Chapter 7: The German industrial relations system under pressure: Structure, trends and outcomes
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In Germany the influence of employers‘ associations and unions declined in terms of collective agreements at both the sectoral and the firm level, works councils and  membership. To assess the functioning of the German industrial relations system we consider the (I) the impact of a possible economic crisis on the labour market, (ii) the development of non-standard forms of employment and (iii) the search for new strategies in the area of structural change and digitalization. We focus on the interplay of state-level regulations and the industrial relations system. To mitigate the impact of economic crises the re-regulation of short-time working allowances was the decisive solution. The extensive changes through digitalization are not only a challenge for social partners but also for legislation regarding working time and supporting re-training.

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