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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 [email protected]. 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


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 Snack We­bin­ar Series provides you with all you need to know about safety at work in the age of Cov­id-19.As usu­al, each we­bin­ar is coun­try-spe­cif­ic and ad­dresses the rel­ev­ant na­tion­al leg­al frame­work. You can find spe­cif­ic in­form­a­tion by click­ing on the links be­low:
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?...
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...
In­tro­duc­tion to an amended Tem­por­ary Frame­work The European Com­mis­sion launched a con­sulta­tion pro­cess on 30 Septem­ber 2021, send­ing a pro­pos­al to Mem­ber States on a sixth draft amend­ment to the Tem­por­ary...
Re­cap­it­al­isa­tion of Air France: Vuel­ing in first place for the al­loc­a­tion...
On 20 Septem­ber 2021, the European Com­mis­sion ap­proved the al­loc­a­tion to Vuel­ing of 18 daily slots at Par­is-Orly air­port fol­low­ing a se­lec­tion pro­ced­ure over the sum­mer. This meas­ure is part of the re­cap­it­al­isa­tion...
COV­ID-19: Com­mis­sion ap­proves Span­ish aid to com­pensate Air Nos­trum's dam­age
On 23 Ju­ly 2021, the European Com­mis­sion ap­proved Span­ish aid of EUR 9 mil­lion to com­pensate Air Nos­trum for the dam­age suffered as a res­ult of the COV­ID-19 pan­dem­ic on the basis of Art­icle 107(2)(b)...
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.
European Com­mis­sion au­thor­ises re­cap­it­al­isa­tion meas­ure in fa­vour of Air...
The European Com­mis­sion has ap­proved a re­cap­it­al­isa­tion meas­ure of EUR 4.8 mil­lion in fa­vour of Air Bel­gi­um as com­pens­a­tion for the dam­age suffered by the air­line dur­ing the peri­od from 14 March to 30...
The European Com­mis­sion in­vests EUR 14.7 bil­lion to ac­cel­er­ate eco­lo­gic­al...
The European Com­mis­sion has ad­op­ted its main work pro­gram for the “Ho­ri­zon Europe” pro­gram, with a budget of EUR 100 bil­lion for the peri­od 2021-2027. It provides for in­vest­ments for re­search and...
COV­ID-19: EU Gen­er­al Court up­holds Ry­anair’s ap­peals against aid to KLM...
On 19 May 2021, in its judg­ments T-643/20 and T-465/20, the Gen­er­al Court of the European Uni­on an­nulled two de­cisions of the European Com­mis­sion au­thor­ising State aid in fa­vour of the air­lines KLM and...
Some leaks can­'t be fixed
“Con­fid­en­tial in­form­a­tion is like an ice cube... give it to the party who has no re­fri­ger­at­or or will not agree to keep it in one, and by the time of the tri­al you have just a pool of wa­ter.” This...