Employee representative - who is he and what are his responsibilities?

Employee representative - who is he and what are his responsibilities?

The employer must consult with his subordinates in advance on some decisions. If there are no trade unions in a given company, then an employee representative is elected. Find out who can become him, on what terms he is elected and - above all - what are his duties. You will find the answers in our article!

Who can become an employee representative?

The employee representative, as the name suggests, represents all employed people in relations with the employer. Interestingly, anyone can become one. The requirements are not prescribed by law. It is simply required to have a valid certificate of health and safety training, which is standard for all employees, so this is not an exceptional criterion.

When is an employee representative elected?

Instead, regulations - more specifically, the Labor Code - regulate that the employer is to consult with employees or their representative on all health and safety activities. If there are trade unions in the company (their formation is not mandatory), then the representative is the social labor inspector, and if not - the employees themselves choose their representative.

Here another important note: the decision to elect a representative is also not mandatory, but it can significantly improve cooperation and bring many benefits. This is worth thinking about, especially in larger workplaces, although this does not at all mean that in smaller ones such a representative will not be useful.

Election of employee representative - how does it proceed?

The mode adopted at the employer - this is how the workers' representative is elected. So there is no single adopted and regulated procedure. In each workplace it may look slightly different.

Nor can the employer impose his opinion on this issue, although, of course, nothing prevents him from proposing a given course of selection and, after obtaining the approval of the entire team, implementing it in his company.

Moreover, such implementation does not need to be documented or formalized in any other way. However, it is worth drawing up an internal document so that everything is clear, legible and transparent for each employee. It is good to write down there the selection procedure, the procedure for submitting a candidate, and possibly the length of the term of office.

Employee representative - responsibilities

It is already known who can be an employee representative, when he is elected and how he is elected, it is now time to analyze what actually belongs to his duties. We divide these competencies into two categories: those of a consultative nature and those of a decisive nature. How do they differ?

In the case of the first, the employer is obliged to inform the representative of the need for consultation. It then acquaints itself with his position and enters into dialogue with him. However, this position is not binding. This means that even if the representative negatively refers to an issue, the employer does not have to take it into account. The issues mentioned include consultations on, for example:

- any initiatives related to health and safety in the workplace, such as work structure, job equipment, occupational risk analysis, allocation of
- individual protection equipment, creation of an occupational health and safety service),
- introduction of rules on remote working,
- definition of work in particularly stressful or harmful conditions, that may require reduced working hours,
- establish a list of high-risk work where it is necessary to involve at least two people, so that one can protect/protect the other,
- intend collective layoffs with regulations for dealing with employees who are in the group of planned layoffs.

On the other hand, powers of a firm nature mean that the employer cannot make the decision alone. Prior approval of the representative is necessary. We deal with this during:

- agreeing on the rules and regulations of the company's welfare fund,
- plans to introduce monitoring in sanitary facilities,
- introduction of intermittent working time,
- determining the extension of the working time settlement period and schedules of mobile working time,
- concluding agreements suspending the application of labor laws (in circumstances justified by the financial situation of the employer),
- plans to introduce less favorable conditions of employment of employees,
- determining the list of work that is particularly dangerous or associated with high physical or mental effort for employees working at night,
- introduction of regulations with terms and conditions of use of services and benefits under the Company Social Benefits Fund.

In summary, an employee representative is useful in many situations. If there are no trade unions at a particular company, it is definitely worth considering the appointment of a representative. Then you can have a real impact on the decisions made by the employer.


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