This month’s international news in brief: whistleblowing and working abroad

Employers warned of perils of sending staff to danger zones

Employers must think more carefully about sending staff to dangerous overseas locations after an employment tribunal ruled that a journalist was unfairly dismissed when he refused to go to Iraq. Richard Gizbit did not have his contract extended after telling ABC News International that he would not go to war zones. Law firm Speechly Bircham warned companies that employees’ concerns about overseas assignments must be taken seriously.

US congress plans to make firms pay for employing illegal immigrants

The United States Congress is planning to reform immigration laws to make it harder for companies to take on illegal workers. New rules will impose stricter duties on employers when checking the identity of potential workers. Authorities in the country believe more than eight million people may be employed illegally across the US. Enforcement agencies have also been handed around $1bn-worth of funding to seek out unscrupulous employers that hire illegal immigrants.

French whistleblowing laws could hit multinational companies

France is considering new whistleblowing regulations that could have an impact on multi-national companies based in the country. Employers will now be required to seek permission from the French authorities before setting up whistleblowing procedures and must set out clear guidelines on how they should be used. Any information used in the process must be confidential and the systems used to store any data should be impartial and objective.

Japanese introduce new legislation to stamp out price-fixing

Japanese lawmakers have introduced new regulations to encourage whistleblowing and stamp out price-fixing. The practice of bid-rigging for contracts is thought to be widespread, especially in the construction sector. The new laws will have harsh penalties for companies found guilty. In the light of the anti-monopoly regulations, many firms have set up whistleblowing hotlines for employees or introduced a database of deals that staff can inspect. Law firms in the country are predicting an explosion of activity.

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