Considerations For International Employers

Clyde & Co's MENA employment team recently attended and presented at the Employment Law Alliance (ELA) annual conference, which was held in Shanghai. ELA is a global network of specialist employment and immigration lawyers from over 120 countries (including 50 U.S. states). Membership of ELA is by invitation only and only after member lawyers have passed a rigorous vetting process. ELA's annual conference is a unique opportunity for employment and immigration lawyers from around the world to discuss the challenges facing international employers. Emma Higham and Ben Brown attended on behalf of Clyde & Co. This article summarises the key themes which emerged from the discussions at the conference.

Immigration issues

International employers face constant immigration issues affecting their ability to resource their operations effectively and cost-efficiently, whether it be the travel bans imposed in the United States by President Trump, the uncertainty facing migrant workers in the United Kingdom following Brexit or the new visa restrictions on foreign workers imposed by the Government of the People's Republic of China.

As demonstrated by the Executive order issued by President Trump on 27 January 2017, which initially banned citizens from seven Muslim countries from entering the United States, immigration rules and regulations often change quickly and without notice. To reduce the risk of disruption to their operations, it is crucial that international companies obtain up-to-date advice from advisers who have specialist immigration knowledge of the relevant jurisdiction.

Implementing atypical working arrangements

The new generation of employees (often referred to as "millennials") want, and expect, to be able to work differently from their predecessors - whether it be under zero hours contracts, flexible hours or during the middle of the night via remote working.

The challenge for 21st century employers is to adapt their work practices to accommodate these atypical working arrangements within the legal framework in which they operate. Some well-known employers (such as Uber) have struggled to do this, which can materially affect their ability to resource their operations effectively and cost-efficiently.

Achieving gender equality in the workplace

Recent months have seen some welcome developments in gender equality, not least with the publication by the BBC of the salaries of their senior staff, the lifting of the ban on women driving in the...

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