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Germany: Government decides to make Digital Works Council Meetings possible

At the beginning of April 2020, we had already reported on the German government’s draft to male digital works council meetings, digital works council resolutions and digital conciliation boards possible on our blog.

Yesterday, on April 23th, 2020, the Bundestagpassed the Work of Tomorrow Act (Arbeit-von-morgen-Gesetz). In addition to many other adjustments of the current legal regulations to the special situation caused by Covid-19, the law envisages changes to the German Works Constitution Act (BetrVG).

Accordingly, Section 129 BetrVGis to be reworded with the heading “Special provisions on the occasion of the Covid 19 pandemic”. Participation in meetings of the works council and other works constitution law bodies and the adoption of resolutions by these bodies shall be possible by means of video and telephone conference if it is ensured that third parties cannot take note of the contents of the meeting. Recording shall not be permitted. Section 34, Subsection 1, Sentence 3, BetrVGshall apply with the proviso that the participants confirm their presence to the chairperson in text form.

According to the new Section 129, Subsection 2, BetrVG, these regulations shall also apply to conciliation boards and economic committees.

It shall be possible to hold works meetings, meetings of works council representatives and such of and youth and training meetings by means of audiovisual equipment, provided that it is ensured that only persons entitled to participate can take note of the content of the meeting. Recording shall again be inadmissible.

The Work of Tomorrow Act (Arbeit-von-morgen-Gesetz) still has to be debated conclusively in the Bundesratbefore it can enter into force. (LINK)

Authors: Dr. Tobias Brors, LL.M. and Maren Sievert


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