The German Federal Labor Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht – BAG) has ruled that when an employer provides Facebook users access to publish posts on the company’s Facebook page that relate to the behavior or performance of individual employees, that process is subject to negotiation and co-determination of the works council.
The ruling is of particular significance especially for companies with an existing works council in Germany that operate a Facebook page or a page on a similar social network with a commenting function for users.
Powerful trade unions often are a thorn in the side of employers. But if a company tries to reduce the trade unions’ influence, it may violate the freedom of association under Article 9 section 3 of the German Constitution (Grundgesetz – GG). This was made clear in a recent ruling of the Labor Court (Arbeitsgericht) Gelsenkirchen (judgment of March 9, 2016 – 3 GA 3/16).
After a long wait the time has finally come: the draft ministerial bill regarding the reform of the German Act on the Supply of Temporary Employees (Arbeitnehmerüberlassungsgesetz – AÜG) is out. On November 16, 2015, the draft bill entered “early coordination,” i.e. a period of coordination with the Office of the Federal Chancellor prior to coordination between the various ministerial departments. The cabinet decision is due by the end of the year. The law is expected to come into effect on January 1, 2017.