Who can be a member of the negotiating committee?

A negotiating committee shall be established for the purpose of negotiating a collective agreement.

Trade unions with general national representativeness and trade unions with sector representativeness (provided that the collective agreement to be negotiated concerns the sector and the category or categories of workers for which the trade union has been recognised as representative of a sector) are automatically members of the negotiating committee.

These unions may unanimously admit or reject the participation of other unions in the negotiations.

At their request, the trade unions that individually or together obtained more than 50% of the ­votes in the ­last election for the staff delegations of the companies or establishments concerned must be admitted to the negotiating committee.

Do members of the bargaining committee have special protection?

During the period of collective bargaining, members of the negotiating committee are protected against dismissal, like the protection enjoyed by members of staff delegations.

Who can request collective bargaining?

The request for collective bargaining must be made by the qualified representatives of the persons or organisations concerned.

It should be noted that the termination of a collective labour agreement is equivalent to a request for the opening of negotiations.

When should the negotiations start?

Negotiations must begin within 30 days from the date of a notification request to commence collective bargaining.

However, the requested employer may inform the requesting party of its intention to negotiate within a grouping or organization of employers, or together with other businesses in the same profession or occupation.

In this case, negotiations must be effectively opened within 60 days from the date of a notification request to open collective bargaining.

In all cases, negotiations shall commence no later than 90 days after the initial request.

What happens if the start of negotiations is refused?

In case of explicit refusal or failure to start negotiations within the time limit, the claimant may initiate the conciliation procedure.