Our Global Employment Law 2019 Preview looks ahead to the key employment developments expected to come into effect in 2019 across the globe.

Gender pay equity is set to be a continuing theme in 2019 and beyond. The full details of the new law in France were published in early January 2019, with gender pay gap figures required to be published by March 2019, September 2019, or March 2020, depending on the size of the business. Gender pay equity initiatives are also anticipated this year or next in Ireland, Portugal, Canada as well as the Netherlands and we expect the trend to extend to other countries in time. This makes it important for multi-national employers to have a global perspective in this area both to ensure consistency and to factor in the implications which compliance in one jurisdiction may have elsewhere.

We expect 2019 to usher in new rights for non-permanent and contingent workers. This is a significant issue in Europe, where the UK Government is progressing plans for increased protections in its "Good Work Plan". Other countries including the Netherlands, Norway and Finland are also looking to introduce measures to better balance rights as between permanent and flexible workers.

Employers in Asia-Pacific should also be preparing for significant changes this year with major employment law reforms incoming in Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand and New Zealand. In Singapore, employment rights, including dismissal protection, will apply to 400,000 more workers when the Employment Act is extended from 1 April 2019. In Japan, the Work-style Reform Bill will limit overtime and increase the responsibility on business to track working time as the government seeks to address the country's long working hours culture.

In Brazil, President Bolsonaro is expected to maintain the 2017 labour reforms, which are already having a profound effect on the employment landscape, and more pro-business changes are expected this year, following the abolition of the Ministry of Labour by the new President on his first day in office this year.