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HR Berater Betriebsübergänge

Project example :

"HR Consultant for Business Transfers / Transfer of Undertakings"

HR Consultant for Business Transfers / Transfer of Undertakings

In aviation, low ticket prices cause fierce competition between airlines. This pressure is passed on to the suppliers. The client in this project was an aviation service provider that works for numerous airlines at the airports in Berlin. Economically, the company was no longer viable competitively. The client wanted to divest in its shareholding and transfer the company to a new shareholder by way of a transfer of business in accordance with Section § 613a BGB. To implement the transfer of undertakings in accordance with the aforementioned German Civil Code, the buyer was looking for an experienced HR Manager for a project within a limited timeframe. 

Project: HR Consultant for Business Transfers / Transfer of Undertakings

The financial means of the company in question were running out, the short-term resources left having resulted in the sale at short notice. In the past, I had taken care of various shareholders at Berlin Airports (BGB) and the market recommended me as an HR Consultant for Business Transfers / Transfer of Undertakings. In the contractual conversation, the only information the buyer could venture was that the set-up of the HR Management would have to ensue practically from scratch. It was not clear whether staff from the HR Department would participate in the sale process or what resources were available. At the time of my appointment, the Transitional Service Agreements were in the process of being negotiated between the parties.

My duties as HR advisor for Business Transfers / Transfers for Undertakings were:

  • Implementation of the transfer of business pursuant to Section § 613a of the German Civil Code (BGB)

  • Preparation of the letters of notification

  • Setting up of Human Resources Management

  • Operational HR Management

  • Analysis of the existing HR processes

  • Digitalisation of Human Resources

  • Transfer of payroll to a new provider

  • Establishment of service level agreements

  • Analysis of regulations under Collective Law (collective agreements, company agreements)

  • Preparation of an executive summary

  • Negotiation of company agreements 

Course of the project

A law firm prepared the letters of notification for the transfer of operations according to § 613a BGB. In the first step of the project, I took stock of the situation and considered which measures would be necessary to safeguard day-to-day operations. The seller and buyer had agreed that for the transitional period all necessary services such as the use of SAP HCM or payroll would continue to be provided by the seller

» I practically started the project as an HR Consultant for Business Transfers / Transfer of Undertakings at an empty desk with my own notebook. On project completion, the client’s business had to its name a competent HR Department with two employees and efficient HR processes in place. «

Lars Schott, HR Manager

Interim Manager Human Resources Betriebsübergang

Within a short space of time, the client had recruited two employees for the HR Department. In a next step, we defined all processes. In doing so, what we did was predominantly follow the seller's process flows, continuing with existing practices. In a following step, we transferred the payroll to a new payroll provider. All services to external suppliers were defined in service level agreements. Furthermore, the client digitalised various HR processes and introduced different software tools.

The buyer had only carried out due diligence on a very superficial level. Therefore, it was unclear which regulations from collective agreements and company agreements applied in the company. As an HR Consultant for Business Transfers / Transfer of Undertakings, I was commissioned to analyse in a systematic manner the regulations under collective bargaining law and to prepare an executive summary.

Cooperation with the Works Council

Another focus of my work as an HR Consultant for Business Transfers / Transfer of Undertakings was cooperation with the Works Councils. After a short space of time, a new Works Council was elected in the client's business. I supervised the election of the Works Council on behalf of the employer. The new committee included various people who were working as Works Council members for the first time. It was therefore important that the employer and the members developed a common understanding of the co-determination rights of Works Councils. In a subsequent step, on the employer's initiative various company agreements were renegotiated: on working hours, shift work and rest periods. The shareholder went on to change various operating procedures at the client that were subject to co-determination by the Works Council.

Operational HR Management

In project HR Consultant for Business Transfers / Transfer of Undertakings, I was furthermore tasked with being in charge of operational HR work. I held discussions with employees on how the business managed reintegration and handled Labour Court disputes, be it regarding the interpretation of the collective agreements or in cases of dismissal. In addition, I advised the company executives and stood in for the personnel officers.

Reduction of personnel costs

The customer recognised one very important thing in this regard: Optimising shift planning would have the biggest potential for reducing personnel costs. So, together with the Works Council, a concept for the deployment of employees was developed. Employees were grouped higher up in the collective agreement, but they were able to make better economic use of the work performance in return. In principle, this resulted in a mutually beneficial situation for all parties concerned.

A proven track record

Although I started this project as an HR Consultant for Business Transfers / Transfer of Undertakings at an empty desk, in the end the client was able to benefit from a professional set-up for HR Management that was functional and that thanks to well-defined, HR processes would go a long way in performance. The transfer of business was not only successful, but personnel costs were reduced, the Works Council was brought on board and company agreements were renegotiated.

Further information:

» My services: HR Management

» My services: Merger & Acquisition

» My services: Labour Relations

» Project example: Consultant for Business Transitions

» Project example: Consultant Transfer Company (Transfergesellschaft)

» Project example: Labor Relations Manager at a pharmaceutical company

» Project example: Head of HR with focus on Mergers & Acquisition

» Project example: Interim HR Manager in the aviation sector

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