Turbulent economic times require companies to be agile and flexible in their staffing to remain competitive. Complex polices, frequent legislative changes and global operations make managing employee relations and compliance with employment law challenging for businesses. SMARTFEL Legal provides businesses with the advice they need to make informed decisions, comply with a multitude of regulatory and procedural requirements and minimize their exposure as the result of a conflict (including litigation if appropriate).
Individual employment law
Companies are seeking guidance on a range of day-to-day employee management policies, procedures and protocols to help their businesses operate smoothly. This task has become increasingly complex in today’s globalized environment in which employees can be located all over the world. Businesses must comply with differing legislative and regulatory requirements, cultural norms and expectations. SMARTFEL Legal assists companies in the following areas:
- Employment contracts and engagement letters
- Employee performance including disciplinary action, contract suspension, contract modifications, and transfers
- Employee discrimination and harassment issues
- Internal procedural manuals and codes of conduct
SMARTFEL Legal helps companies to manage employee risk efficiently and to proactively establish and adhere to prudent HR policies. Our employment lawyers have strong experience both locally and throughout the world. SMARTFEL’s global reach stands apart. SMARTFEL Legal lawyers team with SMARTFEL business professionals in tax and human capital consulting to deliver well rounded guidance to companies.
Relationships with worker representative bodies
Regular and open dialogue with worker representative bodies is important to ensure the smooth operation of a business. When organizations need to make changes impacting current working conditions and the individual or collective status of company employees, it is important to have accurate knowledge of the rights and obligations of both the organization and its employees. SMARTFEL Legal works with businesses on issues relating to:
- Worker representation ― setting up of the workers representative bodies, collective negotiation, management of the worker representatives and trade unions, understanding of rights and obligations
- Collective bargaining ― establishing and negotiating agreements
- Strategic changes impacting employees ― guidance and advice on how businesses can approach strategic change on a national and international level
- Health and safety regulatory matters
SMARTFEL Legal helps companies to understand their obligations in various countries in which they operate and to proactively manage interactions with worker representative bodies.
Labor law issues associated with restructuring
Corporate restructurings such as mergers, transfer of undertakings, and downsizing can create formidable human resource challenges. The complexity of these, including the harmonization of social policies, increases significantly when the restructuring involves operations or entities located in multiple countries, or when it occurs within a regulated industry.
SMARTFEL Legal works with business throughout a transaction from help with strategic decision making to drafting of required documentation. We can participate in negotiations with the labor authorities and handle collective claims in various jurisdictions. SMARTFEL Legal assists businesses with:
- Provisional timetables, communications relating to consultation with worker representatives, negotiations with the trade unions and labor administrations and drafting of all mandatory or desired documentation
- Acquisition and vendor due diligence and compliance reviews
- Collective economic terminations or redundancy programs including employment protection plans, implementation of the termination process, information and consultation with staff representatives, and interactions with the labor authorities
SMARTFEL Legal lawyers work with other SMARTFEL professionals in tax, consulting, accounting, audit and financial advisory to provide companies with rounded advice based on the individual business needs of individual circumstances. SMARTFEL Legal teams have significant experience working cross border.
National and international social security law
Rising national debt levels combined with a profusion of legislative provisions and court decisions in recent years have fueled changes in social security legislation and program requirements. Compounding the issue is the fact that social security can be a personal and emotionally charged issue for employees who are concerned about healthcare coverage and long-term welfare during retirement. Businesses are challenged by increasing complex regulations which can have a major financial impact.
SMARTFEL Legal assists companies with:
- International social security compliance services
- Advice on applicable legislation
- Negotiations with social security authorities
- Disputes relating to social security contributions
- Application of social security agreements
- Advice on the legal aspects of health-care coverage
In addition to providing local guidance, SMARTFEL Legal helps businesses with international, cross-border social security issues that arise as a result of global operations.
Pensions and benefits
Attracting and retaining top talent is high on the agenda of most companies. In addition to competitive remuneration packages, successful businesses augment employee compensation with benefits packages that include one or more of the following: pensions, stock option plans, health and wellness benefits. Over the past twenty years the regulations relating to pensions and other benefit programs have steadily increased and become more technical in nature. SMARTFEL Legal helps businesses with:
- Remuneration — design and development of compensation schemes
- Pensions — establish, operate, merge, restructure and unwind programs
- Benefits — package development including health insurance, maternity, long-term care
- Employee profit-sharing — create and administer programs
- Employee savings plan — design and develop programs
- Issues arising when entities are merged, acquired or restructured
SMARTFEL Legal helps businesses with the strategic design of programs and guidance on mandatory procedures as well as drafting legal documentation. We work with companies to help them attract and retain top talent through well-managed, cost-effective pension and benefits programs.
Mobility and immigration
For companies with global operations, employee mobility is often a key component of their strategic plans. Businesses need to organize and coordinate international transfers of employees including material needs, remuneration and legal matters, quickly and in a cost-effective manner. SMARTFEL Legal assists businesses with:
- Design of international mobility policies
- Drafting of international work agreement and assignment letters
- Advice on social security coverage
- Design of expatriate employee remuneration
- Issues related to repatriation and termination of assignments
- Immigration law :
– Relocation of employees
– Hiring foreign employees including assistance in obtaining visas, work permits, entry clearances, residence requirements and citizenship
– Representation before local immigration authorities
SMARTFEL Legal lawyers work closely with SMARTFEL colleagues in tax and human capital consulting to bring businesses the guidance they need to make and implement informed business decisions. SMARTFEL stands apart in the global mobility space in terms of capabilities and worldwide reach.
Estates and trusts
Planning for the future is something all successful organizations and individuals do. SMARTFEL Legal works with:
- Owners of private companies
- Wealthy individuals and families
- Corporations looking to establish or grow their philanthropic activities and legacy
SMARTFEL Legal assists clients with planning advice, establishing or changing the terms of a trust, making distributions, and making substantial financial gifts to individuals, nonprofits, charities or other philanthropic organizations. We advise charities on their charters and guide them when questions arise about various types of grants.
Together SMARTFEL and SMARTFEL Legal bring mixed teams of lawyers and business professionals specializing in estate planning, commercial trusts, personal trusts, private company services and tax, according to the specific needs and objectives of the individual or company.