Managing an International Workforce: 2018 & Beyond


Managing an International Workforce: 2018 & Beyond

Start date:
02 Feb 2018
Start time:
End date:
02 Feb 2018
End time:
etc.venues St Paul's , 200 Aldersgate, London EC1A 4HD

On February 2, 2018, Ius Laboris UK Lewis Silkin will host their Managing an International Workforce: 2018 & Beyond conference at the etc.venues St Paul's in London. 

The Programme 

8.15 - 9.00  Registration

9.00 - 9.10  Introduction

9.10 - 10.20  The world of employment law: a year in review

The global political scene continues to be turbulent, pitting “globalists” against “nationalists”: the former cheered by elections in France, Germany and the Netherlands, the latter to the fore in Trump’s America and Brexit Britain. In APAC Xi Jinping consolidates power as Belt and Road gathers pace, while the threat of conflict continues to cast shadows. We review the key global employment law developments taking place against this backdrop.

10.20 - 10.40 Coffee break

10.40 - 11.50  114 days to go: are you GDPR ready?

Being “workplace ready” for the GDPR is about more than auditing data flows, amending employment contracts and introducing new policies. It creates new practical workplace challenges which employers need to be ready to respond to. This session provides the chance to hear from European regulators and leading practitioners about some of the main workplace data issues, including: how to undertake privacy impact assessments and identify data breaches; and what to do if an employee objects to the processing of his/her data in respect of a disciplinary matter.

12.00 - 1.00 Breakout session options

 1. Snooping on your staff: the anatomy of an international investigation

This session will examine how far employers can go when investigating their staff for potential wrongdoing. Can emails be examined, phones forensically analysed, and CCTV combed through? What limits are there in light of the European Court of Human Rights’ decision in the Barbulescu case? What should you do if your staff turn themselves into vigilante investigators and provide you with evidence you simply can’t ignore? We will examine all of these questions and more.

 2. The gender agenda: two steps forward, one step back?

This session will consider comparisons between countries that are continuing to close the gender gap through workplace legislation, with those where promotion of gender equality is failing to gain traction or progress is stalling, looking at issues such as pay equality monitoring, boardroom quotas, maternity rights and flexible family leave. Delegates will be invited to contribute to discussion about the practicalities of implementing global workplace gender equality policies against a backdrop of differing legal requirements and cultural norms.

 3. International framework agreements: a Trojan horse?

Trade unions, NGOs and other pressure groups are increasingly and publicly pressuring multinational employers to enter into international framework agreements. Such agreements commonly require multinational employers to comply with extensive “soft” international law obligations such as UN declarations and OECD guidelines not only on labour rights but also on environmental standards, supply chain management, anti-corruption efforts and human rights. Are you ready to react to such a request and would you fully understand its implications? Or might your colleagues have already let in a Trojan horse and, if so, what immediate steps should you be taking?

 4. Educating the world: the benefits and challenges of international manager training

How do you train an international workforce effectively in order to deliver consistent standards around the world? We will consider the importance of international manager training, together with the challenges it brings and the various barriers which may prevent training from being truly effective. We will look at different strategies for implementing a “one training” approach for countries with very different employment laws, together with the cultural issues which must be borne in mind when delivering the same course to diverse international audiences. We will also discuss different training methods, from live delivery in person to e-learning, webinars and other solutions using different types of technology.

 5. The challenges and opportunities of post acquisition/transfer integration of workforces

We will explore, with input from an expert panel and audience participation, the myriad of issues to consider when integrating different workforces following a merger, acquisition or TUPE service provision change including the legal, practical and cultural challenges. Of course these situations are golden opportunities too, to create a new ‘best of both’ organisation. How might that be achieved? What are the pitfalls? Where are the quick wins? And how do these issues vary from country to country?

1.00 - 2.00 Lunch

2.00 - 3.00 Breakout session options

 1. Lost in translation: the key points to know (and the big no no’s to avoid!) in doing business in APAC

Many of our clients express occasional nervousness in negotiating the very different cultural and social landscapes of APAC countries when operating in that region. This interactive session will involve colleagues from five key APAC countries and will consider some common workplace and business scenarios with a view to assisting you in operating in a dignified and effective manner in your dealings with your APAC work colleagues and business partners.

 2. Global mobility: 1.01

Deploying your staff around the world to meet international business needs is becoming easier; with government and private sector systems allowing companies to demonstrate their ‘good faith’ in meeting country specific compliance needs. However it is always a big ask to uproot your top talent and ensure they focus on work and not the logistics of moving. Find out how can you effectively plan, budget and case manage your business and longer term international travel. Learn about the immigration and tax implications, including the ‘183 day rule’ and how (if at all) it applies in practice.

 3. The future of the workplace: evolution or revolution?

The so-called “gig economy” continues to command the headlines, with ever greater numbers of individuals working on a self-employed basis facilitated by new technologies. There has been much focus on employment status litigation, and proposals for reform of employment law to address the new working realities. However, of possibly greater long term significance may be the moves businesses are making away from traditional static workforce structures as they understand that embracing the digital age and agile workforce models is essential to be commercially competitive in today’s marketplaces. This session considers the steps you can take to “future proof” your company, looking at how businesses are departing from traditional employment models, adapting to ensure they have the right talent to meet their business needs, and learning lessons from new organisational models.

 4. The silvering of the workforce: managing an older demographic

Age discrimination legislation was introduced in the UK over a decade ago and in that time we have seen a dramatic shift in the demographics of the workforce. In this session we will consider the challenges that this brings to employers, whether that be: ensuring career opportunities across your working population; dealing with changing expectations around flexible working; manging performance issues; or tackling inter-generational reporting lines. We will also be considering whether these demographic challenges are replicated across Europe and whether age discrimination legislation has had the same significant impact in other countries.

 5. Workplace conflict: managing international employment litigation

Employment litigation is on the rise in many countries - this session will explore how best to approach such litigation across a number of different countries where the law and legal processes vary; and examine some useful tactics which can be deployed in order to achieve a better ultimate outcome and manage the associated costs and internal organisational challenges.

3.00 - 3.20 Tea

3.20 - 4.30  The Brexit exit: where to next?

By February 2018 we should know a lot more about the likely road map for the UK leaving the EU. Will there be a transitional period and what might the long-term relationship between the UK and the EU look like? What about a “no deal” scenario? In this session, leading employers, employer organisations and government bodies will take stock and consider the likely challenges for businesses in the months and years ahead.

4.30 - 4.45  Round up and closing

4.45  Drinks reception

How to register

The cost of this conference is £695 plus VAT (if applicable), including lunch. Free places are available to all Ius Laboris members and their clients.

Places are on a first come, first served basis, so please book early to avoid disappointment. You will be sent an invoice, and confirmation of your place will be on receipt of payment.

Complete the form using the link below or email us with your details and breakout session preferences at

Register Now


Getting to the event