The retail market faces continual challenges in dealing with large numbers of staff with a varied skill mix, irregular working patterns and high staff turnover across, increasingly, a wide range of jurisdictions.
We can provide an integrated and co-ordinated service delivery across our international practice. In a sector where the ability to flex your workforce is key, we have advised on:
• large scale redundancies and restructuring, including implementing such plans on a cross border basis
• consolidating their operations, from staff relocations to outsourcing
• working within the legal framework to meet operational needs, use of overseas labour and immigrations issues, as well as atypical working such as annual hours contracts and use of agency staff
• holiday pay issues.
We have specialist teams in areas such as Discrimination and Labour issues and disputes, whose experience includes providing legal and strategic advice to a nationwide retailer recently confronted with Industrial Action in its distribution arm.
We are also able to advise global clients on labour practices and conditions in developing countries, as they become more and more under increasing scrutiny. Allegations of sweatshop factories, dangerous working conditions and child labour have been made against a wide-range of companies, particularly those reliant on foreign supply and value chains. The resulting impact to reputation and sales can be hugely detrimental, reflecting an increased ethical awareness amongst customers and investors who are quick to disassociate themselves from tainted brands. We have been instrumental in issuing guidance to our clients in this area.