works councils

Germany to Boost Works Council Rights Amid the Pandemic

The Federal Cabinet has introduced a draft bill to make it easier for employees to establish and elect works councils and to facilitate the works councils’ work in an increasingly digitalized work environment, the “Betriebsrätemodernisierungsgesetz“.

Less Red Tape and More Protection

The draft bill intends to facilitate the establishment of works councils, in particular in smaller companies and to strengthen the protection of the employees involved. To justify the need of the draft bill, the Federal Cabinet relies on statistics according to which only 9 % of the operations in western Germany with works council capacity have elected a works council. Employers shall be hindered to prevent the election of a works council in a more effective manner than before.

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Proposed German Equal Pay Act May Complicate Remuneration Issues

Statistics reveal a difference of 7 percent between the remuneration paid to men and that paid to women with the same qualifications in Germany. The average hourly wage even shows a difference of 22 percent, making pay discrepancy in Germany one of the highest in the EU. In order to adjust these wage injustices, the German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth submitted a first preliminary ministerial draft of the German Equal Pay Act (Entgeltgleichheitsgesetz) on December 9, 2015. The act is expected to be adopted in 2016.

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