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Managing an International Workforce: 2020 & Beyond

  • 07 February 2020
  • 200 Aldersgate, London, EC1A 4HD
  • Entry: £695 + VAT (Free places are available to Lewis Silkin clients, please speak to your usual contact)

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We are pleased to announce our sixteenth annual Managing an International Workforce conference, our market leading gathering of several hundred HR professionals, in house lawyers and others with international employment law responsibilities.

Event schedule


8.15 – 9.00

9.00 – 9.10

9.10 – 10.20
The world of employment law: a year in review
From gig economy laws in California, to gender pay reporting in Spain, we’ve got it all covered in our annual round up of key developments in global employment law.

10.20 – 10.40
Coffee break

10.40 - 11.50
Reputation, risk and remedies: getting it right when a crisis hits
You work for a global manufacturing company. You receive a call from your Chief Executive. She has just taken a call from the Wall Street Journal – putting shocking allegations which could have serious repercussions for the business, the reputation of senior management, and your staff around the world. A scandal is brewing…..
We will take you through various scenarios and considerations as the plot thickens and the crisis gathers pace…and offer practical tips on how to minimise the damage.

12.00 – 13.00
AM Breakout session options

  • Is the mental wellbeing agenda stressing you out?
    Mental wellbeing has an increasing profile both in the media and as a priority for organisations. We look at how different countries approach mental health matters – is it being led by employers, government, medical professionals, or the media? How big an issue is it, and is it making a difference? Join this session to hear more and come away with some great ideas about what you can do for your organisation.
  • It’s all about the money, money, money: where are we on pay transparency?
    As the UK government adds CEO pay reporting, and possibly ethnicity pay reporting, to its existing laws on gender pay reporting, we will consider:
  • How pay reporting and transparency is used internationally and whether it has been successful
  • What steps an employer can lawfully take to address actual or perceived inequalities in pay
  • How to present year-on-year data as a comparative analysis starts to be made
  • Horizon scanning for new regulatory (and other) initiatives to improve pay equity in the workplace
  • Political upheaval and its impact on the workplace: an APAC story
    Asia Pacific is no stranger to political upheaval. Hong Kong has been gripped by disruptive protests and strikes since June 2019. Papua is experiencing civil unrest related to race discrimination, and riots in the rest of Indonesia are not uncommon. Protests against the Philippines president have been ongoing since November 2016 and Thailand experienced its 12th coup d’etat in May 2014. In periods of unrest, business is not always as usual: employees take time off to protest or strike, some get arrested or hospitalised, tensions run high between colleagues, social media is used to vent political views, and mental health is vulnerable. This opens up a plethora of employment law issues. In this session we consider how employers should prepare.
  • Talking ‘bout my generation: attracting and retaining the baby boomers – challenges for employers
    Employers are increasingly looking to the generation born between 1945 and 1964 to fill skills gaps in their workforce and bring vital experience to the table. This session considers how international employers in a range of sectors are meeting the challenge of retaining the Baby Boomer generation in employment.


13.00 – 14.00

14.00 – 15.00
PM Breakout session options

  • Don’t diss the DSAR: handling subject access requests across Europe
    Dealing with extensive subject access requests can be a headache. As well as coping with the sheer volume of documents, you may need to work with concepts which have yet to be defined (what is “manifestly excessive”?), apply complex doctrines (such as the law relating to privilege) and deal with knotty issues (such as how to treat the data of third parties). Some responses need a bespoke, painstaking approach, others permit a more pragmatic commoditised reply. Where does the balance lie? We look at risks to organisations in this complex area.
  • Are you an employee in disguise? Using self-employed contractors and the risks of getting it wrong
    The UK’s IR35 reforms have shone a light on the common practice - in many sectors and around the world - of using self-employed contractors in addition to, and in some cases instead of, employees.
    This session will consider why an engager may want to use self-employed contractors and what the attractions of this are for the individuals involved. It will look at the common engagement arrangements, including personal services companies, and explore efforts by Governments to clamp down on the set practices.
  • With or without EU: what’s new for the 27 (or maybe even the 28)?
    Regardless of whether the UK is still a member of the EU come February 2020 (still unknown at the time of writing!), there’s plenty going on from a labour and employment law perspective at an EU level, which will have a significant impact on your EU based employees. In this session, lawyers from across Europe discuss the practical changes which are likely to result from recent and anticipated developments, including the EU Whistleblower Directive, the Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions Directive, the Work-Life Balance Directive, and the relocation of EWCs.
  • Immigration focus: your international workforce through Brexit and beyond
    HR professionals need to be able to provide clarity and reassurance for their international workforce in these turbulent times. This session will ensure you are up to speed on all the major developments that will affect your employees, whether the UK leaves (or has left) with or without a deal. We will discuss the UK Government’s EU settlement scheme, providing you with an overview of the requirements and feedback on how the system is working. We will take you through the plans for the post Brexit immigration system. We will also cover the implications of Brexit for UK nationals wanting to travel to Europe for business and work purposes.

15.00 – 15.20
Tea break

15.20 – 16.30
Vox Populist: global implications of the new politics for employment law
What might the fragmentation in politics and the emergence of populist and green politics mean for employment law worldwide? We discuss.

16.30 – 16.45
Round up and closing



If you have any questions regarding the breakout sessions or would like to get in touch generally, please get in touch with our events team.

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