Schalast | Agile work

For a company, agile work means more efficiency and responsiveness to changes through an iterative approach. The agile team not only monitors work progress, it also tries to constantly improve itself, remove obstacles together and distribute tasks sensibly. This gives rise to some labor law issues.

What individual labor law aspects, among other things, have to be taken into account?

If the employee’s work profile changes fundamentally as a result of agile work, his new role may not be brought about by mere instructions from the employer. In this case, a consensual adjustment of the employment contract or a change notice according to § 2 KSchG is necessary.

Characteristic for agile organizations and teams are a high speed of reacting to changing framework conditions as well as a continuous ability to deliver. This can cause stress peaks occurring more frequently and regularly. This can only be partially agreed with the German Working Time Act. Even in particularly intensive and productive project phases, a team must ensure that each member's maximum working hours are not exceeded and rest periods are observed.

BIn agile working methods, teams work closely together and coordinate on a daily basis. If an external support service is included in this process, there is a risk of bogus self-employment or concealed temporary employment.

What collective legal aspects have to be considered in agile work?

What participation and co-determination rights are affected by works councils depends on the specific design in each individual case. For example, works council approval is required if an employee is assigned an agile role that represents a transfer within the meaning of Section 95 (1) and (2) sentence 1 of the Works Constitution Act. Likewise, different co-determination facts can arise from the catalog of § 87 I BetrVG when introducing new software or from Open Space Office. Regulations on the relevant topics can be made in company agreements regarding agile work.

Agile work can run through the entire company, affect individual projects or be established in a parallel organization that is affiliated with the company. This can lead to a change in the company within the meaning of Section 111 BetrVG and thus trigger the obligation to negotiate a reconciliation of interests and a social plan.


Agile work promises innovation and efficiency. Some labor law adjustments in the company are required in order for it to be implemented. It is important to consider individual and collective law aspects at an early stage.