A works council has various rights. With its rights, the works council can exert a lot of influence on company decisions. Which rights can be considered and how far do these powers reach?
The right to be consulted and the right of consent are the best known rights and most important powers of the works council.
Works councils also have other rights, such as the right of initiative. It is important not only for entrepreneurs but also for works councils to limit any adverse consequences for the staff and the continuity for the company. If, for example, there is no policy to prevent undesirable behaviour in the workplace or there is no complaints procedure, the works council can use its right of initiative and ensure that certain rules/policies are drawn up for the entrepreneur. Thus the works council can influence the entrepreneur’s policy.
Another right of the works council is the right to ask the court to appoint an expert to bring order to a company. An example of a works council that used the latter power is the works council of Big Bazar. This works council temporarily prevented bankruptcy of the company by filing an application with the court.
With its powers, the works council can therefore actively test the management’s policy, try to influence it and thus represent the interests of employees and the company. As a works council, do not underestimate the scope of your powers and, as an entrepreneur, do not underestimate the influence a works council can have. The works council really matters and (therefore) must be taken seriously.
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