Our expertise. Makes the law work for you.
Labour and employment law is a special and especially fascinating branch of law. At BURGSTALLER PREYER we recognised this many years ago and it has been our focus ever since, combining the expertise that comes with experience with a vision for the future.
We provide our clients with legal advice in the following areas:
Dienstverträge und arbeitsrechtliche Vereinbarungen
- We advise on the drafting of employment contracts and service agreements for board members and managing directors, review existing contracts and contract templates and advise on the various options available – always with a view to your company’s specific needs.
- Choosing the right option – be it an employment contract, a freelance service contract or a contract for specific work – is essential in order to avoid liability and back payments. We support you in differentiating between these types of contract, selecting the appropriate one, drafting the contents and flagging up practicalities to be taken into consideration.
- When drafting and reviewing company car agreements, it is useful to have a knowledge of current rulings on the discontinuation and/or revocation of agreed private use and cost-bearing arrangements and how to take account of them.
- An employer’s perceived attractiveness is often assessed in terms of potential employee benefits (e.g. sabbaticals, supplementary insurance, agreements on full-time or part-time education & training leave, or a company pension scheme). We provide expert advice on drafting and implementation of suitable models and agreements.
- Agreements on working from home and/or mobile working are growing in importance, not only as a motivational benefit for employees but increasingly also as a cost-efficiency measure. We help you draft contracts that comply with the relevant legislation as well as making provision for the practicalities of the arrangement.
- Questions often arise in connection with the deployment of outside personnel – including between companies within a corporation – for instance regarding the difference between personnel leasing and contracts for specific work. We advise on selection and drafting of appropriate contracts and help you identify and take account of the associated risks and legal provisions.
- We provide legal advice and support in connection with staff postings, including the applicable legal provisions and collective agreements and appropriate drafting of the associated posting agreements.
- The Austrian legislation on working hours defines complex rules and strict limits that employers must comply with. We help you design and implement efficient working time models that comply with the legal framework and meet your operational needs and the requirements of the respective role (e.g. flexitime, cumulative calculation, shift work, 4-day week). This prevents avoidable working time supplements, and, in particular, ensures you avoid back payments, administrative penalties and the additional expense of lengthy administrative and civil proceedings.
- Where employee representatives (especially works councils) are in place, the latter need to be consulted on many aspects of everyday corporate life. As a consequence, the planned installation or modification of personnel data systems, access controls or video surveillance systems, for instance, or the introduction of flexitime, may require the conclusion and/or amendment of company or works agreements between the employer and the works council. Works councils can force employers to disclose information and/or engage in negotiations on other matters, too, such as internal company regulations or general working time arrangements. We provide legal advice and support in all related questions, particularly with regard to the conclusion, amendment and interpretation of company or works agreements.
Corporate restructuring, workforce downsizing and related personnel issues
- Restructuring measures such as outsourcing, business closures/partial closures and takeovers of companies or business operations give rise to a plethora of labour and employment law issues – from the transfer of operations and the resulting fate of company pension commitments and grandfather clauses in collective agreements, through questions of industrial constitution law such as what happens to company/works agreements or the consultation and information rights of the works council, to matters relating to individual employment contracts, such as the legality of layoffs or agreements on less favourable conditions. We provide advice and support throughout the entire planning and implementation process and in all associated labour and employment law issues.
- With downsizing and restructuring measures it is essential to be aware of legal and regulatory constraints and requirements (such as the early warning system in the case of mass layoffs and the consultation and information rights of the works council in connection with severance schemes, as well as in the case of staff relocations and redeployments or individual contractual restrictions) and to take due account of them in order to minimise the risk of unlawful measures, back payments and lengthy and expensive legal proceedings. We are happy to advise on all such matters.
- We provide support with the drafting and individual tailoring of severance agreements and assist you in planning the safest or most practicable approach to layoffs, taking due account of all the conceivable risks in each case.
- For planned acquisitions of companies, businesses or parts of businesses we help you conduct preliminary due diligence assessments from the employment law perspective to identify potential risks and demands to be taken account of in decision-making, calculations and drafting of contracts.
Employee protection, health and safety from the employer’s perspective
- Modern personnel management, resource management and communication systems not only raise questions in relation to industrial constitution law, but also issues relating to protection and privacy of employees’ personal data. What personal data are employers allowed to process and how? When is it necessary to seek employees’ consent, and when does it make sense to do so? What are the employer’s legal obligations regarding notification of data processing and how can they be complied with? We provide legal support in all matters relating to protection and privacy of employees’ personal data – from drafting of information letters, declarations of consent or guidelines to use of e-mail and Internet and advice on the design of relevant measures (e.g. digital personnel file).
- The COVID-19 pandemic of the past few years and the constantly changing legislation on safeguarding measures require employers to pay greater attention to their duty of care towards their own employees, but also to any safeguarding obligations they may have towards contractors. We’re pleased to advise on introduction and adaptation of safeguarding measures in the workplace.
- Increasing diversity in the workplace is placing a stronger focus on ensuring equal treatment and avoiding discrimination. We support our clients in all matters relating to equality and anti-discrimination in the workplace – from designing non-discriminatory remuneration schemes and employee benefits through to legal advice and representation (before equal opportunities tribunals or in court) in specific cases.
- Damages caused by employees to company-owned equipment or third parties (e.g. road accident in a company car) are a feature of everyday life in the workplace. Moreover, the growing amount of work done outside company premises has similarly reduced employers’ ability to influence the situation. We advise on all questions relating to compensation claims, including possibility, extent and assertion of the claim and any legal limits on employee liability to be taken into consideration.
- As part of their duty of care, employers are obliged to ensure the physical and mental well-being of their employees in the workplace. The law substantiates this obligation with explicit specifications regarding technical measures for the protection of employees. We provide support in the evaluation and implementation of relevant measures and advise on how to proceed in the event of a workplace accident.
Remuneration and collective agreements
- Employers may be confronted with numerous questions and issues in connection with collective agreements. Is the right collective agreement being applied, and is it being correctly applied in specific cases? Are employees placed in the correct grade? Would it be possible, and perhaps make economic sense, to switch to a different collective agreement? What about joining or leaving voluntary professional associations? What happens in the event that the collective agreement is terminated? We’re happy to advise on these and other issues.
- We provide support in the design of remuneration structures and the elaboration, implementation and modification of variable compensation models (e.g. long-term incentives, commission agreements, target-based bonuses, employee share schemes), as well as advising on interpretation issues relating to existing models and agreements.
- With regard to workplace pension arrangements (company pension legislation), the introduction of company pension schemes, and in particular any changes to or discontinuation of existing ones, can all pose legal challenges for companies. We’re here to support and advise – whether as part of internal rationalisation processes or in connection with transfers of companies or business operations.
Conflict resolution and prevention
- We represent clients in all labour and employment law proceedings – from contestation of dismissal to bonus claims to enforcement of a redeployment.
- We represent clients in proceedings before authorities and administrative courts (e.g. with regard to allegations of wage dumping, violation of working hours legislation or employee protection regulations, or likewise before disability or equal opportunities tribunals).
- We’re also pleased to provide legal advice in the lead-up to official payroll audits (particularly with regard to reclassification of bogus self-employed workers or underpayment).
- We support clients in negotiations with industrial relations partners and works councils – regarding conclusion of collective agreements and negotiations on severance schemes or other company agreements.
- Increasing requirements in terms of compliance and prevention require companies to take appropriate measures. We advise on the set-up and implementation of whistleblowing channels and the design and performance of internal audits from a labour and employment law perspective. We also perform audits of relevant procedures and issue external audit certificates.
With BURGSTALLER PREYER on board you can look forward to a goal-driven partnership of trust delivering expert results that strengthen and protect you in your role as employer.
Our promise to our clients:
- Individual advice and legal support from leading employment lawyers from multiple generations
- Efficient advice and legal work of exceptional quality based on a profound understanding of the issues involved
- We deal with the specialist issues, leaving you free to concentrate on your core business