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Legal and commercial implications

Back to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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. 

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

Contact us now!
18 Mar 20
UP­DATE: Em­ploy­ment Law Pack "Coronavir­us"
1. Which busi­nesses need to close, and which may con­tin­ue to op­er­ate as nor­mal?  On Sunday, 15 March 2020, the Aus­tri­an Fed­er­al Act re­lat­ing to Pro­vi­sion­al Meas­ures for Pre­vent­ing the Spread of COV­ID-19 (the COV­ID-19 Meas­ures Act) was passed in­to law. On the...
16 Mar 20
Coronavir­us: Ques­tions and an­swers re­lated to la­bour law
The spread of the coronavir­us (Cov­id-19) in Aus­tria is con­tinu­ing and the ac­tion be­ing taken by the gov­ern­ment to con­tain it are hav­ing an in­creas­ingly drastic ef­fect on work­ing life and, con­sequently, on work­ing re­la­tions between em­ploy­ers and em­ploy­ees. Even...
COV­ID-19 – ECB bank cap­it­al re­lief meas­ures – Aus­tri­an...

Our specialised CMS teams have published a number of publications on burning issues.
[Publications in German are available here.]


Employment & Pensions

Coronavirus: Questions and answers related to labour law
COVID-19 continues to spread in Austria. The government has taken drastic measures. The most important questions you might have regarding employment law will be answered in this article.

UPDATE: Employment Law Pack "Coronavirus"
Legislators have adopted interim measures to halt the spread of COVID-19. Find out in this article what they really mean for companies and what you need to be aware of.

Data Protection

Are employers allowed to process and disclose health data of employees in the context of a COVID-19 crisis management?

Dispute Resolution

Procedural and substantive interruption and suspension of time limits
The Law on COVID-19 Measures and its restrictions impact not only public life but also authorities and courts. This article will tell you what to look out for in terms of deadlines.

Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the functioning of court systems different jurisdictions


Antitrust law in times of the Corona crisis


Coronavirus: Farewell to general meetings of shareholders?
Strict restrictions are in place regarding going outside and gathering. All your questions about general meetings and the possibilities you currently have will be answered and presented in this article.

Capital Markets

COVID-19 – ECB bank capital relief measures – Austrian legal perspective
According to the ECB, banks can fully use capital buffers, including Pillar 2 Guidance (P2G), and they will benefit from relief in the composition of capital for Pillar 2 Requirements (P2R). Find out more in this article.

Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property Offices in Europe and Austria take measures due to COVID-19 outbreak
The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), the European Patent Office (EPO) and also the Austrian Patent Office (ÖPA) are now implementing measures due to COVID-19. Learn more in this article.

Public Law

Guidance for public procurement procedures in Austria during the COVID-19 crisis


CMS Ex­pert Guide to COV­ID-19 Im­pact on Lease Agree­ments
01 Apr 20
Are em­ploy­ers al­lowed to pro­cess and dis­close health data of em­ploy­ees...
Due to the on­go­ing de­vel­op­ments in con­nec­tion with COV­ID-19, al­most all com­pan­ies have to take ap­pro­pri­ate crisis man­age­ment meas­ures in or­der to com­ply with the new leg­al re­quire­ments im­posed by gov­ern­ments....
CMS Ex­pert Guide to Com­pet­i­tion Law Dur­ing Coronavir­us...
30 Mar 20
ESMA and FCA cla­ri­fy su­per­vis­ory ap­proach on SFTR back­load­ing re­quire­ments...
This in­form­a­tion is cor­rect as of 11.30am on 30 March 2020 and will not be main­tained. The European Se­cur­it­ies Mar­kets Au­thor­ity (“ESMA”) has cla­ri­fied its po­s­i­tion on the re­quire­ments for ‘back­load­ing’...
COV­ID-19 and its po­ten­tial im­pact on fin­an­cing ar­range­ments