It is common for employers to include restraint of trade provisions in employment contracts. However, such provisions are generally unenforceable unless it can be shown that there is a legitimate proprietary interest to protect and the restraint goes no further than is reasonably necessary to protect that interest. In Powerdrive Pte Ltd (“Powerdrive”) v Loh Kin Yong Philip and others  SGHC 224, Powerdrive sought to enforce a restraint of trade provision against five of its former employees who had joined a competitor. The Singapore High Court held that that the restraint of trade provision relied upon by Powerdrive was too wide and therefore unenforceable. Continue reading
In part two of our comparative table here, we consider whether employers may offer benefits to LGBTI employees and their spouses/partners in Thailand, Indonesia and Japan.
Authors: Fatim Jumabhoy, Partner, Singapore, Rebecca Lim, Associate, Singapore, Tess Lumsdaine, Senior Associate, Hong Kong
Our penultimate e-bulletin of the year, looks at some interesting developments across the region. Continue reading
Australia: Navigating the Christmas season in the #MeToo era: 5 tips for planning a fun (and liability-free) work event
The spotlight on sexual harassment in the workplace has never been brighter. The #MeToo movement has empowered people to draw a sharp line in the sand about inappropriate sexual behaviour in the workplace. The number of high profile men – politicians, entertainers and business leaders, plus the many, many others whose conduct escapes the public scrutiny, continues to escalate. We’ve published five tips for planning a fun work event during the festive season on our website. Click here to discover what these tips are. Continue reading
The Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Bill received Royal Assent in September and is expected to come into force in 2020. It provides for 2 weeks’ leave (paid if eligible) for parents who lose a child under the age of 18 or who suffer a stillbirth after 24 weeks of pregnancy. The Government has now published its response to a public consultation on the detail of the new rights.
The right will be available to parents and also to all primary carers for children including adopters, foster parents, guardians and kinship carers (those who have assumed responsibility for the care of the child in the absence of parents).
Employees will be able to take a single two week block or two separate one-week blocks within 56 weeks from the child’s death (so as to permit time off over the first anniversary). For leave taken within a specified short period after the child’s death, formal notice of taking leave will not be required; leave taken later will be subject to having given one week’s notice.
Evidence requirements will mirror existing requirements used for other family leave and pay rights where possible: written declarations of eligibility will be needed for pay and possibly, if the employer requests it, for leave (but this will not be a pre-condition for an employee taking time off in the initial period after the child’s death). Death certificates and evidence of relationship will not be required.
UK: workers may be entitled to carry over statutory holiday if they have not been encouraged to take it
The ECJ has ruled that workers cannot be deprived of paid statutory holiday entitlement on the termination of employment or at the end of a particular reference period or authorised carry-over period, unless the employer has ensured “specifically and transparently” that the worker is actually given the opportunity to take the leave. This means encouraging workers, formally if necessary, to take their leave entitlement and informing them, accurately and in good time, that they will lose it if they don’t take it. The burden of proof will be on the employer to show that “it has exercised all due diligence” in order to enable the worker actually to take his entitlement; loss of entitlement will only be lawful if the worker deliberately declines to take their leave knowing the consequences. Continue reading
- Unlock has published new guidance for employers on criminal record checks, to which the ICO has contributed. The guidance states that checks at the application stage are unlikely to be necessary for most jobs and therefore likely to be a breach of the GDPR. In relation to checks at the job offer stage, the guidance emphasises the need to think carefully whether these are necessary and whether there is a lawful ground and condition for processing. The guidance also discusses the use of personal social media and data in the public domain.
- New resources on mental health in the workplace include guidance from the CBI, the CIPD and Mind, and new online gateway linking to many more resources at Mental Health at Work.
- The charity Made in Dyslexia and EY have published a Value of Dyslexia report highlighting the huge value in dyslexic thinking and the unique set of skills that people with dyslexia can offer to an organisation.
Workplace violence is a significant and ongoing risk that employers should be alive to because it affects employee health, safety and wellbeing, which in turn impacts on productivity, absenteeism, sickness and replacement costs, to name a few. In respect of the individual, it often causes physical or psychological injury and can even lead to death. In respect of the employer and industry more broadly, it can play out as an expensive scenario in terms of resources, money, time, good will, reputation and increased workers’ compensation and insurance premiums. Unfortunately however, the extent and prevalence of workplace violence in Australia is somewhat unknown. This is partly due to definitional ambiguities, the absence of national data being collected in this area and under-reporting. Continue reading