Czech Republic

Employees / employee representatives (trade union, works council)

The employer shall enable employees to hold an election of employees' representatives; Such elections shall take place within the working hours; Where the operational reasons at the undertaking do not enable the holding of an election at the undertaking's site, it may take outside the undertaking's premises / or / SNB members to act on behalf of employees employed in the Czech Republic shall be appointed by employees' representatives (which can be both local union organisations and, where they do not exist, works councils) at their joint meeting; Where no employees' representatives have been appointed or where they fail to carry out their functions, the employees will elect their representative to take part, on their behalf, in the said joint meeting; The number of votes which each representative at such joint meeting will hold shall be allocated in proportion to the number of employees represented by an individual representative; Where two or more trade union organisations operate within one undertaking, the trade union organisation with the largest number of members who are employed by the undertaking shall act; Where, for a temporary period, there are both the trade union organisation and the works council operating within one undertaking, members of the SNB shall be appointed by the trade union organisation; Where it is not necessary to hold a joint meeting, it shall be proceded as in the case of appointing or electing a SNB member

The SNB members shall be employees


Section 276 (2007) + Article 30 (2011)

// or // Section 290(4) (2011)


Article 32 (2011)



Works council / shop stewards

Elected by the employees' representatives on the works councils; if no works council, elected by the shop stewards; or if agreed between the management and the ordinary employees' representatives by all employees + If requested the works council or shop stewards may be supplemented by representatives of groups not represented through the ordinary works council members or union representatives (not clear if only in Denmark or in all the member States)

Shall be elected from among employees' representatives or, if failing, employees

SNB members shall be from among the employees

Article 11 (1996)

Article 8 (2011)



General assembly of employees

The SNB member(s) shall be elected by the general meeting of employees if one undertaking/enterprise; The procedure for the election shall be approved by the general meeting of employees; If several undertakings, a joint representation formed of the employees' representatives (who can be both trade union representatives and elected employee representatives) shall elect the SNB member(s); Three employees’ representatives
elected from among the employees for each concerned undertaking or enterprise elected by the general meeting in the joint representation; The number of votes of a member of the joint representation shall be determined in proportion to the number
of employees in an undertaking or enterprise represented thereby, Employees’ representatives of the same undertaking or enterprise shall each have the same number of votes


All employees have the possibility to participate in the elections (The legislation does not state whether or not SNB members must be employees)

Section 17




The employees of the operational units or undertakings located in Finland select their representatives to the SNB by agreement on election; If the personnel do not agree upon the selection procedure of their representatives, the industrial safety delegates representing the two largest personnel groups of the undertakings or operational units shall together organise the election of the members to the SNB; All employees have a right to participate in the election of the SNB members organised by the industrial safety delegates


Employees (but no obligation)

Section 21 (2007)



Trade unions/works council

Appointed by the employees' trade union organisations from among their members elected to the works council or among their trade union representatives in the undertaking or group on the basis of the results of the most recent elections (details in the law regards the repartition of seats between the unions), if no union direct election


Members of the works councils or union representatives (if selected by unions) or employees of the company

Section 5 - Art. L 439-19 and 20 (1996)



Central works council

For undertakings: Appointed by the central works council, if only a works council the latter shall appoint the members of the SNB; For groups of undertakings: appointed by the combine works council, if also a central works council or works council not represented on the combine works council, the combine works council shall be extended to include the chairpersons of these works councils and their deputies; If no combine works council, appointed by central works councils or works councils (possibly in joint meetings)


Employee representatives and employees; Men and women shall be appointed in proportion to their respective numbers; Employees representing senior management can be members of the SNB if chosen under this procedure

Article 11 (1996)



Trade unions/works council/employees

Elected in the following order of priority: by existing trade unions, or by the works council or directly by the employees


Employees (but no obligation)

Article 70 (2012)



(Central) works council / employee representatives

Appointment by the works council or, if any, the central works works council; if more than one central works councils, jointly by all them; if no works council, the representatives of the employees of the undertaking/branch shall be invited to the appointing meeting of the (central) works council(s), on the appointing meeting said employee representatives shall be deemed as a member of the works council, or that of the central works council ; Each employee has the right to vote on the employee representative and the employee receiving most of the votes shall be the employee representative

The SNB members shall be appointed from among the employees employed by the undertaking/group

Employee representatives (works council) and workers

Article 5 and Article 11 (2003)

Article 57 (2011)



Shop stewards / employees

Election by the shop stewards; if no shop stewards, election by all the employees of the undertaking/branch

Employees' representatives shall elect representatives to the SNB from among their number or, if no possible, they shall be elected by all the employees

Among the employees

Article 11 (1999)




Elected by the employees or appointed by the employees as determined by them or appointed by the central management on a basis agreed with the employees

The employees in undertakings/establishments with no employees' representatives have the right ro elect or appoint members of the SNB

May include employees, trade union officials and officials of an excepted body, whether or not they are employees

Sections 3 and 14 and Schedule 1 (1996)

Article 9 (2011)



Trade unions

The SNB members representing the Italian employees are to be appointed by the trade unions which signed the national collective labour agreement covering the company jointly with the union representative body in the company (the RSU) where this exists; If there is no RSU in a company, the unions having signed the national collective agreement and the management must agree an appropriate procedure to choose SNB members


Union representatives or employees (no real provision in this regard)

Article 6 (2002)



Employee representatives

Represented by the current employees' representatives (if represented by an union and employee representatives, the employees shall authorise their representatives to select the members); If decided otherwise by the employees or in the absence of such employees' representatives, the employees shall elect representative representatives + At least one employee representative from each Community-scale undertaking or establishment registered in Latvia or from each undertaking registered in Latvia belonging to a Community-scale group (if fewer representatives than the number of undertakings/establishment, agreement between the employees' representatives, if no agreement shall be represented by the trade unions or, in their absence by an authorised employee representative of the undertaking with the greatest number of employees)


Employee representatives, union representative or employees

Section 10



Employee representatives / employees

SNB members are selected by employee representatives, and in cases where no employee representation structures are installed, by employees directly.


Employee representative or employee

Art. 11 (2000)



Employee representatives / General assembly of employees

Appointed by the representatives of employees; if several establishments, common agreement of the representatives of employees of the establishments; If disagreement after 30 days or if absence of employee representatives, election by secret ballot at a general staff meeting; if several establishments and no agreement on the appointment between employee representatives within 30 days, election by secret ballot at a joint conference of delegates of employees with every ten employees being represented by one delegate  (According to worker-participation, employee representatives mean either union representatives or – if there is no union – the works council)


Employee representative or employee

Article 16.1, 16.2 and 16.3



(Central) works council / representatives of employees

Appointed or elected by the members of the central delegations (the body bringing together three members from each workplace) or by the staff delegations ("délégations du personnel") ; If the blue collar workers and the white collar workers are represented in two different delegations, the first SNB member is elected/appointed by the members of the delegation representing the majority of the workers of the company, the alternate member by the other delegation

The SNB shall be made up of employees of the undertaking/group who have been elected or appointed in accordance with national legislation and/or practice by the employees' representatives or, failing this, by all the employees

Among the employees with an unfixed contract or among the union representatives from the unions the most representative nationally having sent the request for the opening of negotiations; If more than one SNB member, one must be an employee with an unfixed contract and the other one must be a representative of the most representive unions nationally having sent the request for the opening of negotiations

Article L. 432-5 (1996)

Article L. 432-10 and L. 432-11 (1996)




Election by all the employees (secret ballot)


Employees (indefinite or definite contract and part-time employees but not in the probatory period)

Article 6



(Central) works council / employees

Appointed by the works councils set up at the establishments and undertakings; If one or more central works councils have been established the said appointment shall be effected by the latter council or councils; If no central works council, by one or more group works councils; If not all works councils or group works councils are represented in a central works council or group works council, the appointment shall be effected jointly by the central or group works council(s) and the non-represented works councils;  If no works council, election by the entire body of employees (unions may present their candidates)

Each member shall be elected or appointed pursuant to the law of the Member State in which he works

Members of the works councils or union representatives or employees (no obligation though)

Section 9.2 (1997)

Section 10 (1997)




Employees in Norway elect their representative(s) by means of either a written or secret election (reference to the article 12-3 of the main agreement signed by LO and NHO stipulating that election shall take place within the individual groups under the direction and control of the shop steward for the particular group, if those entitled to vote in one group belong to more than one union, their shop stewards shall confer on the matter of calling and conducting the meeting, if they fail to agree, this shall be reported to LO and NHO and they jointly shall decide how the election is to be arranged, All employees are entitled to vote, with the exception of those who are members of senior management); Or, in establishments where this is not appropriate, application of the election regulations for employee representation contained in the Companies Act relating to the election of employee board-level representatives, which give the union representatives an important role


Must be employees of the company

Article 4 c)



Trade unions / employees

Appointed by a representative local union organisation; if no election by the employees + Representativeness of unions specificied in the Labour Court (A representative union for this purpose is defined as having at least 10% of the employees as members, or 7% if the local union organisation belonged to one of the three nationally representative unions, Solidarność, OPZZ and FZZ) + Agreement between the representative unions if more than one and if disagreement direct election by the employees from the number of candidates proposed by the unions + Rules when there are employees in Poland employed in more than one establishment and need of an election (election of representatives from these different establishments and then meeting of the representatives to elect from their number the SNB members)


Employees and union delegates

Article 8 and Article 9 (2005)



Works council/trade unions

Appointed in the following order: By agreement between the workers' committee (or works councils) and trade union organisations (if represent at least 5% of employees); if no union, by the workers' committee;  If no workers' committee, by agreement between the trade union organisations which together represent over half of the employees who are trade union members in the establishments or undertakings + Precise rules on the representativeness of unions (at least 5% of employees alone or conjointly with other unions) + If no appointment in accordance with the previous rules and at least one third of employees can request a direct secret ballot to elect the SNB members from among the candidates proposed by at least 100 or 10% of employees


Trade union representatives from trade unions representing at least 5% of employees or employees of the company

Article 26



Trade unions / employee representatives

Appointed by the union representatives or, if absent, the elected employee representatives ; if no representative, election by all the employees



Article 4 and 12 (2005)



Trade unions / works council

Appointed by employees' representatives (both trade union representatives and/or elected works council members) from the employees; Where the employees’ representatives do not agree, the employees’ representatives who represent the greatest number of employees employed shall decide; The distribution of votes shall be determined according to the number of employees represented; If no employees' representatives, direct election by the employees 

The SNB members shall be employees

Must be employees (possibly employees' representatives)

Section 244.3 (2011)

Section 244.4 (2011)



General assembly of employees

An assembly of employees shall elect employees' representatives in Slovenia by secret ballot; Works councils, representative unions or at least 50 employees within the undertaking/establishment shall have the right to propose candidates for membership of the SNB


Works councils, representative unions or at least 50 employees within the undertaking/establishment shall have the right to propose candidates for membership of the SNB

Article 9



Trade unions / works council

Appointed by a majority decision of the union representations which as a whole represent the majority of the members of, where appropriate, the works council(s) or staff representatives, where these exist, which as a whole represent the majority of these members


No precision

Article 27 (1997)



Works council

Members from Sweden appointed by the local employees' organisations which are bound by collective bargaining agreements with the management; Where several local employees' organisations are bound by collective bargaining agreements and they do not agree otherwise, the following order shall apply: In respect of the appointment of one member, this member shall be appointed by the local employees' organisation which represents the largest number of employees in Sweden bound by
collective bargaining agreements, if several members, reference to the Section 8 (2) and (3) of the Board Representation (Private Sector Employees) Act (1987  (If more than four-fifths of the employees bound by the collective bargaining agreement at a company or group belong to the same local employees' organisation, that organisation may appoint all of the employees' representatives, otherwise the two local employees' organisations that represent the largest number of such employees each appoint one member and one alternate. If the employees are entitled to three members and three alternates, the larger of the two organisations may appoint two members and two alternates); If not bound by a collective bargaining agreement, appointed by the local employees' organisation which represents the greatest number of employees in the company/group


No provision

Section 24 and 25




The UK members of the SNB shall be elected by a ballot of the UK employees, a single ballot or, if the UK management so decides, several ballots of employees; If there is a consultative committee (a body whose normal functions include carrying out an information and consultation function) whose members were all selected by the employees  it shall be entitled to nominate from its number the UK members of the SNB


Members of the consultative committee (if the latter nominates the SNB members); Any UK employee, or UK employees' representative who is an employee of, or an employees' representative in, the undertaking/group is entitled to stand in the ballot of the UK employees (employee representatives include external trade union representatives if part of a recognised union)

Article 13, 14 and 15 (1999)


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