Compliance Check: Indonesia – New Rules for Foreign Workers

Indonesia’s Ministry of Manpower (“MOM”) has issued a new regulation, MOM Regulation No. 10 of 2018 on Procedures for the Utilisation of Foreign Workers (“Reg 10/2018”), which implements President Regulation No. 20 of 2018 on Expatriate Utilisation (“PR 20/2018”). Employers employing expatriates working in Indonesia should be mindful of the additional obligations introduced through Reg 10/2018. For further details, you can read our update here. Continue reading

UK: revised Code on right to work checks, consultation on national minimum wage rules, age discrimination guide

  • The Home Office has published a revised Code of Practice on preventing illegal working, which reflects the ability for employers to check certain employees’ right to work records solely by online check from 28 January 2019 (see here).
  • The Government has published a consultation until 1 March 2019 on possible minor amendments to national minimum wage legislation in relation to salaried hours work and salary sacrifice (see here).
  • Acas has published a guide highlighting key areas where age discrimination may happen.

China: Implementation Measures for Foreign Talent Visas (R Visas)

On 28 November 2017, the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs (SAFEA), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) jointly issued the Implementation Measures for Foreign Talent Visas (Measures). The Measures provide the standards and procedures for applying the foreign talent visa (also known as “R visa”) which was initially defined under the PRC Administrative Regulations on Entry and Exit of Foreigners in 2013. The Measures first took effect in 9 pilot cities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou and have been implemented across China since 1 March 2018.

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UK: Employees overseas – need for caution in using standard employment contracts

The fact that an employee working overseas is on an employment contract governed by English law is a relevant factor in determining whether he can bring an unfair dismissal claim in England, even if it was simply a standard contract drafted for employees working in England and was used for the claimant simply for convenience. The tribunal’s failure to take this into account in relation to an employee working in Saudi Arabia in Green v Sig Trading Limited led to the EAT remitting the case for reconsideration.

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Myanmar: New investment law

The Myanmar legislature enacted the Myanmar Investment Law (the "MIL") late last year. The MIL repealed the 2012 Foreign Investment Law (the "FIL"). In relation to the MIL, the Myanmar Ministry of Planning and Finance has drafted the Myanmar Investment Rules (the "MIL Rules").

The new regulatory framework relates to various matters relating to employment. Specifically, some of MIL's objectives relate to employment matters – ranging from job creation to development of human resources. Investors should consider these provisions in managing their Myanmar workforce.

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PRC: Is Hiring Expatriates Becoming More Difficult?

PRC authorities have launched New Work Permit Rules in April 2017. Consistent with the PRC authorities' attitude to "welcome high-end, control mid-level and restrict low-end expatriates" (鼓励高端,控制一般,限制低端), the New Work Permit Rules on the one hand streamline the expatriate work permit application process by removing the distinction between "foreign experts" and "foreigners", but on the other hand they indicate an intention to impose quota controls on non-expert expatriates and to tighten supervision of short-term illegal work in China.

While it is not clear on balance whether the New Work Permit Rules are more favourable or more restrictive than previously, the changes do signal that the PRC Government is taking an increasingly strict position in permitting expatriates coming to work in the country.

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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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UK: April 2017 changes – apprenticeship levy, tribunal compensation limits, national minimum wage, statutory benefits and immigration skills charge

From 6 April 2017 UK employers with an annual pay bill of or over £3 million will be required to pay an apprenticeship levy at a rate equivalent to 0.5% of their payroll costs, subject to an offset allowance of £15,000. Employers in England that pay the levy will be able to access funding through a digital service which is expected to open from 1 May 2017. Updated guidance is available here. The offence of wrongly advertising work as a statutory apprenticeship also came into force on 1 April 2017.

From 6 April 2017, the cap on the unfair dismissal compensatory award will increase from £78,962 to £80,541 and the cap on weekly pay (used to calculate the unfair dismissal basic award and statutory redundancy pay) will increase from £479 to £489. This gives a maximum unfair dismissal award of £95,211. Note that since 29 July 2013 there has been an additional cap on the compensatory award of 12 months’ pay.

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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?

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UK: Government announcements – workers’ rights post Brexit, employee representation on boards, employment of foreign workers, and review of modern employment practices

At the Conservative Party conference, Theresa May announced plans to repeal the 1972 European Communities Act, which gives direct effect to EU law in the UK, and to transpose all existing EU laws into domestic legislation. She also promised that "existing workers' legal rights will be guaranteed" during her premiership.

The conference speeches also built on the policy announced by Mrs May at the G20 summit to tackle corporate irresponsibility, "cracking down on excessive corporate pay and poor corporate governance, and giving employees and customers representation on company boards".

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