International HR – More than Just Employment Contracts

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When it comes to doing business abroad, remaining compliant in HR goes beyond drawing up a blanket employment contract. Here, Galvin International takes you through some of the most important factors in HR compliance, from issues to watch out for, to tactics for dealing with them.

International HR Issues
One of the most common concerns for businesses expanding overseas is navigating employment laws. Different countries will have different requirements and regulations, and it’s important to take the time to understand them. Two common factors to consider are:

Employment contracts. In most countries, employment contracts are necessary for legal compliance, avoiding tax liabilities and understanding obligations to employees. However, these aspects of the contract vary between countries, and these differences need to be understood to avoid accidental non-compliance. Attempts to circumvent a country’s employment laws could end up landing you in trouble – the airline Ryanair were fined €8 million for trying to put their French staff on Irish contracts, in breach of French labour laws.

Visas & work permits. Check whether your employees will need these to work in your new market. Currently UK citizens require work permits for many non-EU countries, but with Brexit negotiations already underway this may be changing in the near future – so it’s especially important to keep one eye on the issue and research thoroughly before beginning your international expansion.

It’s also critical to find the correct balance between a centralised and devolved approach to your international HR. Differences between multiple markets can make a centralised HR process difficult to maintain, but devolving HR entirely can lead to inconsistencies between regions unless complex oversight is maintained.

Lastly, and often overlooked, are potential cultural differences. If your HR team doesn’t understand the language, culture and business customs of your new market, it is likely to come across as ill-prepared, and potentially even rude.

Resolving International HR Issues
There are several steps you can take to improve your international HR, including tapping into the right local talent and expertise. An established in-country partner can prove particularly useful in this case – as well as the knowledge and experience of employment regulations, tax requirements and local business customs they can provide, their infrastructure and resources can be used to help your own HR slot seamlessly into your overseas operations.

If your business is running into difficulties collating HR practices across markets, you may wish to work with a global managed payroll provider, who can provide you with access to a range of international payroll services to help maintain compliance across multiple markets.

Managing your international HR is an important part of a business’s expansion goals, and Galvin International’s proactive expansion and compliance services can help. From advising you on contracts and permits to compliance services and on-ground support with implementation, we assist your business through every stage of its expansion. Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help your company in its global growth.

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