Collective agreements have three characterizing functions: A works agreement is a special type of contract concluded between the employer and the works council containing general provisions regarding the working conditions of the individual employees. Works agreements have the same direct and binding effect on the individual employment relationships as statutory law. The works council has general information and consultation rights under the Works Constitution Act. The works council is obliged to ensure that all laws, rules and health provisions are applied correctly and to the benefit of the employees. To perform its duties, the works council must have an established dialogue with the employer. The employer and the works council can agree on works agreements, which are binding on all employees. The legal capacity to collectively bargain is possessed by the trade unions on the one hand and the employer`s associations as well as the individual employer on the other. In fact, collective bargaining mostly takes place at the branch level, even though, in some cases, trade unions may also bargain with the individual employer, provided that it is permitted by their constitutions. A prohibition of the employer`s organization against individual collective bargaining of its members does not affect the validity of the collective agreement but results in the employer`s duty to pay damages.

Most collective agreements are negotiated at the branch or industry level. The trade unions play a vital part in German politics. There is no trade union law in Germany. Even though trade unions are generally defined as associations with no legal capacity, they are legally entitled to collectively bargain as well as to take legal action or to be taken to court. Members are obliged to pay union dues, of which the amount is based on the individual wage level. At the same time, they are entitled to support in labor disputes as well as to legal advice. The membership only ends by termination at the worker`s initiative or by exclusion on the basis of the trade union`s decision, which must be in accord with its constitution. Darüber hinaus sieht der Tarifvertrag für bestimmte Personengruppen Einschränkungen vor: Keinen Antrag auf Umwandlung können Beschäftigte in Altersteilzeit und teilzeitbeschäftigte Schichtarbeiter stellen.

Teilzeitkräfte können die freien Tage nur dann beantragen, wenn die Teilzeit nach dem Stichtag 1.Januar 2019 begonnen hat. Die zweite Komponente wird Zusatzbetrag genannt und wird allen Beschäftigten, unabhängig von deren individuellen Eingruppierung, in Höhe von 400 Euro im Jahr 2019 ausbezahlt. The formation of a works council is not mandatory for employees. The initiative for creating it must come from the employees or the unions. If a company has more than one branch, it is generally possible to create a works council for each separate branch, provided that it has five or more employees. Stufe 3: Hier entscheidet der Arbeitgeber, ob und welche Anträge er genehmigen kann. Dabei berücksichtigt er die in der Stufe 2 mit dem Betriebsrat erörterten Möglichkeiten. Muss eine Auswahl unter mehreren Antragstellern getroffen werden, können Arbeitgeber und Betriebsrat hierfür Kriterien vereinbaren.

Gibt es keine solchen Kriterien, entscheidet der Arbeitgeber hierüber unter Berücksichtigung der betrieblichen und individuellen Interessen.