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NEW: EWC Manual 'How to deal with confidential information'

This training manual deals with one of the most important challenges European Works Councils are up against: confidentiality of information. Confidentiality sensu largo is one of two forms of limitation that management may use to control information flows. Firstly, management may label information as ‘confidential’, thus forbidding the EWC to share this information with others (including the employees it represents or local works councils). Alternatively, management may use secrecy, which is a specific clause in the legislation (Art. 8 of the EWC Recast Directive and its transposition into national law) that allows them not to disclose information at all, because the disclosure of this information might be harmful to the company. Management often justifies this obstruction by arguing that stock exchange rules forbid the sharing of certain information with third parties.

In practice, as the results of the recent survey among EWC members show (see ETUI publication 'Can anybody hear us?'), many EWCs experience serious problems in executing their basic legal rights and serving their purpose. In this manual, we will explain how EWCs can distinguish between management’s justified and unjustified claims, how EWCs can challenge management if they try to use these clauses in an improper way, how to work with confidential information and how EWCs can defend against unjustified / unlawful use of confidentiality.

The publication (pdf) can be downloaded free of charge from the ETUI website.

The publication also contains four useful infographics explaning various concepts in an accessible graphical form.

Authors: Sjef Stoop (FNV Formaat) and Romuald Jagodziński (ETUI)

Infographics used in the manual (another version used in the manual will be uploaded soon):

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