This month, our team looks at two recent Court of First Instance decisions in Hong Kong, which explored the nature and extent of the Hong Kong Labour Tribunal’s inquisitorial role in employment disputes. In doing so, the Court made it clear that, while a party may have grounds to appeal a Labour Tribunal decision if the presiding officer fails to investigate relevant matters, the duty to investigate is not absolute and the parties remain under an obligation to prove their case to the civil standard. Read more about these cases here.

Over in China, the authorities have recently launched new work permit rules which streamline the expatriate work permit application process by removing the distinction between “foreign experts” and “foreigners”. On the other hand, however, the new rules indicate an intention to impose quota controls on non-expert expatriate employees and to tighten supervision of short-term illegal work in China. The changes signal that the Government is taking an increasingly strict position in permitting expatriates coming to work in the country. To read more about this topical issue, click here.

In Australia, the Senate Economics References Committee has released a report titled “Superbad – Wage theft and non-compliance of the Superannuation Guarantee” following concerns raised by Industry Super Australia about considerable underpayment of mandated Superannuation Guarantee contributions. Our tax partners in Australia have published a summary of the report’s key recommendations, which include recommendations to remove the AUD450 monthly threshold on superannuation eligibility as well as more frequent payments of compulsory superannuation. Click here to read more.

Our compliance check this month considers the various legislative changes in Singapore to shared parental leave, adoption leave and the re-employment age ceiling, which will take effect from 1 July 2017. This is a good juncture for companies to review their employment policies to ensure they will be compliant. Click here to see how.

Finally, HR practitioners will be aware that work rules are mandatory in certain jurisdictions in Asia once an employer reaches a specified number of employees. However, an often-overlooked area is whether employers must or should establish other types of employment-related policies in addition to such work rules. This month, as the first of a two-part series on this topic, our team has prepared a handy table on whether there are any mandatory employment-related policies which employers must establish in Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Hong Kong, China, South Korea and Taiwan. View the table here.