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CEO Blog: Establishing a Works Council at N26

Our CEO Valentin Stalf shares his thoughts on an N26 Works Council and the future of employee representation at N26

2 min read

By now, I’m sure many of you will have seen the recent news that we are in the process of establishing a Works Council at N26. Some of you have also reached out to us on the topic to share your views, and for that, we thank you. We truly appreciate having customers who are engaged in the future of N26 as a company. 

As a founder, it has been hard to see how the discussion has evolved in the last days. Ultimately, myself and my leadership team at N26 feel responsible for the way this debate has escalated, and for that, we would like to apologize.

I would also like to share a couple of thoughts on the topic of a Works Council at N26. 

Our management team has always been supportive of formal employee representation. N26 has always valued the views, insights & voices of all our employees and N26 could never be what it is without them. 

Yes, it’s true that we believe that there could be a more modern, digitally-enabled and globally inclusive alternative to a traditional Works Council, especially for a diverse international team like ours. That said, we fully support formal employee representation in all its forms, including a traditional Works Council. 

Because the electoral meetings planned for this week were put together on short notice, we were concerned for the health, safety and wellbeing for our employees. As the current situation with COVID19 continues to evolve in Berlin, our priority in all this has always been to ensure the safety of our teams. The labour court shared our concerns, which is why they prohibited the two planned elections from taking place on the proposed dates.  

Nonetheless, N26 will help organize safe and well-planned elections in collaboration with the initiators of the Works Council, and we are committed to support any plans going forward. 

I want to reiterate that N26 is not trying to stop the formation of a Works Council. We fully support our employee’s efforts towards stronger representation at N26 and look forward to working with them on this. 

In all this, it is heartening to see the lively debate that is developing on employee representation at N26. We have grown a lot in the last few years, and we want all our employees to be able to be part of this process that will define how we move forward as a company. I believe that we as a team will emerge stronger from this, and look forward to what we will achieve together. 

Valentin Stalf, Co-founder and CEO, N26

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