The crux of the Works Councils Act is the right to give an opinion and the right to consent concerning proposed decisions on certain matters, such as reorganisations and changes to employment conditions. The employer must give the Works Council the opportunity to exercise these rights. If it does not do so, or does not do this correctly, the Works Council is able to have the decision reversed, or at the very least to bring matters to a standstill for a substantial length of time.
Some other aspects of participation where our lawyers are called upon to assist include the right of initiative, the works agreement, the duty of confidentiality, the Works Council Regulations, setting up a Works Council, elections, the employee representative body, the right to information and employee participation on a sale by auction transaction.
Employee participation law operates at the interface between employment law and company law, which is why our lawyers collaborate intensively with the Company Law Practice Group, for example in mergers and acquisitions.
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Participation is the involvement of people in the organisation's decision-making. One example is the participation of employees in the employer's organisation, while another is the participation of the residents in a care home. Our lawyers advise employers on how to determine the form and content of employee participation and how to deal with the Works Council. They also provide support for works councils and residents' participation councils.