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Fake camera in the workplace – No co – determination right for works council

The works council does not have a co-determination right where the employer installs a fake security camera on the premises.

This question was subject to a decision issued by the higher labour court Mecklenburg-Vorpommern dated 12 November 2014, docket number 3 TaBV 5/14. The employer, a clinic, had installed a fake camera at the back entrance without seeking the works council’s prior consent. The works council was of the opinion that this action triggered its co-determination right pursuant to section 87 Works Council Constitution Act and demanded the establishment of a conciliation board.

The higher labour court sided with the employer and negated the trigger of any co-determination right. A co-determination right pursuant to sec. 87 para. 1 no. 6  Works Council Constitution Act was negated because the fake camera would not enable the employer to monitor the behaviour or performance of the employees whilst using technical devices. With a non-working camera, the employer is not in a position to interfere with the employees’ personal rights.

In addition the court ruled that with a fake camera, the employer is not able to impose any codes of conduct or instructions or measures on the employees. The employees are still, even after the installation of the fake camera, able to enter and leave the building without any new rules being imposed on them. The fake camera does not give the employer the ability to control the employees. Thus, the court also negated a co-determination right pursuant to section 87 paragraph 1 no. 1 Works Council Constitution Act.