BEERG: the Brussels European Employee Relations Group, is an information-sharing and networking group established in 2002, now has over 60 member companies head-quartered in various Member States of the European Union, the United States, India and Japan.

The BEERG group meets over two days, Wednesday and Thursday, three times a year. The meetings take place in February, June and October. The February and October meetings are held in Brussels; the June meeting is held in Sitges, Barcelona. The BEERG approach to meetings is based on labour and employment relations professionals discussing issues of concern with one another, in confidence, in an informal environment. Our reception and dinner on the Wednesday evening provides members with an important networking opportunity in a relaxed setting and, from time to time, feature outside speakers from trade unions, the European Commission or national or international agencies with an interest in labour relations. In addition to our scheduled meetings we run “ad-hoc” meetings on specific topics from time to time.

We also have a growing network of “BEERG sub-groups”. Currently we have such groups in the UK, France and Ireland. They meet several times a year and focus on national developments in employment law and labor relations. BEERG does not seek publicity for itself or its members, but, where appropriate, we have made submissions to governments on the transposition of European Directives into national law and have opened a dialogue with both government ministers and officials on how proposed changes in domestic employment law would impact the international business community.

BEERG member companies have a significant presence in the 30 countries within the scope of the European Works Council Directive. BEERG was originally set up to help HR and employee relations executives and specialists and in-house labor counsel with pan-European employee relations issues in general and with issues involving European Works Councils in particular. BEERG is the only employers’ grouping with its own EWC database which allows us to provide members with up-to-the minute information on how best to manage EWCs based on “best practice” among peer companies.

Increasingly, our members have asked that we broaden our services to take account of the continuing globalisation of business and the employee relations issues that come with it. We provide advice and guidance to members companies on the provisions of the international labor codes of the ILO, the UN and OECD. We help members to understand global trade union strategies and advise than on how to deal with international corporate campaigns and requests from Global Union Federations to negotiate International Framework Agreements. We also assist members to manage labor-related corporate social responsibility matters in the company’s own facilities and in the facilities of their supply and distribution chains contractors.

Besides our regular meetings, BEERG membership benefits include:

  • A weekly newsletter highlighting important employee relations developments across Europe and globally;
  • Information on European Union employment law and social policy initiatives;
  • Access to the BEERG EWC database
  • The opportunity to meet with key EU decision makers to discuss the content of proposed legislation;
  • Informal peer-to-peer benchmarking and information sharing on key employee relations questions;
  • The HR Policy weekly update on US labor relations developments;
  • Regular BEERG and HR Policy member publications, such as our comprehensive Guide to the 2009 EWC Directive;
  • Quarterly webinars on key international employee relations issues
  • Preferential access for your managers to our training program