On 4 February 2016 (docket number: 10 TaBV 2078/15) the Higher Labour Court Berlin-Brandenburg (Landesarbeitsgericht, LAG) ruled that where only individual works council members breach their legal duties, the works council will not be dissolved as a whole.
In the case at hand, the parties were in dispute over the dissolution of the works council due to a breach of duties according to sec. 23 para. 1 of the German Works Constitution Act (Betriebsverfassungsgesetz, BetrVG). The works council was the first works council which had been established at the employer. According to the employer, the works council intended to backdate decisions regarding the participation of its members in training, aiming to obtain monetary benefits for its members and itself. The employer got suspicious after receiving emails from the – at the time of the court ruling – former chairman of the works council containing decisions of the works council which had not been mentioned in previous emails on the same topic. The Higher Labour Court Berlin-Brandenburg ruled that the works council could not be dissolved as any breaches of duties would not be based on a collective decision of the works council but would have only been conducted by individual members. A collective decision would be necessary in order to dissolve the works council as a whole.