Forschungs- und Beratungsstelle für betriebliche Arbeitnehmerfragen

Introduction to the job as a works council member and the German Works Constitution Act (BR1)

What rights and duties does a works council have and how can it use them? How is German labor law working and what is important about it?
The seminar will give an introduction to the Works Constitution Act and the German system of labor relations. It will discuss the general duties of a works council in section 80 BetrVG/WCA and will present some practical issues for the organization of the works council. The objective is to provide members of the woco with practical and theoretical knowledge for their day to day business.

The seminar will focus on the following subject matters:

• Introduction to the daily business of works councils
• Practical organization of the works council
• Introduction to the German system of law and labor relations
• Relevant sections of the Works Constitution Act
• General duties of works councils (section 80 BetrVG)
• Forms of co-determination
• Rights and obligations of works council members

1. Introduction to the daily business of works councils

2. Works council basics
2.1 The works council in the German system of co-determination
2.2 Law basics - introduction to the German system of law and labor relations
2.2.1 Individual labor rights (Individualrecht)
2.2.2 Collective labor rights (Kollektivrecht)
2.2.3 Law and labor relations
2.3 Structure and fundamental terms of the Works Constitution Act
2.3.1 Company law and definition of the establishment
2.3.2 Structure of the works constitution institutions
2.3.3 Fundamental terms of the Works Constitution Act

3. Laws and participation rights
3.1 Law of employment, labor relations, and the norm pyramid
3.2 Making sense of German labor law and how to use it
3.3 Examples to understand the works council tasks
3.4 Rights of the works council and its members

4. Conduct of business of the works council
4.1 General duties of the works council (section 80 BetrVG)
4.1.1 Control and surveillance tasks
4.1.2 Occupational safety and support tasks
4.2 Practical examples for tasks of the works council
4.3 Meetings of the works council (section 30 BetrVG)
4.4 Assignment of tasks to committees (section 28 BetrVG)
4.5 Assignment of tasks to working groups
4.6 Decisions of the works council

5. Participation rights and duties of the works council
5.1 Information rights
5.2 Counseling and consultation rights
5.3 Co-determination (section 87 BetrVG)
5.4 Discussion and admittance obligations of the works council
5.5 Duty not to engage in industrial action

6. Practical co-determination:
6.1 Solving works council tasks with the three step method „Saseler Dreischritt"
6.2 Outlook on fields of co-determination (human resource and social affairs)