First off, employment agreements are crucial not only to help clarify tasks, but to delineate compensation both during employment and in the case of termination. This is particularly important in cross-cultural situations given varying policies – Dentons offers the example of at-will termination in the United States, in which no severance or other compensation is required. In contrast, Canada and the European Union require employers to provide reasonable notice, severance or another form of compensation.
Statutory requirements must also be strictly spelled out. Since legislation on issues such as leaves of absence, minimum wage and vacation entitlements varies greatly from country to country, it is wise to make sure everyone agrees on the terms before employment contracts are signed.
Company protections will also vary. For example, Canadian intellectual property agreements can contain a waiver of moral rights provision permitting the employer who has been assigned to the intellectual property to take over its rights, but no such provision exists in similar U.S. agreements.
Jurisdictional issues may be complicated with cross-border employment. It is an employer’s responsibility to make sure that their employees are covered by applicable local laws properly referenced by employment agreements and policies.
Finally, linguistic concerns can be a major sticking point here. Remember that certain jurisdictions such as Poland and France require employment agreements to be written in the local language. In Canada itself, this can even cause into-province issues such as in Quebec, which is French-speaking.
Act now before signing any contracts. Sensitivity to cross-border issues now can save you plenty of trouble down the line.
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With the recent news that Canada is among the top three global destinations for international employees, you may be wondering about the best practices for hiring from overseas. Wonder no more. The international law firm Dentons offers a series of tips on the most effective way to hire workers from other countries.