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How dialogue between the works council and employer supports cooperation

Today’s world is marked by growing agility, increasing complexity, accelerating digitization and constant innovation which is rapidly effecting and making their way into our working environment while creating remarkable changes. The fourth industrial revolution, leading to Industry 4.0 and Labour 4.0, are permanently changing the world of work. Therefore, employees and employers must increasingly deal with the issues of re-orientation and changes in the working and business environment – which in many cases can create challenges effecting the entire organization. In addition to the issue of employee data protection, the central issue and regular cause for discussion between employer and works council is the handling of the general co-determination rights of the works council.

To help organizations cope with these challenges, we founded Betriebsdialog (-> corporate dialog). The name speaks for itself and demonstrates our mission: the establishment of a working environment in which there is a fair balance between the interests of the works council and the employer. With our services, we enable the operating parties to strategically stay ahead of the game in terms of expert knowledge and to pursue their interests in a cooperative manner: a win-win solution for works councils and employers at eye level.

Are you planning to introduce new IT-tools or regulations? Do you see challenges in the near future with operational changes? You are already in the middle of a process of operational change? The sides are hardened and the prospect of reaching a common and entrepreneurial positive solution is disappearing? This is where Betriebsdialog comes into place.

The co-determination guide

Introduction of new digital systems or processes in the company usually creates a certain natural strain for both parties. The reason for this is that the Works Constitution Act provides works councils with very extensive co-determination options regarding the „technical infrastructure“ (§87 Paragraph 1 No. 6 BetrVG). Informing the works councils about planned projects right from the beginning is already a debt to be paid (§80 BetrVG) but unfortunately often missed in the first step or alternatively hard legal support is used. This procedure often ends at the conciliation board and is tedious, cost-intensive and usually only solves the project selectively. However, our recommendation is to focus on the question of suitable, timely and comprehensive communication, concrete operational process implementation and the relationship between the involved parties, rather than on the mere legal argumentation.

What does the Add-On service look like?

Communication strategy: According to §80 BetrVG, the employer must inform the works council about a planned software introduction in a timely and comprehensive manner. We draw up an individual plan for the content and timing of the optimal information of the works council.

Workshops: We facilitate and moderate focused negotiation meetings. In addition to reviewing the underlying data, facts and perspectives, we actively contribute individual solutions and implementation approaches.

Works agreement: According to §87 BetrVG IT systems fall under the regulations of a „technical infrastructure“. This is a compelling fact requiring the consent of the works council. With the involvement of your works council, we develop tailor-made works agreements that meet all requirements. Attention: Without a valid works agreement between the employer and the works council, there is a risk that the software may have to be switched-off.

Workers‘ data protection: The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force on May 25th, 2018. By this point in time at the latest, employers are obliged to make the issue of employee data protection very transparent for their employees and the works council. For this purpose, the employer must comply with the increased requirements of Art. 88 paragraph 2 DSGVO. We support you in this process and draw up or optimize existing works agreements with the involvement of your works councils.

The added value

  • Together with you, we establish and define a procedure for communication to the works council committee, the „stumbling blocks“ that are relevant for co-determination while bringing in our IT know-how to the process.
  • We guide you as a knowledgeable scout during the system implementation and facilitate both parties in an impartial manner*.
  • The co-determination guide is the proven, flexible and budget-friendly alternative to the classic external expert for the works council. In addition, we take the relationship level into account.
  • We create individual works agreements for you on the basis of company co-determination in accordance with §77 BetrVG – legally verified in cooperation with our partner law firm.
  • We develop business-oriented, practical and sustainable win-win solutions without „losers“ together with both parties.

*All-partyness means emphatically interacting with each participant without favouring one party.

Projects and implementations

Below you will find a selection of our already successfully completed digitization projects and implementations all resulting in win-win solutions for the works council and employer:

  • HR management software with manager and employee self-service like Workday HCM, SuccessFactors, etc.
  • Digital personnel file
  • Payroll system / payroll accounting system
  • Time & attendance system
  • Electronic applicant tracking system
  • Shift scheduling program
  • Automated route and order planning
  • Bring your own device
  • Microsoft Office 365
  • Salesforce CRM
  • Intranet & internet usage

Are you also facing changes in the working and business environment? The team of Betriebsdialog (-> corporate dialog) will be happy to support you. Please contact us for an appointment without obligation.