In 2018, the active members of the Free Press Unlimited Works Council, gave their stamp of approval for a number of important documents and procedures that are discussed elsewhere in this annual report.
They consulted their rank and file on the new Personnel Manual, which contains agreements about national holidays and days off, and played a decisive role in the agreements to announce job vacancies internally first. They also gave solicited and unsolicited advice on topics such as the whistleblowers scheme and other elements of the integrity policy. Integrity became a major issue at the start of 2018, when Oxfam came under attack because of sexual abuse by employees of Oxfam Great Britain. Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Kaag, wanted to hear from all development organisation what safeguards they had against this type of misconduct. In response, the Directors of Free Press Unlimited composed a letter, with input from the Works Council.
The Works Council meets twice a month, and in 2018 added a short update session to that (twice a week), to prevent issues remaining untreated for too long. They also meet once a quarter with the Board of Directors and in 2018, consulted twice with the HR The Works Council publishes its minutes visibly for everyone on our internal Wiki and receives regular input from its rank and file. During the year, two members left Free Press Unlimited; fortunately their vacancies were quickly filled and the new Works Council members were able to immediately take part in the first Works Council away day. Here, they determined the 2019 priorities: HR, policy and strategy, communication with the rank and file and organisational culture.