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  • Topics
  • Works council office
  • Taking minutes and writing minutes
  • Writing minutes in the works council made easy
  • Free sample protocol for download

Tips and tricks for the meeting minutes

Writing minutes in a works council meeting

©doble-d – iStock

Hardly anyone wants to be the secretary of the works council: most people find writing minutes a nuisance and often this task is simply "thrust upon" one of the works council members. In this regard, the role of the secretary should not be underestimated: A carefully prepared record of the works council meeting and resolution is not only a perfect memory aid, but also serves as important evidence in the event of a dispute, which has probative value in court.

With legally binding minutes, you can document what was discussed and decided at the meeting.

Here are some valuable tips on what you need to keep in mind when taking minutes and how to make it easier for you to take minutes at works council meetings.

Several secretaries in the works council

When things get busy in the works council, you have your hands full as secretary. This also means that you can then no longer fully contribute to the discussion. Therefore it makes sense alternate several secretaries in the committee. So you also have Representation, If you are absent from the works council meeting due to illness, vacation or other reasons for not being able to attend the meeting.

In theory, a different member could take the minutes at each works council meeting. However, most committees designate One or more permanent secretaries. This way, not all committee members have to deal with the Formal and legal requirements of the minutes of the meeting know. Who usually takes the minutes can also be defined in the rules of procedure. Only as works council chairman you should rather not take over the taking of minutes, so that you can fully concentrate on your management task.

What belongs in the minutes of a works council meeting?

There are basically no upper limits.

To Minimum content of meeting minutes however, belong:

  • the meeting date
  • the wording of the resolutions
  • The majority of votes with which the resolution was passed and the proportion of votes with which a resolution was passed or the motion to pass the resolution was rejected
  • the signature of the chairperson and at least one other works council member
  • the attendance list, in which each participant in the works council meeting must sign in personally, including the employer, the members of the youth and trainee representation, the store steward of the severely disabled people, etc., who have participated in the meeting (even if only temporarily).

To the point: minutes of results, minutes of proceedings or verbatim minutes?

As a newbie, you may be wondering: how detailed do I actually need to log along now? Basically: Everything is permitted, from a pure results protocol to a detailed verbatim protocol. In most cases, the minutes of the works council meeting are a hybrid of the different types of minutes. Depending on how important the particular agenda item is, it may need to be more detailed or may be a bit more concise. It is best to record as little as possible, but as much as necessary. Summarize the essential information, ideas and arguments briefly and concisely.

In discussions that get out of hand, it is not always easy to separate the important from the unimportant. If tempers are running high, a discussion can quickly become confusing. In such cases, simply ask! Ask your colleagues to make their point again or demand clear statements.

Structured minutes: preparation is everything!

To maintain an overview, you should use your Structure the minutes. Colored markings or columns that divide a discussion into pros and cons can be helpful here. A protocol template is also worth its weight in gold! Do you have a laptop in the works council office or can you bring one to the meeting? Perfect! Type everything directly into the template on the laptop. This saves a lot of time and your minutes are ready in no time at all. Otherwise, you will have to organize the handwritten notes once again and add them.

Tips for taking your minutes:

  1. Use a protocol template and adapt it individually for yourself. Always use the same structure. This not only saves you valuable time, but also allows you to quickly find what you want to read again.
  2. Prepare yourself: Copy all agenda items into your minutes template before the meeting so that you only have to add to them.
  3. Underline or mark key statements or dates so that you can find them immediately in case of queries.
  4. Leave a margin on the right for notes and improvements.
  5. Define abbreviations for recurring terms and names in advance.
  6. If you don’t understand something, ask questions immediately.
  7. Read the formulated resolutions again before voting.
  8. Write the minutes as soon as possible, but at the latest within three days of the works council meeting. This way, everything is still fresh in your mind and you avoid losing important information.

Important basic legal knowledge for secretaries as well as detailed tips and tricks for proper minutes of the works council meeting – including practical exercises – can also be obtained in our minutes seminars.

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