Home / EU Rahmen für U-A-M / Information and Consultation / General framework for informing and consulting employees (Directive 2002/14/EC) / Umsetzung / The notion of undertaking and thresholds

The notion of undertaking and thresholds

In most domestic transposition measures, the term “undertaking” or “establishment” is taken to refer to current national definitions. These definitions may be very diversified, to the point of not reflecting the terminology proposed by the directive.

In Belgium, the interpretation by management and labour of the concepts of an “undertaking” or “establishment” proposed by the directive was the basis for a disagreement between social partners and caused negotiations to fail, especially due to the consequences of the choice of establishment for the exercise of the right of information and consultation: the threshold required by the directive is 20 employees, not 50 as laid down by Belgian law.

The exception to the right of information and consultation, according to the directive (article 3(2)), applies to undertakings directed towards more cultural aims. Some of the Member States, however, have extended this exception to public or semi-public services and broadcasting undertakings employing at least 50 employees.

The calculation of thresholds is still a national prerogative and one that may lend to abuse, in particular by indirectly excluding atypical employees from the undertaking’s work force. Furthermore, there are prerequisites as to length of service. In every Member State, thresholds are calculated on the basis of the number employed by the undertaking, regardless of the form of employment contract. In some Member States exceptions concern temporary workers and trainees, apprentices and those in supported, as well as temporary workers

Alle Umsetzung