Works a choice

3. Who can vote and who can stand for election?

What individual cases are there in the works council election?

Active voting rights, yesActive voting rights no
Employees in job sharing 
Employees with flexible working hours who work on demand or in a capacity-oriented manner 
Partial retirement - active phasePartial retirement - passive phase (release phase)
(at least 18 years old) traineesemployer
Short-time work zeroExtraordinarily terminated employees with receipt of the notice of termination, insofar as further employment does not take place
Marginally employedGraduates, PhD students
Part-time workersFree commercial agents
Absent employees (vacation, illness, home work, federal voluntary service, military service, parental leave, maternity leave)Freelance workers
Fixed-term workersExecutives
Temporary workersEmployees in vocational preparation measures
Ordinarily terminated employees until the end of the notice period and in the event of an action for protection against dismissal, if the employee continues to be employed during this periodOrdinarily terminated employees after expiry of the notice period and without continued employment
InternsStudent interns
Temporary workers who are expected to be on the job for more than 3 monthsRetraining
Teleworkers, insofar as they are integratedContract employees, contractor employees


Passive right to vote: Who can be elected to the works council?

Eligible employee (»passive right to vote«) within the meaning of the Works Constitution Act is, according to § 8 BVerfG, who

  • is entitled to vote and
  • has been with the company for at least 6 months (or has worked for the company as a home worker.)

How do you calculate the 6-month length of service?

The (last) election day is decisive for the calculation of the 6-month length of service. The 6-month employment must be continuous, i.e. without interruption. Employment times in other companies of the same (group) company are included. Employment periods before the age of 18 are also to be taken into account.

The deadline does not apply if the company has not yet existed for 6 months.

Are temporary workers allowed to be elected as works council?

No, temporary workers cannot be elected in the company to which they were hired. You can, however, be elected to the works council of the temporary employment agency.

Can terminated employees also be elected to the works council?

If a dismissed employee files a dismissal protection suit and the proceedings are still pending on election day, the dismissed employee is eligible for election. If the terminated employee is elected, the office is suspended until the dismissal protection proceedings have been legally concluded.


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