Compliance - Staff Policies/Staff Handbooks
We regularly assist our clients with the drafting of staff policies or staff handbooks, including the updating of existing policies and handbooks, which typically involves the drafting of guidelines in the following areas that are adjusted to our clients' special needs in each particular case:
- Holiday, special days off with pay and other absences
- Alcohol and smoking at work
- Email and Internet use
- Working hours, including overtime
Current Employment Relationships
A legal assessment of a current employment relationship is often necessary in order for the employer to act correctly. We regularly provide advice to our clients on the following aspects of a current employment relationship:
- Pregnancy leave, maternity leave, paternity leave, parental leave and any other types of leave
- Change of the terms and conditions of employment
- The employee's duty of loyalty
- Restructuring and rationalisation
- working environment
- Protection of personal data
Directorships and Management
We assist in drafting executive service agreements, resignation agreements as well as providing advice in respect of legal questions on board membership. This will include all matters in relation to employee representation, distribution of work between the management and the board (and restriction of competences) and corporate governance.
We further provide advice in respect of contracts for executive staff in collaboration with employment lawyers.
All corporate and commercial partners have experience in performing directors' duties and managing businesses alongside the requisite legal, commercial and accounting qualifications. They also chair general meetings on a regular basis.
An employment contract is one of the most important documents in an employment relationship as it regulates matters between the employer and employee as well as their mutual rights and obligations. Consequently it is imperative that this contract be drafted correctly.
Terms and Conditions of the Employment Contract
An employer should be aware of several aspects when drafting an employment contract. Some employees are provided with certain legislative protection or collective agreements with additional terms and conditions that may rightly be agreed in respect of the employment relationship. It is also important that the employer be aware that stipulating certain terms relating to an employment relationship is dependent on fulfilling a number of conditions of a valid contract. Should such conditions be disregarded, the terms have not been validly agreed. The same applies to, for instance, non-competition clauses.
Tailored and Standard Contracts
We assist our clients with the drafting of both tailored contracts that have been drafted for a particular employment relationship as well as standardised contracts for the clients’ general and future use. In such situations we can for instance, provide the following services:
- Negotiating employment contracts, including service agreements
- Drawing up remuneration packages, including sparring in respect of pension, fringe benefits, incentive schemes and the need for change of control provisions
- Ensuring the necessary protection of the employer's business by using non-competition clauses, non-solicitation clauses and non-hire clauses as well as clauses relating to intellectual property rights and knowhow
Employment and Labour Law
It is important for an employer to be aware of the restrictions that apply to his or her position in an employment relationship. Matters have not become any less stringent due to the increasing regulation of the legal relationship between the employer and employee that has taken place.
M&S’ labour and employment law departments provide advice on all aspects of these fields. We provide our clients with specialist advice, focusing on providing solution-oriented answers that enable our clients to act quickly, efficiently and with legal conformity when faced with big or small challenges.
We provide legal services to Luxembourg and international businesses in particular, but we also provide legal services to public authorities, institutions and individuals, including managers and executives especially.
Flexible Types of Employment
Not only do we possess vast experience in providing advice on traditional employment issues between employer and employee, we also advise on the more flexible types of employment that have evolved as the need for flexibility has increased. Some examples are fixed-term employment, part-time employment, secondment/hiring-out of employees, consultancy issues and teleworking issues.
Advice at Several Levels
Not only do we provide advice that in accordance with the legal requirements, we also include aspects such as staff policy as well as the human and commercial aspects required for a comprehensive and expedient solution. We know that the advice which we are providing our clients with will usually have a profound effect on the parties involved. We are always mindful of the fact that said parties will often have to continue working together after the legal issue has been resolved.
A Great Supplement to our Advice
We share our knowledge and keep our clients up to date with the latest developments in labour and employment law by monthly electronic newsletters that describe recent judgments, new legislation or current issues and by holding seminars where we discuss one or several issues in depth.
We work closely with a number of foreign law firms and participate in a number of international networks.
By doing so and thereby cultivating our relationships with foreign collaborators, we acquire useful knowledge of what is happening on an international level. We know from experience that this will subsequently influence the Luxembourg labour market.
Another valuable consequence of our international collaboration is how we are always able to quickly procure relevant foreign specialist assistance to our clients when required.
We conduct independent legal inquiries for both public and private businesses about all types of employee issues, including lawfulness, statutory authority, suspected mismanagement and collaboration difficulties.
We carry out thorough and solid inquiries, handling all aspects of the process; planning, management and documentation. We target uncovering the course of events, analysing the material, assessing the applicable legal rules and other issues that are relevant to the inquiry.
The process of making legal inquiries is not as straightforward as one might think. M&S has the experience to know this as applies the specialist knowledge from other legal areas that may be necessary on an ad hoc basis. By adopting this approach, M&S can pride itself on being a full-service law firm and in addition to the legal issues of contention concerning employment law; we are therefore fully-equipped to tackle any other relevant legal issues in dispute in order to conduct a sound and thorough inquiry.
Termination of an Employment Relationship
When the collaboration between an employer and employee has to come to an end, some consideration is required before the termination is implemented regardless of whether it is due to cutbacks, restructurings, collaboration difficulties, unsatisfactory work performance or a breach of contract. If the termination of employment is handled incorrectly or inappropriately, this could result in serious consequences in terms of costs, staff and the persons involved.
We are very experienced in handling such situations, whether the termination involves employees, executives or managers. We also have extensive experience in providing advice on terminations that are subject to the special legislation in Luxembourg on collective dismissals.
Our services include:
- Advice on suspension, release from the duty to attend work, dismissals and summary dismissals, including requirements as to dismissal for good cause
- drafting letters of warning, letters of termination and letters of summary dismissal
- drafting and negotiating severance agreements
- advice on employees who receive special protection due to legislation or collective agreements - for instance pregnant women, employees on leave, safety representatives, trade union representatives, disabled persons and others
- negotiating with employee representatives and completing the processes necessary in case of dismissals that are subject to Luxembourg’s legislation in respect of collective dismissals