For the good of the whole.
Some employees have been with the company since the very beginning. Others joined later and have stayed for many years. And together they all helped to build the company. Who can stay? Who needs to go? And in a situation like this, is it possible to find a solution that is acceptable to all?
When a company embarks on a programme of restructuring, attention must be paid not just to business and legal issues, but to the human dimension too.
To meet these challenges, Schultze & Braun will assemble a team comprising employment lawyers, business administration specialists and HR managers and administrators: specialists who can examine the situation from every angle and identify options and scope for action.
Undertaking negotiations with unions and works councils, we also implement and monitor appropriate solutions on behalf of clients.
How does insolvency law impact on employment law?
Since the introduction of the Act for the Further Facilitation of the Restructuring of Companies (Gesetz zur weiteren Erleichterung der Sanierung von Unternehmen, ESUG), restructuring has become an increasingly frequent feature of self-administration and protective shield procedures. Here even more than in standard insolvency proceedings, a thorough knowledge of the specific requirements of insolvency law is essential – particularly with regard to employment and social law.
Schultze & Braun handles these issues that fall outside the normal scope of business, taking the pressure off management and HR and helping them to deal with requirements specific to insolvency – such as filing of claims and advance financing of insolvency pay.
What tasks can Schultze & Braun take on for companies undergoing reorganisation?
Our activities most frequently involve advising on and implementing reorganisation programmes of all kinds.
In the employment law context, we provide services including:
- Reorganisation and relocation of individual divisions and departments
- Support in relation to transfers of undertakings – including the establishment of transitional employment and qualification companies to ensure that staff reductions are completed smoothly and in a socially equitable manner.
- Assumption of HR responsibilities in relation to the reorganisation
We work with works councils and trade unions to negotiate:
- works agreements
- reconciliation of interests agreements
- social compensation plans or collective agreements, including collective agreements covering the period of restructuring
We represent our clients before all courts, up to and including the Federal Labour Court.
Which sensitive areas of criminal commercial and labour law does Schultze & Braun cover for its clients?
- Compliance: Provision of preventive advice to employers to ensure compliance with laws and directives, but also with voluntary codes of conduct, to avoid the risk of criminal liability.
- Self-employment status checks: Evaluation of false self-employment in connection with tax audits, self-employment status checks and avoidance of director liability.
We also have extensive experience of advising and representing clients in the following areas:
- Non-payment and misuse of wages and salaries (section 266a of the German Criminal Code (Strafgesetzbuch)
- Illegal supply of temporary workers
- Criminal offences against bodies established under the Works Constitution Act (Betriebsverfassungsgesetz)
- Infringements of the Working Time Act (Arbeitszeitgesetz)
- Illegal employment
- Infringements of the Minimum Wage Act (Mindestlohngesetz)
- Illegal posting of workers
- Infringements of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (Arbeitsschutzgesetz)
- Employee data protection breaches
How does Schultze & Braun help clients tailor often generous occupational pension schemes to their company’s current earning power?
Schultze & Braun can advise on the design, restriction or closure of such schemes. Furthermore, we can shed light on the various paths to implementation of a company pension scheme, particularly as regards protection against insolvency. In the event of insolvency, we also handle dealings with the Pensions-Sicherungs-Verein (PSV), the statutory agency providing insolvency protection for occupational pension schemes – particularly in relation to the design and negotiation of insolvency plans.
To what extent does Schultze & Braun represent employees in matters relating to individual and collective employment law?
Our core activities in the field of individual employment law are:
- Establishment and drafting of training, employment and service contracts of all kinds
- Guidance for employers on everything from warnings to employee target agreements
- Advice on terminating employment in advance of planned staff reduction measures and on any unfair dismissal actions subsequently brought.
- Questions around company pensions
Our core activities in the field of collective employment law include:
- Acting as point of contact in relation to all aspects of employee representation in the workplace, from election of the works council to principles for distribution of ex gratia payments
- Advice on collective agreements and development of customised company collective agreements in particular
What does Schultze & Braun pay particular attention to when working on M&A transactions?
We carry out a comprehensive review covering all areas of employment law on every target company. We look at every aspect of a company’s HR practices as regards individual and collective terms of employment. We pay particular attention to any old liabilities from company pension schemes. A practical approach and a clear focus are our top priority. Ideally, the due diligence process will close with advice on successful purchase agreement negotiations.