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15 December 20222 minute read

Top trends impacting global employers: 2022 in review, and a look ahead to 2023

These are difficult times for employers. In 2022, COVID-19, geopolitical developments, supply chain and labor issues, and economic uncertainty challenged businesses and disrupted ways of working for companies worldwide. These issues are likely to persist into 2023.

As more employees returned to work in 2022, organizations had to decide on their approach to COVID-19 testing, vaccination and other health and safety measures to comply with rapidly evolving public health requirements. While mandates have eased, the permanent impacts of COVID-19 are now coming into focus. Many companies are revising policies to recognize new employee priorities - and associated legal obligations - related to flexibility, work-life balance, and health and well-being.

Employment legislative and regulatory activity generally slowed down during the pandemic as governments focused on the response to COVID-19 but now this activity is firmly back on the agenda. Global employers have seen a surge in activity on a range of issues, from discrimination, harassment, diversity reporting and pay equity to wage and hour matters to leave rights and workplace technologies - a trend we expect will continue.

The talent picture is likely to remain mixed in the near term. While some companies continue to recruit as they struggle with labor shortages, more and more are looking to downsize in the face of slower economic growth. For companies implementing reductions in force, attention to performance management and compliance with local laws related to individual and group terminations will be critical to minimize employment risks.

Notwithstanding all of these challenges, there are positive developments as companies are adapting to changed conditions and seizing opportunities. Organizations are broadening their talent pools with remote working, moving forward with expansion plans (while adjusting for new risks, such as the war in Ukraine), and embracing new technologies and ways of working.

In our global report, we identify the top trends impacting global employers and share our predictions for the coming months. For our GENIE subscribers, we have also produced country by country reviews of 2022 and previews of 2023 for 35 jurisdictions across EMEA, Asia Pacific and the Americas. To access this content, log in to your GENIE account or speak to your usual DLA Piper contact about a GENIE subscription.