What are the tasks of the works council?
The tasks, rights and duties of a works council are governed by the Works Constitution Act (Betriebsverfassungsgesetz). The works council and the employer are obliged by law to cooperate in a spirit of trust in the interests of the employees of a company. The employer must inform the works council about many things and must also make documents available.
The employer must consult the works council beforehand on some matters, for example in the case of a dismissal. The employer must inform the works council about the person to be dismissed and the reasons for dismissal.
The works council has a right of co-determination on some issues. This means that the employer may not make a decision without the works council. This applies, for example, to the question of when the daily working time begins and ends.
The works council ensures, for example:
- that all employees are classified in the right wage group,
- that breaks and working hours are observed and
- that occupational safety and accident prevention regulations are observed (for example, that employees wear helmets or safety shoes at work).
The works council holds consultation hours for employees and conducts works meetings. It can also negotiate company agreements. Furthermore, it should also support the integration of foreign employees into the company.
The works council may not divulge confidential information.