Employment & Immigration Law Committee

Properly Managing Employee Issues in Cross-border Transactions – Avoiding a Nightmare

Session Synopsis:

When companies enter into transaction to merge or purchase businesses, the primary goal is to achieve greater profitability in the long run through inter alia synergy and efficiency. While a lot of attention is put into due diligence, the price and the tax issues, due consideration needs to be given to the impact of the transaction on the employment relationship and how to transition employees in accordance with the business objectives and the requirements of local law, which can differ greatly between the jurisdictions. The issues that arise include the legal framework in various jurisdictions affecting employee issues in an asset/business sale transaction, whether there is an obligation to make an offer of employment on the part of the buyer, whether the buyer can choose the employees it wants, the seller’s obligation to its employees and achieving functional integrity and alignment in the conditions of employment post-completion. There are also issues if the business has organised labour. Is there a need for consultation with unions/works council? What happens to the collective agreement between the seller and union when there is a transfer of the business? This panel will share their knowledge and experience in achieving a successful outcome when dealing with these issues as well as on other related issues from both a legal and practical standpoint.

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