There are currently 196 countries in the world (including Taiwan) and no two have identical laws or legal systems.

Take, for example, a draft law in Spain that would require children to help with household chores.  A child’s required domestic work is determined according to age.  The draft law also includes provisions requiring kids to participate in family life and respect their parents and siblings.  But moody Spanish teenagers need not fret because even if the draft law is enacted, no punishments or penalties are listed for failing to comply.

Husbands in Spain are already required by law to perform housework and help care for children and elderly family members.  Perhaps the husbands can show the kids the ropes.

Spain is not alone in its quirky (by American standards) work-related laws.  Keep reading for more global legal trivia.

  • In Saudi Arabia, law prevents men from working in shops selling women’s clothing or cosmetics because women don’t feel comfortable buying those products from men.
  • In Portugal, employers cannot legally fire their staff.  In order to give an employee the ax, employers must offer an enormous redundancy package and hope that the employee gets the hint.
  • In the UK, employees must pay to sue an employer.  The law, passed in July 2013, requires an employee to pay 1,200£ (approximately $2,012) to institute an action against his or her employer.
  • In New Zealand, an employer may dock an employee’s pay by 10% when the employee engages in a “partial strike.”  A partial strike in New Zealand does not mean walking off the job – it broadly means any change in normal work patterns.  This can be something as small as breaking a uniform policy by wearing clown shoes to work.
  • In Japan, employers mimic doctors when they grab the tape measure and check for employees’ spare tires.  A 2008 law set a maximum waistline size for every person aged 40 to 75 in an effort to preserve the health of the country’s aging population.  Employees who’ve had too much dessert must undergo required counseling.  If an employee doesn’t lose the weight, the employee is required to contribute more to the national healthcare program.  Employers face the same penalty if they can’t get their employees’ weight under control.