Employment Agreements For Global Business

In many countries, Employment Agreements are not just a preferred mode of documentation between employers and employees, but actual requirements of the local government.

While an offer letter and signed agreements within an Employee Handbook would suffice for most companies in the United States, most other countries have much more specific requirements on what must be included in a formalized Employment Agreement or Employment Contract.

For example, in France, an employment agreement will typically contain the following major elements:

  • Employer’s contact information
  • Employee’s contact information
  • Employee’s assigned job title and professional qualification in the role
  • Location of employment/job site
  • Salary and bonus structure
  • Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA)/Conventions Collectives Nationales (CNN) relative to the employment (this is an agreement between employers’ associations and trades unions regarding work conditions and employment expectations)
    • CBA’s can be at the national, industry, and employer level
    • There are over 300 CBAs in France, the selection of the CBA is based on the French company’s Activite Principale de l’Entreprise (APE) code, also referred to as the Nomenclature des Activités Françaises (NAF) code
      • This is similar to the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code for businesses in the United States
  • Notice period in the event of resignation
    • This can also be a stipulation of the French law or within the assigned CBA and must be adjusted to reflect the appropriate CBA demands, if applicable
  • Non-compete clause (Clause de non-concurrence)
    • Employee agrees not to accept employment with a competitor in a similar role or industry for a fixed period of time upon separation from the organization
      • This includes starting their own business that would be considered competition
  • Mobility clause (Clause de mobilité)
    • Permitting the company to change the employee’s location of work based on business needs
      • Refusal to accept this clause is grounds for termination
  • Duration of the employment agreement/contract
    • Contract Durée Indeterminée (CDI) – Open-ended employment duration, permanent employee
    • Contract Durée Determinée (CDD) – Fixed term contract
  • Trial period
    • This length is determined by the type of position, per local legislation
  • Holidays
    • Statutory, according to French law
    • Company holidays, in excess of government-designated holidays
  • Supplemental benefits/perks (additional health coverage, company vehicle lease, gym membership, etc.)

An employment agreement typically reflects much of the high-level information covered in an offer letter. Still, due to local employment laws, it expands on the baseline details to ensure employment expectations are clearly defined for both the employee and employer – and agreed upon to proceed with employment as defined in the contract compliantly.

We will compare your current company policies with local legislation in the countries where you intend to hire and draft customized employment agreements to ensure compliance in each jurisdiction.

Learn more about building employment agreements here.

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