Ricoh European Forum

Giving employees a voice across Europe

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As an employer of choice and in line with European regulations, the Ricoh European Forum (REF) pro-actively represents employees on a European level in order to facilitate information sharing across the continent. This unique institution allows management and employees to meet regularly and share their views.

To provide a platform for employee representatives in meetings and discussions with the European management.

Ricoh European Forum (REF) provides constructive dialogue at a European level between management and employees, which is designed to serve as a valuable addition to provide employees with an understanding of, and involvement in, the business, its plans and progress.

The REF enables Ricoh employee representatives from across Europe to meet and discuss transnational topics with the European top management.

The information and consultation of the REF will include situation and probable trend of employment, investments and substantial changes concerning organisation, introduction of new working methods or production processes, transfers of production, mergers, cut-backs or closure of undertakings, establishments or important parts thereof, and collective redundancies.

The process of information and consultation will be carried out at all appropriate levels as required by relevant legislation, and consultation of the REF cannot be used to weaken existing national laws.

Given that new developments happen on a daily basis and are often connected to developments on a larger regional scale. The REF aims to communicate proactively and advocate engagement between staff and management to help maintain and improve the Group’s competitiveness by informing, and exchanging views with employees on pan-European issues of importance. Last but not least, to address the needs of Ricoh employees working across Europe by providing relevant and appropriate information especially, transnational matters, which affect them.

The REF plays therefore, an integral role within the Ricoh Europe organization.

A brief history of the Forum, founded in response to EU legislations

Facilitating Pan European Communication since 1996

The first Ricoh European Forum agreement was signed on 2nd of September 1996 in Amstelveen, The Netherlands, as a Ricoh Europe implementation of European legislation initiated on 22nd of September 1994. Since 1996, many REF plenary sessions have been held at various locations throughout Europe.

Updated Agreement in response to the amended directive 2009/38/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council from 6 May 2009

The updated agreement was signed on the 21st of June 2012 in Schiphol, The Netherlands, to reflect the positive and improving cooperation between the appointed delegates and the European Management. The voluntary agreement underlines the importance of cooperation and the consultative role of the REF in all key European activities and developments, and in particular the structure, the economic and financial situation, major plans of the business and production, sales, employment health and safety, training policy, new products, process and environmental matters operating on a transnational basis.

There are about 30 delegates representing Ricoh entities across Europe. A meeting is held each year with the Ricoh Europe Board to facilitate communication and cohesiveness across Europe.

Diversity through Local Representation

Once a year, the delegates meet at the Ricoh European Forum plenary session to discuss and generate ideas, so that learning and best practice can be shared and implemented across Europe.

Throughout the year the REF is represented by a Steering Committee that meets four times a year to discuss Pan European issues. In these meetings, employee delegates, HR management and European top management are present.
For the year 2014 - 2015, the following employee delegates are elected as the Steering Committee:

  • Sabine Nikolaus (Ricoh Germany) - Spokesperson

  • Egbert Molenaar ( Ricoh Netherlands) - Vice-spokesperson

  • Sandra Tischendorf (Ricoh Germany)

  • Jean Tortella (Ricoh France)

  • John Asher (Ricoh United Kingdom)

  • Allen Palmer (Ricoh United Kingdom)

  • Grégory Pichegru (Rex Rotary France)

  • Thomas Lastrup (Ricoh Denmark)

  • Danny Jones (Ricoh RPL)

  • Didier Guithou (Ricoh France)

Providing Pan European awareness and information for all delegates

Informing Delegates, Creating Understanding

Information is crucial to create awareness and understanding. To ensure all Ricoh European Forum (REF) delegates are aware of Pan European developments inside and outside of the Ricoh Europe organisation, it is essential to keep REF delegates informed throughout the year.

The REF Steering Committee is the key liaison between the European Management and the REF delegates. The committee gathers information from the European meetings and presents them in a short and readable format. It also collects news from across Europe that illustrate the diversity and creativity of the European Ricoh employees.

The current two main tools of communications are the Ricoh Europe website and the REF newsletter: ‘The Grapevine'.

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