Legal Updates

Legal updates covering current topics.

Financing opportunities for mid-cap companies during the Covid-19 crisis

The Finnish government has recently increased business financing in order to ensure that companies may continue to operate profitably during and after the current Covid-19 crisis. At the date of this legal update, companies may, in addition to their own banks, apply for financing from the following institutions, depending on the type and size of the relevant company: Read more

Legal Updates / 15.04.2020

Proposed changes to employee share schemes for unlisted companies

The Finnish Ministry of Finance has recently announced proposed changes to simplify the current employee share scheme framework to make it easier for small businesses (unlisted companies) to offer shares to their employees. Read more

Covid-19 forces changes to state financial aid for employers, employees and entrepreneurs

The Finnish labour market organizations have, on request by the Finnish Employment Minister, provided the Government with a number of proposals aimed at facilitating the lives of employers, employees and entrepreneurs who are currently, due to the Covid-19 outbreak, facing an unforeseen and though financial situation. The Parliament has supported many of these proposals and during the current week amendments to existing legislation as well as new acts have in this respect been approved by the Parliament, whereas some changes are still pending approval. Read more

Covid-19 and insolvency – update on proposed measures by authorities

Due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, many undertakings are suffering from unexpected financial difficulties and, according to a recent survey, one third of Finnish companies worry of becoming insolvent. New insolvency legislation has not yet been enacted since the Covid-19 pandemic spread to Finland, but the Finnish government and authorities have expressed their concern regarding the potential wave of bankruptcies in the suite of the Covid-19 crisis. Below we list some of the efforts made by Finnish authorities to date in response to the feared wave of insolvencies. Read more

Financial support for SMEs and mid-caps due to Covid-19

This is a summary of government initiatives to assist SMEs and mid-cap companies and covers financing offered, guarantees and grants as of 3 April 2020. References to the relevant government notices are set out under the relevant sections. Please see our COVID-19 related news in our COVID-19 Newsroom and kindly note that the below summary may be subject to changes as the government may take new actions to address the crisis. Read more

Covid-19: technical monitoring of remote work

The Covid-19 has forced many employers to enable opportunities for employees to work from home and many digital solutions are used to facilitate remote work performance. While there is technology available that can track every second of an employee’s working day, Finnish law, however, includes rather strict provisions on the use of such technology for employee monitoring purposes and any monitoring should, therefore, be carried out with caution. Read more

Covid-19 and Material Adverse Change Clauses

General

The global outbreak of the Corona virus (Covid-19) is heavily affecting both the current state of many businesses and their forward-looking prospects. The large degree of anxiety and uncertainty which the whole world is currently facing will, inevitably, also have implications on the m&a market.

In particular, deals involving regulatory aspects, such as merger control clearance, often entail that the signing and closing of the deal are separated from each other. Naturally, a longer interim period between signing and closing increases the level of risk which a buyer may face before closing the deal. In share purchase agreements, material adverse change clauses (MAC clauses), occasionally also defined as material adverse effect clauses (MAE clauses), usually aim to protect the buyer from circumstances having a negative impact on the target company, which may arise in the interim period between signing and closing. Given the Covid-19 virus crisis currently at hand, MAC clauses in share purchase agreements have, once again, been put under the spotlight. Read more

Competition law compliance in times of crisis – Covid-19 implications on Finnish competition law

Many undertakings have recently faced unprecedented challenges in the new market situation caused by Covid-19. Competition authorities across the globe have reacted to the ongoing crisis. The European Union’s Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager recently pointed out that the crisis is not a shield against competition law enforcement. The new situation raises questions about, among other, the impact of the crisis on merger control proceedings and competition authorities’ approach to increased cooperation in respect of essential goods and services. Read more

Covid-19 and remote work: GDPR applies even when working from home

Due to the Covid-19 outbreak more employees than ever work remotely.  Even in these special circumstances where remote work is next to the new normal and where many employers face enormous pressure on only being able to continue their business operations, it is crucial for the employer to remember that its responsibilities and obligations under the GDPR, and any other applicable data protection legislation, nevertheless continue. Even if employees are working from home it is, ultimately, the employer who is responsible for all applicable data protection legislation compliance. Read more

Process to be followed before temporary layoffs during the Covid-19 pandemic

The Finnish government approved on 1 April 2020 temporary amendments that will expedite the process in case an employer is forced to layoff employees temporarily due to the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 virus or the measures implemented in order to decrease the spread of the virus. The temporary measures will remain in place until the end of June 2020. The shorter consultation period and the shorter notice periods provided for in the new legislation may be applied even in processes that have started before the new legislation entered into force. Read more

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