|Title:||Works Constitution Act|
|Abbreviation:||BetrVG, BetrVG 1972,
|Scope:||Federal Republic of Germany|
|Legal matter:||Employment Law|
|Original version from:||October 11, 1952
( BGBl. I p. 681 )
|Entry into force on:||November 14, 1952|
|New announcement from:||September 25, 2001
( BGBl. I p. 2518 )
|Last revision from:||January 15, 1972
( Federal Law Gazette I p. 13 )
|Entry into force of the
new version on:
|January 19, 1972|
|Last change by:||
Art. 6 G of May 20, 2020
( Federal Law Gazette I p. 1044, 1051 )
|Effective date of the
|January 1, 2021
(Art. 19 G of May 20, 2020)
|Please note the note on the applicable legal version.|
Works Constitution is the fundamental order of the cooperation of employers and of the workers selected operational advocacy. Its basis in Germany is the Works Constitution Act (BetrVG) . For the representation of employees in the public service, see under employee representation .
History of the works constitution in Germany
Workers' committees and councils were first formed voluntarily in the mid- 19th century . The first workers 'committee, which represented a serious works council for the workers, goes back to the Saxon calico printing company owner Carl Degenkolb , who, together with four other calico printing entrepreneurs, set up workers' committees in Eilenburg in 1850 and a joint factory council elected for the four factories. Degenkolb had already appeared in the first German parliament in 1848 as a proponent of a bill for the establishment of workers' committees in German factories. The Berlin blind manufacturer and co-founder of the Society for Social Reform , Heinrich Freese , granted his workers extensive rights in his “constitutional factory” with the workers' committee formed in 1884.
The Bavarian state parliament issued the first legal regulation for the formation of workers' committees in 1900 for the mines on its territory. After the Prussian government failed to form voluntary workers 'committees as recommended in the mining law amendment of 1892 due to the ignorance of the Ruhr industrialists, it enacted statutory regulations in 1905 for the compulsory introduction of workers' committees in the Prussian coal mining area, which after two major strikes (1889, 1905) with civil war-like ones Tried to pacify disputes through a "reconciling workers policy". During the First World War , the law on patriotic auxiliary service of December 2, 1916 came about for the first time in a general legal regulation on the formation of workers' committees in all companies in war-related industries with more than 50 employees. This law also provided that workers could be drafted for war production. This led, among other things, to the fact that active workers were detached in the event of strikes. Although the unions supported this law, it was controversial in the labor movement.
The revolutionary council movement of 1918 put the question of company representation on the agenda after the end of the war. The revolutionary chairmen dominated the workers' councils, which first appeared in the mass strikes of 1917 and 1918. Against this tendency, the works council law was passed, based on the institution of the workers' committees, which "only contained the word 'councils' as a concession" to the council movement. A study published in 1926 on the works councils of the Weimar Republic came to the conclusion that "only a meager remnant of the original council idea" had been implemented in the works council law. As expected, the protagonists of the council movement strongly opposed the law. During his second reading there was a bloody demonstration in front of the Reichstag .
In the Weimar Constitution in 1919, workers' councils were constituted for the first time. With the Works Council Act of February 4, 1920, which regulated an elected representation of the interests of employees in social and personal matters, codetermination and the rights and obligations of the works council were regulated. After the seizure of power by the Nazis, the works council law was repealed and replaced by the on January 20, 1934 Work Order Act replaced by the Works Constitution on the basis of the " leader principle has been ordered."
This law was repealed after 1945 by Control Council Acts Nos. 40 and 56; The Control Council Act No. 22 ( Works Council Act ) of April 10, 1946 enacted framework provisions on a works constitution, which were initially filled out and supplemented by a series of state laws.
On November 14, 1952, the Works Constitution Act came into force, which, in the tradition of the Weimar Works Council Act, regulates extensive information, consultation and co-determination rights of the works council and prescribes “trusting cooperation” between company management and works council. It also contained regulations on corporate co-determination in the supervisory board of corporations outside the coal and steel industry; these (§ § 76 ff. BetrVG 1952) were valid until June 30, 2004. Since July 1, 2004, they have been recorded in a separate third-party participation law .
In 1972 the Works Constitution Act was fundamentally amended. The law came into force in this version on January 18, 1972. Since then, the law has been revised and adapted in numerous points, most recently with the amendment of July 27, 2001. In particular, the formation of works councils in small businesses has been made easier. The repeated demanded elimination of the group regulation according to workers and salaried employees in the BetrVG was also implemented. The creation of a quota system is seen as a further regulation. When electing the works council, the employees' freedom of choice is restricted by the fact that the gender in the minority is assigned a minimum number of seats on the committee according to a certain key.
Organization of the works constitution
Precondition and implementation of the election of the works council
According to § 1 BetrVG, a works council is elected in companies if the company generally employs at least five permanent employees with voting rights, three of which must be eligible. It is up to the employees or a union represented in the company to take the initiative to elect a works council. The employer is neither entitled nor obliged to initiate a works council election. If no works council is elected, this remains - despite the wording of the law ( ... are ... elected. ) - without sanctions. According to the IAB Establishment Panel, there is a works council or staff council in only about 27% of the establishments in Germany.
The works council election is organized by an electoral board, which is determined by the works council before the end of its term of office. A person can be selected or a list can be selected. Every employee of the company who has reached the age of 18 can vote, including temporary workers if they are employed in the company for more than three months. Anyone entitled to vote who has been with the company for more than six months on election day can be elected. An election notice, which regulates the formalities of the election, the electoral list and the deadlines for the submission of nominations, is issued by the electoral board. An election can only take place after the election notice has been up for six weeks.
If there is no works council, the electoral board can be appointed by the general works council or the group works council, if such an institution exists. Otherwise, the electoral board is elected at an election meeting of the employees. Such a meeting can - without further requirements - be called by three employees who are entitled to vote or by a trade union that is represented in the company.
Since the 2001 amendment, a simplified electoral procedure has been in place in companies with up to 50 employees. Here an election can be made within two weeks. If the electoral board and the employer agree, such a procedure can also be used in companies that employ up to 100 people.
Works council elections take place every four years, always between March 1st and May 31st. In some cases, new elections can also take place outside of this period (for example in companies that do not have a works council and if the works council resigns).
The Works Constitution Act does not apply to administrations and companies of the federal government, the federal states, the municipalities and other corporations , institutions and foundations under public law . The Personnel Representation Act applies there .
Organization of the works council
The term of office of the works council is four years. The size of the works council depends on the number of employees in the company who are entitled to vote. All employees who are regularly employed at the time of the election and have reached the age of 18 are entitled to vote; Temporary workers have been allowed to vote since 2001 if they are employed in the company for more than 3 months. The works council exists in accordance with § 9 BetrVG for companies with:
- 5 to 20 employees entitled to vote: from 1 person
- 21 to 50 employees entitled to vote: from 3 members
- 51 to 100 employees entitled to vote: from 5 members
- 101 to 200 employees: from 7 members
- 201 to 400 employees: from 9 members
- 401 to 700 employees: from 11 members
- 701 to 1000 employees: from 13 members
- 1001 to 1500 employees: from 15 members
- 1501 to 2000 employees: from 17 members
- etc. in steps of 500, 2 more up to each
- 4501 to 5000 employees: from 29 members
- 5001 to 6000 employees: from 31 members
- 6001 to 7000 employees: from 33 members
- 7,001 to 9,000 employees: from 35 members
In companies with more employees, the number of members increases in 3000 steps by 2.
The composition of the works council must be equal ( Section 15 BetrVG). The gender that is in the minority in the company must be represented on the works council in proportion to its numerical share in the company if the works council has at least three members.
A chairman or, if he is unable to do so, his deputy represents the works council. He must be elected in the first works council meeting. The employer has to bear the costs of the work of the works council; Among other things, he has to pay for training courses for works council members if this is necessary. The members of the works council must also have the opportunity to perform their duties in the works council during their regular working hours through paid time off. Since the 2001 amendment, one or more works council members must be completely released from work in companies with more than 200 (previously 300 or more) employees ( Section 38 BetrVG). In contrast to previous case law, when calculating the workforce under works constitution law, the temporary workers , who can also have the right to vote, must be counted even though they are not employees of the hiring company.
Basics of works council activities
The works council is a collective body that makes its decisions by majority vote. The chairman represents the works council within the framework of the resolutions passed. The works council is prohibited from participating in party politics; However, the works council members are not restricted in their activities for their union. In Germany the works council (in contrast to other countries) is not the union representation in the company, but formally independent of unions. Nevertheless, according to Section 2 (1) BetrVG, it should cooperate with the unions represented in the company. The works council must represent the interests of all employees in the company, regardless of whether they belong to a trade union. The works council is not legally and financially capable.
The law ( § 2 BetrVG) obliges the works council and employer to work together in a spirit of trust. The members of the works council are also obliged to maintain secrecy insofar as the employer informs them of company or business secrets or they learn of confidential, personal data of employees; if this confidentiality obligation is not observed, members of the works council can be held criminally responsible.
Works council members are protected from ordinary dismissals . In this respect , you enjoy special protection against dismissal , which is only broken when the company or department closes. Extraordinary dismissals and forced transfers to another company, which could lead to the loss of the works council office, are only effective according to Section 103 BetrVG if the works council agrees, or if this consent is replaced by a corresponding judgment of the labor court.
The legal relationship between employer and works council
Principle of trustful cooperation
The BetrVG obliges the employer and the works council or individual works council members to work together in a trusting manner ( Section 2 (1) BetrVG). The cooperation between the employer and the works council should be based on mutual "honesty and openness". In addition, this provision obliges the parties to the company to show mutual consideration and to act in accordance with the law.
This provision is a so-called " general clause ", a legal norm that was deliberately formulated in a general way by the legislature, on the one hand to lay down a principle and on the other hand to create a general regulation for a large number of unforeseeable conflicts. The principle of trusting cooperation is specified in some provisions of the BetrVG. However, it also forms an independent basis for claims - especially for cases that are not covered by the individual provisions of the BetrVG.
The regulation does not fail to recognize that the works council and employer pursue different interests. On the contrary, the principle of trusting cooperation actually requires different interests on the part of the employer and works council. The requirement does not contradict the works council's obligation to exhaust all legal means available to it in the interests of the employees it represents. The Federal Constitutional Court once said:
- If works councils exercise their legal position consistently, extensively and possibly on the basis of ideas developed by the trade unions, then they do not violate constitutional norms or the provisions of the BetrVG. The employer has to accept this regardless of whether it brings him an advantage from his point of view or whether it is directed against his interests. The provisions of the BetrVG serve to adequately balance the specified conflict of interests between employer and employee as well as the corporate interest group. They take into account that the employer - regardless of the organizational form of the company - needs the cooperation of the employees in order to create value and achieve the company's purpose.
According to Section 74 (2) BetrVG, industrial action measures between the works council and the employer are not permitted. Strikes and lockouts are reserved for the parties to the collective bargaining agreement and must not be used as a means of pressure for the dispute between the parties in the company. It goes without saying that employers and works council members are not prevented from conducting industrial disputes as part of their membership in employers' associations or trade unions . In addition, the individual employer can carry out industrial action within the framework of collective bargaining disputes (cf. § 2 Paragraph 1 TVG ). However, this only concerns disputes about the conclusion or content of collective agreements and not disputes about internal issues.
Prohibition of impairing work processes or operational peace
According to Section 74 (2) BetrVG, employers and works councils must continue to refrain from activities that impair the work flow or the peace of the company.
According to § 119 BetrVG, the employer may not hinder the election and the work of the works council. It may neither favor nor discriminate against works council members because of their work. The employer is obliged to implement the works agreements made with the works council in the company.
Participation rights of the works council
The Works Constitution Act provides the works council with the right to participate in various matters.
In principle, the following system can be established for the content of participation rights:
- In social matters (cf. § 87 BetrVG), d. H. whenever the type of work performed is not directly affected, but rather the employee as an individual, “strong” co-determination is provided. When it comes to social decisions, the works council is on a par with the employer; it can help shape decisions.
- In personnel matters such as recruitment or dismissals, the works council has the right to refuse to approve measures (in the case of recruitment, reclassifications, regroupings or transfers) or the right to object (in the case of dismissals). A design option is not available here.
- In economic matters, the works council is limited to a right to information that is regularly exercised by the economic committee . The works council is legally prohibited from directly influencing the entrepreneur's economic decisions.
In terms of the scope of participation rights, a fundamental distinction can be made between
- Information rights , the mere right of the works council to be informed;
- Advisory rights , the right of the works council to discuss certain issues with the employer;
- the right to object , the right of the works council to object to an intended dismissal without being able to prevent it;
- Rights to refuse consent for personnel measures
- (real) co-determination rights , the right to help shape decisions.
The works council can only sensibly exercise its rights under the Works Constitution Act if it is fully informed. The Works Constitution Act therefore places the works council with its knowledge of all operational issues (with a few exceptions) on the same level as the employer. Even company or business secrets are to be communicated to the works council.
No specific reason is required for the works council to request information. From the general regulation of the right to information in § 80 Abs. 2 BetrVG it results rather that the works council "at any time", i. H. documents are to be made available even without a specific reason, provided that these are necessary for proper works council work.
The works council's right to obtain the information requested can ultimately be enforced in court. If the employer repeatedly refuses to pass on information, he can be legally compelled to do so via Section 23 (3) BetrVG.
In addition, the breach of the information obligation by the employer in certain cases constitutes an administrative offense that can be punished with a fine of up to € 10,000, § 121 BetrVG.
The works council's most important information rights are briefly outlined below:
Individual information rights
information paragraph content Employee data Section 80 (2) BetrVG The works council has the right to obtain all data on the company's employees from the employer, insofar as these are available to the employer. This includes in particular data on age, length of service, maintenance obligations , working hours , severe disabilities , pregnancy or origin of the employees. Occupational health and safety, environmental protection Section 89 BetrVG,
Section 6 ArbSchG
The works council must be informed of all occupational safety and accident protection issues as well as corporate environmental protection . The mandatory involvement of the works council can only be exercised in a meaningful way if the works council has been fully informed beforehand. The works council must be informed of the requirements and orders of the competent authorities with regard to occupational safety, accident prevention and occupational accident protection ( Section 89 (2) sentence 2 BetrVG). The documentation required by Section 6 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act must be made available to the works council. In addition, works council members appointed by the works council have to take part in the discussions with the safety officers . The works council must be given the minutes of examinations, inspections and meetings, provided that it has participated in the relevant measures. Workplace design, structural changes, technical systems Section 90 (1) BetrVG,
Section 6 ArbSchG
The employer must inform the works council about the planning of the workplaces (with regard to their design) and provide it with the necessary documents ( Section 90 (1) No. 4 BetrVG).
The employer must inform the works council of all new buildings, conversions or extensions in the company during the planning phase and provide it with the necessary documents ( Section 90 (1) No. 1 BetrVG).
The employer must inform the works council about the planning of technical systems and provide it with the necessary documents including the documentation required by the Occupational Health and Safety Act (risk assessment, protective measures, effectiveness checks) ( Section 90 (1) No. 2 BetrVG)
Working procedures, workflows Section 90 Paragraph 1 No. 3 BetrVG
especially Section 3 , Section 5 , Section 6 , Section 7
The employer must inform the works council about the planning of work processes and work processes and provide it with the necessary documents.
In exercising its duty to monitor compliance with protective provisions, the works council can, on the basis of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, request assessments of health risks for work processes and project planning and monitor the implementation of preventive measures and effectiveness checks to avoid physical and mental illness. The basis for this can be company agreements on occupational safety.
Handling of employee complaints Section 85 (3) BetrVG If an employee has complained to the works council and the works council has considered the complaint to be justified and forwarded it to the employer, the employer must inform the works council about the handling of the complaint. Vocational training Section 96 (1) BetrVG; Section 97 (1) BetrVG; Section 98 (2) BetrVG At the request of the works council, the employer must determine the vocational training needs of the employees in the company and inform the works council ( Section 96 (1) sentence 2 BetrVG). In addition, the works council must be informed about the establishment and equipment of in-company facilities for vocational training , the introduction of in-company vocational training measures and participation in external vocational training measures ( Section 97 (1) BetrVG). Whoever is to carry out in-company or non-company vocational training ( Section 98 (2) BetrVG) also has a right to information . It applies here that the information rights of the works council are not limited to vocational training, but relate to every form of in-company vocational training. Trade or trade secrets Section 80 (1) BetrVG; Section 79 BetrVG Information subject to confidentiality cannot be withheld from the works council with reference to the obligation of confidentiality or data protection, as can be seen from § 79 BetrVG: From the fact that the works council is obliged to maintain confidentiality, it can be concluded that it is fundamentally entitled to such information - as far as these are necessary for the proper work of the works council. Operational changes Section 111 BetrVG The employer must inform the works council in companies with more than 20 employees who are entitled to vote about planned changes to the company. Operational changes consist, for example, in the restriction or shutdown of the entire company or essential parts of the company, relocations, mergers or divisions of the company, fundamental changes to the company organization, the operational purpose or the operating facilities, and the introduction of fundamentally new working methods and manufacturing processes Gross payrolls and payrolls Section 80 (2) sentence 2 BetrVG The works council has the right to inspect the gross wage and salary lists ( Section 80 (2) sentence 2 BetrVG). However, this right is limited to one inspection. The works council has no right to receive copies of these lists. However, the works council can make notes from the lists. Recruitment , classification Section 99 (1) BetrVG The works council must be informed in advance of any employment in the company intended by the employer. The application documents of all applicants as well as all test results, results of medical examinations, results of an assessment center , etc. must be submitted to him. The employer must explain the effects of the hiring on other employees.
The employer must also inform the works council of the intended classification before hiring. The employer must inform the works council of any intended regrouping, i. H. notify the change in the previous collective or company classification of an employee. The works council must also be informed about the hiring or personnel change of a managerial staff ( Section 105 BetrVG)
termination Section 102 (1) BetrVG The employer must inform the works council before any dismissal. The information obligation includes information about the person of the employee to be dismissed, his age, the length of his employment with the company, his maintenance obligations, his severe disability, the reason for the termination, the type of termination, the applicable notice period. Temporary workers Section 14 (3) AÜG Before taking on a temporary worker, the works council must be informed and involved by the leasing company in accordance with Section 99 BetrVG. In addition, the works council must be provided with evidence of the existence and the lapse of the lender's license for commercial temporary employment. Personnel planning Section 92 (1) BetrVG The employer must inform the works council in a timely and comprehensive manner about personnel planning , in particular about current and future personnel requirements as well as the resulting personnel measures and measures of vocational training on the basis of documents. Social affairs Section 87 (1) BetrVG As part of the co-determination right according to § 87 BetrVG, the employer has to inform the works council about all matters regulated in § 87 Abs. 1 BetrVG so that the works council receives the same information as the employer. Subcontractors , freelance workers , contractors , freelancers Section 80 (2) sentence 1 BetrVG The works council has a right to information with regard to the employment of persons or groups of persons who are not in an employment relationship with the employer Accident prevention, occupational safety Section 9 (2) ArbSichG The company doctors and occupational safety specialists must inform the works council about important occupational health and safety issues and accident prevention. In addition, they have to inform the works council of the content of a proposal for work-related or safety-related measures that they make to the employer. Transfer Section 99 (1) BetrVG The employer must inform the works council before any planned transfer of an employee. The employee must be named and the effects of the transfer on other employees must be explained. Preliminary personnel measure Section 100 (2) sentence 1 BetrVG If the employer carries out a hiring, categorization, regrouping or transfer provisionally, he must inform the works council immediately.
Sources of information
In principle, the employer is obliged to inform the works council. In addition, the BetrVG provides for further sources of information for the works council:
- Employees of the company: According to Section 80 (1) No. 1 BetrVG, the works council has to ensure that all legal provisions that apply in favor of the employees are observed. This gives the works council the right to carry out factory inspections at any time and to question individual employees.
- Consultant: According to § 111 sentence 2 BetrVG, the works council can call in a consultant to assist with planned operational changes in companies with more than 300 employees. The works council decides on the involvement, a permit from the employer is not required. However, the employer must be informed about the involvement.
- Lawyers: If a lawyer is only to act in an advisory capacity, he is considered an expert within the meaning of Section 80 Paragraph 3 BetrVG, with the result that a more detailed agreement must first be made with the employer about his involvement. If a lawyer is commissioned to conduct or avoid legal proceedings, an agreement or permission from the employer is not necessary. The employer then has to bear the costs in accordance with Section 40 (1) BetrVG.
- Knowledgeable employees: According to Section 80, Paragraph 2, Clause 3 of the Works Council Act, the employer must provide the works council with competent employees to provide information, insofar as this is necessary for the proper work of the works council. The works council can therefore also use the specialist knowledge of employees in the company as a source of information.
- Experts: According to Section 80 (3) of the Works Council Act , the works council can call in (external) experts if this is necessary for the proper performance of its tasks. However, the works council must agree with the employer on the necessity and the person of the expert. The background to this is the cost of experts. The works council can therefore consult a “free” expert without the consent of the employer or invite them to a meeting.
- Economic committee: According to § 108 Abs. 4 BetrVG the economic committee has to report to the works council immediately and completely about every meeting.
Other information rights
The individual works council members are granted the right to inspect the documents of the works council and its committees at any time in Section 34 (3) BetrVG. This regulation only applies to the internal relationship between individual works council members and the works council body or committees.
Finally, the BetrVG provides in Sections 81 to 86a BetrVG information, suggestion and complaint rights of individual employees, which are actually assigned to employment contract law and also apply if there is no works council in the company.
In economic matters, i. H. In questions of the splitting up, merging or closing of companies or parts of companies, the location, the type, the scope of the company, the organization of the company's activities, the introduction of new technologies, etc., the employer decides on his own, without the works council having any direct influence is provided.
Due to the requirement of trustful cooperation, Section 2 (1) BetrVG, the works constitution assumes that these entrepreneurial decisions are not final before they have been discussed with the works council. The “ideal” employer within the meaning of the BetrVG is therefore always ready to listen to the arguments of the works council and to let the works council influence its planning.
For this purpose, the works council must first be informed of the company's planning. In the cases provided for by law, the employer must also discuss his planning with the works council after informing it. If the planning represents a change in the company within the meaning of Section 111 BetrVG, the employer must also negotiate a reconciliation of interests with the works council - however, the works council cannot enforce a reconciliation of interests.
The right of the works council to discuss such questions with the employer is provided in the following cases, among others:
- Planning of new buildings, conversions and extensions, of production, administrative and other operational rooms, Section 90 (2) BetrVG;
- Planning of technical systems, Section 90 (2) BetrVG;
- Planning of work procedures and workflows, Section 90 (2) BetrVG;
- Planning of the workplaces, § 90 Abs. 2 BetrVG;
- Personnel planning, Section 92 (1) sentence 2 BetrVG;
- Employment promotion and job security, Section 92a Paragraph 2 Clause 1 BetrVG;
- Vocational training for employees, Section 96 (1) sentence 2 BetrVG;
- In-company vocational training institutions, introduction of in-company vocational training measures, participation in external vocational training measures, Section 97 (1) BetrVG;
- Operational changes, § 111 sentence 1 BetrVG.
If the employer repeatedly violates his obligation to discuss these issues with the works council, the works council can enforce its right to advice in a court of proceedings under Section 23 (3) BetrVG.
Right to object to terminations
The treatment of planned dismissals by the works council in accordance with Section 102 BetrVG is similar to advisory rights. The employer must hear the works council before the planned dismissal is pronounced; the works council can express its opinion without being able to immediately prevent the dismissal from being pronounced.
However, in the event of a formal and timely objection by the works council to ordinary dismissal pursuant to Section 102 (3) BetrVG, the dismissed employee will be entitled to continued employment at the individual legal level if the employee files a dismissal protection suit. According to Section 102 (5) of the BetrVG, he must then continue to be employed under unchanged contractual conditions until the termination of the dismissal protection process.
In this way, the works council's right of objection indirectly enables the consequences of termination to be suspended for a limited period of time, which distinguishes it from advisory rights.
The involvement of the works council in the event of dismissals is structured as follows:
Notification obligations of the employer
The employer must consult the works council before giving notice of any dismissal. The duty to be heard applies to any type of termination, including extraordinary terminations or terminations during the probationary period. The law clearly states: "A notice of termination issued without hearing the works council is ineffective", Section 102 (1) sentence 3 BetrVG. However, if the works council has not been heard, the terminated employee must nevertheless assert the ineffectiveness of the termination within a period of 3 weeks, § 4 KSchG . After the three-week period has expired, the originally ineffective termination is also deemed to be legally effective from the start, Section 7 KSchG.
The employer must provide the works council with all necessary information on the intended termination. These include, for example:
- Personal data of the employee;
- Type of termination (extraordinary / ordinary; behavioral, personal or operational);
- Reasons for termination;
- Notice period;
- Termination date;
- Further specific information depending on the type of dismissal (for example: social selection for operational dismissals).
If the employer informs the works council incorrectly or incompletely, this does not always result in the hearing being ineffective. In individual cases, it depends on whether the missing or incorrect information is suitable for influencing the decision-making of the works council.
Reaction of the works council
The works council can initially express concerns about the ordinary or extraordinary termination in writing. In the case of extraordinary termination, the concerns must be received by the employer immediately, at the latest within three days, and in the case of ordinary termination within one week, Section 102 (2) BetrVG. Expressing concerns does not trigger the described right to continued employment . The works council can also remain silent. Then, after the deadline has expired, the consent to the termination is deemed to have been given. The law does not provide for express consent.
The works council can also object to ordinary dismissal in accordance with Section 102 (3) BetrVG. The law does not provide for an objection to extraordinary termination. The objection must be formulated in detail and must relate to at least one of the five reasons for objection listed in Section 102 (3) BetrVG. If an objection is made for other reasons, there is no proper objection within the meaning of Paragraph 3. In practice, it turns out to be problematic, for example, to object to a behavior-related termination. The grounds for objection are basically only aimed at redundancies for operational reasons . Nevertheless, in many individual cases of termination due to behavior or personal reasons, it is possible to use one of the reasons.
As soon as the employer has received the opinion of the works council or the deadline has passed, the employer can issue the notice of termination. The hearing process is thus ended.
If the works council has objected to ordinary dismissal in writing within the period, the employee can demand continued employment until the end of the dismissal protection procedure, section 102 (5) BetrVG , if he files an action for protection against dismissal within three weeks of receiving the notice . The employee must expressly assert the right to continued employment. If the employer does not comply with the employee's request for continued employment, this can be enforced in court.
The employer can avoid the obligation to continue to work by applying to the court by way of an injunction to release him from this obligation, Section 102 (5) sentence 2 BetrVG, or by agreeing with the employee on him to continue paying his wages in the event of an exemption from the obligation to work. In the latter case, however, the employer is entitled to repayment if the dismissal is deemed effective by the court.
Rights to refuse consent
The works council's rights to refuse consent are characterized by the fact that the works council can prevent the measure from being carried out by refusing its consent to a measure. The right to refuse consent is also known as the “right of veto”. These rights thus differ from the mere consultation rights or the right of objection in that they can directly influence a measure planned by the employer. They differ from the (real) co-determination rights in that the works council can only block the measure, but cannot help shape it itself.
The right to refuse consent is only provided for in Section 99 (2) BetrVG. In addition, the legal position of the works council in the selection of persons who are entrusted with the implementation of in-company vocational training, Section 98 (2) BetrVG, is comparable to a right to refuse consent.
The participation of the works council in individual personnel measures
The law grants the works council in Section 99 (2) BetrVG the right to refuse to approve individual measures. The following system applies:
The participation of the works council in individual personnel measures initially requires that at least 20 employees with voting rights are regularly employed in the company. It also assumes that the employer has a
- Setting ,
- Classification ,
- Regrouping or
individual employee plans.
Information obligations of the employer
Before taking any of these measures, the employer must inform the works council about the planned measure and its effects. The employer's information obligations include, for example, information on:
- Type of employment / duration of employment;
- Fixed term of an employment relationship ;
- Deployment and duration of deployment of temporary workers (cf. § 14 Paragraph 3 AÜG);
- Location and length of working hours ;
- Time of action;
- Professional and personal suitability of the employee / applicant;
- Results from a personnel questionnaire ;
- Results of recruitment tests or medical examinations ;
- Effects on other workers.
In the case of planned recruitment, the employer must also provide the works council with the application documents of all applicants. It is not enough just to provide the documents of the applicant whom the employer plans to hire.
If the employer violates these information obligations, this constitutes an administrative offense within the meaning of Section 121 BetrVG, which can be punished with a fine .
Reaction of the works council
The works council can approve the planned measure. With the approval of the works council, the employer can carry out the planned measure. The works council can also remain silent. If he does not make a statement within a period of one week after being heard by the employer, his consent is deemed to have been given, Section 99 (3) BetrVG. Finally, the works council can refuse to approve the planned measure in accordance with Section 99 (2) BetrVG. The refusal of consent must be made in writing, stating the reasons. The works council is limited to the reasons for refusing consent in Section 99 (2) No. 1 to 6 BetrVG. The law does not provide for any further reasons for refusing consent. The refusal of consent must be carried out in such a way that the works council explains in detail why it considers one of the six reasons for refusing consent to be given. It is by no means sufficient to simply refer to the legal basis without explaining why one of the reasons for refusing consent applies.
If the works council refuses to give its approval in due form and in due time, the employer may not carry out the planned measure. Rather, he has to apply to the labor court for the replacement of the works council's approval, Section 99 (4) BetrVG.
In practice, however, the employer will regularly carry out preliminary personnel measures in accordance with Section 100 BetrVG. He can take the measure before the works council has given its opinion or if the works council refuses to give its consent if he considers the measure to be urgently necessary and informs the employee concerned accordingly. In this case, he must inform the works council of the preliminary implementation of the measure. If the works council disputes the urgency, the employer must initiate a labor court procedure within three days to replace the consent of the works council and determine the urgency, Section 100 (2) BetrVG.
If the employer violates these obligations, the works council can initiate labor court proceedings in accordance with Section 101 BetrVG whereby the employer is obliged to repeal the measure by imposing a fine .
Co-determination in a broad sense can be understood as any influence of the works council on business decisions. The Works Constitution Act uses the term at least in the heading to § 102 BetrVG (the right of objection) and in the heading to § 99 BetrVG (the right to refuse consent) in this sense.
In the narrower sense, co-determination is to be understood as "co-creation". The works council's influence on entrepreneurial decisions is not limited to a contradiction or a refusal of consent (the right to say “no”), but rather exists within the framework of legal requirements in actively helping to shape operational issues. In this sense, the term of the law is used, for example, in the introductory sentence to Section 87 (1) BetrVG.
Features of participation
Based on a narrow concept of co-determination, the co-determination of the works council is characterized by the following features:
- Developing the works council's own suggestions: In negotiations with the employer, the works council is not limited to supporting or rejecting the employer's ideas. Rather, he is able to develop, express and, if necessary, enforce completely different, independent ideas.
- Right of initiative : The works council does not have to rely on the employer to regulate a specific field. He can propose a (new) regulation at any time and negotiate with the employer.
- Theory of the prerequisite for effectiveness: According to this principle developed by case law, instructions from the employer in matters subject to co-determination are irrelevant and not to be followed by the employees if an existing co-determination right of the works council has not been observed.
- Compulsory agreement: Matters subject to co-determination are subject to the obligation to reach an agreement. The employer and works council have to negotiate - possibly in an arbitration board - until an agreement is reached.
Requirements for participation
The works council's right of co-determination is initially limited by existing legal and collective bargaining regulations. Matters that are conclusively regulated by law or collective agreements cannot be co-determined by the works council. However, these final regulations also bind the employer, so that any company regulation is completely excluded. Examples include: a ban on smoking next to the petrol pump at a gas station or technical monitoring by the legally required tachograph in the truck.
The co-determination of the works council is limited by another norm in the BetrVG: According to Section 77 (3) BetrVG, wages or other working conditions that are or are usually regulated in the collective agreement cannot be the subject of a works agreement. For years there has been a dispute between jurisprudence and the literature on labor law as to whether the provision in Section 77 (3) BetrVG excludes participation in common collective bargaining matters by concluding a works agreement, i.e. also in the area of the matters of Section 87 (1) BetrVG ( so-called “two-barrier theory”), or whether Section 77 (3) BetrVG has been superseded by Section 87 (1) as the more specific norm and therefore cannot be applied, with the result that the works council has a right of co-determination even in the case of standard collective bargaining regulations (so-called “priority theory "). The jurisprudence follows the priority theory, so that it considers regulations on customary collective bargaining issues to be permissible as long as no works agreement is concluded between the employer and the works council. The trade unions, employers 'associations, but also the vast majority of labor law literature criticize the fact that in this way it is possible to a certain extent for the company parties to regulate things that are usually reserved for the collective bargaining parties, i.e. employers' associations and unions. The literature on labor law, on the other hand, advocates the two-barrier theory, according to which the works council's right of co-determination is also excluded for standard collective bargaining regulations. The case law rejects this theory mainly with systematic considerations: According to the wording, Section 77 (3) BetrVG only refers to company agreements , so that the right of co-determination is not excluded as long as it is not exercised in the form of a company agreement.
In practice it applies that regulations on customary collective bargaining issues are possible and can be made, for example, as a so-called "regulation agreement". In the event of a lawsuit, the labor courts will follow the guidelines of the Federal Labor Court.
If a statutory regulation is not conclusive, it can be regulated according to the principle of favourability (see Section 4 (3) TVG, which is also applicable to the relationship between the law and the works agreement) by means of codetermination through a works agreement. The same applies insofar as a collective agreement expressly allows certain regulations to be made by the company parties (so-called collective opening clause).
Exceptions to co-determination are only possible in the case of real emergencies. This does not include operational necessities, but only really exceptional situations such as fires, burst water pipes or similar existential threats to the company.
Enforcement of codetermination
In principle, the employer and works council should agree on a regulation of matters subject to co-determination. If an agreement does not succeed, the employer or works council can call an arbitration body , which then makes a binding decision, Section 87 (2) BetrVG.
If the employer disregards the works council's right of co-determination, the works council can prevent this through judicial proceedings in accordance with Section 23 (3) BetrVG if the disregard of the right of co-determination is a gross breach of duty by the employer. In addition, there is a special injunction on the part of the works council in social matters ( Section 87 BetrVG), regardless of how serious the breach of duty on the part of the employer is, which can be enforced by means of a general labor court decision-making procedure, in the case of urgency also by way of a temporary injunction .
In addition, disputes about the existence or non-existence of the right of co-determination or its scope can be resolved by the labor court in a so-called preliminary ruling procedure. The works council should regularly consult a lawyer to enforce its claims in court.
Objects of participation
The most important co-determination rights exist in social matters, Section 87 BetrVG. These are characterized by the fact that they do not directly concern the way the work is carried out, but rather questions that arise when the work is being carried out. In addition, there are other co-determination rights relating to individual issues relating to the organization of operational issues.
Participation in social matters
In § 87 para. 1 WCA a final catalog of matters listed in which the council has a say.
Point 1 : Questions about the organization of the company and employee behavior.
According to No. 1, all non-work-related instructions from the employer are subject to co-determination. This applies, for example, to dress codes, smoking or alcohol bans, parking lot regulations, but also the obligation to use the time recording when entering the company, to talk to people when they are returning from sickness or to be on their terms.
Point 2 : Start and end of daily working hours including breaks and the distribution of working hours over the individual days of the week.
According to the prevailing opinion, the duration of the weekly working hours is not subject to the participation of the works council. In accordance with the introductory clause § 87 BetrVG, the works council has a comprehensive right of co-determination in determining the following matters, unless there is a statutory or collective agreement:
- flexible working hours ,
- Introduction or reduction of shift work ,
- Preparation of duty rosters ,
- Establishment and arrangement of on-call duty ,
- Introduction of on- call service ,
- Teleworking , computer operating time,
- Shifts of working hours,
- Introduction, design, change or abolition of any working time models.
The working hours of temporary workers in the hiring company are also subject to co-determination . Since these people work like the employees of the company, they are covered by the codetermination of the works council.
According to No. 2, the works council can have a say in working hours, as well as the location and length of breaks. The question of whether breaks have to be paid for is not subject to participation. The works council can never enforce regulations that put a direct financial burden on the employer. Insofar as the Shop Closing Act still applies, this does not constitute a legal regulation that would block participation: The Shop Closing Act regulates how long a retail store can be open, but not how long the employees work here. It is therefore still possible to have a say in the end of daily working hours in retail.
Point 3 : Temporary shortening or extension of normal working hours.
The arrangement of overtime or short-time work is fully subject to codetermination.
Point 4 : Time, place and type of payment of wages.
This right of co-determination was important when wages were still paid weekly in the pay packet. At most, it is still important today in the context of an account management surcharge, which can be requested and agreed within the framework of co-determination.
Point 5 : List of general holiday principles and the holiday schedule as well as the determination of the timing of the holiday if no agreement is reached between the employer and the employees involved.
According to No. 5 all holiday regulations are subject to co-determination. The question of when, how much leave has to be requested, when to approve it, how disputes are dealt with, is subject to codetermination. In addition, the works council can arbitrarily intervene if employees argue with the employer about the time of their vacation. Because of this question, an arbitration board can be convened in individual cases.
Point 6 : Introduction and use of technical equipment designed to monitor the behavior or performance of employees.
Monitoring of employees by technical equipment is a matter of course in many companies. Data processing makes it possible to carry out extensive surveys with which employee data can be recorded. The right of co-determination includes the introduction and use of all technical monitoring equipment. The employer must therefore make a corresponding agreement with the works council before installing new technology. Technical facilities within the meaning of no. 6 are for example: cameras, telephone systems (with which telephone numbers can be recorded and saved and which regularly open up the possibility of eavesdropping), computer systems, time recording systems, etc. The obligation to co-determine the data recording, data processing and data evaluation. If one of these areas is carried out by technical facilities, the entire matter is subject to co-determination.
Point 7 : Regulations on the prevention of accidents at work and occupational diseases as well as on health protection within the framework of the statutory provisions or the accident prevention regulations .
The statutory accident and health protection has been expanded so much since the new version of the BetrVG in 1972 that most of the participation and co-determination rights of the works council already result from the special statutory provisions, the Occupational Health and Safety Act. The regulation in no. 7 is intended to ensure extensive co-determination of the works council in these areas. This co-determination option is of particular importance in the concrete implementation of the provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Act in companies.
Point 8 : Form, design and management of social institutions whose area of activity is limited to the company, company or group.
The introduction or establishment of social institutions is free of co-determination, as is their abolition. The works council can appoint the employer according to no. 8 do not force you to introduce, build or maintain a social facility. However, as soon as such an institution exists, the works council's right of co-determination also arises. Social facilities are, for example, the canteen, the transport service to the nearest train station, the job ticket, but also the company pension.
According to No. 9 the entire tenancy of an employee is subject to co-determination if he rents a so-called company apartment . The selection of employees to be offered such a tenancy is also subject to co-determination. In contrast, the basic provision or abolition of factory rented apartments is free of co-determination.
Point 10 : Questions of company wage structuring, in particular the establishment of remuneration principles and the introduction and application of new remuneration methods and changes to them.
According to No. 10 there is a right of co-determination in the question of how remuneration actually takes place, i.e. whether remuneration is paid according to working hours, number of pieces or performance. In addition, it is understood as an object of this right of co-determination to ensure “fair wages”.
Point 11 : Determination of piecework and bonus rates and comparable performance-related remuneration, including monetary factors.
If performance-related remuneration takes place or is introduced, the works council has the right to co-determination in deciding which services are to be remunerated and how much.
Point 12 : Principles of the company suggestion scheme.
According to No. 12 there is a right of co-determination when it comes to dealing with suggestions for improvement from employees. First of all, the regulations of the Employee Invention Act must be observed. In addition, the works council can have a say in the question of who decides when and in what way whether an employee invention is taken up and remunerated. The amount of the remuneration is not subject to co-determination.
Point 13 : Principles for the implementation of group work; Group work within the meaning of this provision exists when, within the framework of the operational workflow, a group of employees essentially carries out an overall task assigned to them on their own responsibility.
The introduction of group work is an entrepreneurial decision and therefore free of participation. If group work is carried out, there is a right of co-determination with regard to the group work, its goals and the responsibility of the group for its work result. Furthermore, the works council has a say in the size and composition of the group. There is also an obligation to co-determine when structuring the implementation of the Occupational Safety and Health Act on those hazards that make special safety measures and communication methods necessary within the group.
Participation in other matters
In addition to social matters, the following additional matters are subject to the participation of the works council under the BetrVG:
- Eligibility of an employee's complaint: According to Section 85 (2) BetrVG, the employer and works council have to agree on whether or not an employee's complaint is justified. The question cannot be decided unilaterally by the employer.
- Human- friendly design of work: According to § 91 BetrVG, the works council has a right of co-determination if employees are particularly burdened by changes in their workplace, work process or work environment that obviously contradict the established ergonomic findings about the humane design of work. Co-determination refers to the implementation of appropriate measures to avert, mitigate or compensate for the burden.
- Personnel questionnaires / personal information in written employment contracts: according to Section 94 BetrVG, there is a right of co-determination with regard to the content of personnel questionnaires and the selection of personal information in form employment contracts . The law only speaks of a requirement for consent, but given the enforceability of the content in an arbitration board, there is actually a right of co-determination. The works council can help shape the questionnaires and employment contracts.
- Selection guidelines: According to Section 95 (1) BetrVG, guidelines on personnel selection in the case of recruitment, transfers, regrouping and dismissals must be co-determined by the works council. However, the law provides for the works council's right of initiative to create such guidelines in accordance with Section 95 (2) BetrVG for a workforce of 500 or more in the company. The concept of consent is also mentioned in Section 95 of the BetrVG; however, the fact that the content of the guidelines can also be negotiated in the conciliation body means that there is actually a right of co-determination.
- Introduction of in-company vocational training measures after changing jobs: According to Section 97 (2) BetrVG, the works council can have a say in the introduction of in-company vocational training measures if the following requirements are met:
- The employer has planned or implemented measures that lead to a change in the work activity of employees.
- The professional knowledge and skills of the employees are no longer sufficient to carry out their tasks.
- The works council also has the right of initiative to enforce the introduction of such measures.
- Implementation of in-company vocational training measures, Section 98 (1) BetrVG
- Selection of participants in internal or external vocational training measures, Section 98 (3) BetrVG
- Balance of interests : According to Section 112 (1) BetrVG, the works council has the authority to conclude a balance of interests. However, the reconciliation of interests cannot be enforced in the arbitration board. If the negotiations on a reconciliation of interests fail, this cannot be enforced by the works council. In this respect one can speak of a co-determination-like right.
- Social plan : When negotiating a social plan in accordance with Section 112 BetrVG, the works council has full participation. The social plan is a company agreement that can be enforced by the works council in the arbitration board.
In companies with more than 100 employees, the works council has to set up an economic committee in accordance with Section 106 BetrVG . The employer has to inform the economic committee about economic matters of the company (financial situation, production and sales situation, rationalization projects, etc.) and to advise them with the necessary documents. The required documents include information about the potential acquirer and his intentions with regard to the company's future business activities as well as the resulting effects in the cases of Section 106 (3) No. 9a BetrVG in the case of company takeovers, as amended by the Risk Limitation Act the employees; the same applies if a bidding process is carried out prior to the takeover of the company. In future, this will also apply to companies in which there is no economic committee, thanks to a corresponding right of participation for the works council ( Section 109a BetrVG).
In addition, the works council is to be involved in operational changes (closure, relocation, serious organizational changes). In the case of such operational changes, a reconciliation of interests and a social plan must be negotiated with the works council .
The reconciliation of interests is an agreement with which the “if”, the “when” and the “how” of the planned measure are agreed between the employer and the works council (for example: time of the plant's closure, partial continuation, etc.). The works council cannot force the conclusion of a reconciliation of interests. There is only one right to negotiate. However, the employer must try to reach an agreement with the works council on the reconciliation of interests , up to the point of appeal (and failure) of the conciliation body. If he fails to do this, the individual employees can file an action with the labor court for severance pay if they are dismissed as a result of the change in the company or suffer other disadvantages (compensation for disadvantages according to Section 113 BetrVG)
The social plan regulates the compensation of the economic disadvantages associated with the change of company. This can have a varied content (for example: driver service, company kindergarten, advanced training), but mostly relates to the payment of severance payments . In the social plan, regulations are increasingly being made on the establishment of so-called employment and qualification companies , into which employees should switch in order to qualify there for the primary labor market.
See also: Economic Affairs
Disputes between employer and works council
In the event of disputes between the employer and the works council, a distinction must be made as to whether
- there is a dispute because the employer and the works council cannot agree on a regulatory issue or whether or not
- a dispute exists because the employer or works council has violated their respective legal obligations.
In general, it can be assumed that in the event of disputes about a regulation to be made, the arbitration board will decide, in the event of disputes about a violation of legal obligations, the labor court will decide in the decision-making process .
The Works Constitution Act stipulates in a large number of regulations that employers and works councils have to agree on a specific question. This requirement can be recognized by the constant wording in the BetrVG: “ The verdict of the conciliation body replaces the agreement between the employer and the works council. “In all matters in which the law chooses this formulation, the jurisdiction of the labor court is excluded. In these matters, the legislature expects the employer and works council to reach an internal agreement - if necessary with the help of an arbitration board. An agreement is planned, for example:
- When regulating one of the social matters finally listed in Section 87 (1) BetrVG (see Section 87 (2) BetrVG);
- When regulating the content of a social plan (cf. § 112 Paragraph 4 BetrVG);
- When it comes to the question of whether the timing of attending a seminar affects operational needs (cf. Section 37 (6) sentence 5 BetrVG);
- With the regulation of selection guidelines according to § 95 BetrVG;
- When regulating the content of personnel questionnaires according to § 94 BetrVG.
In addition, there are a number of other regulatory areas in which an agreement between the employer and the works council and, if necessary, the establishment of an arbitration board is provided.
Violation of legal obligations
A distinction must be made between the regulatory disputes and the illegal behavior of the employer and works council. The Works Constitution Act chooses in many regulations the formulation that the employer or works council “has to do” something. Whenever such a wording is chosen, the legislature standardizes the statutory obligations of the employer or works council, sometimes both of them together.
Section 37 (2) BetrVG: Members of the works council are to be released from their professional activity without a reduction in pay if and to the extent that this is necessary for the proper performance of their tasks according to the scope and type of the company.
Section 43 (1) BetrVG: The works council hasto convenea works meetingonce every calendarquarter (...).
Section 75 (1) BetrVG: Employers and works councils have to ensure that all persons working in the company are treated according to the principles of law and equity, (...).
Section 80 (2) BetrVG: In order to carry out its tasks under this Act, the works council must be informed in good time and comprehensively by the employer.
Section 87 (1) BetrVG: The works council has (...) to participate in the following matters (...)
If the employer or the works council (or an individual works council member) violates their legal obligations, the other party can appeal to the labor court in accordance with Section 23 BetrVG.
The prerequisite is first of all any violation of the other part's legal obligations. Furthermore, it must be a “gross” violation. A violation is considered gross by the labor courts if it is either a particularly serious violation or if a legal obligation is repeatedly violated despite advice from the other party.
The legal consequences for violations by employers or works councils against their legal obligations are different.
If the works council or a works council member violates their legal obligations, the employer, a trade union represented in the company , a quarter of the employees of the company who are entitled to vote or the works council itself can apply to the labor court that the works council be dissolved or a member be excluded from the works council, Section 23 (1) BetrVG. If the employer violates his legal obligations, the works council or a trade union represented in the company can apply to order him to do, tolerate or refrain from doing, toleration or omission under threat of a fine or penalty payment, Section 23 (3) BetrVG.
In urgent cases, an application for a temporary injunction can also be submitted . The court then makes a preliminary decision to settle a matter quickly if it is urgent (reason for disposition) and, after a summary examination, there is a "gross" violation (disposition claim).
- As part of the co-determination of the works council in personnel measures, § 99 BetrVG, a special judicial procedure must be observed, which is regulated in § 100 and § 101 BetrVG.
- As part of the co-determination of the works council in social matters, § 87 BetrVG, the works council has an independent right to cease and desist against the employer if the employer carries out or has carried out measures subject to co-determination without the consent of the works council or without a ruling by the arbitration board and there is a risk of repetition. The injunctive relief is not standardized by law, but is nevertheless recognized by the established case law of the Federal Labor Court and predominantly by literature. The claim can be asserted in court regardless of the regulation in § 23 BetrVG. It does not require a gross violation.
- A special judicial procedure is stipulated for contesting the works council election, Section 19 (1) BetrVG.
- If the employer and works council do not agree on an arbitration board chairman or on a certain number of assessors before convening an arbitration board, the labor court decides, Section 76 (2) BetrVG.
- If the employer and works council do not agree on a person who is to be commissioned with in-house vocational training and the employer acts independently, the decision is not made by the arbitration board, but by the labor court, Section 98 (5) BetrVG
- Wolfgang Däubler , Michael Kittner, Thomas Klebe, Peter Wedde (eds.): BetrVG Works Constitution Act: Commentary for practice with electoral regulations and EWC law . 16th, completely revised edition. Bund-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2018, ISBN 978-3-7663-6635-1 .
- Franz Josef Düwell (Ed.): Works Constitution Act. Hand commentary, HaKo-BetrVG with election regulations, EBRG, SEBG. 5th edition. Nomos-Verlag, Baden-Baden 2018, ISBN 978-3-8487-3902-8 .
- Karl Fitting [greeting], Gerd Engels, Ingrid Schmidt , Yvonne Trebinger, Wolfgang Linsenmaier : Works Constitution Act: Hand commentary; [with voting rules] . 29th, revised edition. Verlag Franz Vahlen, Munich 2018, ISBN 978-3-8006-5594-6 .
- Thomas Klebe, Jürgen Ratayczak, Micha Heilmann, Sibylle Spoo: Works Constitution Act: Basic commentary with election regulations . 20th, revised edition. Bund-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2018, ISBN 978-3-7663-6703-7 .
- Reinhard Richardi (Ed.): Works Constitution Act with election regulations. 13th edition. Beck, Munich 2012, ISBN 978-3-406-62849-8 .
Historical and sociological monographs
- Otto Neuloh : The German works constitution and its social forms up to co-determination . Mohr, Tübingen 1956.
- Hans Jürgen Teuteberg : History of industrial co-determination in Germany. Origin and development of their forerunners in thought and in reality in the 19th century . Mohr, Tübingen 1961.
- Juri Hälker: Works council members in role conflicts. Business policy thinking between co-management and counterpower. Hampp, Munich 2004, ISBN 3-87988-800-0 .
- Werner Milert / Rudolf Tschirbs: The other democracy. Employee representation of interests in Germany, 1848 to 2008 . Klartext Verlag, Essen 2012, ISBN 978-3-8375-0742-3 .
- Walther Müller-Jentsch : Codetermination. Employee rights in the company and in the company . Springer VS, Wiesbaden 2019, ISBN 978-3658-24173-5 .
- Wolfram Wassermann: Works Councils. Actors for democracy in the world of work. Westfälisches Dampfboot Verlag, Münster 2002, ISBN 3-89691-523-1 .
- current highest judicial decisions of the BArbG
- Text of the Works Constitution Act
- Codetermination - a good thing. - Brochure from the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs
- DGB: The election process for the works council
- Works Council TV - over 100 short videos for works councils, 2 new ones a week
- ↑ See this and other examples: Hans Jürgen Teuteberg: History of industrial co-determination in Germany. Origin and development of their forerunners in thought and in reality in the 19th century. Tübingen: Mohr 1961.
- ↑ See: Müller-Jentsch (2008): Work and Citizen Status - Studies on Social and Industrial Democracy. VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften p. 160
- ↑ See: Kurt Brigl-Matthiaß (1926): The works council problem. Walter De Gruyter & Co., Berlin and Leipzig
- ↑ See: Müller-Jentsch (2008): Work and Citizen Status - Studies on Social and Industrial Democracy. VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften p. 160.
- ↑ Weimar Constitution. Retrieved May 30, 2008 . In order to safeguard their social and economic interests, the workers and employees receive legal representation in works councils as well as in district workers 'councils structured according to economic areas and in a Reich workers' council.
- ^ IAB Company Panel Employer Survey 2011, Question 77a. The question: “ Does your company have a works council or staff council elected in accordance with the Works Constitution Act or the Personnel Representation Act? ", 4,307 of 15,967 employers surveyed answered" yes ". 
- ↑ BAG, decision of October 22, 2003, 7 ABR 3/03.
- ↑ BAG, decision of March 13, 2013, 7 ABR 69/11.
- ↑ BAG AP No. 3 to Section 23 BetrVG 1952.
- ↑ BVerfG . December 10, 1985
↑ a b c d Jens Gäbert, Brigitte Maschmann-Schulz: Codetermination in Health Protection , 2008, ISBN 978-3-7663-3498-5
Michael Kittner, Ralf Pieper: Arbeitsschutzgesetz , 2007, ISBN 978-3-7663-3201-1
- ↑ so also BAG, January 27, 1998 AP No. 14 (see Fitting / Kaiser / Heither / Engels § 87 Rn. 103, 20th edition).
- ↑ cf. Fitting / Kaiser / Heither / Engels, § 87 Rn. 127, 20th edition.