Software introduction or industry 4.0 in the works constitution

Your expert:
Dr. Julia Pfrogner

The challenge
Industry 4.0 or the digitalisation of industrial work and the Works Constitution Act with co-determination rights of the works council, which date back to 1972 - How does that fit together?

Employers and works councils ask themselves this question especially when new software such as SAP, Microsoft Office 365 etc. is introduced.
Especially the introduction of cloud-based software often makes the works council's suspicious (keyword "CLOUD Act").

Automatic updates also often trigger concern among works councils about losing opportunities for co-determination.

Since almost all software is a technical device which at least enables performance and behaviour control (regardless of whether the employer wishes to use it or not), the employer cannot use it without a works agreement with the works council pursuant to § 87 (1) no. 6 BetrVG. Improved functionality, pressure from customers to use compatible systems or simply the desire to keep up with the times in terms of technical development can be urgent reasons for the employer to find agreements with the works council as quickly, efficiently and practicably as possible.

Our offer for you

We are happy to advise you on the introduction of a new software. In doing so, we attach importance to a balance of employer and employee interests and find modern mechanisms which on the one hand take into account the co-determination rights of the works council appropriately, but on the other hand prevent the parties from reopening negotiations for each update.