What do we need a works council for? (German employment law)

06. April 2023
  • Labour Law

Works councils (Betriebsräte) are a peculiar invention of German labour law. What are they good for?

By Rupay Dahm, specialist lawyer for labour law, Berlin

The works council is the parliament of staff in your company. Many managers value works councils as mouthpiece and point of contact for the entire workforce:

  • As a spokesperson for the staff, the works council can address problems as soon as they arise. This way they can be solved quickly before any customers are disappointed or employees demotivated.
  • The works council can work out better and quick solutions to disturbances, conflicts and problems together with the management.
  • The works council is there for you in case of any problems or issues, to support you and your colleagues.
  • If you’re a works council member or thinking of becoming one, this is a great chance to learn a lot about management, negotiation skills, public relations, employment law, democracy at work, legal procedures and so much more!
  • The works council can negotiate compensations in case of layoffs. Apart from that, there is no right to a severance in German law.
  • The works council can negotiate clear and fair regulations for shift planning, overtime, stress reduction, wage structure, distribution of tasks, etc.
  • The main task of the works council is the improvement of internal procedures and working conditions.

Find out how exactly works council can improve your workplace.

These are the basic steps to set up a works council. You need help with the election procedure? We’re happy to help! Just call us or send us a message.