Published on May 16, 2015
As businesses look to bring together their employment practices around the world, they are faced with the following five challenges.
1. Deciding which practices they should combine should be the first thing employers look at. They have to remain compliant with the relevant laws but a universal approach could be taken for a number of employment practices such as business ethics, disciplinary & grievance and equal opportunities.
2. They should take into consideration the impact of local employment laws in each authority where they plan to put policies in place. There will be mandatory requirements which they will have to understand along with restrictions placed on the content of the policy. This is where the employer will have to decide whether or not they should put in place the top level of protection so that it benefits all employers across the world. It is important for employers to continuously monitor the local employments laws so that they are aware of any changes that could affect the policy.
3. Employers need to think about cultural differences and issues of discrimination when they are looking at the impact of local laws and they need to look at whether certain benefits will sit right with cultural norms. Employers have a lot to consider and when they are forming a company benefit that have to make sure that they do not break local anti-discrimination laws.
4. When putting a global policy in place, local advice should be sought after by employers to ensure that implementing the policy does not prompt collective consultation obligations with the employees. Consultations may have to take place with trade union’s, works council or employee representatives in order to gather further information and complete consultation duties. Fulfilling these duties could affect the timing of the policy but failing to comply with the consultation obligations could lead to further problems such as financial penalties.
5. Once employers have brought together the different employment practices for a global network they have to think about the practicalities of implementing certain policies or practices. The cost is an important factor when combining employment policies and these could be legal costs, training and administrative costs, however, having one central policy could bring long-term savings.
Implementing the policy could be different depending on the region or it could be dependent on consultations with the representatives of the employees.
Communication is vital when it comes to new policies and it is down to managers to make employees aware that the policy exists. Employers will also have to ensure that local line managers are correctly trained so that they understand the contents of the policy and ensure that it is adhered to.
Finally, bringing together the different laws comes with its challenges but if an employer carries out a thorough analysis of the legal issues and practical issues along with the laws in each region then bringing together employment practices can bring many benefits.
Julian Cox is Head of Employment Law at Fletcher Day Solicitors. Please visit: www.fletcherday.co.uk