Flexible rebooting option makes the arrangement a model for the catering sector

The employment law team of Baker McKenzie in Vienna has advised McDonald’s on the implementation of short-time work for all restaurants in Austria due to the Coronavirus. In Austria, McDonald’s was one of the first to implement the model. “As a result of the quickly reached agreement on the new short-time work, we and our franchisees were able to secure the continued employment of thousands of employees all over Austria,” comments Karin Probst, head of the legal department of McDonald’s Austria. With a workforce of 9,600 employees, McDonald's is among the largest employers in Austria.

“We faced two central challenges when implementing the short-time work," states Baker McKenzie Partner Philipp Maier, who specializes in employment law. “On the one hand, we were confronted with an entirely new set of rules on short-time work that was amended on almost a daily basis and leaves much room for interpretation." The agreement on short-time work finally reached with “vida” (transport and services union) is a pragmatic approach and serves as a role model for many other catering businesses in Austria.

“The second challenge," says Philipp Maier, “was to find a uniform model for the large number of McDonald's restaurants in Austria. It had to be safeguarded that the individual franchisees have sufficient room for individual working hour arrangements and for rebooting their business after the shutdown.”

Philipp Maier and his team are longstanding employment law advisers of McDonald's. The Managing Partner of the Vienna office benefits from his reputation as leading restructuring specialist. Philipp Maier negotiated the social compensation plan with the works council of Baumax and a trust committee in connection with the takeover of Baumax by the German Obi group. He also acted as lead advisor on the employment law-related aspects of the restructuring in connection with the takeover of the ailing furniture dealer kika/Leiner by the Signa group chaired by Rene Benko.

Legal advisors McDonald's Gesellschaft m.b.H: 

Baker McKenzie

Lead: Philipp Maier (Partner, employment law)

Other attorneys involved: Andrea Polzer, Victoria Fink (both Junior Associates, employment law, Vienna)

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