Employee participation in Hannover Rück SE

Employee participation in Hannover Rück SE

With the entry in the commercial register of Hannover Country Court the transformation of Hannover Rückversicherung AG into the legal form of a European Company, Societas Europaea (SE), came into effect on 19 March 2013. The negotiations conducted by management with the Special Negotiating Body regarding the structuring of the participation procedure and the determination of employee participation rights in the SE were an important milestone in the process of conversion into an SE. On 23 January 2013 the negotiations were successfully concluded with the signing of the Participation Agreement.

By this time it had been necessary to resolve numerous questions and issues between the parties on the basis of the Act on the Participation of Employees in a European Company (SEBG). While this legislation is intended to safeguard in an SE the rights acquired by employees to participate in company decisions, it leaves room for interpretation as to the specifics. In accordance with the SEBG negotiations with the Special Negotiating Body can take as long as six months and may be extended under certain conditions – an option which the parties to the negotiations made use of.

The negotiations centred on, among other things, matters such as the responsibilities of the SE Employee Council, the number of seats assigned to a Member State in the SE Employee Council and the allocation of seats. It was necessary to determine whether one or two annual regular meetings of the SE Employee Council should be held and establish rules governing formation, tasks, number of meetings and number of members of an Executive Committee. A further important step was to reach agreement on an information and consultation procedure to facilitate dialogue between the SE Employee Council and the Executive Board of Hannover Rück SE. Another key point of negotiation was the rules governing co-determination on the Supervisory Board.


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