Established in law by the Social and Economic Council Act (Wet op de Sociaal-Economische Raad), the SER is the main advisory body to the Dutch government and the parliament on national and international social and economic policy. The SER is financed by industry and is wholly independent from the government. It represents the interests of trade unions and industry, advising the government (upon request or at its own initiative) on all major social and economic issues.
The SER also has an administrative role.
In addition, the SER helps the government to enforce the Works Councils Act (Wet op de ondernemingsraden).