European Works Council
The European Works Council (EWC) is the representative body for Generali Group employees in Europe and currently consists of 43 delegates from 17 EU countries. It was established in 1997 by the Agreement 11th November 1997 in accordance with the 1994 EU Directive and then renewed along the years in line with the recast EU Directive 2009/38/EC and the Italian decree (decreto legislativo 2012/113).
European Works Council main purpose is to be informed and consulted on European transnational projects/initiatives/measures of the Group which have relevant interest for workers. However, in 25 years of Generali EWC, we have also issued the European Social Charter in 2006 and signed with EWC so called joint statement on transnational one company set up (GSS) as well as joint declarations on relevant topics such as Telework, Diversity & Inclusion and Emergency crisis (Covid-19 pandemic).
Digital transformation and next normal & new ways of working are also very relevant topics in the EWC current agenda, which in fact are also part of the recent Joint Declaration on the New Sustainable Way of Working in a Next Normal Scenario defined with the EWC. The purpose of this Joint Declaration is, among others, to promote sustainable ways of working, based on trust and empowerment as well as work-life balance and enhanced group performance.
The current EWC agreement governs the role and functioning of the EWC and aims to inform and consult delegates on issues and international projects which concern workers.
To facilitate dialogue with the parent company during the annual meetings, the EWC has appointed the Select Committee, eight representatives elected every four years from the EWC delegates, to act as its spokesperson. Among these 8 representatives, the Secretary and the Deputy Secretary are appointed.
To ensure a continuous dialogue between the Secretary, Deputy Secretary, EWC select committee and the Group, a specific function called EWC relations & Labour Network was set up at the Group Head Office.
Member Countries of the Select Committee (SC)
Italy, France, Austria, Spain, Czech Republic, Germany, Other Countries* and Central and Eastern European Countries**
*Belgium, Greece, Luxembourg, Portugal.
**Bulgaria, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, and Croatia.
Each year, the SC has three regular meetings and the EWC meets twice in plenary session (of which one is dedicated to training for delegates). The Group Chief HR and Organization Officer and the EWC Relation & Labour Network attend these meetings, and Group Top management attends the June plenary. Besides the regular meetings, during the year additional meetings can also take place even in hybrid mode or in full remote mode, as well as meetings of ad hoc working groups on specific topics (e.g. digital and technological transformation topics).
There are approximately 10 meetings (on-site, hybrid and remote), held over a total of approximately 20 days.
The Parent Company sets the agenda of the meetings in agreement with the Secretary of the EWC, who may also propose other topics for discussion during the meetings. Part of the agenda always includes updates on some specific issues, such as those related to human resources, of particular interest to the EWC.
The Group also shares strategic issues with the EWC such as new types of work organisation due to the technological and digital transformation in progress.
In this regard, in 2017 a joint declaration on teleworking was signed, followed by a declaration on Diversity and Inclusion in 2019, the one on the Emergency crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic in 2021 and the very last one on the New Sustainable Way of Working in a Next Normal Scenario signed very recently, 16 February 2023.
In exceptional circumstances that have a significant impact on the interests of workers in at least two countries, additional meetings are called to inform and consult with the SC and the delegates of the relevant countries.
In these cases, the parent company and the Select Committee work together to exchange information and advice. The Select Committee may provide non-binding opinion on measures and decisions taken by the Group.
During the Plenary session dedicated to training for the EWC delegates, which normally takes place in November specific topics related to the exercise of their representative functions (e.g. collective bargaining and Trade Unions in the EU) as well as social and economic topics and trends of interest (e.g. digital and technological transformation, Solvency, etc.) are addressed.
This approach allows delegates to consolidate their shared pool of knowledge to effectively address cross-border issues.