Employment Issues in European Cross-Border M&A

Cleary Gottlieb has employment lawyers in most of its European offices, including Brussels, Cologne, Frankfurt, London, Milan, Paris and Rome.  Our employment lawyers have extensive experience in all areas of individual and collective labor law.

The European Union (“EU”) complements legal initiatives taken by EU Member States by adopting directives or regulations setting minimum standards of protection for employees.  A directive sets out a legal framework only and leaves the detailed implementation of that framework to the EU Member States, while a regulation has direct binding legal effect in each EU Member State.  In the case of directives, the differences between EU Member States are sometimes significant, because individual EU Member States can provide higher levels of protection as they have some flexibility in the implementation of the directive. 

This website will focus on selected topics that mainly relate to labor and employment issues in the context of M&A transactions in the EU.  This encompasses a wide range of matters which should be carefully considered, such as:

  • Possible application of the EU directive on transfers of undertakings;
  • Compulsory information and consultation rights of employees or their representative bodies;
  • Individual and collective dismissals or similar restructuring of the workforce;
  • Discrimination (harmonization of the working conditions, etc.);
  • Employee compensation and benefits (how to attract and retain key employees, occupational pension schemes, management equity and other incentives, etc.);
  • Data privacy rights, etc.

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