Consulting and Training: Labor/Legal Environment

Managing employees in Latin American markets can be complex terrain, and has some unique nuances and risks. Leaders outside of the region, or companies looking to employ people in Latin America can reduce these risks and make informed decisions by familiarising themselves with the basics of the labor environments where their employees are based. 

Some helpful training options for leaders:

-Labor basics of day-to-day management (e.g. absences, protected statuses, disciplinary matters, acceptable termination causes, etc.) 

-Best practice documentation for discipline and performance management 

-Working within the confines of collective bargaining agreements and unionised environments

-Updates on proposed bills, or newly enacted labor reforms, and what it means for businesses

For investment and expansion decisions:

-Understanding the local labor context (minimum salary, adjustments, employee representative groups, industry chamber role, labor conflicts particular to industry, union attention to industry, particular industry labor risks and litigation patterns, etc.)

-Research into potential labor risks and impacts of proposed organisational, or functional changes in the market.

-Research into like-industry/competitors labor matters particular to the market

-Analysis of publicly available litigation like-industries and competitors have been subject to, recommendations.

Labor Relations Strategy

The labor environment in Latin America is more politically-driven and of public interest than in other regions, with highly specific companies and industries regularly coming to the forefront of current events, and public policy. Traditionally, judicial decisions and legislation heavily favour the employee. Unions and Collective Bargaining Agreements are institutionalised in many markets, adding additional layers of complexity.

As such, changes to operations and structure, and continued financial viability to operate and adapt in these countries, is delicate. 

We can assist you as thinking partners, in designing your people strategy for the country in question, identifying potential blockers to business objectives and the alternatives available, in line with your business strategy.

Intake of Employee Concerns

Proper intake, documentation, and addressing of employee concerns can be the difference between costly and uncapped “moral damage” lawsuits in the region. 

Externalising this process can ensure neutrality, the identification of critical investigation points,  and highlight potentially high risk matters. This first glance can ensure an eventual internal investigator methodically addresses the nucleus and risks of employee claims, as well as providing your company with robust evidence of having addressed the matter with a formal and neutral process of intake. Where the company does not have an Employee Relations/Workplace Investigations function, this can also relieve work from other functions and ensure due attention is given.

Should clients wish to externalise the whole workplace investigation, this service is also available.

Workplace Investigations

We are experienced in a wide range of complex workplace investigations and high-risk subject matter and conduct in the company. 

A dedicated external investigator reduces labor risks through ensuring formal channels for reporting, and the elimination of bias or vitiated investigations. It may also serve to protect relationships where local Human Resources may have challenges or conflicting interests in investigating peers or other individuals. 

Thorough documentation and dedicated identification of key issues, root causes, and suggestions of remediation actions provided to leadership can significantly reduce future labor risks. This dedicated and neutral attention to details also reduces the risks associated with improper applications of discipline that may be reverted in court, or result in litigation for damages, discrimination, or unfair dismissal. 

Additionally, companies will benefit from improvements in employee wellbeing and comfort in speaking up, providing insights to matrixed companies into local practices, and potentially endemic issues for resolution in the work environment.