Hong Kong: Proposed changes to discrimination laws

On 30 November 2018, legislation was gazetted which proposes various amendments to the Sex Discrimination Ordinance, Disability Discrimination Ordinance, Family Status Discrimination Ordinance and the Race Discrimination Ordinance. The proposed amendments reflect eight of the recommendations from the Equal Opportunities Commission Report on the Discrimination Law Review. Key changes include extending protections against discrimination on the ground of breastfeeding and extending protections against disability and racial harassment by customers.

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Filed under Workplace culture, diversity and discrimination (including bullying and harassment), Workplace flexibility and family-friendly rights

Australia: Fair Work Amendment (Family and Domestic Violence Leave) Bill 2018 receives royal assent

The Fair Work Amendment (Family and Domestic Violence Leave) Bill 2018 passed both houses of Parliament on Thursday 6 December 2018 and also received royal assent on Tuesday 11 December 2018.

The Bill inserts a new entitlement in the National Employment Standards for all national system employees to five days of unpaid family and domestic violence leave within a 12 month period. The entitlement commenced common Wednesday 12 December 2018 (Commencement Date).  The Bill does not preclude employers applying their own additional domestic and family violence policies and practices (e.g. offering paid leave). Continue reading

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Filed under Jurisdiction: Australia, Working hours (including holiday, sick leave, overtime, rest breaks)

Australia: Fair Work Amendment (Repeal Four Yearly Review and other Measures) Bill 2017 passes

Late on Wednesday 5 December 2018, the Fair Work Amendment (Repeal Four Yearly Review and Other Measures) Bill 2017 (Bill) was passed by both houses of Parliament The Bill received royal assent on 11 December 2018 creating a Commencement Date of 12 December 2018.

The Bill focusses on three key areas: Continue reading

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Filed under Industrial/workplace relations, collective bargaining, works councils, Jurisdiction: Australia, Terms of employment contracts

Australia: The federal Modern Slavery Bill becomes law

The Modern Slavery Bill 2018 (Cth) (Bill) was passed into law on 29 November 2018. It is expected to commence in January 2019.

The Bill creates an ongoing obligation for ‘Reporting Entities’ to file a modern slavery statement (Statement) – being a report on the steps the entity has taken to assess and address risks of modern slavery in its operations and its supply chains during a reporting period.  To discover what you need to know and how to prepare for the commencement of this Bill, click here.

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Filed under Employment status (including agency workers, casual workers, use of contractors and 'dispatch' arrangements), Employment-related claims- procedure and form, Jurisdiction: Australia

Australia: Victorian State Election update: Labor is re-elected for a second term – what does this mean for industrial relations in Victoria over the next four years?

The Victorian state election on Saturday 24 November 2018 was characterised by large swings, with the Liberal party losing several previously safe seats and Premier Daniel Andrews successfully leading the ALP to a clear victory, having significantly increased its majority.

So what will this mean for businesses? Continue reading

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Filed under Industrial/workplace relations, collective bargaining, works councils, Jurisdiction: Australia

Australia: Casual employment and double dipping continues to take centre stage

In our previous Legal Briefing we discussed the flurry of recent activity with plaintiff-focussed litigation funders and law firms instituting and threatening to commence class action claims in the mining, direct sales and marketing, and labour hire sectors over the alleged underpayment of employees who have been misclassified as “casual” employees.

Our latest instalment involves class action firms challenging the classification of casual employees.  Click here to discover more. Continue reading

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Filed under Employment status (including agency workers, casual workers, use of contractors and 'dispatch' arrangements), Jurisdiction: Australia, Terms of employment contracts

EU: draft guidelines on GDPR extra-territoriality published

On 23 November 2018, the European Data Protection Board published its draft guidelines on Article 3 of the GDPR, being the provision that sets out the territorial scope of Europe’s data protection legislation.

The GDPR seeks (via Article 3) to extend its reach beyond European borders, making non-EU organisations directly subject to its obligations when processing personal data either:

  • in the context of an establishment of a controller or a processor in the EU; or
  • relating to the offer of goods or services to individuals in the EU; or
  • relating to the monitoring of the behaviour of individuals as far as their behaviour takes place in the EU.

The emphasis highlighted above demonstrates the broad drafting of the legislation and potentially extremely wide application of the GDPR to organisations located outside of the EU. This has left many organisations worldwide in a state of uncertainty as to the fundamental application of this important legislation to their activities. Guidance on Article 3 is therefore long overdue.

The draft guidelines published on 23 November 2018 are open for consultation, with interested parties being given until 18 January 2019 to provide comments. However, even in their current draft state, the guidelines give invaluable insight into the European regulators’ view on interpretation of Article 3 and go some way to clarifying key questions regarding the application of the GDPR.

For further details, see our Data Protection Update here.

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Filed under Data protection and privacy, Jurisdiction: France, Jurisdiction: Germany, Jurisdiction: Spain, Jurisdiction: UK

Compliance Check: Vietnam – Hiring Local Employees Without a Local Entity

There are complicated rules which govern when and how a foreign entity can operate in Vietnam without establishing a local entity. Companies should pay particular attention to employment structures in such circumstances. Continue reading

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Filed under International mobility (including secondments, migrant workers, territorial jurisdiction), Jurisdiction: Asia

Thailand: Proposed Amendments to the Labour Protection Act

On 21 September 2018, the Minister of Labour announced the National Legislative Assembly’s (“NLA“) in principle approval of the draft amendment (“Draft Amendment“) to the Labour Protection Act B.E. 2541 (1998) (“Act“). Key changes and implications for employers are discussed below. Continue reading

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Filed under Business sales/transfers, Jurisdiction: Asia, Terms of employment contracts, Workplace flexibility and family-friendly rights

Hong Kong: Proposed Changes to Laws Impacting Employers

In the 2018 Policy Address on 10 October 2018, the Chief Executive of the HKSAR Carrie Lam announced several key proposals in respect of benefits available to employees under Hong Kong law. Continue reading

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Filed under Jurisdiction: Asia, Remuneration (including bonus and incentive plans), Workplace flexibility and family-friendly rights