The works council has a right to means of communication

Pursuant to section 40 (2) of the Works Council Constitution Act (BetrVG), the employer must provide the works council with the necessary information and communication resources for meetings, consultation hours and day-to-day management.

This also includes access to the internet.

This represents a generally used, comprehensive source of information which the works council regularly needs for the proper performance of its duties. If it is possible to set up internet access without further ado (activation of the works council's personal computer) and the use does not lead to special costs, the employer cannot deny internet access.

With this reasoning, the Berlin-Brandenburg Regional Labour Court granted the application of a works council to be granted access to the internet by activating the personal computer. The court held that it was irrelevant whether the works council needed information from the internet for current issues; rather, the works council must always be able to obtain information from the internet. It was also not decisive whether the works council could also obtain the information by other means and in which way the employer used the internet.

As the Federal Labour Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht - BAG) in its decision of 23 August 2006 - 7 ABR 55/05 - partly set different standards for the use of the internet by the works council, the employer's appeal on points of law to the Federal Labour Court was allowed.

Order of the Berlin-Brandenburg Higher Labour Court of 9 July 2008 - 17 TaBV 607/08


Source: Press release no. 30/08 of the LAG Berlin-Brandenburg of 26 August 2008


Attorney at Law Michael Ullrich, LL.M. (Information Law)