Sense Out of Uncertainty - HR Without Borders
FedEE exists to enable you, as an HR professional in a multinational company, to operate in a truly effective way – with far less uncertainty. HRIS helps you to know how your internal HR systems are performing, FedEE keeps you in touch with external developments and ensures that you stay compliant with the law.
As an employers’ organisation we are on your side from the start. We provide great value for money and a speedy service – and FedEE Corporate Membership generally saves a company over half its annual legal fees.
“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing” (Socrates)
Relying on “common sense,” or the laws of a home country as a guide to legal requirements in another country can be very dangerous.
In fact, most HR professionals are not even aware of the laws in countries that are familiar to them. For instance: the bizarre fact that in the UK the Equality Act (2010) provides employment protection to women from the first day of their pregnancy – even before they could possibly know they are pregnant themselves.
In Argentina, a male employee may lawfully change their gender without supplying medical proof and then claim retirement at an earlier age as a female.
In Belgium, there is no initial trial period allowed when someone is hired for the first time.
In China, if someone has not resigned from their previous job, then the new employer becomes responsible for all previous outstanding liabilities.
In the Netherlands, an employee may take paid sickness absence for up to 104 weeks at their company’s expense. If they are not reintegrated correctly they take 52 weeks more paid leave.
In Slovakia, all job adverts must include the pay being offered.
In Spain, an employee may not be dismissed because of imprisonment on remand. In such a case, they must be suspended. They may only be dismissed upon conviction – and then only because of their absence.
The Employment Law Monitoring Service
There are over 350,000 legal amendments and over half a million court and tribunal cases in the field of employment law every year. In “common law” countries like the USA, UK, India and Singapore legal precedents are set almost every working day.
How does an employer know if they are compliant? FedEE constantly sifts through these changes and notifies companies about what they need to know through its daily updates and fortnightly newswires. Is there a coming deadline for completing a government social security return or preparing a pay gap report? When does a new law come into effect and how will it affect the way you do business?
Consult Our Huge Employment Law Knowledgebase
There can be few days when an HR professional is not confronted about a difficult people question and has to ask themselves about the legality of an action. Many flinch from such questions and hope for the best, but a true professional will check online by consulting the FedEE knowledgebase. Here they will find the requirements of employment laws in over 100 countries – all written up in simple English. A five-minute check could save a seriously wrong decision or expensive dispute down the line.
FedEE was founded in June 1988 at a meeting of HR Directors at BP PLC’s Head Office in London.
FedEE offers a range of “must have” services to the individual Multinational employer.
Key predictions for 2020
Economy: There are strong signs of overheating in developed economies and the OECD’s composite longer leading indicator is now below its lowest point since 2009. We are currently experiencing the longest period of a sustained upswing in the world economy since GDP figures were first published and unless there is a step change in the laws of economics we can expect a significant downswing by Q3 2020. This might take place even sooner if triggered by a significant world event such as conflict with Iran or further escalation of the US-China trade war.
Pay: We predict that there will be a surge in average earnings in many developed countries during the second half of 2019, but that this trend will be quickly reversed with the onset of a recession. Real earnings are already flat or reduced in many countries such as Japan and the UK and only in Norway and eastern Europe has there been a surge in real earnings over recent years. This will come quickly to an end by Q4 2019 unless eastern European countries substantially reduce corporate and personal taxation (including social security).
Employee relations: We predict that the long-term decline in union membership across much of the world will be reversed in 2020. This will only take place, however, if unions undertake some serious reforms of their internal structures and political affiliations. The principal driving forces for change will be “labour displacing technologies” and growing limitations on civil liberties. Although the prevailing trend across the world in the last three years has been towards nationalism this may only be the fore-runner of a new highly participative political ideology that will not be identifiable in conventional right-left terms or have identifiable leaders. One of the driving forces of this individualistic “popular democracy” will be a lifestyle-led independent approach to work that will be very different from the current employer-determined “gig working relationships”. Companies must be ready for this change as it will have major implications for the future of employee relations and the securing/management of talent.
Income tax: Governments like income tax because it is so easy to collect. As the total revenue from income tax falls due to declining employment levels (brought about by first a recession and secondly the progressive automation of all areas of activity) then the tax rates on the employees still in work will have to either increase, corporate tax rates rise or other forms of taxation will have to emerge. The aging populations of the developed world will also make public health systems become increasingly expensive, unless medical services can be successfully automated. It thus appear inescapable that 2020 will see a further rise in the “tax take” which in Europe could exceed. on average, 40% of GDP and begin to look like the burdensome levels currently suffered by Belgian taxpayers.
New laws: Employment laws, like taxes, grow faster than ever they are repealed. We have already seen a huge growth in needless bureaucracy develop in Europe as a consequence of GDPR. This is now spreading across the globe through a series of look-alike laws. There is also a rapid rise in the number of difficult laws in the USA that are likely to spread both between US States and across the rest of the world. One prominent example is the New Jersey Equal Pay law that applies the principle of equivalent worth to a string of protected characteristics other than gender. Numerous court cases are also spreading unjust practices – such as the UK EAT ruling on holiday entitlements for part-time workers and the recent Sullivan v. Sleepy’s LLC case in Massachusetts that entitles commission-only retail employees an entitlement to overtime pay.
How prepared is your organisation – even if just one of these predictions is realised? How do you stay in touch with changes in the probability of outcomes unless you are part of FedEE? No other organisation offers insights based on a deep understanding of underlying forces and the way laws evolve – or is prepared to share them, however uncomfortable many potential outcomes may be.
Services Tailored for You
Your Employment Law Questions Answered – Practically and Fast
If a quick check of the FedEE Knowledgebase does not come up with all the details you are looking for then the FedEE legal helpline is just a phone call, or email message, away. We seek to answer all email questions raised within four working hours. In fact, over 90% of telephone enquiries about our core 35 countries are resolved during a 15-minute call.
Updating Your HR Policies to Comply with Statutes and Rulings
The most constant lament that arises in our periodic member surveys concerns the updating of HR policies. If a policy is out of date, and thus at variance with the law, or phrased in an ambiguous way a company can find itself being challenged by employees with whom they are in dispute, an ex-employee or a factory inspector. All policies should therefore ideally be reviewed on an annual basis. FedEE offers a policy review service called “Persolicy” that could be just for one policy in a single jurisdiction, a complete handbook or for multiple countries. This service is at a fraction of the cost charged by a conventional law firm.
Let Us Prepare Your Quarterly HR Team Briefings
All our member companies receive regular country updates for over 100 countries plus a special quarterly review of relevant legal developments in France. This also comes with powerpoint slides for use when briefing colleagues. Such FedEE Focus quarterly reviews cover much detail that we cannot provide in our fortnightly newswires. They are available also for an annual fee in respect to the following countries – Australia, China, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, Russia, Singapore, and The UK.
Becoming a Multinational For the First Time? Let FedEE help reduce the delays and risks.
During the last ten years the average size of multinationals has fallen from over 5000 employees to just 700 employees and many start to become multinational – especially in the service sector – when they have fewer than 100 employees.
Membership of FedEE will be an invaluable aid to successful growth in other countries. Not only can we show you how to avoid the legal pitfalls, but can put you in touch with local service providers and statistics to help you assess things like the size and nature of local labour markets.
The FedEE HR Counsel Programme
Now there is an opportunity for HR professionals in multinational organisations to obtain a legal qualification that prepares them for a role as the departmental expert in employment law. FedEE’s Advanced Diploma in Multijurisdictional Employment Law (Adv Dip MELL) is a one-year part-time programme undertaken primarily through distance learning.
If you are a University graduate with at least three years relevant HR experience you may join the programme at any time. You do not have to possess a first degree in law and the programme will begin by preparing you to understand legal concepts and basic principles of law.
The programme focuses on ten principal jurisdictions – China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, UAE, UK and the USA. However, participants may also choose other jurisdictions for their personal research. There are a total of 24 modules to complete (two per month) and, as a graduate, you will possess greater knowledge of trans-border legal requirements than most conventional legal professionals.
The course is designed to fit in with a busy work schedule and if not completed within the year it may be extended for a further six months. The programme not only ends with a valuable qualification, but you will also be able to use the job title “HR Counsel” – as FedEE owns the term as a trade mark.
For further information please download the programme brochure and, if you wish, contact FedEE’s Legal Counsel, a qualified Barrister who heads up our team of Tutors, or click here to sign up today to participate in the course. Please note that the structure contained in the brochure describes the revised one shortly to be introduced. Those joining the programme in September and October 2019 will follow the original course structure – which contains the same modules in all but one case.
HR COUNSEL COURSE BURSARIES: In order to attract those in FedEE member companies who do not have Masters degrees, or other post-graduate academic qualifications, to sign up to our HR Counsel Course we are now offering ten special bursaries. These are for €1,000 each and reduce the tuition costs for this one-year Advanced Diploma Programme (after the member 25% discount) to just €1,621 from the full programme fee of €3,495 (up until the end of September 2019). For further details, please contact the Programme Director on Academy@fedee.com or sign up here. Please write “Member application, with bursary” in the message line.
Press Releases and Newswires
Join FedEE Today
Many of the world’s largest multinational companies already belong to The Federation of International Employers (FedEE®). We have a Worldwide membership – with particular concentrations in North America, Western Europe, India, Japan and China. A high proportion of our members have been part of FedEE for many years and tell us we provide a both unique and excellent service with great value for money.
If your company has over 200 employees in two or more countries, has its own in-house HR department, and has been operating for two or more years then you really cannot afford to operate without being part of the Federation. The approval process takes less than a day and for immediate access to our services we have an online credit card payment facility. Membership costs as little as €895 a year. Sign up now.
Why not take a short tour of our knowledge-base before joining FedEE® to see the nature and extent of the employment law, HR data and support that we offer? Please contact our Membership Secretary on firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange for a one-to-one webinar for you and your colleagues, arranged without obligation and entirely at your own convenience.