Updated HSF multi-jurisdictional guide to employee issues in business transfers

Employment law issues rarely determine the strategy for a multi-jurisdictional business acquisition, but they can certainly give rise to significant avoidable costs and delay if issues are not spotted in advance. In the Herbert Smith Freehills 2016 global survey, 57% of respondents cited employment regulations as one of the reasons a deal had failed to complete. The temptation may be to assume that employee issues will be broadly similar in each country, but in practice employment law varies significantly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and it is not even safe to assume that a particular continent will have a broadly similar approach.

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Updated HSF multi-jurisdictional guide to employee issues in business transfers

We have recently updated our multi-jurisdictional guide discussing potential employee issues in business transfers (first published in October 2013). The second edition reflects the law as at February 2015. The guide is a quick reference tool covering the key legal requirements in 32 jurisdictions in EMEA, South and Central America and Asia-Pacific, in a simple Q&A format. To request a soft copy of the fully updated guide, please click here.

Africa: Regulations governing women in the workforce

Investment opportunities are increasing in Sub-Saharan Africa and multinational employers need to be aware of some very different employment law regimes, for example in relation to restrictions on the work women can do (as highlighted by a recent report from the World Bank (Women, Business and the Law 2014)).

Many of the francophone countries in sub-Saharan Africa, including Congo, Guinea and the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, have labour codes that devote entire chapters to regulating employment conditions for women. In some respects the provisions echo international legal instruments such as International Labour Organisation conventions, in others they reflect norms or standards that have evolved on a local level. Continue reading

Africa: Prohibition of post-employment non-compete clauses in certain francophone jurisdictions

In the large majority of francophone countries in sub-Saharan Africa (i.e. those which are members of the Organisation pour l’Harmonisation en Afrique du Droit des Affaires (OHADA), the labour codes and some collective bargaining agreements attach more importance to employees’ ‘freedom to work’ than to protecting a company’s legitimate business interests.

In most OHADA member states, any non-compete clauses cease to have effect upon the termination of the employee’s contract of employment and are deemed legally null and void. This is to enable the employee to work freely for any other business, including a competitor. It is likely that the employee could claim damages for any loss suffered as a result of his or her former employer seeking to enforce a non-compete provision following termination of the contract of employment. Continue reading