Timetable for operational changes: Which position should the works council take?
Negotiating a balancing of interests and social plans in the event of restructuring are fundamental tasks of the works council.
In order to be well prepared and to develop your own strategy, you should proceed systematically.
In a legal article (in German) downloadable as a PDF document, Dr. Thomas Koeppen and Dr. Christof Balkenhol explain which issues are vital for a works council to consider and describe how it can position itself optimally.
Security and orientation during restructuring
With many years of experience and a high degree of commitment, Thomas Koeppen supports and advises works councils on restructuring.
Here he frequently teams with the economic expert Dr. Christof Balkenhol.
Presentation of the current operating situation
First, the current situation in the company or in the area in question is assessed. The employer should disclose all relevant existing organizational details, including personnel capacity. These details must contain only contemporaneous data – a data snapshot of the enterprise on a single, recent date – so that an accurate picture is provided.
Knowing and assessing employer goals
The works council must understand the employer's objectives. It needs to know what the implementation of the organizational structure changes is intended to achieve. In particular, the works council must be aware of the planned personnel capacities in the individual organizational units.
Creating a transfer plan
The employer draws up a "transfer plan" and discusses it with the works council. It must straightforwardly set out which concrete goals are to be achieved and the concrete measures to achieve them. Planning timeframes must also be specified. These timeframes should be scrutinized by the works council from both a legal and economic perspective.
Examination and evaluation of the planned restructuring
The works council then assesses the economic effects of the planned measures. At this point, the expected long-term effects on revenues and costs must be quantified. The works council must be allowed to independently assess the legal consequences at any time, including the costs of the social plan.
We offer in-house training in preparation for balancing of interests and social plan proceedings.
Thomas Koeppen also serves as a legal expert for balancing of interests and social plan proceedings.