A new work agreement signed between Volkswagen AG management and employees to provide for mobile working.
Under the terms of the agreement, workers will have employees the opportunity to work remotely to provide “greater compatibility between work and private life.”
“Volkswagen now has a very progressive agreement concerning mobile working. This will foster employee satisfaction and responsibility. At the same time, we will be improving the quality of work and productivity,” said Karlheinz Blessing, member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft responsible for human resources, in a statement. “Except where there are objections as a result of specific conditions at a plant, employees will in future be able to organize their work in a way which fits the stage they have reached their lives – some employees because they are young parents and others because they are caring for relatives.”
The company said “employees will receive greater possibilities for mobile working, for example because they can decide for themselves where they want to work outside their plant. Work performed by an employee occasionally or on fixed days outside his or her plant will be considered to be mobile work. Employees will be able to divide their work flexibly between their plant and other locations.”
“In the survey on ‘good work in the office’, in which 21,000 colleagues participated, many stated that they wanted better mobile working possibilities. These will now become reality as a result of the works agreement, without anyone being under an obligation to engage in mobile working,” said Bernd Osterloh, chairman of the General Works Council, in a statement. “The new provisions will mean that many of our colleagues be able to organize their work and private lives better in the future. It is important that we clearly agreed that mobile working will not be a back door to unpaid overtime.”
Key points of the works agreement:
Voluntary nature of mobile work for both parties: Participation in mobile work is voluntary. Neither the company nor the employee will be able to insist on an employee performing mobile work.
Suitable work: The employee’s work must be suitable for mobile working. In other words, it must be possible for the employee to be absent from his or her workplace at the plant without impairing the results of the work, company processes or contact with the company.
Working time: An employee’s individual weekly working time will remain unaffected in the case of mobile working. Times at which the company must be able to contact the employee will be agreed on the basis of company and private requirements. Outside the agreed times, the employee is entitled to be unavailable for contacts.
Rights of the Works Council: The codetermination rights of the Works Council remain unaffected. The rights of the Works Council must already be taken into consideration in the application procedure for mobile working.