Contributed By Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH (Cologne)
If an intended outsourcing leads to an operational change ('Betriebsänderung') in the establishment, the employer must negotiate a balance of interest ('Interessenausgleich') and a social plan ('Sozialplan') with the works council, in accordance with section 111 of the Works Constitution Act ('Betriebsverfassungsgesetz'). Such an operational change could be a splitting-up of the establishment (concerning the outsourcing establishment) or the merging of establishments or parts of it (concerning the insourcing establishment). An outsourcing does not have to be negotiated with a union in every case. However, depending on the importance of such outsourcing and the potential affect on whether or not collective bargaining agreements would still be applicable to employees, it might help to involve an union.