International Employment Laws, Standards, Recommendations & HRM.

AuthorBose, Indranil
PositionHuman resource management


Employment laws and regulations have become the more relevant and significant components of international human resource management decision priorities. According to Geylem and Hansford (2014), all global firms are bound to be contended with different employment laws in the countries in which they conduct business. They have also observed that all these global organizations also abide by all relevant existing international labor and employment standards. Instances of labor practices related scandals in the past involving major international organizations such as Suzuki in India, Apple in China, Toyota in Australia, Nestle in India, PEPSICO in Sri Lanka, NIKE in Taiwan, South Korea and China, Amazon in Brazil and Mexico, Value Partners in Italy, US and Brazil etc. have proved that there can be considerable risks of making mistakes pursuing faulty employment and labor standards and violating national employment laws across the globe. Several researchers have found that international standards (including labor and employment standards), international trade agreements, commercial diplomacy efforts with the governments and varying country laws and cultures all impact how multinational enterprises should operate in different parts of the world. Hall (2001) in his studies has observed that apart from national, supranational and extra-territorial laws, a number of other international human resource issues also have serious impacts on many activities of multinational enterprises and such impacts have long standing consequences in international people management policies of such organizations like expatriation of skilled workforce, cross-border employment and employee data privacy protection, termination and reduction in workforce regulations, maintaining balance between localization and foreign appointees in workforce planning, compensation decisions etc. Therefore, it has become a considerable and essential pre-condition for multi-national enterprises to comply with local employment laws and any regional or international employment standards in doing business internationally. Failure to comply with such essentialities can invite liabilities at many levels, including legal and financial liabilities, negative employee and public opinion, stockholder unrest, consumer dissatisfaction and even hostile local governments in many cases.

International Legal Contexts

It is a well known fact that the international HR managers operate in a very complex legal environment. At least three different legal systems are active in different nations across the globe and like any other major areas of influence such as human behavior, social norms and practices, human relationship, contract between different people and groups of people or their organizations, areas such as employment practices and standards, employment related dispute resolutions and modalities are also deeply influenced by such legal systems practiced. These three systems include common law systems (developed in British legal and constitutional system and widely practiced in all erstwhile British colonies including USA), civil code legal systems, also known as Nepoleonic Code...

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