The Employment Law Review: Editor's preface
For the past decade, we have surveyed milestones and significant events in the international employment law space to update and publish The Employment Law Review. When updating the book each of the past 10 years, I reread the Preface that I wrote for the first edition in 2009. In that first edition, I noted that I believed that this type of book was long overdue because multinational corporations must understand and comply with the laws of the various jurisdictions in which they operate. I have been practising international employment law for more than 20 years, and I can say this holds especially true today, as the past 11 years have witnessed progressive shifts in the legal landscape in many jurisdictions. This 11th edition of The Employment Law Review is proof of the continuously growing importance of international employment law. It has given me great pride and pleasure to see this publication grow and develop to satisfy its initial purpose: to serve as a tool to help legal practitioners and human resources professionals identify issues that present challenges to their clients and companies. As the various editions of this book have highlighted, changes to the laws of many jurisdictions over the past several years emphasise why we continue to consolidate and review this text to provide readers with an up-to-date reference guide.
This 11th edition also holds a special place in my heart because it is the first that I have prepared as a shareholder of Epstein Becker & Green, PC (EBG). I joined EBG at this time in part because, in 2019, EBG established an alliance with Deloitte Legal to provide clients with comprehensive and global services relating to employment law and workforce management. The alliance brings together Deloitte Legal's global reach and the strength of its multidisciplinary business approach with EBG's United States labour and employment attorneys and workforce management experience to form a global delivery model. Through this alliance, EBG and Deloitte Legal offer comprehensive employment law and workforce management services to clients. I firmly believe that this alliance is the 'wave of the future', to be able to offer clients integrated professional services, and this notion parallels the mission and purpose of this text.
In 2020 and looking into the future, global employers face growing market complexities, from legislative changes and compliance, to technological and societal forces that are transforming the future of work. Whether solving global mobility issues, designing employee equity incentives, negotiating collective bargaining arrangements or responding to increasing public attention around harassment or equal pay issues, workforce issues can affect a company's ability to attract and retain talent, or damage its reputation and market value in an instant. These issues have created a confluence of legal and business challenges that no longer can be separated or dealt with in isolation. As a result, every company requires business advisers who can address the combined business and legal issues relating to its multinational workforce. It is my hope that this text provides legal practitioners and human resources professionals with some guidance, best practices and comprehensive solutions to significant workforce issues that affect a company's market position, strategy, innovation and culture.
Our most recent general interest chapter still focuses on the global implications of the #MeToo movement. The movement took a strong hold in the United States at the end of 2017, as it sought to empower victims of sexual harassment and assault to share their stories on social media so as to bring awareness to the prevalence of this behaviour in the workplace. In this chapter, we look at the movement's success in other countries and analyse how different cultures and legal landscapes affect the success of the movement (or lack thereof) in a particular jurisdiction. To that end, this chapter analyses the responses to and effects of the #MeToo movement in several nations and concludes with advice to multinational employers.
Our chapter on cross-border mergers and acquisitions continues to track the variety of employment-related issues that arise during these transactions. After a brief decline following the global financial crisis, mergers and acquisitions remain active. This chapter, and the relevant country-specific chapters, will aid practitioners and human resources professionals who conduct due diligence and provide other employment-related support in connection with cross-border corporate M&A deals.
Global diversity and inclusion initiatives remained a significant issue in 2019 in nations across the globe, and one of our general interest chapters discusses this. Many countries in Asia, Europe and South America have continued to develop their employment laws to embrace a more inclusive vision of equality. These countries enacted anti-discrimination and anti-harassment legislation, and regulations on gender quotas and pay equity, to ensure that all employees, regardless of gender, sexual orientation or gender identity, among other factors, are empowered and protected in the workplace. Unfortunately, there are still many countries where certain classes of individuals in the workforce remain underprotected and under-represented, and multinational companies still have many challenges with tracking and promoting their diversity and inclusion initiatives and training programmes.
We continue to include a chapter that focuses on social media and mobile device management policies. Mobile devices and social media have a prominent role in, and impact on, both employee recruitment efforts and the interplay between an employer's interest in protecting its business and an employee's right to privacy. Because companies continue to implement bring-your-own-device programmes, this chapter emphasises the issues that multinational employers must contemplate prior to unveiling such a policy. Bring-your-own-device issues remain at the forefront of employment law as more and more jurisdictions pass, or consider passing, privacy legislation that places significant restrictions on the processing of employees' personal data. This chapter both addresses practice pointers that employers must bear in mind when monitoring employees' use of social media at work, and provides advance planning processes to consider prior to making an employment decision based on information found on social media.
Our final general interest chapter discusses the interplay between religion and employment law. Religion has a significant status in societies throughout the world, and the chapter not only underscores how the workplace is affected by religious beliefs but also examines how the legal environment has adapted to them. The chapter explores how several nations manage and integrate religion in the workplace, in particular by examining headscarf bans and religious discrimination.
In addition to these five general interest chapters, this edition of The Employment Law Review includes country-specific chapters that detail the legal environment and developments of 44 jurisdictions around the world. A special thank you to the legal practitioners across the globe who have contributed to this volume for the first time, including Sedrak Asatryan, Janna Simonyan and Mary Serobyan (Armenia), Stefan Kühteubl and Martin Brandauer (Austria), Ignacio García, Fernando Villalobos and Soledad Cuevas (Chile), Tingting He (China), Jan Procházka and Iva Bilinská (Czech Republic), Véronique Child and Eric Guillemet (France), Guy Castegnaro, Ariane Claverie and Christophe Domingos (Luxembourg), Jack Yow (Malyasia), Charlotte Parkhill and James Warren (New Zealand), Petra Smolnikar, Romana Ulčar and Tjaša Marinček (Slovenia), Fernando Bazán López, Antonio Morales Veríssimo de Mira, Paloma Gómez López-Pintor and Andrea Sánchez Rojas (Spain) and Caron Gosling (United Kingdom). This edition has once again been the product of excellent collaboration, and I wish to thank our publisher. I also wish to thank all our contributors and my associates, Ryan H Hutzler and Anastasia Regne, for their invaluable efforts in bringing this 11th edition to fruition.