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With the global pandemic slamming the world’s economies, employers everywhere face a once-in-a-generation crisis: reconciling huge revenue drop-offs with high payrolls and locked-down, dormant workforces. Here in the U.S., American employers have already been reminded how difficult and regulated reductions-in-force and workplace cut-backs can be. Unfortunately, workforce retrenchments tend to be all the more complex and regulated abroad, where legal systems do not offer employment-at-will, but impose complex severance pay and notice requirements--and feature high rates of organized-labor penetration.
Ideally a multinational would project-manage, from headquarters, a single global approach to a cutback (say, a global reduction-in-force, a global cut in work hours, a global furlough). COVID-19, though, may push multinationals to take disparate, localized approaches to workforce retrenchments, both because national infection rates differ so greatly and because new local employment laws address the pandemic so differently. As a lead example, new government-funded “wage subsidies” and special/partial unemployment benefits are a huge help to overseas workers and employees alike--but only in certain countries.
Please join Donald C. Dowling, Jr., Aki Tanaka and Lavanga V. Wijekoon, international employment lawyers on the COVID-19 Task Force of international employment law firm Littler Mendelson P.C. for a fast-paced program offers strategies and “how-to” approaches for a multinational hit by the pandemic and facing a possible cross-border workforce cutback or retrenchment.
What you will learn:
- What are the emerging practices among--and options available to--multinational headquarters doing deep global cut-backs and retrenchments?
- What are the legal hurdles, overseas, to each of the most common payroll-reduction strategies: RIF; pay rate cut; pay deferral; hours cut; furlough?
- How to get overseas governments to pay your existing workers for lost hours and pay: Leveraging the new overseas “wage subsidies” and special/partial unemployment benefit programs
- How to project-manage, from headquarters, a complex multi-jurisdictional retrenchment