Legal developments in Austria from BMA Brandstäetter Rechtsanwaelte GmbH
Dr Jüergen Brandstäetter from BMA Brandstäetter Rechtsanwaelte GmbH, Alliott Groups Law firm member in Austria, gives an update on legal developments in Austria in light of the coronavirus crisis.
Dr Jüergen Brandstäetter from BMA Brandstäetter Rechtsanwaelte GmbH, Alliott Groups Law firm member in Austria, gives an update on legal developments in the country in light of the coronavirus crisis.
Over the weekend of 21 and 22 March 2020, the Austrian Federal Government submitted more than 40 laws to the Austrian Parliament for adoption. These laws (the so-called 2nd COVID-19 Act) were published in the Federal Law Gazette No. I 16/2020 on 22 March 2020 and will enter into force on 23 March 2020. The implementation of these regulations will reduce the effects of the coronavirus crisis:
- Small and medium-sized enterprises will receive economic support to avoid insolvency.
- Because kindergartens and schools have largely been closed due to the coronavirus crisis, and thus these childcare facilities are no longer available for the children, the employer can grant special care time, i.e. time off, of up to three weeks for parents whose children are affected by such closures.
- Section 1155 of the Austrian Civil Code (ABGB), which regulates the continued payment of remuneration, has been expanded by two paragraphs. According to these, employers whose companies are affected by business restrictions can demand that employees take leave during the period of the business restriction.
- An amendment to the Federal Fiscal Code (Bundesabgabenordnung - BAO) interrupts the period for appeals until 30 April 2020.
- Likewise, the time limits for appeals in all administrative proceedings will be interrupted until 30.04.2020.
- Also, in pending court proceedings, all procedural deadlines are interrupted until 30.04.2020. Excepted from this are performance deadlines.
- In the area of corporate law, meetings, such as general meetings of joint-stock companies, may be held without the physical presence of the participants. General meetings of joint stock companies for a fiscal year may be held within twelve months of the following fiscal year.
- The legislator has also made changes to the healthcare and medical equipment professions in order to ensure continued medical care during the period of this pandemic.
Apart from the 2nd COVID-19 Act, the Austrian Federal Government has also taken other legal measures to protect the economy from the effects of the coronavirus crisis as far as possible.
The possibility already existing in Austria for companies to employ their staff on so-called short-time working has been extended and is being given additional financial support.
The Austrian Federal Government has announced a 38-billion-Euro aid programme for the economy. Part of this aid programme is the establishment of a hardship fund for one-person companies, freelancers, NPOs and micro-enterprises.
The BMA LAW AND TAX team is at your disposal for specific legal and tax-related questions and for help and advice in Austria. In the first instance please contact Dr Jüergen Brandstäetter.
About BMA Brandstaetter Rechtsanwaelte GmbH
BMA Brandstäetter Rechtsanwaelte GmbH is an independent Austrian business law firm with strong international ties and a simple philosophy: Legal advice must be clear and comprehensible; our clients shall profit from our services. In order to fulfill this promise, we offer our clients a team of highly qualified business lawyers; assignment of one individual lawyer for each mandate counsel in all important areas of business law; co-operation with Alliott Group, a worldwide alliance of business law firms for our international clients; services in German, English, Russian, French, Spanish, Hungarian and Romanian; state-of-the-art office facilities; and flexible and transparent fee arrangements.
Lawyers working for BMA Brandstäetter Rechtsanwaelte GmbH have successfully advised renowned businesses, including global players and small start-ups.