A Look At The Eastern European Labour Markets During COVID-19

Christian Tegethoff, Managing Director, CT Executive Search

The Coronavirus pandemic and the political measures that followed have also had an impact on the Eastern European labour markets. Over the course of April, we asked our clients and partners, mainly manufacturing companies in areas such as agricultural machinery, building materials, and industrial components, how they are dealing with the situation in Eastern Europe. 

All of the companies we surveyed have so far not had any redundancies. All the companies have switched most of their administrative staff to remote work, some have closed canteens and other non-essential facilities to minimize contact.




Online Conference Organised by the Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce 

Decoding COVID HR Challenges: A look on the European and Eurasian labor market and opinions from professionals

Date: 25 June, 2020

Time: 11 am Moscow time (GMT +3) 

Registration: https://bit.ly/2Cj2q9U

Participation: Free of charge

Christian Tegethoff, Managing Director, CT Executive Search, and Lodewijk Schlingemann, Managing Partner, Juralink will shed more light on the ongoing situation in the HR sector, post-COVID-19. You will get an introduction to the current HR market situation and an overview of the current trends in Russian and European labor law.

Register here for the event




Romania: Technical unemployment indemnification in the context of Covid-19

issues of legality and interpretation

According to the Labour Code,[1] during technical unemployment: "employees whose activity has been reduced or interrupted, who no longer work, shall benefit from an indemnification, from the salary fund, which may not be less than 75% of the basic salary for their position".

Due to the international epidemiological situation caused by the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and the institution of a state of emergency, a series of measures has been adopted to combat the effects of the pandemic, including some regarding indemnification for technical unemployment.



Executive Jobs that are Well Suited for Remote Work

Christian Tegethoff, Managing Director, CT Executive Search 

Almost 90 percent of the companies we surveyed recently responded to the corona pandemic by largely switching to remote work. Some industries have already been familiar with this way of working, such as management consulting, whose employees are usually highly mobile and can work practically from anywhere. In other areas, companies struggled - production processes cannot easily be carried out remotely and office routines also have to be re-formed over a distance.

From the results of our global survey, it is quite clear that remote work is likely to become a part of “The New Norm” during and post COVID-19. Over 80% of those who took the survey said that some of the employees were currently working remotely, and of these, over 50% said that after the pandemic is over, not everyone will be returning to the office.



Vietnam’s Regional Labor Market: Labor Cost, Workforce Optimization and HR Strategy

  • Vietnam’s labor market varies across the country and can prove challenging for first-time investors.
  • Businesses interested in Vietnam should be aware of the different regional landscape, labor pools, industries, and infrastructure among other factors best suited for their business needs.
  • We highlight the opportunities and challenges for businesses looking to hire labor in the northern and southern parts of the country.

Vietnam has a population of over 97 million people spread over 330,000 square kilometers. The country is still predominately rural, with urban centers providing a home for just 35 percent of the population. Companies entering Vietnam for the first time often fail to account for regional variation in the labor market and invest in locations ill-suited to their industry.



Romania: Support measures for employees and employers in force as of June 1, 2020

Emergency Government Ordinance no. 92 of May 28, 2020 has been published in the Official Gazzette no. 459, of May 29, 2020 (“EGO 92/2020”). The ordinance institutes active support measures for employees and employers in the context of the epidemiologic situation generated by the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. The act also modifies other legislation.

The Government has decided on the following support measures from June 1, 2020:

I. Employees who have benefited from technical unemployment in the context of the SARS-COV-2 pandemic and whose employment relationships are maintained after employers resume work will be entitled to receive payment of salary from their employer for three months. The payment is calculated at 41.5% of basic salary for their position, but not more than 41.5% of average gross earnings established by the State Social Insurance Budget Law No. 6/2020.



Doing Business in India 2020

An Introduction to Doing Business in India 2020, the latest publication from Dezan Shira & Associates, is out now and available as a complimentary download on the Asia Briefing Bookstore.

The guide explains the basics of company establishment, tax, accounting, and audit regime, annual compliance, human resources, payroll, and social insurance obligations in this dynamic market. 

This publication, designed to introduce the fundamentals of investing in India, was compiled by the experts at Dezan Shira & Associates, a specialist foreign direct investment practice, providing corporate establishment, business intelligence, tax advisory and compliance, accounting, payroll, due diligence, and financial review services to multinationals investing in emerging Asia.



COVID-19 Travel Ban Series: How to Pay Your Foreign Employees Out of China

Paying your foreign employees out of China

Some foreign employees may wish to receive their Chinese salary in their overseas bank accounts in foreign currency, providing them enough money to support their international expenses and offering them more financial security during this special period.

For a Chinese employer, in practice, remitting an employee’s salary overseas will first involve confirmation from the respective bank and accountant, in China.



Romania: Teleworking during the state of alert

Employees’ consent – a sine qua non condition for implementing teleworking and working from home during the state of alert. But is an additional act necessary for this?

This article offers a brief analysis of measures for preventing and combating the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic under article 17, Law no. 55/2020.

Article 17 of Law no. 55/2020 allows employers, during the state of alert, to decide, with employees` consent, that activities are to be carried out as teleworking or as working from home, that the place of work is to be modified, or that duties may be changed.



Indonesia Issues Safety Guidelines for Businesses Post Lockdown

  • On May 20, 2020, Indonesia’s Ministry of Health issued Decree 228/2020, which provides safety guidelines for businesses after the lockdown ends.
  • The measures include requiring all employees to wear masks and implement social and physical distancing.
  • Businesses should also prepare procedures on how employees can identify suspected COVID-19 symptoms and the steps to report them to the authorities.

Indonesia’s Ministry of Health issued Decree No. HK.01.07/MENKES/328/2020 (Decree 228/2020) on May 20, 2020, which provides safety guidelines that offices and industrial workplaces should implement once the lockdown period comes to an end.



Can I Get a Residence Permit by Working in Russia?

Gaining a Russian Residence Permit and Citizenship Working as a Qualified Specialist

Today, one of the easiest ways to obtain residency in Russia indefinitely is to work as a qualified specialist. As of February 2020, the Russian government has approved a list of 135 “qualified specialist” professions, which they deem essential to Russia’s continued economic and cultural development. Foreign citizens who come to Russia to work in one of these professions are allowed to obtain a residence permit after 6 months of working officially in any of the professions from the list.  Interestingly, the Russian government is also offering a fast track option to gain Russian citizenship for these professionals as well. 



Survey: HR Issues During COVID-19

The ongoing pandemic has changed the way business is being done globally. This includes working conditions and the current state of the HR industry. As COVID-19 continues to transform the workplace, what does the future hold in terms of “The New Normal” of working?

CT Executive Search conducted a global survey, in partnership with the Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, to get answers to questions regarding:

  • Terminations;
  • Remote working;
  • Salary cutbacks;
  • Work processes after COVID-19.

Business owners, Vice presidents, General managers, Directors, and other employees from 75 companies with offices in several countries gave their feedback on HR-related issues during COVID-19.

View Survey results


Advisory Boards: Competence Centres For Difficult Markets

Christian Tegethoff, Managing Director, CT Executive Search

What is an advisory board and what does it do?

As the name suggests, an advisory board is a committee with a purely advisory function. Unlike the management, an advisory board has no decision-making powers. In contrast to supervisory boards, advisory boards also have no formal control function. Advisory boards have no governance tasks or legal responsibilities. This means that companies are free to compose their advisory boards as they please. There are no rules as to who can join an advisory board, how often the board meets, and what issues it deals with. Formal elections, term limits, and disclosure of advisory board remuneration are not required.



Companies Benefit from Smartly Selected Advisory Boards

Dr. Alireza AzimzadehPersia Consulting and Persia Financial

How popular are advisory boards in Iran? How do they usually operate?

Advisory boards are not particularly common in Iran as a distinct institution. However, the typical functions of an advisory board - mainly advising and establishing contacts – are carried out differently.

The boards of directors and supervisory boards of Iranian companies are often staffed with more people than in other countries. One reason for this is that some of these directors perform tasks that are covered by advisory boards in other countries.



Advisory Boards Tie Know-How and Networks to the Company

Dr. Frank Schauff, Honorary Council Member and outgoing CEO, AEB 

What specific tasks were associated with your advisory mandates?

At Expobank, I worked as an independent member of the supervisory board, in an advisory role. My agenda at Expobank was heavily influenced by financial issues. The quarterly meetings of the supervisory board dealt with the financial situation of the bank, such as credit risks or accounting issues. In addition, of course, there were also strategic questions, such as answers to the crisis of 2014 and 2015. There were also issues in the area of corporate management.

For me personally, the area of government relations also played a role, especially, after the acquisition of subsidiary banks in the Czech Republic and Latvia.



Slovakia: A summary of state aid to support employers

An update from bnt attorneys in CEE

An overview of measures adopted by the Slovak government to support employers. 

In order to maintain employment, the Slovak government adopted several measures in April to support employers, self-employed persons and citizens without income. Each of the five measures determines who is the entitled applicant, as well as the amount of the subsidy and the conditions for granting it.

Under Measure No. 1, employers (including self-employed persons) who have had to close down their business as a result of the decision of the Public Health Authority may apply for compensation for the employees' salary up to 80% of their average wage. The maximum amount paid by the state for an employee is EUR 1,100.

Read the complete update here



An article from BEITEN BURKHARDT

After long negotiations between the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Federal Ministry of Finance as well as VCs and start-ups, the matching fund for start-ups is finally a done deal!

The official press release of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) can be found here. The corresponding statement of the German Start-ups Association (Bundesverband für Deutsche Start-ups) can be found here.

The following has been decided:

  • In addition to the measures implemented so far, the government is making a total of EUR 2 billion available to support start-ups.
  • Both start-ups that are already VC-financed start-ups and those that are not will be eligible for support.

Read the complete article here.



An article from BEITEN BURKHARDT

On 22 April 2020 the grand coalition agreed on an increased short-time working allowance and thereby distributed generous presents. What does that mean?

Initial situation

Short-time working allowance, as a payment out of unemployment insurance, is intended to compensate for the loss of earnings suffered by employees as a result reduced working hours. During a period of short-time working, employees receive ‑ for the work they actually perform ‑ the corresponding remuneration on a pro-rata basis. In addition, employees receive short-time working allowance for the reduction in working hours. The short-time working allowance is calculated on the basis of the net loss of earnings. It generally amounts to 60% of the standard net remuneration (remuneration for services rendered, pauschaliertes Nettoentgelt). 

Read the complete article here


The Coronavirus in Asia and ASEAN – Live Updates by Country

ASEAN briefing is produced by Dezan Shira & Associates

ASEAN coronavirus updates (Live updates by country)

Brunei: No new cases reported in Brunei.

Cambodia: No new cases reported in Cambodia.

Indonesia: A further 395 new cases were reported on May 4, bringing the total to 11,587.

Laos: No new cases reported in Laos.

Singapore: Singapore recorded 573 new cases on May 4, taking the national total to 18,778.

Vietnam: As of May 4, Vietnam’s Ministry of Health confirmed a total of 271 cases of COVID-19. However, 219 of the affected patients have recovered and been discharged from hospitals.

Read the complete update here


COVID-19: Vietnam Issues Financial Assistance for Employers, Employees

Vietnam briefing is produced by Dezan Shira & Associates

  • Vietnam has issued Resolution No. 42 to help employers and employees affected by COVID-19.
  • The Resolution consists of a financial package targeting six individual and business types.
  • The incentives are the latest to help the economy recover and support businesses once the pandemic ends.

Vietnam on April 9 issued Resolution No. 42/NQ-CP (Resolution 42) to help individuals and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Resolution consists of a financial package for those affected by the pandemic and targets six categories of individuals and businesses. 

Read the complete article here


China’s COVID-19 Travel Ban: How to Handle Your Foreign Employee’s Work and Residence Permit

Since March 28, 2020, China has suspended the entry of most foreign nationals, citing the temporary measure as a response to the rapid spread of COVID-19 across the world.

This means that foreigners who hold the following visas are currently not allowed to enter the country:

  • Chinese visa;
  • Residence permit;
  • APEC business travel card; and/or
  • Port visa (including various visa-free transit policies).

Due to these new travel restrictions, which so far have presented no expiration date, many foreign nationals who hold a residence permit in China for working purposes are stuck outside of China during this time.

Many companies are now grappling with new HR, legal, and tax uncertainties that have arisen within their foreign employment relationship in the context of these new travel restrictions.

Read the complete article here


COVID-19: Transitioning Your Business for Remote Work in Vietnam

  • The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing businesses to rethink efficient strategies for remote work.
  • Businesses now have to rely on digital infrastructure to keep their systems up to date, while managing an increasing number of employees working from home.
  • We highlight some guidelines that businesses can adopt as businesses transition for remote work.

With the current outbreak of COVID-19 throughout the globe, businesses are having to consider how to effectively utilize their employees under the situation where physical contact between individuals is being restricted to a very high degree. 

Read the complete article here


Ultimate Guide to Expat Jobs in Ukraine

An article by Expatriant


Entry-level sales and marketing salaries for native English or German speakers tend to start at a similar level as teaching. That is, you can expect to earn USD 800 as an entry-level copywriter, content marketer, or in international sales. If you have extensive experience, you can do quite well in Ukraine by local standards. For skilled marketers and sales professionals, you can earn USD 5000+ per month.

The next category of workers I would consider highly qualified. These are your CEO, President and Vice President level employees. Generally, if a company needs a foreigner to fill these positions, they will approach locally managed executive search firms. They won’t be posted on typical job boards. Salaries will be very lucrative, and range from USD 10,000 – USD 50,000+ per month. This, of course, depends on the industry, and size of the company.

Read the complete article here


An Introduction to Doing Business in Vietnam 2020

Vietnam briefing is produced by Dezan Shira & Associates

Vietnam continues to prioritize infrastructure investment and does not shy away from looking at countries outside ASEAN to fuel its growth. The government has also invested in industrial zones and this investment is expected to further increase as foreign investment pours in. These reasons have made Vietnam one of the fastest growing economies in Asia maintaining a 7 percent Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2019. In addition, Vietnam’s labor force is a competitive advantage and is an important part of Vietnam’s future economic growth. Vietnam is known for its young, hardworking, literate and easy to train workforce.

Access the publication here


Legal News, April 2020: Central and Eastern Europe

CEE Newsletter from bnt attorneys in CEE

New regulations for the employment of foreigners in Germany

It will now be easier to employ qualified employees even without a university degree. At the beginning of March 2020, the Specialist Immigration Act came into force. It newly regulates the education and employment of foreigners and facilitates the immigration of qualified employees to Germany.

Access the e-newsletter here