Global markets are in an uncertain and precarious place as we await the outcome of Brexit negotiations, anticipate President Trump’s next move, and witness numerous political shifts across the globe. With the world in flux, global employers must plan for an unclear future.

The Global Employer Magazine: 2018 Horizon Scanner looks at the key global trends and issues employers need to know about in 2018, how the trending global employment law issues are playing out across Asia Pacific, EMEA, Latin America and North America, and offers regional checklists for the year ahead.

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The nature of work is changing

There's no doubt that the pace and scale of change affecting all of us is unprecedented. The nature of work is changing due to the rise of contingent workers, increased demand for flexible working, changing skills requirements and talent pools. Companies are adapting their strategies to engage diverse talent and unlock future productivity. New technologies are transforming the workplace. These changes pose significant challenges. 

Together, we can come up with answers for the big social, environmental and economic challenges of our time and prepare our organizations to thrive.
Guenther Heckelmann, Global Chair, Employment & Compensation

Key trends for global employers in 2018

Gender pay
Reporting requirements are on the increase globally, and gender pay is increasingly under scrutiny from shareholders and investors, with calls for greater transparency and equality. Efforts to close the gap will likely expand from reporting salary data to other measures such as hiring practices, board representation, working time, pension benefits, maternity, paternity and family leave entitlements.

Global mobility
While Trump’s government is restricting US borders, other countries are actively encouraging foreign workers to join their economies through more flexible regulations and increased quotas.

Data protection
Changes will come into effect under the GDPR, affecting any organization which is processing personal data about EU citizens. Personal data will be more tightly regulated, placing a bigger burden on organizations processing that data. As consumers and individuals become more aware of their privacy rights, data privacy regulation and scrutiny will increase across the world.

Managing the modern workforce
While it can be beneficial to engage staff through alternative, modern workforce models, the legislative regime for such models is uncertain, and open to challenge. In some countries, misclassification gives rise to severe risks, including criminal liability of board members. Many employers who engage workers via third-party suppliers are now finding themselves liable for the legal entitlements of the suppliers’ employees. Some working models also pose risks to loyalty, brand, trade secrets and more. Regulation and scrutiny is intensifying across the globe.

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