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What is a Working Environment Council?

Viimati uuendatud: 28.06.2017

Working Environment Council

Working environment council is a working group formed in larger companies for solving the company’s occupational health and safety issues in cooperation with the employees and the employer. The council is formed in companies with 50 or more employees and the council consists of an equal number of employer and employee representatives. The number of the council members depends on the company and is up to the employer to decide; at the minimum, the council must have 4 members (meaning 2 employer and 2 employee representatives). The council members are elected for 4 years. Employee representatives can be called back from the council by the employees’ general meeting.

The selection and training of the employees belonging to the council occurs on the same ground as the working environment representatives – the employee representatives are elected on the general meeting organized by the employer and they receive the rights of the employees’ representative.

The working environment representatives may also be elected to the council but if the representatives must deal with working environment questions on a daily basis and emanating from the employee’s level, then the activity of council members is rather targeted to cross-company questions.

Representatives of the employer in the council are appointed and one of them is often the working environment specialist. The council members select a council chairman and their deputy from among themselves. In 10 days starting from the forming of the council, the employer must report the names and positions of the council members, and the duration of their authorization to the Labour Inspectorate.

Both selecting the working environment council members and accepting the role are voluntary. If the employees do not wish to elect their representatives to the council or if no employee wants to take up that role, a working environment council cannot be formed in this company. In this case, it is mandatory to formulate the protocol of the general meeting held for selecting the working environment council members – to prove that the employees have been offered the possibility to select their representatives.


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