Category Archives: International Employment Law

Africa Compensation and Benefits Event – Feb 7th

Warren Heaps – Birches Group LLC

Are you interested in Compensation and Benefits in Africa?  If you are nearby to Johannesburg, you should plan to attend the Employer Roundtable sponsored by Birches Group, Emergence Growth and Aon Hewitt on February 7, 2013.

The event will be held at Aon Hewitt South Africa offices in Sandton.  You must register in order to attend.  Click here for more information and to reserve your seat.

I look forward to meeting you!

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Permanent Establishment and the International Assignee

Chris HallGuest Author:
Chris Hall – Global Tax Network, LLC

We are delighted to welcome Chris Hall as a Guest Author.  Chris is the Managing Director for Global Tax Network in New York.  GTN is an award-winning firm that assists clients with expatriate tax matters headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  He is a Chartered Tax Advisor with over twelve years of experience.  Chris has worked in the UK, Canada and the US.  Before joining GTN, he held positions with Arthur Andersen and Deloitte.

The concept of Permanent Establishment (PE) is one of the fundamental principles used by taxing authorities to claim jurisdiction over a corporate entity deemed to be doing business in their location. When sending people to work in overseas locations it is important to consider the impact the PE concept might have on the company as a whole.

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International HR Forum Best of 2011

Warren Heaps – Birches Group LLC

As we reflect back on the 2011 year just completed, we have compiled a list of the most popular posts on the site during the past year.  Each of the posts listed below had more than 1,000 views during 2011.  If you did not have a chance to view these posts when they were first published, here’s a great opportunity to see what you missed.

Why Culture is Important in International Business
Ten Steps For Building A Salary Structure
International Employment Law “Quick Facts”: Brazil
How Top Companies Manage Talent Development
The Way To Identify Your Future Leaders (Part 1)
International Employment Law “Quick Facts”: India
Global Salary Grades or Global Salary Structure?
Global HR Issues That Keep Executives Up at Night – Part 1
International Annual Leave Rules — Or I Want to Live in Brazil!
The Way to Identify your Future Leaders – Part 2
Square Peg in a Round Hole: Balancing the Global Salary Budget
Base Salary – Not So Basic!
Reverse Culture Shock (or Why Do I Hate Being Back Home?)
Creating High Performance Teams
From Training Departments to a Company Academy Part 1

We have much to look forward to as we enter 2012. We will be adding some new regular contributors to the site, and will be revamping the entire site over the next few months. We appreciate your support and encourage you to add your comments on how we can make the site even more valuable for you. Also, let us have your suggestions for future posts and other ideas you think would be helpful in advancing the site as a resource for international human resources professionals.  Finally, if you are interested in submitting a post, we welcome your participation.  Please contact me to discuss your interest.

Ten Questions HR Should Ask When Your Company Expands Internationally

Warren Heaps – Birches Group LLC

Companies are increasing the pace of international expansion, constantly seeking new opportunities and new markets.  One of the most commonly asked questions through our Ask the Experts feature and on other sites is how to prepare, from a human resources perspective, for international expansion.  It might be opening a new office, or just hiring one or two sales reps, but either way, there’s work to do.  If your company is expanding to a new country, what questions should you ask (and answer) as an international HR expert to help prepare your firm?

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Workplace Bullying: A Global Issue

Guest Author:
Ellen Pinkos Cobb – The Isosceles Group

[Editor’s Note:  We are pleased to feature this article on Global Workforce Bullying by guest author Ellen Pinkos Cobb.  Ellen is an attorney with many years of experience in the employment law field, and has spent the past two years extensively focusing on psychosocial workplace issues.  She is a Senior Regulatory & Legal Analyst for The Isosceles Group, a consulting firm specializing in Environmental, Health and Safety management services.  Ellen is based in the firm’s Boston office.] 

Think about sexual harassment.  It’s not done.  And yet, it was done, flagrantly, constantly, with a wink and a nod, until not that long ago.  It still happens, but less, and public perception has changed.

In the United States, workplace bullying has been found to be four times more prevalent than sexual harassment.  At the Work, Stress, and Health 2011 conference in May, bullying expert Staale Einarsen of Norway described the workplace bullying field as “exploding.”

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Ten Tips for Managing Employment Contracts

Guest Author:
Joan Keston –  Keston & Associates, Ltd.

[Editor’s Note:  We are happy to welcome Joan Keston as a Guest Author.  Joan is an experienced attorney and Managing Principal at Keston & Associates, a consulting firm that helps companies achieve a stable international presence by providing a broad range of legal services for international corporate and employment law, and global governance.  She assists public and private companies, NGOs and non-profits, US and foreign entities.]

Employment contracts are a requirement in many countries.  Drafting employment contracts is a blending of the company employment policies and practices, usually based on employment law of the country where the company’s headquarters is located, and the employment/labor law of the country where the employee is working.

Jurisprudence varies greatly among countries, and this will affect basic contract law and corporate law, as well as legal principles.  Layered on top of these differences is employment/labor legislation, an area that is extremely nationalistic and specialized.  The differences are accentuated more so in developing countries.

Managing these contracts is a challenge.  Here are ten best practices to consider: Continue reading

International Annual Leave Rules — Or I Want to Live in Brazil!

Jacque Vilet – Vilet International

In many parts of the world, time off from work is called annual leave or holiday, not vacation.  Whatever you call it, we can agree on a universal definition:  Annual leave refers to the period of time-off with pay which is available to employees, to pursue relaxation and recreation with their family and friends.  The amount of annual leave provided in different countries around the world varies quite a bit.  This post provides a nice summary of the legal requirements for annual leave provisions in some key countries. In order to be competitive in a specific country, a company also needs to take competitive data in mind when forming its policy.

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Ten Frequently Asked Questions About China’s Labor Law

Guest Author:
Aaron Schindel – Partner at Proskauer

Editor’s Note:  This post was compiled by Aaron Schindel, a Partner in the Labor & Employment Law Department and co-head of the International Labor & Employment Group at Proskauer.  His career spans the full range of labor and employment matters for clients ranging from multinational corporations to small not-for-profit organizations, to large and small public sector entities.

The article originally appeared in the Proskauer law firm newsletter “International HR Best Practices Tip of the Month.”

With the explosive growth of the Chinese economy, many companies are opening offices in China. Hiring employees in China requires a detailed understanding of local laws and regulations. Ying Li and Lijuan Hou of Proskauer’s Hong Kong office have compiled this list of ten frequently asked questions about the laws affecting foreign employers opening offices in the People’s Republic of China.

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Employment in France – A Quick Checklist for Employers

Guest Author:
John Tinsley –

Editor’s Note:  This post is written by John Tinsley, Managing Director and Owner of, a Geneva-based HR consultancy.  John is an HR practitioner with over 25 years of experience in Europe and the Middle East.  John’s company offers assistance to employers in finding reliable local payroll partners in over 100 countries.  He also provides consulting services in areas such as labor contracts, employee handbooks, benefits, and compensation.

Employment in France has some unique requirements and challenges.  For employers establishing businesses in France for the first time, the following checklist is a handy guide of what to consider:

  1. All employees in France are notionally attached to a “Convention Collective” or Collective Agreement for their industry. The agreements are very similar but there are variations between industry in terms of vacation, social charges, and termination indemnities, so employers need to define what their business is. As an example,”Telecoms” wouldn’t be detailed enough. “Provision and implementation of routers for wide area networks” would be ok.
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Ten Tips to Develop a Global Code of Conduct – Part 2

Mariana Villa da Costa – Littler Mendelson

A few weeks ago in the first post of this series, I provided five tips to get you started in the development of a Global Code of Conduct.  In this post, we are back with five more tips to help you finish your Code.

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