Employees are critical to every local and international business’s success, and the right labor/talent pool is often why many businesses expand into other countries. But with labor comes labor and employment compliance, and it has two different layers, local and international.

International labor compliance laws apply to almost all international businesses, and adhering to their guidelines and best practices benefits international businesses. The second layer is the labor and employment compliance regulation of the country you are operating in.

What is Labor and Employment Compliance?

Labor and employment compliance is the process of adhering to all the labor laws related to minimum wage, working conditions, benefits, and other aspects of employment, in any given country. The laws govern the entire employee lifecycle, from hiring to termination and everything in between. These laws ensure that, even though employees knowingly and with their consent, join a business, they are not subject to inhumane, cruel, or exploitative employment conditions.

Labor and employment compliance also covers fair hiring practices, which ensure that all businesses adhere to fair hiring conditions and do not discriminate based on race, ethnicity, religion, or other factors. They also cover conditions like sexual harassment and bullying in the workplace. The laws may differ from country to country in their specifics, but many underlying themes are similar.

What is ILO and How It Impacts International Labor and Employment Compliance

The International Labor Organization, or ILO, is a UN agency/body that sets and monitors compliance with international labor standards. The UN ensures that all member countries adhere to these laws within their employment domains, but it cannot enforce them directly. However, their existence and compliance with them are critical for a business’s success because UN sanctions and a reputation for not adhering to international labor standards can hinder a company’s ability to conduct business.

Many of ILO’s labor standards are rooted in the conventions they were the subject of. Some of these conventions are (and the underlying international labor standards):

There are several other conventions, securing employees’ right to union (this falls under the right to collective bargaining), maternity leaves, and rights of workers with families, etc. The underlying goal of these conventions and ILO as an international governing body is to ensure good working conditions for employees and labor across the globe.

From an international perspective, adhering to labor and employment compliance would include following the directives set out by the ILO regarding the rights of labor and the employer’s responsibility. This is in addition to the labor and employment compliance standards of any country you are operating in.

How To Ensure Labor and Employment Compliance in Every Country You Operate In

In order to ensure labor and employment compliance in virtually any country you operate in, you need to take the following steps (at minimum):

One way to ensure labor and employment compliance in another country is to shift responsibility to an entity better equipped to deal with the local workforce such as an Employer of Record (EOR) like Engage Anywhere. Engage Anywhere can hire, manage, and terminate employees or, in other words, take care of every step of the employment lifecycle. Since our expertise lies in this area, businesses can leave labor and employment compliance to Engage Anywhere’s employer of record service and focus primarily on the technical/operational aspects.

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