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

Asia: Overtime and time off in lieu

A recent trend in relation to overtime is for employers to grant time off in lieu instead of paying overtime. This can be confusing in Asia as the ability of employers to do so varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. This month we consider the position in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, China, Japan, South Korea and Thailand. Read more

Thailand: Increase in minimum wage

Thailand’s nationally set daily minimum wage of 300 Baht (approximately US $9) is likely to change at the end of 2016. The Central Wage Committee has recently announced increases in the minimum daily wage for 69 of the 77 provinces effective 1 January 2017. The increases vary between 5 and 10 Baht per day (approximately … Read more

Hong Kong: Is it time to refresh your disciplinary procedure?

When was the last time you looked at your organisation's disciplinary procedures? Is it time for a refresh? Earlier this year, a decision of the Court of First Instance of Hong Kong ("CFI") caused many HR professionals to reassess their organisation's disciplinary procedures after the CFI held that an employer's disciplinary policy was broad enough … Read more

Asia: Human rights – modern slavery and labour issues

Concerns in relation to “modern slavery” are increasingly important for businesses to recognise. This is especially so in Asia, where poor enforcement mechanisms and unfamiliarity with employee rights often result in exploitative working conditions. What can companies do to ensure that their business and supply chains are free from unethical labour practices? Read more