DEQA-VET: Freedom of Association in Economy and Labour

Freedom of Association in Economy and Labour

Article 9, para. 3 Basic Law (GG):

The right to form associations to safeguard and improve working and economic conditions shall be guaranteed to every individual and to every occupation or profession.
Agreements that restrict or seek to impair this right shall be null and void; measures directed to this end shall be unlawful. Measures taken pursuant to Article 12a, to paragraphs (2) and (3) of Article 35, to paragraph (4) of Article 87a, or to Article 91 may not be directed against industrial disputes engaged in by associations within the meaning of the first sentence of this paragraph in order to safeguard and improve working and economic conditions.


The partnership between employers and unions manifests itself at federal level through cooperation in the main committee of the BIBB, at Land level in the competent ministry’s VET committee, and at regional level in the Chambers’ VET committees and examinationcommittees. The VET committees are responsible for important tasks in the implementation and supervision of pre-vocational training, and of vocational training, further training and retraining .

The social partners have responsibilities at four levels:

  1. National level: participation in developing training programmes/standards, recommendations in all areas and aspects of VET.
  2. Regional level:
    a) Land level – recommendations in all areas of VET in respect of coordination between school and enterprise;
    b) level of the competent bodies – advice,supervision of training provision in enterprises, implementation of examinations, award of qualifications.
  3. Sectoral level: negotiations on provision of training places; collective agreements on
    remuneration of training.
  4. Company level: planning and implementation of in-company training.

Source:  U. Hippach-Schneider, M. Krause, Chr.Woll, Vocational education and training in Germany - Short description, ed. Cedefop (European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training) Luxembourg 2007 (Panorama Series 138)

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