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Vote for a delegate for the board

It is a good idea to vote for a professional delegate to represent the employees in the company’s board, because it ensures a connection to the work of the Works Council, and because they have the most knowledge of what is going on with the employees, says President of Finansforbundet Kent Petersen.

8. Feb 2022
4 min
Af Carsten Jørgensen
cjo@finansforbundet.dk

As an employee, you have the opportunity to influence the composition of the bank’s board of directors. This is where the employee-elected board members sit at the table where the big decisions are made, so it is also important that you make use of your voting rights. But what should you really base your decision on when electing employee representatives to the bank’s board of directors?

According to President of Finansforbundet Kent Petersen, you should tick the box next to a delegate with a background in the professional system.
“It’s important that the employees elect a representative who is also part of the bank’s Works Council (SU), because it ensures a connection between the issues discussed there and on the board. Therefore, it makes a lot of sense for the employee-elected board members to have a background as delegates in the professional system and the Local Union Executive Committee, because this is where the most knowledge about what is going on with the employees is. You could say that they are experts in the organisation, and that is precisely the knowledge they need and the role they have on the bank’s board”, says Kent Petersen.

Knowledge of culture and daily life in practice

The employee-elected board members have to contribute their knowledge of the organisation and the employees’ daily lives when decisions are made in the board.

“It is not the primary task of the employee-elected representatives on the board to look at, for example, credit matters or other completely subject-specific matters. In the board of directors, the bank is covered by the shareholder-elected board members, who are elected based on the legal and financial experience and expertise they possess. The employee-elected representatives bring something absolutely crucial to the table – namely their knowledge of the company, the culture and daily life in practice. This requires insight into the organisation itself and the people who make it up in daily life, and this is where delegates from the professional system and the Local Union Executive Committee have a very solid and invaluable foundation to stand on to be able to ultimately make a positive difference for both employees and the bank”, says Kent Petersen.

In the near future, there will be elections of employee representatives to the boards of Danske Bank, Sydbank and Jyske Bank

Employees make a difference on the board

A study conducted for Finansforbundet in 2016 by consultant Nina Fauerholm concluded that the employee-elected board members (MABs) contribute important knowledge about what is going on in the company. According to the study, which is partly based on interviews with a number of employee-elected representatives and board chairs, the employee-elected representatives see themselves as representatives of a large group of employees. They see it as an advantage that they have a union representative structure or a feedback system where they are in regular contact with all of the organisation’s employees. In addition, the employee-elected representatives see themselves as being more free in relation to the management, because they do not have to reckon with the management to the same extent as non-delegates.
The employee-elected representatives see it as very valuable that on the board they become part of the company’s diversified strategic efforts and the connection between the work on the board and the work of a union representative means that they can assist with the implementation of the decisions made in the board. However, it is precisely this position that can put pressure on the individual, because conflicts of loyalty can arise.