International Workforce Management in the Era of COVID-19


Erika C. Collins, Member of the Firm, and Ryan H. Hutzler, Associate, in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the firm’s New York and Washington, DC, offices, respectively, co-authored an article in TLNT, titled “International Workforce Management in the Era of COVID-19.”

Following is an excerpt:

The COVID-19 pandemic has altered the international workplace and international employer-employee relations in profound ways. As employees now work from home in significant numbers around the globe, multinational employers suddenly have been confronted with managing issues that they may not have previously prioritized. This is especially challenging for multinational employers that might wish to implement uniform global policies and practices — if not for varying local protocols and guidance.

While some countries remain locked down, at least to some degree, many others have initiated progressive measures to reopen businesses and return employees to the workplace. Although there are no one-size-fits-all policies or practices when managing an international workforce, multinational employers that are preparing for employees to return to the workplace should be prepared to:

  • Implement new practices and protocols to maintain a safe work environment
  • Consider remote work options and business travel restrictions
  • Manage employee-relations issues when individuals refuse to return to the workplace