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Coronavir­us (COV­ID-19)

Leg­al and commercial im­plic­a­tions

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The coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) is having a significant impact on every aspect of our lives in Austria and across the world. Officially declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation in March 2020, everyone’s primary concern is to minimise the spread of the virus, to mitigate its effects and to protect those most vulnerable in society.  

Businesses and organisations have a role to play and a responsibility to their own people. They also confront a wide range of practical, commercial and legal challenges associated with the spread of the virus. 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Austria

The following insights bring together perspectives on the legal and commercial issues affecting businesses across the globe – with a particular focus on Austria.  As the situation and content continues to evolve, please visit Law-Now to sign up here for the latest real-time updates from our Law-Now service.

COVID-19 Desk

We have set up a COVID-19 Desk for our business partners and clients
The year 2020 has hit us where we are most vulnerable: it threatens our health and safety and the health and safety of the ones we care for. Our joint business community has also been hit very hard.

Austria and other countries across SEE are tightening their restrictions. We at CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz have reacted to these developments by setting up a COVID-19 Desk. It is being run by lawyers and business developers alike – our so-called Coordinators. These Coordinators can help you face the current situation and prepare for the weeks to come.

You can reach out to the Coordinators of the CMS COVID-19 Desk by sending an e-mail to COVID-19_Desk@cms-rrh.com. Should you need any immediate advice or a professional opinion regarding the unfolding situation, feel free to reach out to them or to your CMS key contact. 

Contact us now!
CMS Employment Snack
Have you heard about the latest developments in employment law? Modern working environments are leading to un­pre­ced­en­ted challenges and the pandemic also conducts frequent and rapid changes to labour law.   In our webinar series CMS Employment Snack – the name says it all – you can find out how to best deal with the numerous employment law issues in appealingly presented and digestible por­tions. Our employment law experts provide frequent information here on everything you need to be aware of. We not only keep an eye on the legal situation in Austria but also on CEE jur­is­dic­tions.  The following episodes of our CMS Employment Snacks are currently available – we hope you enjoy listening:
Tackling the evolution of the workplace post-COVID: challenges for employers
Few can deny the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had and is having on the way people work since the global escalation of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020As many countries around the world experience a reduction in COVID-19 infections and attempt to reopen their economies, companies both large and small are faced with the daunting challenges of conducting business in a post-pan­dem­ic world. Al­though these challenges vary from country to country, COVID-19 has changed the way we work and do business. The only questions are: will the pandemic's impact be permanent and if so what will be the long-term fallout? Will remote working, widely employed during re­stric­tions, become the norm in the future? Or will employees gradually return to onsite offices, factories and warehouses? A team of em­ploy­ment-law ex­perts at­tempt to answer these questions in this publication. Discover all available formats below.
The new world of work in Austria
The COVID-19 pandemic and the measures put in place in countries around the world – including Austria – has compelled employers and employees to adopt a new vision for work, such as work from home.Year after the pandemic began, home-office remote work has proven so effective, it could become part of the post-pan­dem­ic future. But remote work raises a host of legal and ad­min­is­trat­ive challenges. This publication – based on the 19 January 2021 webinar The Future is Now: The New World of Work in Austria and hosted by employment experts and coun­sels Daniela Krömer with CMS Austria – discusses how homeworking impacts the traditional office environment, and the implications for workers and com­pan­ies. Watch webinar recording on this topic below.

We regularly update our information about the regulations and legal implications of COVID-19 :

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Expert Guides
Webinars & Events
Latest Webinars & Events on legal effects of Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Area of Law

Employment & Pensions
Impact of COVID-19 on Employment & Pensions
Banking & Finance
Impact of COVID-19 on Banking & Finance
Impact of COVID-19 on Commercial Law
Data Protection
Impact of COVID-19 on Data Protection
Impact of COVID-19 on Corporate/M&A
Intellectual Property
Impact of COVID-19 on Intellectual Property
Hotels & Leisure
Impact of COVID-19 on Hotels & Leisure
Restructuring & Insolvency
Impact of COVID-19 on Restructuring & Insolvency
Real Estate & Construction
Impact of COVID-19 on Real Estate & Construction
Capital Markets
Impact of COVID-19 on Capital Markets
Life Sciences & Healthcare
Impact of COVID-19 on Life Sciences & Healthcare
Public Law
COVID-19's impact on Public Law
Dispute Resolution
Impact of COVID-19 on Dispute Resolution
State Aid
COVID-19's Impact on State Aid
Impact of COVID-19 on Tax Law
Public Procurement
Impact of COVID-19 on Public Procurement
Impact of COVID-19 on Insurance
Impact of COVID-19 on Competition Law


Phasing-out of the Temporary Framework on State aid linked to the COVID-19...
On 12 May 2022, the Commission announced the phasing-out of the Temporary Framework for State aid measures to support the economy in the current context of the COVID-19 outbreak
No individual contractual protection against dismissal during short-time...
CMS NewsMonitor Employment Law - Episode 16
Legal guide for company directors and CEOs in Austria
ESG obligation for directors and CEOs 1.Do existing directors' duties contain obligations that apply to matters that could be categorised as an ESG con­sid­er­a­tion, e.g. the environment, employee welfare...
The European Commission prolongs the State aid Temporary Framework until...
The European Commission has decided to prolong the State aid Temporary Framework until 30 June 2022. The amendment, aside from the temporal extension, aims to increase the thresholds of certain cat­egor­ies...
COVID and ViCo: The End?
Enlarged Board of Appeal decision G1/21 Background Following an EPO press release on 16 July 2021, the Enlarged Board of Appeal’s (EBA) decision on video­con­fer­en­cing (ViCo) was released last week. We...
Covid-19 - Safety at the Workplace
CMS Employment Snack
CMS Employment Snack: Covid-19 - Safety at the Workplace
Rising infection figures and flatlining vaccination rates are once again presenting companies with the challenge of making workplaces safe. But what measures can and must be taken now?Our CMS Em­ploy­ment...
COVID-19: European Commission opens consultation on extending State aid...
On 30 September 2021, the European Commission launched a consultation process on a sixth draft amendment to the State aid Temporary Framework. Its main purpose is to extend the Temporary Framework to...
Re­cap­it­al­isa­tion of Air France: Vueling in first place for the al­loc­a­tion...
The European Commission has approved the allocation to Vueling of 18 daily slots at Paris-Orly airport as part of the French State's re­cap­it­al­isa­tion of Air France under the Temporary Framework for State...
COVID-19: Commission approves Spanish aid to compensate Air Nostrum's damage
The European Commission approves Spanish aid of EUR 9 million to compensate Air Nostrum for damage suffered due to the COVID-19 pandemic on the basis of Article 107(2)(b) TFEU
COVID-19: The European Commission approves a fifth aid to Alitalia
On 2 July 2021, the European Commission authorised Italian aid of EUR 39.7 million for Alitalia. This aid measure is intended to compensate Alitalia for the damage suffered on certain routes caused by...
Short-time work phase 5: What rules apply to the newly extended Corona...
Corona short-time work is again being extended from 01.07.2021 to 30.06.2022 ("short-time work phase 5"). The new social partner agreement (hereafter "SPA") is now also available. What is new is that – depending on how companies are affected by the Corona pandemic – a distinction is made between two short-time work models. The most important information can be found here: Model 1: For companies that have been especially affected For companies that experience a decline in revenue of more than 50% compared to Q3 2019 or are affected by a gov­ern­ment-man­dated ban on cus­tom­er-entry, short-time work phase 5 will continue on essentially the same terms as phase 4: Em­ploy­ers will continue to receive the full short-time work allowance. For the time being, however, until the application tool in the electronic account with the Labour Market Service (eAMS) is adapted (which will then enable cor­res­pond­ing information from companies on the decline in revenue in the Labour Market Service system), the allowance will be paid out at a 15% reduction per month  – as in model 2. The outstanding 15% of the allowance must be applied for separately as part of an amendment re­quest.Work­ing time can be reduced to 30-80 % of the previous working time on average during the period of short-time work.A further reduction of working time for special economic reasons is still possible if approved by the social partners (Annex 2 of the SPA). This short-time work model is valid until the end of December 2021. Model 2: For all other companies For all other companies, a short-time work model with reduced short-time work allowance and higher minimum working time than before ap­plies: Em­ploy­ers receive a short-time work allowance reduced by 15% compared to short-time work phase 4.Working time can be reduced to 50%-80% of the previous working time on average during the period of short-time work.A further reduction of working time for special economic reasons is still possible if approved by the social partners (Enclosure 2 of the SPA). This short-time work model is valid until the end of June 2022.The following applies to both short-time work models: Duration of short-time work A maximum of 6 months of short-time work can be applied for. Application and consultation It is expected that applications for short-time work phase 5 can be submitted to the Labour Market Service from 19.07.2021. Short-time work with a start date from 01.07.2021 could then be applied for ret­ro­act­ively until 18.08.2021. In all other cases, the application must be submitted before the start of the short-time work peri­od. Com­pan­ies newly entering short-time work that did not use short-time work between 01.04.2021 and 30.06.2021 must also complete a consultation procedure with the Labour Market Service and the social partners, usually lasting 3 weeks, before submitting an application. Net replacement rates remain the same Regardless of the model of short-time work, employees will continue to receive 80-90% of the net pay they received before short-time work. Compulsory use of vacation For every 2 months or part thereof of short-time work, employees must now consume at least 1 week of vacation, provided the employee has sufficient vacation credit. If the employee fails to consume vacation, even though he or she is entitled to do so, the company may not charge lost working time to this extent for the short-time work allowance. Short-time work and collective redundancies Employees who are registered for collective redundancies with the Labour Market Service pursuant to Section 45a AMFG can now also be exempted from short-time work. This requires the social partners’ consent (Annex 3 of the SPV). With regard to these staff reductions, there is no obligation to replenish the workforce during short-time work.