Status: 01/15/2022 09:46 a.m
It should be easier for employees to form works councils in the future. With a tightening of criminal law, public prosecutors should then be able to investigate without reporting if employers hinder the foundation.
Federal Minister of Labor Hubertus Heil wants to make it easier for works councils to form by tightening criminal law, even in the face of employer resistance. The SPD politician told the “Augsburger Allgemeine” that the disruption or obstruction of the establishment of works councils by employers should in future be prosecuted by the judiciary on suspicion ex officio as a criminal offense even without a report being submitted.
fine or imprisonment
Disability is already prohibited in the Works Constitution Act and is punishable by a fine or imprisonment of up to one year. “In reality, however, we see again and again that people who want to set up works councils are harassed,” said Heil. “That’s why I will make sure that those who obstruct the establishment of works councils will soon have to deal with the public prosecutor.”
“Many do not dare for fear of the job”
So far, according to Section 119 of the Works Constitution Act, obstructing works council elections has been a so-called petition offense and can only be prosecuted at the request of employee representatives, unions or the company. “Many do not dare to report the obstruction of a works council for fear of losing their job,” said Heil.
In the future, it will therefore be sufficient for a law enforcement agency to be aware of such a process in order to start investigations, Heil explained. “We will change the law accordingly.”