By Kristy Grant-Hart
It seems so simple – just roll-out your U.S. Code of Conduct or policies to the rest of the world. They’re already written, right? And you’ve had a lawyer look them over in the States. What could be easier? Hold on right there. It’s not always obvious that certain words, phrases or concepts may need to be changed or removed in order to meet with the expectations of your employees in the rest of the world. Here are the top seven things to avoid in globalizing your Code, employee handbook or policies.
Reference to US Law
Referring to “local, state or federal law,” or “state laws” can immediately flag your policy as U.S.-centric. Instead, include references “all applicable laws,” or to other in-scope jurisdictions, such as European Union (EU) law. If your company is only in a few jurisdictions, you can write out the name of each country. If you want to keep references to U.S. federal law in your Code or policies, try “national, state, local, or U.S. federal law.”
Also – as Brexit approaches, please note that references relating to EU law may need to be changed to “UK and EU law,” as the Brexit process may separate UK law from EU law in the near future. [Read more…]