HR Policies and Procedures in Europe

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If you own a U.K. or U.S.-based company, expanding your operations into European markets can prove exciting and may become a pivotal marker of your successful business growth. However, without excellent foundational HR (Human Resources) in place, your expansion or startup could face insurmountable challenges.

Whether you build an in-house department or hire an outsourced HR team, the right professionals can help you create HR policies and procedures that remain in compliance with European labor laws and regulations, and help you build a healthy and thriving workplace culture.

Outsourcing your HR in Europe may save you precious time and money, and provide the competitive edge your company needs to succeed. Discover how Europe HR Solutions can support you with customized, innovative strategies to fit your unique needs.

What you need to know about outsourcing your HR policies and procedures
Vital HR policies and procedures
How Europe HR Solutions can help
The benefits of outsourcing HR
Connect with Europe HR Solutions

Essential insights on outsourcing your HR policies and procedures.

What you need to know about outsourcing your HR policies and procedures

When you hire an outsourced HR team to create your fundamental policies and procedures, you’re entrusting professionals to create HR cornerstones that cover legal compliance and even the smallest details of the employee experience.

The right HR team will collaborate with you and account for the nuances and details in European workplaces. Nevertheless, this team will still ensure that your policies and procedures promote your company mission and cover all of your legal bases.

As workplace culture and business trends continue to evolve across the globe, it’s vital that your HR policies, onboarding and offboarding processes, and employment contracts evolve too.

Vital HR policies and procedures

Regardless of which country you choose for your European business expansion, there are important policies and procedures that your HR team should cover. HR is responsible for keeping up with business employment trends in Europe, setting the guidelines of your workplace, and committing to legal compliance in all policies.

Some of the general HR policies and procedures that you should ensure you have in place as you begin operations include:

  • Code of conduct:

The EU (European Union) has specific, non-legally enforceable employment “soft laws” surrounding the codes of conduct policies you must have in place for your business. An HR team with thorough knowledge of these soft laws can guide you through the procedures and policies you need.

  • Compliance:

Any company with operations in an EU member country will have to adhere to compliance of a variety of mandates that give workers protections and create a healthy and safe work environment. Even European countries outside of the EU have legal nuances that your HR policies and procedures will need to reflect.

  • Diversity and inclusion:  

As a part of the EU, the European Commission is in place to ensure that organizations have HR policies and procedures that reflect true diversity and inclusion within the workplace.

If you choose to move your in-house HR team overseas, they may not be familiar with the mandates that are in place. However, a European-based outsourced HR team with a proven track record can ensure that diversity and inclusion are incorporated into your company’s policies and procedures.

  • Recruitment:

All terms of employment must be given, in writing, to new employees anywhere within two months of their first working day. Talent recruitment, acquisition, and retention — along with onboarding and offboarding processes — mostly inform all employment contracts.

Nevertheless, your HR team should have specific recruitment policies and procedures in place for these processes to ensure you remain within legal compliance.

  • Redundancy:

If you have operations in the EU and need to collectively lay off employees (or make them redundant), you need to inform your local public authority, and meet with staff representatives to share the following information: the reason for the redundancy, the time period the layoffs will occur within, and the number of staff affected.

  • Remote work:

As remote work becomes increasingly popular worldwide, you may find that hiring a remote, or flexible, team will optimize your business. For example, according to the World Economic Forum, as of 2021, Finland boasts a 25% remote workforce.

Although COVID-19 made remote work a temporary necessity, many European companies have permanently adopted remote work for specific positions. It’s vital that your HR team strategically provides policies and procedures for any remote work that you may incorporate into your operations.

  • Training and development:

In the EU, worker-friendly labor laws promote paid training and development for employees — in fact, an estimated 89% of European employers pay for training. Your HR policies and procedures should provide details for any general or specific employee training and development you plan to provide your team.

  • Work-life balance provisions:

Some European countries, such as Belgium, have switched to a four-day work week model. Along with the shorter work week, the EU has laws in place to allow for benefits such as Carer’s Leave, Flexible Work Schedules, and paid Parental Leave.

Europe HR Solutions partners with companies to create effective HR policies.

How Europe HR Solutions can help

Europe HR Solutions has successfully partnered with countless companies of all sizes to create effective HR policies and procedures. Whether you need a template that includes general policies, or you need an innovative, customized solution to meet your company’s specific needs, our team can help.

We’ll ensure that compliance is the foundation of each policy and procedure, and that each reflects any cultural differences you may encounter yet still reflect your mission and values.

Examples of the HR policies and procedures included in our services include:

  • Attendance
  • Data protection
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Email and Internet use
  • Ethics
  • Grievances
  • Health and safety
  • Holidays and leave
  • Managing conflicts of interest
  • Performance
  • Posting staff abroad
  • Qualifications
  • Redundancy

Other HR services we can provide to allow you to focus on your company’s greater mission and support seamless operations include:

The benefits of outsourcing HR

Whether you’re expanding your company into Europe, launching a startup, or looking to grow your established European operations, outsourcing your HR may prove extremely beneficial.

The right outsourced HR team understands the importance of compliance and the nuances of European policies and procedures. You need proven professionals who can take care of your HR so that you can devote your team to your company’s big picture.

Here are some of the other ways an outsourced HR team can help you save time and money.

The nuances of European compliance

Based in Belgium, Europe HR Solutions has supported numerous companies throughout Europe. Our team is well-versed in European labor laws and employment regulations. We can provide proven support in your overall compliance and ability to overcome HR challenges and cut through legal red tape.

These laws are constantly evolving, and may slightly vary from country to country, and EU labor laws have multiple workers’ provisions in place. Many standard regulations differ greatly from those in the U.S. and U.K. Thus, it’s vital that your HR team possess thorough knowledge of how to shift policies and procedures to ensure compliance.

Employment contracts and HR

One of the largest differences between U.S. and European operations stems from employee contracts. From entry-level to executive roles, regardless of the position your company needs to fill, most European countries require a documented employment contract.

Europe HR Solutions can provide the employment contract support you need, Some of the areas an employment contract may include are:

  • Disciplinary procedures
  • Duration of employment (if it’s a set or temporary appointment)
  • Paid leave policies
  • Pension
  • Probationary periods
  • Remuneration
  • Termination policies and procedures
  • Terms and conditions of employment
  • Working hours

HR trends in Europe

Current HR trends in Europe might also impact your policies and procedures. It’s important to have an HR team with a knowledge of trends and the ability to incorporate these trends into your company’s policies.

Some of the current HR trends in Europe to remain aware of include:

  • Hybrid work models (a combination of remote and office hours)
  • Streamlining of technology and automation in the workplace (especially AI and chatbots)
  • Upskilling (consistent employee training and development)
  • Generational succession planning (Gen Z in the workforce)
  • Growth-minded business strategies (a focus on growth in all aspects of business)
  • Employee Wellness (a greater focus on employee wellness programs, mental health, and work-life balance)
  • International HR and talent recruitment (access to a talent pool without geographical borders)

Connect with Europe HR Solutions

When creating your HR policies and procedures for your operations in Europe feels like a daunting and time-consuming task, Europe HR Solutions can help. Our HR outsourcing services are customized to meet your unique compliance and policy needs.

We understand that the HR policies and procedures you utilize can become the key to your company’s successful and seamless growth. We can support you with our detailed, ready-made HR policies and procedures, or tailor-design policies and procedures for your specific requirements.

Our employment contracts, policies, and procedures are legal proof in every European country and written in both English and the language used in your company’s location.

Connect with us today to discover how HR outsourcing can help you create strong and reliable HR policies and procedures, and visit our blog for the latest HR insights, tips, and trends.

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    Our Client Testimonials

    We are proud to have worked with numerous UK- and US-based businesses as they have started their operations in Europe, including startups, acquisitions, and expansions.

    Here is what some of them have to say:

    Juanita Hendrickson
    Europe HR Solutions has an excellent team of experts and/or front-line resources who have deep expertise across Europe. We ...
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    Juanita Hendrickson
    Europe HR Solutions has an excellent team of experts and/or front-line resources who have deep expertise across Europe. We successfully utilized many of the resources on this team to help us sort through a number of complex issues in The Netherlands, Germany, UK, Belgium, etc. Inez and her team are agile, speedy, and pragmatic in their HR approach and quickly became trusted advisors and partners with our Epredia HR team and managers.
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    Juanita Hendrickson
    John Hardin
    Europe HR Solutions are exceptional Human Resources professionals and fully understand the nuance and complexity of creating employment contracts in ...
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    John Hardin
    Europe HR Solutions are exceptional Human Resources professionals and fully understand the nuance and complexity of creating employment contracts in the various EU geographies. They also have a keen eye for talent, particularly for startups, and have been extremely helpful in identifying quality hires. I highly recommend them for HR consultation to any executive building an organization in Europe.
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    Christos Kartalis
    Europe HR Solutions was main HR/Legal lead for a major restructuring in Europe in 2006. Amazing cross/dept/areas knowledge, keenly results oriented, jelled with the team with decisive (especially for a "consultant") and highly accountable attitude. Europe HR Solutions are a amazing professionals, making things "easier" for management. I would work with them at any given next opportunity and would recommend them with out any reservations. Christos Kartalis. CEO, Int'l CIPLA.
    Christina Lambourne
    Europe HR Solutions have been vital to the HR journey of our business. To begin with we had two...
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    Christina Lambourne
    Europe HR Solutions have been vital to the HR journey of our business. To begin with we had two small acquired businesses and one newly founded company which all needed some structure and a lot of knowledge as a good foundation. Inez’ team in UK, Germany, France and the Netherlands have been hugely supportive and were fundamental to put in place the solid policies and the processes we now have in place. Their highly professional approach in combination with true empathy and flexibility was a breath of fresh air. We had a true partnership for over 18 months now and know we can rely on the team in day to day as well as critical and more challenging situations. Europe HR Solutions have supported us with recruitment, general HR advisory, policies, TUPE, Coaching, redundancies, and everything in between. As the CFO for the business, I’m eternally grateful for all the very practical and human support I have received to date and look forward to continuing this relationship.
    Ann Beckers
    Since a few months, Inez coaches me in creating my own vision, my purpose and my goals, as well in ...
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    Ann Beckers
    Since a few months, Inez coaches me in creating my own vision, my purpose and my goals, as well in my professional, as in my personal life. As a result, I feel much more confident, focused and relaxed. I have learned to know Inez as a very special person. She is one of those rare people who have the extraordinary gift of being a good listener. Do not expect abstract discussions about your career or your future. You can expect immediate results of a dedicated professional coach, who will support you to focus on the challenges and the goals that are really important to you.
    Scott Rude
    Europe HR Solutions are talented, experienced and creative professionals. When we needed expertise in the European market for our personnel ...
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    Scott Rude
    Europe HR Solutions are talented, experienced and creative professionals. When we needed expertise in the European market for our personnel needs we experienced exceptional service and insight from them. They know the market and have the resources/network to get answers to the tough issues facing a U.S. company like ours, who does not have a core competency in Europe. Europe HR Solutions has my highest respect and appreciation for their service to our company. I would be glad to provide insight on their skills at any time. Scott Rudi, snrude@yahoo.com
    Andy Brown
    Europe HR Solutions have provided exceptional service consistently over a number of years to Genea Biomedx in Europe. As a ...
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    Andy Brown
    Europe HR Solutions have provided exceptional service consistently over a number of years to Genea Biomedx in Europe. As a business head quartered in Australia with no inhouse HR support on the ground in Europe this has been invaluable, not only during the start-up phase but also as the business has expanded. I highly recommend them.
    Melanie Girardin
    Europe HR Solutons is my go to organization for anything related to employment matters in the Dutch market. They are ...
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    Melanie Girardin
    Europe HR Solutons is my go to organization for anything related to employment matters in the Dutch market. They are one of the most talented and efficient HR professionals I've ever met. This is a great pleasure to work with them. They are creative problem solvers, and trustworthy Advisors. Their recommendations are well thought out and clearly articulated. I give them my highest recommendation, without reservation.
    Paul Grafham
    Europe HR Solutions has consistently delivered high quality work in all of the projects that she has been involved in. ...
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    Paul Grafham
    Europe HR Solutions has consistently delivered high quality work in all of the projects that she has been involved in. The professional approach that they display is combined with a very personable manner, which has helped integrate them into the AngioDynamics team, and their expertise has assisted significantly in the growth of the international business. I would not hesitate to recommend Europe HR Solutions and the consultancy services offered, and believe they would be an asset to any organisation.
    Maham Zafar
    Our experience with Europe HR Solutions has been nothing short of exceptional. As an international company, ensuring HR compliance across ...
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    Maham Zafar
    Our experience with Europe HR Solutions has been nothing short of exceptional. As an international company, ensuring HR compliance across various regions is a complex challenge, and Europe HR Solutions has proven to be an invaluable partner in navigating this intricate landscape.From the outset, their team demonstrated a deep understanding of the complexities associated with international HR regulations. Their expertise in local labor laws and regulations has not only ensured our company's compliance but has also provided us with peace of mind knowing that we are in safe hands.
    Maham Zafar
    Maham Zafar
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