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What does a works council do?

The Works Constitution Act regulates the tasks, rights and duties of a works council. For example, the works council and the employer must work together trustfully. Documents from the employer must also be made available to the works council and information must be exchanged. In the event of a dismissal, for example, the employer must consult the works council beforehand. The employer must inform the works council about the person who is to be dismissed and the reasons for the dismissal.

The works council has a right of co-determination on some issues. This means that the employer is not allowed to make decisions without the works council. This applies, for example, to the question of when the daily working time begins and ends. 

The works council also pays attention to the following points:

  • that all employees are categorised in the correct wage group,
  • that breaks and working hours are adhered to and
  • that health and safety regulations are observed (for example, that employees wear helmets or safety shoes at work).

The works council holds consultation sessions for employees and organises meetings of the workforce.

It can also negotiate company agreements between the works council and the management. It is also supposed to help foreign employees integrate into the company. The works council is not allowed to disclose confidential information.