Germany: Act to Promote Transparency of Pay Structures (Entgelttransparenzgesetz)

On 30 March 2017 the German Parliament (Bundestag) passed the Act to Promote Transparency of Pay Structures (Entgelttransparenzgesetz). The objective of this act is an achievement of the pay equity between men and women, who perform the same work or work of equal value. It is expected that the act will come into force this summer (immediately on the day after its promulgation).

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Filed under Discrimination and equal pay, Jurisdiction: Germany, Remuneration

Australia: Wages trends in enterprise bargaining – latest data

The 'Trends in Federal Enterprise Bargaining' report for October-December 2016 was released by the Department of Employment this week.

Across the country, Victoria recorded the highest annual wages increases of 3.6%, compared to the Australian Capital Territory with the lowest at 2.3%.

Table 7 of the report is particularly useful, showing the average annual percentage wage increase by industry for enterprise agreements approved during the December 2016 quarter.

This data can help with benchmarking during any enterprise agreement negotiations you have coming up this year.

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Filed under Jurisdiction: Australia, Remuneration

Asia: The Role of Unions

Unions are becoming increasingly prevalent across Asia. Here we take a look at which aspects of the employment relationship unions may be involved in Singapore, Hong Kong, the People's Republic of China, Thailand, Indonesia, South Korea and Japan.

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Filed under Jurisdiction: Asia, Trade unions and works councils

India: Key changes for maternity benefits

The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017, which introduces key changes to the maternity benefits set out under the Maternity Benefit Act 1961 (the Act), received presidential assent on 27 March 2017 and has now mostly come into force. Is your company compliant?

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Filed under Employment law reforms, Jurisdiction: Asia

Hong Kong: The labour policy promises of the new Chief Executive

On 26 March 2017, Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor was elected as the city's next (and first female) chief executive, after winning 777 votes from a 1,194-member election committee. In a 520-page manifesto, Carrie Lam set out her policy campaign including, briefly, her views on how the government under her leadership would address certain topical labour issues. This article summarises what we can expect from a new government under Carrie Lam's leadership.

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Filed under Employment law reforms, Jurisdiction: Asia, Redundancy

Japan: Combatting the overtime culture

Currently, employers are in principle prohibited from causing employees to work more than 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week. Subject to a Labour Management Agreement being entered into with a union consisting of more than half the employees in the company or with an employee representative representing more than half the employees, employers can cause employees to work overtime hours of up to 45 hours a month or 360 hours a year. However, employers can escape this rule if special provisions can be agreed.

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Filed under Jurisdiction: Asia, Working time rights: statutory holiday and other rest, Workplace Health and Safety

Singapore: Tripartism Updates

Labour policy in Singapore has long been handled collaboratively by the Government, employee unions and employers in what is known as the tripartism movement. This movement has now been formalised through the setting up of a corporate body, Tripartite Alliance Limited (TAL), which will subsume the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Practices (TAFEP) as well as a newly created body, the Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management (TADM).

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Filed under Employment tribunal process, Jurisdiction: Asia, Workplace Health and Safety

UK: Gender pay gap reporting – government website for reporting data now available

The government website on which employers are to report their gender pay gap data has now been made available, here. Employers need to register and activate an account to use the site and will need to request a PIN, which the site says will be sent by post within a week. Our detailed client briefing on the new reporting duty, which has been updated for the final Acas/GEO guidance (see our blog post here), is available here.

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Filed under Discrimination and equal pay, Jurisdiction: UK

Australia: Important interim order in a bullying application

A recent decision in the anti-bullying jurisdiction of the Fair Work Commission has highlighted the (potentially complicated) interaction between bullying complaints and an employer's internal investigation process.

In Lynette Bayly [2017] FWC 1886, the Commission made an interim order staying an employer’s internal investigation of a complaint (that is, preventing the employer from finalising a draft investigation report), preventing any disciplinary action in connection with the investigation and preventing termination of the complainant’s employment – until such time as the matter is determined.

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Filed under Employment tribunal process, Jurisdiction: Australia

Australia: Health and Safety Frequency – April 2017

Welcome to Herbert Smith Freehills Health and Safety Frequency for April 2017, where we touch on legal developments in Australian health and safety from the last three months and give you some more personal insights into what we and our clients are up to in the health and safety space.

In this issue we cover:

  1. Top Trends Q1/2017

  2. Safety Decisions

  3. Legislative Update

  4. Other Legal Developments

  5. Three Questions With…Harold Downes

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Filed under Jurisdiction: Australia, Workplace Health and Safety