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In the face of intensifying geopolitical risk and continuing economic uncertainty, the challenges for global employers to plan carefully and operate strategically to maintain a thriving workforce is greater than ever. We’ll help employers navigate those challenges in

Special thanks to co-authors Glenn Fox and Paul DePasquale.

One of the biggest sleeper issues (in my opinion) for US companies when granting equity awards to non-US employees or other service providers is the fact that their heirs may be assessed with US estate tax and be required to file an estate tax return in the US if the individual dies while holding equity awards or shares.

US Estate Tax Exemptions

Individual US taxpayers (i.e., US citizens and non-US citizens who are domiciled in the US) can currently benefit from a significant estate tax exemption: no estate tax is due unless the value of the estate exceeds US$13,610,000 (this is the inflation-adjusted amount for 2024), reduced for taxable lifetime gifts, but doubled for married couples if both spouses’ estates qualify for the exemption. Accordingly, relatively few US estates currently are subject to estate tax. In any event, US employees and their heirs will most likely be well aware of possible estate tax consequences for their assets, including equity awards and shares acquired under a company share plan.Continue Reading A Cautionary Tale: US Estate Tax May be Due on Equity Awards/Shares Held by Non-US Residents

With thanks to Mirjam de Blécourt and Danielle Pinedo for this update.

On June 12, after lengthy negotiations, the EU Council agreed on the proposal for a directive that aims to better protect platform workers. This opens the door to negotiations between the Council and the European Parliament on the final directive.

The directive aims to ensure that platform workers have or can obtain the appropriate employment status through the introduction of a legal presumption. In addition, the directive provides for rules regarding the transparency of the use of algorithms within the platform economy.Continue Reading The European Council Takes on Misclassification of Platform Workers

With special thanks to Nadege Dallais (France), Emma Glazener (Netherlands), Fermin Guardiola (Spain), Stephen Ratcliffe (United Kingdom), Bernhard Trappehl (Germany) and Lucille Vallet (France).

Last week a group of our favorite European colleagues joined us in the Bay Area for a few special client visits. Even if you weren’t in the room, we’ll share a few key headlines here. (And, here’s link to listen in to our recent webinar: Global Employment Law Fastpass — Spotlight on Europe!)

From practical tips on the best ways to implement employee redundancies to the expected impact of the recently-passed EU Directive on Pay Transparency, here’s five things to know:

1. The EU Whistleblowing Directive (WBD) Requires Private Employers with 50 or More Workers to Establish a Local, Entity Level Reporting Hotline

The WBD was supposed to be implemented by the EU’s 27 member states by December 2021, but we are still waiting for around 8 EU member states to do so. For example, France, Belgium and Austria have transposed the WBD, Germany has not but is close. Spanish companies with at least 250 employees have until June 13, 2023 to comply. (For more, read our alert here.)

While legislation is still awaited in a number of jurisdictions, we are now in a much better position to see the challenges the WBD poses for global employers. . . and there are several.

  • It can be tricky to implement the new requirement for a local channel alongside a centralized group level reporting system (e.g., through a global “hotline”). Under the WBD, employers are not prevented from maintaining and encouraging the use of their central reporting hotline; however, now, entities with more than 50 workers, must establish a local, entity level, channel. This means employers who meet the threshold will need to establish local entity level reporting systems alongside existing global channels.
  • The second key challenge is where companies have multiple entities in one jurisdiction, whether one internal reporting channel can be established at a country level or whether the channel must be established in each entity. The implementing legislation in some countries is unclear on this point but, where the requirement is for entity level channels, this raises challenges for companies which have multiple entities within a jurisdiction but only one HR or Legal function which operates across multiple entities.

Fortunately, we have a multijurisdictional analysis matrix covering five key areas of WBD compliance at a local level available at a fixed fee per jurisdiction so that companies operating in the EU can wrap their arms around this new requirement. The matrix answers questions about the Directive’s scope and implementation requirements for internal procedures, protection of whistleblowers and data privacy issues. Our experienced team of lawyers can then assist with implementing the changes, as well as with training, communications and more.

2. The EU Pay Transparency Directive is Coming and as the Kids Say, It’s Extra

Last month the European Parliament formally adopted the Pay Transparency Directive and its provisions are likely to enter into force in most EU member states in 2026. It’s sort of a big deal, requiring significant attention and touching on many aspects of the employment lifecycle (read our detailed alert here).

A preview: there are pre-employment pay transparency requirements, and broad worker and representative rights to workforce pay information. The impact may be more muted in countries like France where works councils already have access to pay data, though the access will become much more granular under the Directive.Continue Reading A Hop, Skip and a Jump Around Europe | Insights for US Employers Operating Abroad

Join us for a four-part webinar series as our US moderators welcome colleagues from around the globe to share the latest labor and employment law updates and trends. US-based multinational employers with business operations in Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and the Americas regions will hear directly from local practitioners on the

Join us for our webinar series, “2023: Discussion on The New Legal Restructuring Landscape in Europe,” providing an overview of the regulatory and commercial issues to consider when contemplating restructuring across multiple jurisdictions against the backdrop of today’s political and economic climate, both locally and globally.

In our three-part webinar series, UK and

Special thanks to presenters Nadege Dallais (Paris), Fermin Guardiola (Madrid), Danielle Pinedo (Amsterdam), Stephen Ratcliffe (London) and Bernhard Trappehl (Munich).

Our four-part Navigating the World webinar series features US moderators welcoming Baker McKenzie colleagues from around the globe as they share the latest labor and employment law updates and trends. In this session, US-based multinational

Join us for a four-part webinar series as our US moderators welcome colleagues from around the globe to share the latest labor and employment law updates and trends. US-based multinational employers with business operations in Europe, the Americas, the Middle East and Africa, and Asia Pacific regions will hear directly from local

Special thanks to co-author, Monica Kurnatowska.

A convergence of forces is changing the public face of the boardroom: the increasing amount of data showing how inclusion and diversity improves performance, impassioned protests for gender equality, the impact of the Black Lives Matter movement, pressure from investors and shareholders, and legislation. While gender diversity has

Special thanks to guest contributors Monica Kurnatowska, Bernhard Trappehl and James Brown.

In brief

The EU Commission has proposed a directive that would reinforce the entitlement to equal pay for men and women for the same work, or work of equal value, including by giving employees the right to comparative pay information and by requiring gender pay gap reporting for employers with 250+ employees, amongst other measures. Some EU member states already have aspects of these rules, while others do not, meaning that the rules could be a significant additional compliance burden for some organisations. The rules, if adopted, would be unlikely to come into force before late 2024.

Key takeaways

The EU Commission has proposed a new directive on pay transparency. If adopted, it would:

  • Require measures to ensure employers pay the same work, or work of equal value, equally.
  • Require employers to provide initial salary (or salary range) information to job applicants, pre-interview.
  • Prohibit employers from asking job applicants about salary history.
  • Create a right for a worker to request information about:
  • Their own pay level
  • Average pay levels, broken down by gender and categories of workers doing the same work / work of equal value
  • Require gender pay gap (GPG) reporting for employers with 250+ employees.
  • Create joint pay assessments if:
  • GPG is 5%+ for any category of workers doing the same work or work of equal value, and
  • employer has not justified the GPG.

Based on previous experience, we estimate that these proposals, if adopted, would need to be implemented by sometime in late 2024.Continue Reading European Union: Commission Proposes Pay Transparency Rules to Secure Equal Pay