What you need to know about your claims
The employee representative committee represents the interests of the workforce. She protects and promotes the employees. She must not be influenced by her employer. Above all she should be able to work without fear of economic loss or other drawbacks. In order for the members of the committee to succeed in these regards it is imperative that they receive training.
Use your entitlement to training
As a member of the employee representative committee you have the right to training. Included in these sessions are paid leave and the seminar, travel and subsistence costs. However, you only have an entitlement to training if the training is “necessary”. What that means must be clarified when there is doubt. Employers often argue that trainings are too expensive or extensive. Nevertheless, the employer cannot require that members train each other or train themselves through self-study. Also a numerical limitation of the training entitlement does not exist.
How you know what is “required”
When it comes to the “required clause” there is a distinction between basic and specialized knowledge. Basic knowledge is always required. This includes knowledge of the industrial relations law, the right of termination, the Labor Protection Act, the General Act on Equal Treatment or the use of computers. In regard to these points each committee member must be up to date. Specialized knowledge (such as in special legal and technical areas) is only required when a matter arises concerning the operation or the employee representative committee, for instance when an economic committee is to be established. Then in-depth training can be regarded as “required”. Good to know: To participate in a training course, you need a committee decision. Furthermore the employer must be informed.
What you should consider when choosing the training
When choosing training seminars you must take into account the operational issues, especially the timing. If the employer finds it unreasonable, then the conciliation board must decide. Also note the price to performance ratio. As employee representative committee you should compare several different training offers. If a seminar contains not only “required” modules, then you are only permitted to participate in the “required” parts of the seminar, unless a separate participation does not make sense. In this case a seminar is considered “required”, as long as the curriculum consists of more than 50% required content.
You have a claim to training as provided by §37 VII BetrVG (industrial relations law): You can demand 3 resp. 4 weeks of paid leave for the participation in state-approved training seminars per term. However, you have to bear the costs of these trainings.
What to do when the employer refuses?
Only a qualified employee representative committee can carry out its tasks. For this it has to acquire the necessary knowledge. If an employer refuses to bear the costs or to make committee members available, he is impairing the work of the committee. If this is the case then you should assert your rights. Have our labor law firm explain to you the possible liability risks and procedural peculiarities.
The work of an employee representative committee carries responsibilities. That’s why it is important that you assert your claim for training. Only with sound knowledge can you represent the rights of your fellow employees.
You want to be legally trained? You want to have your claim for training checked?
If you have any further queries, then our labor law firm is happy to help.