Elke Ahlers

Institue for Economic and Social Research (WSI), Hans-Böckler-Foundation

The digitization of work in the view of works councils in Germany

Elke Ahlers, Institue for Economic and Social Research (WSI), Hans-Böckler-FoundationThe digital transformation of  work is a highly relevant topic for trade unions and works councils. Especially works councils experience the current developments at first hand: namely directly on the basis of the challenges, potentials and problems within their company.Therefore, WSI conducted a works councils survey in 2016 to obtain a cross-sectoral overview of the form in which digitalization occurs in the companies in Germany. The impact of digital transformation on the workforce has been examined. Above all, the working conditions of employees and codetermination issues have been surveyed.The findings  show clearly that the digital transformation is seen mostly positive by the majority of works councils and perceived as opportunity to reorganize the work. Topics such as working hours and qualification are high-rated on the agenda of works councils. Furthermore, the works councils observe critically the tendencies in increasing surveillance of employees and  therefore,  a deterioration of working conditions.

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