Australia

  • Australia is one of the most employee-friendly jurisdictions in the world
  • Employees can challenge a termination of their employment on the basis that it is harsh, unjust or unreasonable. This is a key aspect of Australian employment law which should be kept in mind when contemplating terminating an employment relationship
  • Although equal employment opportunity has long been enshrined in law, anti-discrimination provisions in workplace legislation now provide protection to employees from the time of job application through to termination of employment
  • Employees are entitled to generous parental leave provisions, including a government funded paid parental leave scheme following the birth or adoption of a child

China

  • Employment contracts must be in writing (with company seal), otherwise employees are entitled to double salary
  • Fixed-term contracts can be reviewed twice - but the third contract must be offered on a permanent, indefinite basis
  • Working time and overtime are strictly regulated; only 3 hours daily and 36 hours monthly are allowed and overtime payment must be provided up to 300%, unless flexible working time schedules are approved by the labour bureau
  • Employees must be compensated for any untaken annual leave at the end of a calendar year or at the end of employment at a rate of 200% of their daily salary if they could not take leave for business reasons
  • When an employer dismisses an employee including in the case of the non-continuance of a fixed-term contract, a statutory severance payment must be made to the employee

Hong Kong

  • Both the employer and employee are entitled to make a payment in lieu of notice to terminate an employment relationship notwithstanding any contractual term purporting to restrict such right
  • There is no statutory requirement that a certain percentage of employees must be local nationals. Nonlocals are welcome to work in Hong Kong, provided they obtain employment visas
  • Trade union membership is relatively low compared with Europe and the USA
  • Breaches of restrictive covenants and confidentiality are common issues which arise in employment disputes in Hong Kong
  • Personal data privacy at work is attracting more public attention and scrutiny by authorities

India

  • The applicable labour law and compliance requirements for employers depends on a variety of factors including the place where the employees are located, the nature of activity, and the number of employees in the organisation
  • Employees who fall within the category of `workmen' are afforded greater statutory protection and benefits under Indian labour laws
  • The enactment of a central law to protect women from sexual harassment in the workplace and widespread awareness of this issue has been an important step towards promoting equal opportunity in employment
  • The period of maternity benefit leave for a woman employee, having less than 2 children, has been increased from 12 weeks to 26 weeks. Further, the maternity benefit for a period of 12 weeks has also been extended to women who legally adopt a child below the age of 3 months and to commissioning mothers
  • A Unified Shram Suvidha portal (one-stop-shop for labour law compliance) has been developed to simplify procedural complexities by facilitating the submission of consolidated returns under various labour laws

New Zealand

  • Employers and employees are subject to a mutual statutory obligation to observe "good faith" in all aspects of their employment relationship, and unions must similarly observe good faith
  • Employment may only be terminated for cause, except for termination of new employees during the first 90 days of employment during an agreed trial period
  • Dismissals must meet the standard of what a fair and reasonable employer could have done in all of the circumstances, and follow a procedurally fair process
  • There is a mandatory system of mediation, through which approximately 80% of disputes are now resolved

Singapore

  • While protection of employee rights has been enhanced over the past few years, the Singapore employment landscape is still largely pro-employer.
  • Due to recent developments in the employment legal framework, employers should be aware:
    • Of the obligations imposed on employers in relation to employees' personal data
    • There is greater union protection and representation for employees in managerial and executive positions
    • There is increased protection and benefits for employees who are Singapore citizens
    • That retiring employees should be offered reemployment until they are 65 years of age
    • Of their potential obligation to notify the Ministry of Manpower of retrenchment dismissals
  • Employers must make monthly contributions on behalf of Singapore citizens and permanent residents into the Central Provident Fund
  • Labour disputes between trade unions and employers are relatively rare in Singapore

Published in collaboration with L&E Global: an alliance of employers’ counsel worldwide

To view the full publication: An international guide to employment law across 28 countries, please click here.