Be Global December 2015

Be Global Series

In this month's edition of Be Global, we bring you a summary of the most significant international employment law developments from the past 12 months, together with a look ahead at the key trends and changes expected to emerge in 2016.  

Highlights from around the globe in 2015 include:

  • The ECJ's decision that the EU/US Safe Harbor arrangement is invalid,  jeopardising the legitimacy of a raft of EU to US data transfers including those which take place on a regular basis in an employment context.
  • The continued progress of significant labor law reform in a number of EU member states where deregulation is being used with a view to boosting the economy,  including,  for example,  the Macron and Rebsamen laws in France,  the Jobs Act in Italy and the extensive reforms seen in the Netherlands earlier this year.
  • In the US, 2015 saw the continued development of the joint employer concept, and an important new gender pay equity law introduced into California.
  • The "Modern Slavery" legislation in the UK which requires all businesses operating in the UK with an annual turnover of GBP 36 million plus to publish an annual slavery and human trafficking statement.

Click here to access our full review of 2015.

Trends which look set to emerge during 2016 include:

  • The increasing regulation of personal data across the globe. A single set of data protection rules for EU member states is on the horizon with the General Data Protection Regulation having been approved in December 2015. However, Europe is not the only place where this is a developing area and changes in data privacy laws are also in the pipeline in, for example,  Hong Kong,  Indonesia and  South Korea.
  • Clampdowns on atypical working arrangements whether by limits being imposed on the use of such arrangements or by workers on atypical contracts being given increased statutory rights. Examples include the German legislative proposal to limit labor leasing arrangements;  the Dutch clampdown on contractor arrangements;  Russian reforms to labor leasing coming into force on 1 January 2016 as well as continuing reforms in this arena in Japan and China.
  • Ever increasing regulation on the use and enforcement of restrictive covenants;  new regulations are coming into force in, for example,  Denmark and Austria and the enforcement of restraints is predicted to continue to be increasingly difficult in the US.
  • Gender pay and gender quotas remain high on the agenda with the Gender Pay Reporting Requirements due to be introduced in the UK during 2016, requiring certain businesses to disclose information to show whether there is a difference in pay between male and female employees; in the meantime the EU rules continue to be discussed to introduce a quota on boards in EU listed companies. 

Click here to access the full look ahead to 2016.