Works councils are complex bodies. Each group has its own dynamics and the web of local, joint and group works councils is the source of frequently divergent interests on the part of the employee representative. This makes the “right” way of negotiating much more complicated for the employer than the application of the norms set down in works constitution law. Developing a negotiating strategy that takes into account the various interests, expectations (of both the employer and the employee sides), the timing and the peculiarities of individual industries is the key to success.
With the strength of our many years of experience with works councils of the most divergent kinds, we advise our clients in every phase of conflict resolution and conflict avoidance, starting with the development of a meaningful negotiating strategy and continuing to the conciliation board and proceedings for an order of the labor court. Our advisory services include the following topics:
- Structuring reorganizations under labor law aspects, negotiations for the equalization of interests and social plan, consultation for mass dismissals
- Equalization of interests and social plan arising from the digitalization of work processes
- Negotiation of shop agreements on topics such as working time, employee data protection, MIFID II, occupational safety and protection, compensation principles
- Handling of advisory and information rights of works councils and economic committees during a transaction – Works Constitution Act and Restructuring Act
- Design of works constitution law structures
- Handling of matrix structures
- Support of employers during works council elections
- Sanctioning of works council member, special termination protection
- Resolution of deep-seated conflicts through new avenues for internal conflict management
- Counsel in litigation, e.g. concerning the scope of the work council co-determination rights, jurisdictional questions, during the hiring process, on the necessity of works council training seminars and challenges to election results
Our specialists for any questions concerning works constitution law are Caroline Bitsch and Dr. Thilo Mahnhold. Works constitution law is a regular topic in our Client Newsletters and in our Breakfast Club.