At Vistra, we have extensive experience helping organisations understand and fulfil their compliance obligations when engaging in cross-border M&A deals and workforce restructuring. We’ll give you all the information you need to understand your HR obligations in the target country once the deal goes through, and make recommendations to lower risks and ensure compliance, maximising any advantages based on local laws and best practices.
As always, effective communication is key to restructuring your workforce successfully. We'll ensure that you understand your obligations around employee communications and consultations, and maintain best practices for communication frequency and consistency of message to avoid employee uncertainty.
To be successful, you'll need to determine the relevant employment legislation that will dictate required transfer documentation and due process by which you have to conduct the workforce transfer, and whether any transferring employees are covered by an industry (or company) specific collective bargaining agreement or bodies such as works councils or trade unions.
It's equally important to review the transferring employees’ existing contractual terms to determine required employer commitments such as accrued rights, severance obligations, supplemental benefits and pensions, as well as outlining your liabilities. It's also usually beneficial to determine whether current supplemental benefit programs are meeting the industry sector best practice within the local market to ensure retention of key employees.
Finally, it's vital to consider whether any transferred employees are expatriates, whether they hold a specific immigration or work permit status or if they are subject to any specific tax arrangements as part of their employment terms. Expatriate employees are often overlooked during restructuring, which can lead to additional requirements for sponsoring and obtaining work permits and additional unbudgeted obligations.
It's a complex landscape, and one we are here to help you navigate safely.