Global and Local Support: The Changing World of Work and Compliance

While no one can predict what the world of work will look like in the future, at least two things are certain: Business and employment will continue, although likely with changes.

As employers prepare their organizations for the new wave of alterations to the workplace, they are also aware of the varying accommodations that must be made depending on the country or region in which they operate. Workforce adaptation is a must, but simultaneous compliance is critical. No one employment rule, practice, or regulation is constant around the globe.

To complicate matters, recent weeks have seen an explosion in new rules designed to help businesses stay operational, keep employees paid and supported, and ensure the health, safety, and well-being of the workforce. For SAP, it is a top priority to maintain the employment-related continuity needed to support and service its customers.

Globalization and Localization Services from SAP

Businesses worldwide have turned to SAP SuccessFactors solutions to help them quickly comply with these new rules and regulations by updating their software to the needs of any particular population in the world.

SAP SuccessFactors solutions have a robust localization strategy that is designed for such unexpected emergencies. Software pertaining to the management of payroll, streamlining of human resource (HR) services, management of visa and permits, and document control are all covered by SAP SuccessFactors solutions. Working closely with customers and partners, the SAP Globalization Services team is providing solutions for an astounding array of changes, quickly and effectively.

The following information is based on legislation and regulations that are subject to change at any time by the respective authorities and therefore is not binding. The information may be updated as and when required.

Czech Republic

The Czech Republic Localization team has accommodated new laws that granted an additional care allowance period to employees who must personally take care of their children during COVID-19. Additionally, an allowance is given for children younger than 13 years of age. The legal change is retroactive and is also being applied for the COVID-19 emergency period before the effective date of the new law. Additionally, from the point of view of the pension insurance calculation, such period must be taken as excluded time.


The Minister and Revenue authorities in Ireland enacted a COVID-19 temporary wage subsidy scheme and provided new values when making subsidy payments to employees. As employers load this data into SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central Payroll to make accurate payments within the maximum limits provided by Revenue, the localization team introduced three new fields to the payroll submission.

Additionally, adjustments and additions will provide not only a database to hold the data provided by Revenue authorities but also a report with two stages as well as validation and information messages to assist the customers in comparing the data to their existing data.


Belgium saw significant changes in local social security codes and valuations. The country’s employment and social insurance system requires quarterly reporting to the Belgian authorities through a new service code for the declaration of forced absence. For the localization team, this meant developing a new service code and absence valuation, all to be added into the payroll system.


Numerous legislative measures have been taken in Sweden to lift costs or postpone payments to relieve employers struggling with the problems arising from the spread of COVID-19. All have major, complex implications for the localization team to adjust SAP SuccessFactors solutions for:paid sick time, short-term or part-time work, short-term furlough, delayed payments of deducted tax and employers contribution, and temporarily lowered employer contribution.


To cushion the impact of COVID-19 on employees, Malaysia introduced an economic stimulus package. In addition to structuring SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central Payroll to allow the minimum employee contribution to the employees provident fund to be reduced by four percent, the localization team introduced multiple HR support packages and instructional guides to assist employers in the legal changes.


The Localization team in Japan has made system accommodations for employees who have been absent from work due to COVID-19 and whose remuneration has fallen markedly due to this absence. In SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central Payroll, these employees can have their standard monthly remuneration for health insurance and employees’ pension insurance revised from the following month by way of a special exception.


The employer compliance environment in Brazil is complex and evolving, with an almost constant flow of legislative changes revising or editing prior laws, resulting in a particularly fragmented situation for the localization team to capture. As SAP SuccessFactors always strives for stability of legal changes before securing them into the database, the fluidity and permissive nature of COVID-19 HR laws have been particularly challenging to present as a true solution.

In a series of provisional measures, Brazil has provided that “To deal with the economic effects, which results from the state of public calamity, and to preserve employment and income,” employers may reduce the salary of employees up to 70 percent and suspend contracts up to 60 days. The Brazilian government will pay the value of this percentage, based on the amount of unemployment insurance.

The Brazilian Localization team has supported this legislation in multiple ways, not only by localizing the needed fields to accomplish governmental measures but also by providing guidance and rich consulting notes to employers with high-level details of the measures and a sample consulting code, which each company can use to create a program to automatically generate the .CSV file to be submitted to the government.

Saudi Arabia

In light of the efforts made by the Government of Saudi Arabia Kingdom to confront COVID-19, the government announced a series of new, immediate legal measures in many areas of HR. “The Saudi Arabia Localization team spared no effort and responded quickly,” Hany Zanaty, senior product manager at SAP Saudi Arabia, said.

A multitude of solutions helped SAP ERP Human Capital Management and SAP SuccessFactors customers adapt to the COVID-19 emergency in areas such as:

  • Time management: Three new leave types – compulsory sick leave, exceptional official leave, and non-productive hours – were introduced.
  • Visa management: Due to the pandemic, travel was banned in Saudi Arabia and expat employees were not able to return to their home country. The simplification of this return-to-work process by the localization team now helps ensure business continuity and compliance with rapidly increasing local safety and privacy regulations.
  • Unemployment insurance: As a matter of local, best market practices, the localization team also recommended applying the ‘wage type’ deduction with the appropriate percentage and deduction limit, rather than reducing basic salary directly.

Committed to the Customer

The resourcefulness and dedication of the many localization teams, local product managers, and SAP Globalization Services has come to the forefront across the globe as SAP finds itself uniquely positioned to provide localized compliance solutions under stressed and urgent conditions.

The legal changes have come – and will continue to be enacted – at dizzying speeds and enormous diversity, requiring knowledge, analysis, technology, and collaboration with SAP SuccessFactors professionals, local governmental authorities, customers, and partners. SAP SuccessFactors solutions are built for this kind of rapid, thorough, in-country response, understanding that compliance remains critical in the face of supporting the continuity of the businesses and the health and safety of employees world-wide.

Learn more about the SAP SuccessFactors Human Experience Management (HXM) Suite here.

This article was originally published on SAP NEWS by author: Barbara Ocain who is global executive advisor for HR Technology Advisory at SAP.