Are you new to Germany’s betriebsrat system?

If you are new to Germany, then you should learn about german employment laws. Labor laws in all European countries are more or less similar but are quite different from Non-European countries. Germany has their own system of labor legislation with emphasis on collective bargaining for the benefit of employees. The labor code is not a single law, rather a collection of agreements that have full legal status with systematic body of rights. If you are from a Non-European country, then you may not have experienced an employment law regulating your relationship with your employer. However, in Germany, labor laws and codes regulate the relationship between employers and employees.

If you are new to Germany, then it may take more time to get used to their system. Germany formed its betriebsrat in the post world war era to reform their labor rules and regulations. The council has developed itself into a powerful organization and works as an independent body biased more towards employees’ welfare. Here are some quick overviews for people who are new to German system of employment.

In Germany, every employee must have a written form of contract detailing the terms of employment with an organization. Some of the important mandatory details that are to be specified in the contract include details about the parties involved; exact work to be performed; gross salary; start date of employment; location; notice period and vacation details. Most of the employment contracts are unlimited in time. However, there are limited term contracts that are subjected to even more laws and employment laws, because there has to a valid reason for limitation of employment.

There is no German labor law book, which is why the laws are quite confusing for new employees. There are different individual labor laws and collective labor laws. Individual labor law deals with problems related to an individual employee. Some of them include reasons to fire an employee; does an employee have twenty days of paid leave per year; how can an employee terminate his or her employment contract; and so on. Alternatively, a works council represents collective worker force and is responsible for implementing collective labor laws. Every organization has its own betriebsrat. The workers of an organization elect the members of the council. If you are an employee who is eighteen or older, then you are eligible to participate in the election. The betriebsrat is a powerful organization that has co-determination rights to decide on the policies that a management implements.