Information and communication systems (ICT) have led to numerous new forms of work and work organisation, making their design an important issue. FORBA approaches these issues from two major perspectives: Information and communication systems used by companies make use of personal employee data. The most widely known of these systems include those used for Human Resource tasks (to meet legal requirements, e.g. payroll accounting, time management), for performance management (also including monitoring of conduct, such as in controlling, supply management and call centres) and for communication (telephone, e-mail). The legal provisions of the Austrian Labour Constitution Act (especially §96a ArbVG on Ersetzbare Zustimmung) and General Data Protection Regulation (Art 32 GDPR Security of processing) make agreements and regulations at the enterprise level necessary to safeguard personal data. FORBA analyses these systems and provides works councils and staff representatives with information and strategic support regarding the regulation of personal-data use. In addition, analyses and suggestions for improvement are available to companies drawing up data-protection/security guidelines.

Besides analysing software systems in terms of their compliance with data-protection legislation, FORBA also assesses their user-friendliness and thus the degree to which they facilitate or hamper daily work. The EU-CON II assessment tool was developed by FORBA as a method for the evaluation and design of VDU work in compliance with EU regulations.

For both areas, FORBA also offers training courses and seminars (primarily but not exclusively within the context of trade-union training).

In its consultancy activities, FORBA opts for a participatory approach. FORBA supports works councils and staff representatives in developing appropriate tools (usually works agreements documenting the respective information and communication system) in cooperation with the company's IT, legal and HR departments.

Research topics

  • Data protection and data security in information and communication systems (especially SAP)
  • software-ergonomic analysis an design of VDU workplaces

Researchers involved

Current projects