Erika C Collins
Proskauer Rose LLP
The eighth 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 The Employment Law Review grow and develop over the past seven years to satisfy the initial purpose of this text: 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.
Our first general interest chapter continues to track the variety of employment-related issues that arise during cross-border merger and acquisition transactions. After a brief decline following the global financial crisis, mergers and acquisitions remain active. This chapter, along with 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 2016 in nations across the globe, and this is the topic of the second general interest chapter. In 2016, many countries in Asia and Europe, as well as North and South America, enhanced their employment laws to embrace a more inclusive vision of equality. These countries enacted anti-discrimination and anti-harassment legislation as well as gender quotas and pay equity regulation to ensure that all employees, regardless of sex, 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 remain under-protected and under-represented in the workforce, and multinational companies still have many challenges with tracking and promoting their diversity and inclusion initiatives and training programmes.
The third general interest chapter focuses on another ever-increasing employment law trend in which companies revise, or consider revising, 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 laces 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.
The fourth and newest general interest chapter, which discusses the interplay between religion and employment law. In 2016, we saw several new, interesting and impactful cases that further illustrate the widespread and constantly changing global norms and values concerning religion in the workplace. Religion has a significant status in societies throughout the world, and this chapter not only underscores how the workplace is affected by religious beliefs but also examines how the legal environment has adapted to such beliefs. The chapter explores how several nations manage and integrate religion in the workplace, in particular by examining headscarf bans and religious discrimination.