Hong Kong: Categorising individuals as contractors or employees

As budgets tighten and approved headcounts lowered, employers are increasingly looking for creative ways to engage staff to meet demands. In this context, hiring workers as contractors rather than employees has often been popular, but is not without risk. Earlier this year, in the case of Wong Kin v Him Kee Food Distribution Company Limited, … Read more

New Zealand: Fair and reasonable dismissals

The New Zealand Court of Appeal has ruled on the standard for employers in justifying dismissal decisions, finding it requires an overall assessment of whether the decision was fair and reasonable in the circumstances. In A Ltd v H [2016] NZCA 419, the Court of Appeal found that the employer had acted fairly and reasonably … Read more

Taiwan: Compliance checks – changes to Labor Standards Act

On 6 December 2016, a number of amendments to the Labor Standards Act (Act), relating to rest days, national holidays, annual leave, breaks between shifts, pay slips and whistle-blower protections, were passed by the Legislative Yuan in Taiwan. The amendments also substantially increased the penalties for non-compliance with certain provisions of the Act. Read more

Singapore: Mandatory retrenchment notifications from 1 January 2017

From 1 January 2017, employers will be required to notify the Ministry of Manpower of certain retrenchments. Employers should take note of this mandatory requirement, as currently the Tripartite Guidelines on Managing Excess Manpower and Responsible  retrenchment only encourage employers to notify of any retrenchments. Read more

UK: Working time – employers must ensure that workers can take rest breaks

Employers should review their working arrangements to ensure they allow workers to take their statutory rest breaks. Rejecting earlier conflicting EAT authority, the EAT in Grange v Abellio took a purposive approach to the Working Time Regulations in ruling that a worker can bring a claim for denial of their right to a rest break, … Read more

UK: Autumn Statement – taxation on termination payments and salary sacrifice

Our July-August 2016 ebulletin highlighted HMRC proposals to change the taxation of termination payments from April 2018, and in particular to provide that all payments in respect of unworked notice be treated as earnings subject to income tax and employer and employee NICs (regardless of whether there is a contractual payment in lieu clause). The … Read more

UK: New statutory benefit and minimum wage rates confirmed

The national minimum wage increases have been confirmed: the hourly rate for those aged 25 or over will be £7.50 from April 2017. The Department for Work and Pensions has confirmed that, from April 2017, statutory sick pay will increase to £89.35 per week and the flat rate statutory maternity/paternity/shared parental pay rate will be … Read more

UK: New publications – marriage and civil partnership discrimination, religion in the workplace

The following new employment law-related resources have been published: Acas has published workplace guidance on marriage and civil partnership discrimination. The Equality and Human Rights Commission has published a report on whether the law on religion and belief is working, generally concluding that it is and so not recommending legislative reform. However, it concluded that … Read more