When is the works council entitled to information, and to what information is it entitled?

First of all, the works council has a passive right to information. That means, the entrepreneur has to provide certain information upon his own initiative. For instance, the director has to provide the works council with an annual report.

Besides, the director has to provide the works council with information when submitting a request for advice or consent. This includes in any event:

  • The grounds for the decision
  • The expected effects of the decision on the personnel
  • The measures the director intends to take regarding these effects.

The works council is also allowed to request information from the director which is reasonably necessary to perform its duties. This is referred to as active right to information. The main rule here is that the works council, and not the director, determines which information is necessary. The director cannot hide behind the argument that the information is confidential because for this reason the director can impose an obligation of secrecy on the works council.

Does the director provide insufficient information and is he not prepared to provide more information? For this reason, the works council can give a negative advice. This ensures the remedy of appeal to the Enterprise Division if the director derogates in his decision from the advice given by the works council.