Labor and Employment Law

Taken on its own, the Garrigues Labor and Employment Department is the top labor and employment law practice in the Iberian Peninsula in terms of the size and volume of cases and transactions it handles, the number of professionals with expertise in the field, and billings. The Department operates in all of the Firm’s offices in Spain and Portugal and specializes in all aspects of advice to employers: individual employment matters, senior management arrangements, advanced compensation systems, litigation, labor relations and restructuring processes, etc. Given its size, geographical footprint and the significance of the engagements entrusted to it, it is ideally placed to liaise with the labor unions and employer organizations, as well as with the central and autonomous community governments.

In the area of Employment Law, the Department produces daily updates on the main changes in this field, including those introduced by labor reforms and the reform of the pensions system etc.

As advisers to employers, the Department is noted for its participation and extensive expertise in all employment issues affecting them and in labor restructuring processes at companies, including those affecting the public sector. Garrigues has provided advice on high-profile restructuring processes that have affected publicly-owned private law companies and other entities, as well as territorial and municipal authorities.

The practice has enjoyed international recognition from specialist rankings and directories, being placed in Band I for Employment Law by both Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500, as well as being considered a Leading Firm in the Labor and Employment Benefits area by Which Lawyer? Professionals from the Department have also received individual accolades from publications such as Chambers & Partners, Best Lawyers, or European Legal Experts, among others.

Individual employment matters

The aim of the Garrigues Labor and Employment Department is to provide strategic employment and human resources advice to domestic and multinational enterprises, ensuring the most advantageous application of employment and social security legislation in the ordinary management of companies. Our professionals specialize in designing instruments to optimize decisions and measures by employers in order to facilitate their management. Permanent contact with the client and the immediate resolution of queries are of key importance for the Department’s professionals. This is achieved through the assignment of a dedicated team that maintains contact based on trust and 24/7 availability.

The services provided by the Garrigues Labor and Employment Department offer the utmost versatility and the highest level of expertise in the employment law and HR area. These services include:

  • Advice on the day-to-day running of the business.
  • Employment contracts, reductions in social security contributions and special working conditions.
  • Remuneration and compensation systems (bonus systems, flexible remuneration, shares and stock options, pension commitments).
  • Internal policies and protocols.
  • Holding in abeyance and termination of individual employment relationships
  • Disciplinary system
  • Geographical and functional mobility. Material modifications to working conditions.
  • Senior management: contracts, special covenants, golden parachute clauses, non-compete clauses, incorporation into the hierarchical structure of the company, termination of senior managers.
  • Professional artistes and sportsmen and women.
  • Expatriate workers.
  • Social security registration and contributions.
  • Social security and employee welfare benefits and services.
  • Equality plans.
  • Training plans.
  • Temporary employment agencies.
  • Occupational risk prevention.
  • Due diligence reviews and advice on restructuring processes (acquisitions, mergers, spin-offs, carve-outs).
  • Requests for guidance submitted to the authorities
  • Legislative developments.

Litigation

Lawyers from the Garrigues Labor and Employment team are particularly conscious of the need to avoid disputes in court and therefore provide preemptive advice aimed at finding an amicable solution to disputes on the most advantageous terms for the employer.

Where a settlement cannot be reached and the case goes to court, Garrigues expertly and competently defends the interests of its clients by assigning seasoned expert litigators. Our geographical reach enables us to have on-site knowledge of each judicial district and its courts and administrative bodies.

The services offered by the Garrigues Labor and Employment Department include:

  • Case preparation, assistance and appearance before the labor inspection authorities in matters involving assessments for social security contribution deficiencies or proceedings for notified labor or occupational risk prevention infringements, or any other proceeding.
  • Drafting of all kinds of documents: complaints, submissions, evidence requests, appeals in the administrative jurisdiction and before the labor courts and judicial review courts.
  • Appeals and any formalities required at any instance until a final judgment is obtained (courts, high courts, National Appellate Court, Supreme Court and Constitutional Court).

Labor relations

The Garrigues Labor and Employment Department specializes in the proper management of relations with directly- and union-elected representatives of the workers as an essential part of the HR strategy. It offers recurring advice on the structuring of labor relations at companies or corporate groups in all industries and geographical areas, on processes to elect workers’ representatives, on collective bargaining scenarios (industry-wide collective labor agreements, accords and agreements at companies and corporate groups, etc.) as well as on processes affecting collective working conditions (whether or not provided for in a collective labor agreement), and on modifications to the legal business structure (mergers, spin-offs, carve-outs, transfers of business lines, outsourcing and insourcing processes, etc.)

These business processes are managed and coordinated in conjunction with the Garrigues Tax and Corporate/Commercial Law Departments, among others.

Restructuring processes at companies

The experience of our Labor and Employment professionals enables Garrigues to properly manage business reorganization and restructuring processes, on the basis of highly specialized advice. The Firm is able to bring to bear its experience in the most high-profile and complex cases in the Spanish economy and in all areas of business, including, among others, the automotive industry and the industrial sector in general, the chemical industry (laboratories, pharmaceutical companies, manufacturing), construction, IT, consulting, banking and financial institutions, the insurance industry, the agri-food industry, tourism, the media (press, television), advertising and the services sector.

The Labor and Employment Department remains one of the undisputed leaders in the area of highly complex restructuring and reorganization transactions, involving collective layoffs, pre-retirement arrangements, income plans and outplacements, etc. We are experts in defining strategies and coordinating with consultants and other third parties, particularly in insolvency proceedings, as well as in negotiations with employees. We also act as a liaison with labor unions, the labor inspection authorities, and with central and autonomous government authorities.

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