No typist without necessity
(Higher Labor Court of Berlin-Brandenburg, decision dated August 14, 2015 – 3 TaBV 417/15)

Under Section 40 (2) of the Works Council Constitution Act (BetrVG) the works council is entitled to receive from the employer office staff for meetings, consultation hours and day-to-day managements – but only to the extent necessary. Here, the decision as to whether or not and to what extent these resources for completing the works council’s functions specified in Section 40 (2) of the BetrVG are necessary and thus should be provided by the employer is incumbent on the works council.

However, the works council is not entirely free to decide whether or not and to what extent, for example, a typist is required. The Higher Labor Court of Berlin-Brandenburg has made this clear. The Works Council must refrain from making its decision purely on the basis of its subjective requirements. When it comes to making its decision, the works council must take into account whether and, if so, which office tasks it would have completed not by its members themselves, but by office staff, the circumstances in the business (e.g. which employees outside of the works council have a typist) and in the works council (e.g. number of members and share of full-time staff council members; relief of works council members with an office worker) as well as the resulting costs for the employer.

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