Project Information

Job Evaluation and Wage Structures for High Qualified (“AT”) Employees. Developments and Challenges for Co-Determination in the Chemical Industry

Goal and task

The aim of the research project was to develop basic, orientation and practical knowledge for works councils on the question of job evaluation and classification as well as the design of remuneration systems for AT-employees (employees employed in firms covered by collective bargaining agreements with wages above the highest wage level of the agreements). On the one hand, there was neither scientifically sound basic knowledge nor practically usable experience of good co-determination practice regarding the operational practice of negotiation, implementation, conflict regulation and the internal coordination processes of works councils in the field of AT remuneration. On the other hand, there was and is a growing problem pressure of works councils in this field of co-determination:

  • Firstly, their co-determination rights are particularly far-reaching for AT employees, especially with regard to pay regulation, due to the lack of collective agreements for these employees.
  • Secondly, the group of employees is becoming increasingly important in quantitative terms and thus as voters of works councils and members of trade unions.
  • Thirdly, this group of employees is becoming increasingly important for strategic works council work because of its position within the company, its potential for primary power and its technical skills.
  • Fourthly, the working conditions of this group of employees are changing in the course of financial-driven marketing and indirect control of work.
  • And fifthly and finally, the traditional co-determination practice of works councils with regard to AT employees can be described as deficient (Kotthoff 1981).

Procedure and results

The research project investigated five central topics: The systems of job evaluation, their origins and development; the compensation systems for AT employees as a whole and their significance in the personnel policy strategies of the companies; the negotiations and implementation practice of company compensation regulations for AT employees; the competencies and internal coordination processes of the works councils and the cooperation with the trade union; and finally the possible changes in the orientation and interests of AT employees in the context of compensation regulation. These questions were analyzed by means of expert interviews, an evaluation of company agreements on AT pay in the 40 largest companies in the chemical industry, eight in-depth case studies, and finally Internet-based employee surveys. The results showed that there are three important conditions for good regulation practice with participation opportunities for employees and works councils: a regulation of AT pay that contains process norms for participation; works councils that actively work on the implementation of the regulation; and close cooperation with the trade union, which can provide support both in the design of the regulations and in the strategic handling of company conflicts.


Dr. Tabea Bromberg: Arbeitsbewertung und Entgeltstrukturen im AT-Bereich. Sitzung der LM1-Kommission des Gesamtbetriebsrats Bayer. Leverkusen, Leverkusen, Gesamtbetriebsrat Bayer, 24.11.2016

Dr. Tabea Bromberg: Arbeitsbewertung und Entgeltstrukturen im AT-Bereich. 9. AT-Netzwerk der IG BCE. Frankfurt am Main, Hannover, 25.10.2016

Dr. Tabea Bromberg: Arbeitsbewertung und Entgeltstrukturen im AT-Bereich. Entwicklungstendenzen und Herausforderungen für die Mitbestimmung. Erste Ergebnisse. Siebtes AT-Netzwerktreffen. Frankfurt am Main, IG BCE, 29.10.2015

Project data

Term of the project:
01.05.2015 - 30.04.2016

Reseach department:
Working-Time and Work Organisation

Project management:
Prof. Dr. Thomas Haipeter

Project team:
Dr. Tabea Bromberg