Current legal advice for HR and legal departments
We are your legal advisors for employment law in corporation with your HR and legal departments. As reliable contact persons for your HR managers as well as for individual questions, we focus on the corporate overall strategy, always keeping in mind the impact of our advice with regards to HR politics and to operational matters. Also for legal advice at short notice we grant a swift and competent handling of the respective subject. A dedicated contact person is at your disposal to deal with your belongings at any time you want. That is our approach to offer custom-made solutions, individually adjusted to your company and no ready-made advice.
Restructuring and personnel reductions
Often, the reduction of personnel is an inevitable part of a restructuring concept. From the very beginning, i.e. from the conceptual design throughout the negotiation process with the employee representation until the individual regulatory implementation we are your advising partner. To grant an operational planning of restructuring at its best, our legal advice starts already ahead of a possible restructuring. Providing you with structured schedules in detail, we are able to outline a multitude of essential regulatory steps to be taken, in particular, the social choice in due form, the hearing of the works council, or a collective redundancy notice.
Sale of a business and relocations
The relocation of companies, or of parts of a company, needs to be handled to a high extent – apart from the mere entrepreneurial challenges – with discretion and carefulness regarding the employees. Jointly with your HR manager we draft and issue the necessary workflows. We negotiate the reconciliation of interests, the social plan, and we assist you to draft a written information for your employees about the forthcoming necessary restructurings which might require personnel reductions due to the buyer’s concept.
Negotiations of reconciliation of interests and social plan
Within the scope of your corporate restructuring, we supervise on behalf of the employer the negotiations on the reconciliation of interests and the social plan. We conduct the negotiations with the works council and we also represent your interests regarding possible proceedings before the arbitration committee.
Employment law related due diligence
In the course of a corporate transaction we examine on behalf of the bidder the scope of the seller’s regulatory employment law conditions and outline a detailed evaluation of possible emerging risks.
Negotiations with employee representation
In close consultation with the responsible HR managers, we negotiate with the employee representation (works council, central works council, corporate works council and speaker committee) as well as with the staff council of the civil service all parts of the corporate employee participation. In particular, working hours, remuneration concepts, IT projects, company rules, pension schemes, corporate health protection, social services, corporate restructurings and individual measures such as engagement and relocation. If a mutual solution cannot be reached right away, our legal advice also comprises the support of your company regarding the subsequent arbitration committees or employment law decision proceedings.
Drafting of works council agreements
For works council agreements which impact on a multitude of employment relationships, it is essential to draft an efficient legal wording which also takes into account the consequences. Otherwise – in addition to legal disputes – financial risks of an unmanageable dimension may arise. Our portfolio includes the drafting of legally proved works council agreements on various relevant issues such as flexible working hours, short-time work, variable payment schemes, shift models, IT-systems, codes of conduct for internet and e-mail, HR development, selection guidelines, and a lot more.
Arbitration committee proceedings
In arbitration committees, we represent the employer and supervise or conduct the negotiations in consultation with the HR management and the business representatives. If necessary, we initiate the implementation of an arbitration committee in a decision-making process in terms of employment law.
Collective wage agreement and employment dispute law
We advise companies in terms of the collective wage agreement and regarding employment disputes. We verify and evaluate the legal situation of a planned compulsory collective wage agreement, a change of such agreement or a withdrawal from the association. In case of unlawful strikes, we seek interim injunction proceedings to prohibit or stop such strike.
In addition to legal advice for business decisions, our legal service also includes advice with regards to all kinds of corporate co-determination (third party participation act, co-determination act or coal and steel co-determination act) for example in connection with elections of supervisory boards.
Drafting of employment and termination agreements
An awkward drafted contract may have a negative financial impact on a company. Therefore we help to avoid such risks in advance. While drafting an employment contract, we consider the latest status of labour law related court decisions as well as the individual requirements and the unique standards of your company. We illustrate the permitted latitudes without endangering the legal certainty of the contract.
Supply of temporary workers
We advise in connection with the deployment of external personnel either in relation to service or work performances or with regards to disposal of jobholders to third parties. Our extensive know-how allows us to confine employment and service contracts compared to the (illegitimate) supply of temporary workers. Furthermore, we support companies to obtain permissions for temporary workers. Of course we do also advise temporary employment agencies regarding all kinds of temporary workers related special issues.
Regulation of working hours
We review the current working time regulations in companies and create, together with the responsible HR managers, working time patterns which are custom-made to the individual company situation. If necessary, we enter into negotiations regarding such working time regulations with the works council or trade union.
Employment law related compliance
Hardly any other topic than compliance has gained so much importance for the corporate practice in recent years. We advise comprehensively in all compliance related questions, e.g. with the implementation of compliance instruments such as a reporting systems and we supervise internal legal investigations in connection with individual or collective rights. Furthermore, we screen the current company structures for potential risks, e.g. possible organizational faults.
Generating a working environment free of discrimination, the strict compliance with the legal regulations and the most recent court decisions regarding the General Equal Treatment Act (GETA) are indispensable to avoid a (potentially cost-intensive) claim. We review pre-emptively all kinds of HR instruments regarding their GETA-compliance and, in case of a discrimination lawsuit, we represent the company’s interests consequently to fend false compensation claims.
Data protection for employees
We advise companies in all kinds of operational data protection and evaluation to survey possible compliance violations, e.g. inter corporate data transmission in enterprises, generating authorization systems, data calibrations.
Company pension schemes
We are your contact partner regarding all kinds of pension obligation related questions, e.g. the interpretation of existing pension schemes in terms of tariff, operational or individual related legal basis as well as in connection with the closure or reorganisation of a pension insurance carrier. Our advice extends to all kinds of pension models, i.e. a direct insurance, a pension pool, pension fund, pension commitment or (reinsured) support funds as well as to pension commitments financed by the employer and to deferred compensation.
The delegation of employees abroad bears numerous problems regarding employment and social law. We advise companies before and with the closing of an assignment agreement and regarding all issues which such an assignment abroad often includes.
Implementation of D&O liability claims
Damages caused by board members may not only authorize the company but, in fact, also oblige the company to assert claims following from such damages. We examine potential claims regarding their enforceability and represent the company, if applicable, extra judicial and also in legal proceedings towards the respective board member.
Supervisory boards and shareholders
Supervisory board members and shareholders represent the company when management board members are to be elected, revoked, or before they sign or terminate an employment contract, and also in case of liability claims. In advising supervisory boards and shareholders with such decisions, we avoid possible risks for the company and for the supervisory institution itself. Our job is to draft employment contracts for managers and directors on behalf of the company’s interests, to conduct termination negotiations, and to evaluate prospects of success in case of compensation claims.
Legal proceedings in all instances
Often, a legal dispute before the labour court is not to be avoided. In such case, we represent your interests consequently and strategically in all labour law related instances. Many of our partners have a comprehensive experience in legal proceedings, also before the Federal Labour Court.
Expertise for particular employment law issues
We examine employment law related questions of all kinds on a scientific level and therewith prepare companies an adequate fundament for decisions also valid for complex and peculiar issues concerning employment law.
Trainings for managers in executive positions
We offer trainings for the company management to gain a basic secureness to handle employment law related issues in the day-to-day business. We offer basic courses as well as courses for specific issues in the field of employment law.
WOLFF SCHULTZE KIEFERLE
Fachanwälte für Arbeitsrecht