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Report of the Joint Works Council

In line with the growth and continued professionalisation of Unica, the Works Council has also made advances in reinforcing employee representation. The establishment in 2022 of a Joint Works Council marked the fulfilment of the ambition to represent all employees and companies that make up Unica. In addition to the organisational changes, work was conducted in 2022 on the various spearheads that emerged during the pleasant and open collaboration with the Board of Directors.

Joint Works Council

The establishment of a Joint Works Council in 2022 marked the next step in representing the interests of all employees within the Unica Groep. The Joint Works Council is the forum for employee representation within Unica and represents all clusters.

The process of forming a Joint Works Council involves bringing on board the individual Works Councils from companies acquired by Unica over the past few years. By integrating those companies in the Joint Works Council, staff of the newly acquired companies can now contribute ideas to the Board of Directors of Unica and are able to communicate at the appropriate level about company policy and employee interests.

Each cluster will retain or be allocated a number of seats on the Joint Works Council, according to the number of employees. Following integration of a company, their Works Councils will continue to exist in the form of a Component Committee. This committee continues to deal with subjects specific to that company, while more general and overarching issues are discussed in the Joint Works Council. Whenever companies are integrated, transition covenants are signed with specific agreements. In 2022, the Works Councils of Unica ICT Solutions, Van Kempen Koudetechniek and Gerco were integrated in the Joint Works Council in this way.

Composition and Executive Board of the Joint Works Council

2022 saw the introduction of a new structure for the Joint Works Council. Depending on the size of each cluster, all have one or more representatives. On that basis, the Works Council comprised 18 members, supported by an official secretary in 2022. Each member is appointed for a term of office of four years. Elections are held every two years, for around half the seats on the Works Council.

A change took place in the Executive Board of the Joint Works Council in 2022. Secretary Roelof Lindeboom stepped down and was succeeded by Henny Curvers, who was already active as a Works Council member. Following the appointment of a series of new representatives in the election that was held at the end of 2021, the Executive Board focused its attention on providing support to the new members in 2022. This support included the introduction of a buddy system, the development of competences through special training and learning to hold meaningful discussions with the directors.

The Joint Works Council holds discussions with the Board of Directors six times a year, and holds one annual meeting with a delegation from the Supervisory Board. To maintain a clear picture of the developments in the work field, a changing constellation of representatives from the Joint Works Council meet the directors of all clusters twice a year. To avoid all members having to keep up to date on every issue, the Joint Works Council has established a number of committees that focus on specific subjects such as health, safety, welfare and the environment (HSE), finance and strategy, HRM, ICT and communication. The committees prepare subjects for discussion by the Joint Works Council, and decisions are subsequently taken on the prepared subjects by the Joint Works Council as a whole.

Focus areas

In 2022, the Joint Works Council formulated a series of spearheads relating to the priorities of the directors. These spearheads have been freely translated into the following focus areas:
• The wellbeing of the staff
• The onboarding of new employees
• Knowledge safeguarding to retain built-up knowledge within the company
• Good development opportunities for staff
• Diversity and Inclusion

Each of these spearheads was discussed in informal meetings with the director and the HRM department, with the aim of address potential bottlenecks and elaborating possible solutions. This informal start-up established a solid foundation for planning the work of the Joint Works Council. Based on examples put forward by the members, the focus areas are periodically discussed in formal and informal meetings with the directors and the management of Unica.

One specific issue that received considerable attention in 2022 was the social and physical safety of employees, also in relation to health and the environment. There was regular contact with the HRM and Quality, Health, Safety & Environment (QHSE) departments about various topics, including absenteeism due to sickness and incident reporting. By implementing the appropriate measures and by raising permanent awareness, safety of all employees remains a point of focus throughout the company. The spearhead Diversity and Inclusion is also a subject of much public debate. The Joint Works Council actively promotes the importance of this issue, for example by encouraging debate on restricted access to buildings, or on the possibility of celebrating alternative holidays. The fundamental principle is that every employee must feel safe and at home at Unica.

Strategy and acquisitions

During the course of 2022, the Board of Directors explained the strategic re-evaluation that Unica has recently undergone to the Joint Works Council. This explanation provided a clear insight into the course Unica intends to follow over the coming years. The Joint Works Council is confident about the strategic plans and appreciates the stability of Unica as a company and the sense of security that it provides to the staff.

One key element of the strategy is to further reinforce the Unica network of companies through acquisitions. In 2022, the Joint Works Council was involved in the acquisitions of EAL and Working Spirit. The two latest additions to the Unica network will help strengthen the position of the clusters Unica Access & Security and Unica ICT Solutions. These additions are a positive step towards realising the further growth ambitions and better safeguarding the continuity of the companies in the longer term.


After a year of continued growth at Unica, despite the unsettled global situation, the Joint Works Council looks to the future of Unica with real confidence. As a stable and varied company with a strongly rooted family culture, Unica has an excellent starting position from which to further build on its success. The Joint Works Council that now represents all clusters of the company, looks forward to making a positive contribution over the coming years.

26 April 2023
Wilbert van Abswoude
Johan van Tongeren
Henny Curvers