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Founders of N26 filed a restraining order against the Works Council and are facing a serious staff unrest

Max Tayenthal and Valentin Stalf, the founders of the German challenger N26, have obtained a temporary injunction to prevent the election of the Works Council.

The founders of the German startup bank have previously stated that a Works Council would be “against almost all the values in which we at N26 believe” 

An email sent to staff by Stalf which was seen by Finance Forward, reads: “We encourage all of you to come to the kick-off event for the ‘alternative employee representation’ tomorrow,” a meeting which happens to begin at the same time as the Works Council. 

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N26 tried to prevent the meeting from taking place, citing alleged “poor hygiene” relating to the coronavirus pandemic, as first reported yesterday by Finance Forward.

However, the work council has managed to set up the election anyway stating:

“As you probably heard, N26 has arranged for an injunction against the original signatories of the invitation to the meeting for voting on the Electoral Boards of N26 Operations GmbH and N26 GmbH.

This means that the original signatories are prevented from conducting the meeting. However, ver.di, the union supporting the Works Council process, has offered to chair the meeting themselves. Therefore, the elections are still happening at the same time and same place (…).

The fact that the union is chairing the meeting is fully according to German law, so employees still have a legal right to attend without any repercussions. Attendance + getting to the venue and back to the office counts as working time. The company may not prevent any employee from attending the meeting.”

Employees are demanding more co-determination in the company claiming that the trust and confidence in management, that will guarantee the well-being of the entire workforce, is at an all-time low.

Although the six employees responsible for founding the group will not be present, they can still be elected to serve on the works council’s board. 

N26 issued and Engagement Survey to respond on the staff discontent. However, the response was that the establishment of an Employee Experience team is a positive first step, but it is not enough.

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Jan Cerny
Jan is an innovation enthusiast and Fintech news reporter. He specializes in news distribution, social media, and content analysis.

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