Links Onboard – Latest APAC Tax, Payroll & Labour Law Updates
Below is the latest issue of the Labour Law Insider, a quarterly update by Links. Our legislation update covers major tax, labour law, payroll and visa developments across Asia. It is designed to get you updated at-a-glance.
- Requirements for Visa Applicants to Declare Criminal Convictions
- List of 2024 General Holidays Released
- Talent List Coverage Expanded
- Increase in Family Allowance Income Limit
- Bill to Abolish MPF Offsetting Announced
- COVID-19 Vaccine Requirements to Be Removed
- Recipients of Working Family Allowance to Receive Extra Allowance
- Increase in Work Injury Compensation
- China to Provide Trainee Jobs for College Graduates
- Shanghai Relaxes PR Criteria for Applicants Holding a PhD Degree
- Increase in Minimum Wages in Mainland China
- Shanghai Unveils Measures to Support Private Investment
- Maternity Insurance Coverage to Be Expanded
- China Creates Over 2.5 million New Jobs for Fresh Graduates
- China Invests 7.3 billion Yuan for Work-relief Programs in 2023
- New Due Diligence Requirements for Corporate Finance Advisers
- CPF Special and MediSave Account Interest Rate to Increase in Q3 2023
- Public Holidays for 2024 Released
- New Measures for Work Safety and Health Introduced
- Bonus Criteria for COMPASS Released
- Change in GST Rate for Consumers
- HR Ministry Launches 2023 Madani Career Incentives
- Increase in EPF Voluntary Contribution Limit From 2023 Assessment Year
- Vietnam to Ease Visa Requirements to Boost Its Tourism Industry
- Vietnam’s New Decree on Personal Data Protection
- Latest Form of Periodic Health Checkup Record in Vietnam
- Paid Leave for Employees from 22 – 24 July to Vote in General Election
- New Law on Taxation Enacted
- New Maternity Policy for Workers at Factories and Manufacturing Enterprises
- Cybersecurity Rules for Financial Institutions in Indonesia
- New Guidelines on Sexual Violence in the Workplace
- Tax Exemption Limit on Leave Encashment for Private Sector Employees Increased
- Income Tax Department Enables ITR-1 and 4
- Dearness Allowance Hiked by 4% in Tamil Nadu
- Extra Pension Contribution to Come From Employer’s Share
- Deadline for Taxpayers to Link Their Aadhaar Number With Their PAN
- DOLE Asks Employers to Excuse Workers with Child-vaccine
- Philippines Allows 100% Foreign Investment in Public Services
- DOLE Issues Revised Labor Inspection Rules
- South Korea Extends Industrial Accident Compensation Insurance to More Occupations
- Families of Foreign Construction Workers Can Receive Retirement Pay
- Employers Are to Obtain Workers’ Consent Before Changing Employment Terms
- Update in the National Pension Insurance from July 2023
- Default Option for Severance Pay – DC (Defined Contribution) and IRP (Individual)
- The Cabinet Approves NT$16 Billion Youth Employment Program
- Taiwan Eases Rules and Restrictions for Foreigners Seeking Residency
- Guidelines for Agreement on Payday and Wage Payment
- Updates in Regulations of Leave-Taking of Workers Amendment
- Amendment of the Childcare and Family Care Leave Act – Mandatory Disclosure of the Status of Employees Taking Childcare Leave
- Change in Power Harassment Measures
- Overtime Work Imposed to SMEs
- Australia Increases its National Minimum Wage by 5.75%
- Shutdown Rules for 78 Modern Awards Changed
- Australia to Close Gap in Disability Employment
- Study and Training Support Loan Changes to Apply From 1 July 2023
- Minimum Wage Exemption to be Ended by Mid-2025
- Hourly Living Wage to Be Increased
- Parental Leave Payments to Be Increased
Requirement for Visa Applicants to Declare Criminal Convictions
Hong Kong had previously required those applying for talent visas and schemes to declare criminal declarations. As of 19 June 2023, this requirement has also been extended to visa applicants from the following categories:
• Foreign domestic helper
• Imported worker
• Working holiday
The new rule will not affect those seeking visa extensions and domestic workers who are changing employers or renewing their contracts with the same employer.
List of 2024 General Holidays Released
Hong Kong has released a detailed list of its gazetted holidays in 2024:
• New Year’s Day – 1 January
• Lunar New Year’s Day – 10 February
• The third day of Lunar New Year – 12 February
• The fourth day of Lunar New Year – 13 February
• Good Friday – 29 March
• The day following Good Friday – 30 March
• Easter Monday – 1 April
• Ching Ming Festival – 4 April
• Labour Day – 1 May
• The Birthday of the Buddha – 15 May
• Tuen Ng Festival – 10 June
• Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day – 1 July
• The day following the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival – 18 September
• National Day – 1 October
• Chung Yeung Festival – 11 October
• Christmas Day – 25 December
• The first weekday after Christmas Day – 26 December
Talent List Coverage Expanded
In May 2023, the government increased the number of professions on its talent list from 13 to 51. This is done to attract more skilled individuals who can meet Hong Kong’s development needs. The updated list covers various industries such as business support, creative industries, construction, environmental technology, finance, healthcare, innovation and technology, legal services, and maritime services. The expanded list applies to different admission schemes for migrants and professionals. Detailed information and application guidelines are available on dedicated websites for those interested in applying.
Increase in Family Allowance Income Limit
Starting from April 1, 2023, the income and asset limits of the Working Family Allowance Scheme will be increased. These changes will be applicable for the claim months from April 2023 to March 2024. The scheme aims to provide support to low-income working families who do not receive Comprehensive Social Security Assistance and work longer hours. It is designed to recognize hard work and the allowance is calculated based on the household’s income and working hours.
Additionally, eligible children will receive a child allowance. To receive the allowance, households must submit an application for each claim period, which covers the 6 months preceding the application submission.
Bill to Abolish MPF Offsetting Announced
Starting May 2025, employers in Hong Kong will no longer be allowed to use their employees’ pension funds to cover severance and long-service payments. Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu confirmed that the government’s legislation to abolish the offsetting scheme will take effect on May 1, 2025. The bill aims to eliminate the practice of using Mandatory Provident Fund benefits to offset employers’ expenses. The government will provide subsidies to employers for 25 years to facilitate the transition, which is estimated to cost up to HK$33 billion.
Covid-19 Vaccine Requirement to Be Removed
On June 16, 2023, the government will remove the vaccination provisions from the Employment (Amendment) Ordinance 2022. These provisions currently allow for the dismissal of employees who refuse to comply with the COVID-19 vaccine requirement. This decision comes after the publication of the Employment (Amendment) Ordinance 2022 (Commencement) Notice on April 14, 2023. Once the provisions are repealed, there will be no vaccination requirements under the Ordinance, and any previous vaccination requests made under the Ordinance will no longer be valid.
Recipients of Working Family Allowance to Receive Extra Allowance
The government has announced that eligible recipients of social security payments and Working Family Allowance (WFA) will receive a one-time extra allowance, starting 31 May 2023. This additional allowance, proposed in the 2023-24 Budget, is equal to half of the monthly standard rate of various social security payments. It will also apply to WFA recipients. Those who were eligible for social security payments on May 3 or had their WFA applications approved between November 1, 2022, and May 3, 2023, are eligible for this one-time extra allowance.
Approximately 1.63 million social security recipients and 70,000 WFA households will benefit from this, amounting to over $2.8 billion in extra allowance. The payment will be automatically credited to the designated bank accounts of eligible recipients or households, and no additional application is required.
Increase in Work Injury Compensation
Starting from April 13, 2023, the Labour Department has announced that the compensation levels for work injuries and occupational diseases will be increased. The Legislative Council has passed resolutions to raise the levels of 18 compensation items under various ordinances, including the Employees’ Compensation Ordinance, the Pneumoconiosis & Mesothelioma (Compensation) Ordinance, and the Occupational Deafness (Compensation) Ordinance.
The increase ranges from 2.18% to 19.05%. These higher compensation levels aim to provide better protection for employees who suffer work-related injuries or occupational diseases, as well as their family members in case of death resulting from work injuries or occupational diseases.
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China to Provide Trainee Jobs for College Graduates
China’s Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security and another nine government agencies have started working together collectively to increase trainee jobs for young people, including college graduates as of May 2023.
In 2023 itself, the Mainland plans to offer at least 1 million trainee posts to graduates not employed within 2 years of finishing education, as well as other young people between the age of 16 years to 24 years.
Shanghai Relaxes PR Criteria for Applicants Holding a PhD Degree
As of 1 May 2023, expats holding a PhD degree working in Shanghai are eligible to apply for a permanent residence as China aims to attract high-end and skilled talent to work and live in the city.
Increase in Minimum Wages in Mainland China
As of 14 July 2023, the following minimum wages were reflected:
- Shanghai – RMB 2,690 per month
- Beijing – RMB 26.4 per hour
- Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui, Fujian, Shandong, Henan, Hubei, Guangdong (including Shenzhen), Chongqing and Sichuan have surpassed the RMB 2,000 mark in the monthly minimum wage standards.
Shanghai Unveils Measures to Support Private Investment
In May 2023, Shanghai issued a 20-point measure to support private investment which include providing fair market entry, tax incentives, expanding financial channels and supporting private investment in scientific and technological innovation.
Maternity Insurance Coverage to be Expanded
In May 2023, China’s National Healthcare Insurance Administration announced that the country will continue to expand the coverage of maternity insurance and the wider implementation of long-term care insurance.
China Creates Over 2.5 million New Jobs for Fresh Graduates
In May 2023, an estimate of 2.53 million new jobs had been created for Chinese college graduates as part of an Employment Promotion Campaign.
China Invests 7.3 billion Yuan for Work-relief Programs in 2023
The program is aimed at people in need, especially rural residents who have been lifted out of poverty, vulnerable individuals prone to return to poverty, and migrant workers returning to their hometown. It will be used to support more than 2,000 small and medium-sized rural infrastructure projects.
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New Due Diligence Requirements for Corporate Finance Advisers
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has released due diligence requirements under Notice SFA o4-N21 for corporate finance advisers operating in Singapore. These requirements are designed to enhance the standards of corporate finance advisers and ensure that investors have access to better information for their decision-making.
Starting from October 1, 2023, these new rules will be applicable to all corporate advisory engagements in Singapore. The MAS has advised corporate finance advisers to begin developing and implementing policies that align with the new requirements.
These requirements will specifically apply to:
• licensed banks, merchant banks, and finance companies that are exempt from holding a capital market services (CMS) license
• holders of a CMS license that advises on corporate finance or
• representatives from options a) and b) with respect to advising on corporate finance.
CPF Special and MediSave Account Interest Rate to Increase in Q3 2023
Starting from July 1 to September 30, 2023, the interest rate for the Special and MediSave Account (SMA) of CPF members in Singapore will increase slightly from 4% to 4.01%. This increase is due to the rise in the average yield of 10-year Singapore Government Securities.
On the other hand, the interest rate for the Ordinary Account (OA) will remain the same at 2.5%. The concessional interest rate for HDB housing loans, which is linked to the OA interest rate, will also remain unchanged at 2.6%. The Retirement Account (RA) interest rate will remain at 4% for the entire year. Additionally, members can earn extra interest on their combined balances, with different rates depending on their age and the amount saved.
Public Holidays for 2024 Released
Singapore has announced its 11 gazetted public holidays for 2024:
• New Year’s Day – 1 January 2024
• Chinese New Year – 10 February – 11 February 2024 (Replacement holiday on 12 February 2024)
• Good Friday – 29 March 2024
• Hari Raya Puasa – 10 April 2024
• Labour Day – 1 May 2024
• Vesak Day – 22 May 2024
• Hari Raya Haji – 17 June 2024
• National Day – 9 August 2024
• Deepavali – 31 October 2024
• Christmas Day – 25 December 2024
New Measures for Work Safety and Health Introduced
The heightened safety period implemented by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) will end on May 31, 2023, without extension. The Multi-Agency Workplace Safety Taskforce will however retain some measures and introduce new requirements for workplace safety and health (WSH) such as:
• The demerit points system will expand to the manufacturing sector, temporarily barring companies with 25 or more demerit points from employing foreign workers.
• Stricter safety requirements will be enforced in government construction tenders.
• Contractors may be disqualified for safety breaches or accumulating over 25 demerit points.
• Chief executives and board directors in higher-risk industries must attend WSH programs.
Bonus Criteria for COMPASS Released
In March 2023, Singapore released some additional criteria for its COMPASS framework which would allow Employment Pass (EP) applicants to claim extra points.
Criteria 5 and 6 were introduced to provide additional points for those who possess skills that are in high demand and for firms that contribute to Singapore’s important economic goals. The bonus points also assist companies in recruiting the foreign talent they need.
Change in GST Rate for Consumers
Singapore’s Minister of Finance, announced that the GST rate for consumers has been increased from 7% to 8% from 1 January 2023 and 8% to 9% from 1 January 2024. The revenue incurred from the increase in GST will be put towards healthcare and to take care of Singapore’s senior citizens.
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HR Ministry Launches 2023 Madani Career Incentives
In May 2023, Minister V.Sivakumar mentioned that under the Daya Kerjaya Programme, employers who hire long-term unemployed youth, Orang Asli, women, persons with disabilities, hardcore poor, parolees, former convicts, and vocational training graduates will be eligible for financial incentives.
The amount is RM600 per month for a period of 3 months and financial incentives are provided to employers for applications submitted starting 1 April 2023 for new hires starting from 1 January 2023.
Increase in EPF Voluntary Contribution Limit From 2023 Assessment Year
Malaysia is set to increase the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) voluntary contribution limit from RM60,000 to RM100,000 per year. Those working under employers could also opt to make additional contributions to complement the statutory 11% employee contribution, to ensure they have enough savings when it comes to retirement.
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Vietnam to Ease Visa Requirements to Boost Its Tourism Industry
With the hopes of bringing in more tourists into the country, Vietnam will be offering more visa waivers for foreign tourists, expanding the e-visa program, and increasing the duration of stays for visitors as of 2023.
Vietnam’s New Decree on Personal Data Protection
Vietnam issued the Decree No. 13/2023/ND-CP on personal data protection which comes into effect on 1 July 2023. There are 8 points businesses need to be aware of:
- Territorial scope of the application of the PDPD
- Extension of definition of personal data and data processing in Vietnam
- Extended categories of regulated subject
- Classification of personal data
- New requirements for a valid consent, sensitive personal data processing and cross-border data transfer in Vietnam
- Management measures taken by organizations and individuals to protect personal data in Vietnam
- Prohibited conduct regarding personal data
- Period of exemption from regulations on personal designation and personal data protection in Vietnam.
Latest Form of Periodic Health Checkup Record in Vietnam
The Minister of Health issued Circular 09/2023/TT-BYT which comes into effect from 20 June 2023. There are several regulations on the classification of health in Vietnam including:
- A periodic health checkup record according to form.
- Letter of introduction to agencies, organizations where that person working for case of seperate periodical ME or named in list of periodical ME confirmed by agencies, organizations where that person working for periodical ME under contract.
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Paid Leave for Employees from 22 – 24 July to Vote in General Election
As Cambodia’s General Elections are slated to take place on 23 July 2023, Cambodian authorities have ordered businesses to grant 3 days of paid leave for employees to return to their hometowns to vote.
This will apply to all civil and private sector servants.
Cambodia’s Minister of Labour and Vocational Training, Ith Samheng, also said that days off that are mandated by the government do not require proof of absence, and that employers should ensure employees are paid on time before the leave. Alternatively, employees can get advances on their salaries.
New Law on Taxation Enacted
Cambodia has implemented a new law on taxation with the goal of aligning the national tax system with international standards, enhancing transparency in tax collection, and promoting investment in the country. Officially in effect from 22 May 2023, the law consist of 20 chapters and 255 articles, replacing previous versions.
Minister of Economy and Finance, Aun Pornmoniroth, stated that the law aims to ensure sustainable economic growth, fair competition, social protection, and increased development of industries and small- to medium-sized enterprises. The updated law combines 15 tax categories into a single law, harmonizing it with other key laws in Cambodia and closing loopholes to improve tax collection and administration.
New Maternity Policy for Workers at Factories and Manufacturing Enterprises
In May 2023, Prime Minister Hun Sen unveiled a new policy that will provide support to pregnant factory workers until their children reach the age of two. This policy applies to all workers in factories and manufacturing businesses recognised by the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training.
Pregnant women and new mothers will be given priority and granted a three-month maternity leave with 120% of their salaries. Additionally, Prime Minister Hun Sen has recommended that the Ministry of Economy and Finance explore the option of providing an additional payment of 40,000 riel for prenatal check-ups.
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Cybersecurity Rules for Financial Institutions in Indonesia
This year, Indonesia released new cybersecurity rules for the financial sector, including banks, insurance companies, and other financial services providers.
The rules cover a range of areas, including risk assessments, risk management, data protection, incident response planning, and employee capacity.
New Guidelines on Sexual Violence in the Workplace
On 29 May 2023, Indonesia’s Ministry of Manpower issued MOM Decree No.88 Year 2023 regarding Guidelines for the Prevention and Handling of Sexual Violence in the Workplace (“MOM Decree No.88”). Highlights include:
- Task Force Obligation for Companies – The task force established by companies must have an odd number of members, with a minimum of 3 members.
- Compensation for Victims – Companies are liable to compensate victims of sexual violence in the workplace as part of the recovery actions companies must take.
- Sanctions for Sexual Violence in the Workplace. Sanctions can be in the form of: written warning letter, transfer or assignment to another division/department/work unit, reducing or removing part of all the person’s authority in the company, temporary suspension or termination of employment.
- Definition of Sexual Violence
- Call to Action for Employers
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Tax Exemption Limit on Leave Encashment for Private Sector Employees Increased
The Indian government has increased the limit for tax exemption on earned leave encashment for private sector employees. The previous limit of INR 300,000, set in 2002, no longer aligns with current salary levels.
The new proposed limit is INR 2.5 million, which will be retrospectively effective from April 1 2023 onwards. This change aims to provide fair tax treatment and is in accordance with the budget proposal for the financial year 2023-24.
Income Tax Department Enables ITR-1 and 4
India’s Income Tax Department has enabled online forms for income tax return ITR-1 and 4 on their portal. These forms come with pre-filled data, including salary income and interest from savings accounts or fixed deposits. Unlike the excel utility forms, where taxpayers need to download, fill, and upload the form, the online forms are more convenient. Taxpayers simply need to review the pre-filled data, ensuring it matches their documents and information in the Annual Information Statement and Form 26AS. The deadline for filing ITR for salaried individuals and non-audited taxpayers is July 31, 2023, unless extended by the government.
Dearness Allowance Hiked by 4% in Tamil Nadu
MK Stalin, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, has declared a 4% raise in Dearness Allowance (DA) for state government workers and pensioners based on the 7th Pay Commission. The increase will be applied from 1st April 2023, retroactively for the current financial year. The DA has been elevated from 38% to 42%.
Extra Pension Contribution to Come From Employer’s Share
The Indian Labour Ministry has announced a change in the contribution system for higher pensions. Employers’ contributions to social security schemes managed by the Employers Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) will now include an additional 1.16%. Currently, the government subsidizes contributions to the Employees’ Pension Scheme (EPS) by 1.16% of basic wages up to Rs15,000.
This change means that EPFO members who opt for a higher pension and contribute based on their actual basic wage exceeding Rs15,000 will not have to contribute this additional 1.16% towards the EPS. The decision is retroactive and aligns with the Supreme Court’s directions.
Deadline for Taxpayers to Link Their Aadhaar Number With Their PAN
The Ministry of Finance had extended the deadline until June 30, 2023, for taxpayers to link their Permanent Account Number (PAN) and Aadhaar. This allows individuals to provide their Aadhaar information for PAN linking without facing any negative consequences.
However, starting from July 1, 2023, PANs of taxpayers who have not linked their Aadhaar will become inoperative. During this period, certain consequences will occur, including no refund being issued for such PANs, no interest being payable on any refund, and higher rates of tax deduction at source and tax collection at source as per the Income-tax Act, 1961.
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DOLE Asks Employers to Excuse Workers with Child-vaccine
As the Philippines government works on its campaign against measles rubella and polio, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) urged private sector companies to excuse employees who will head out to get the vaccine for their children in May 2023.
Philippines Allows 100% Foreign Investment in Public Services
As of late March 2023, the Philippines government issued regulations allowed 100% foreign ownership of public services, including railways and airports.
DOLE Issues Revised Labor Inspection Rules
In May 2023, The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) issued Department Order No.238, Series of 2023 or the “Rules on the Administration and Enforcement of Labor Standards pursuant to Article 128 of the Labor Code of the Philippines, as renumbered, and Republic Act Np. 11058” to ensure and maintain higher levels of compliance with respect to general labor standards, occupational safety and health standards, and other social legislations among various establishments across different industries.
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South Korea Extends Industrial Accident Compensation Insurance to More Occupations
As of July 2023, more workers in South Korea will be covered by the industrial accident compensation insurance.
Previously, workers who didn’t have continuous employment with a single organisation were excluded from workers’ compensation insurance. This affected those in non-traditional forms of labour, such as freelancers or those working through online platforms.
However, the revised law removes the requirement for permanent employment and expands coverage to include consignment drivers, substitute drivers, tour interpreters, children’s school bus drivers, after-school instructors, and construction site truck owners (specifically, sprinkler trucks, aerial work trucks, and cargo crane drivers).
Families of Foreign Construction Workers Can Receive Retirement Pay
In March 2023, The Constitutional Court of Korea decided that retirement funds cannot be withheld from foreign families whose loved ones died while working on Korean construction sites.
The court unanimously declared that clause 2, Article 14 of the Act on the Employment Improvement of Construction Workers, which excluded bereaved foreign families – who were not in Korea at the moment of their kin’s death – from receiving retirement payments after the death, is unconstitutional and that it went against the principles of fairness and equality in the country’s laws.
Employers Are to Obtain Workers’ Consent Before Changing Employment Terms
Up until recently, South Korean employers could impose changes to work rules without obtaining their workers’ consent, where those changes are in line with social norms. However, in a recent decision on 11 May 2023, the Supreme Court of the Republic of Korea abolished this exception and formulated a new test by reference to the concept of bad faith.
The Court held that the majority-consent requirement will apply unless it is unreasonably abused by the union or workforce.
Update in the National Pension Insurance from July 2023
Starting in July 2023, the South Korean government plans to strengthen the financial stability of the pension system by implementing changes that will require high earners to contribute a larger portion of their salaries towards pension premiums.
The maximum income threshold subject to pension payments will be increased from 5.53 million won to 5.9 million won. As a result, individuals earning more than 5.9 million won will see an increase in their monthly national pension subscription payments, with an additional 33,300 won per month or nearly 400,000 won per year, totaling 531,000 won per month.
Simultaneously, the threshold at the lower end of the income scale will also be raised from 350,000 won to 370,000 won. Individuals earning below this threshold are required to pay a minimum amount regardless of their income level. Beginning in July, the monthly minimum payment will increase by 1,800 won to 33,300 won.
Default Option for Severance Pay – DC (Defined Contribution) and IRP (Individual)
The default option system allows the reserves to be automatically operated in a predetermined management method if the worker does not decide on a financial product to manage his retirement pension reserves.
Since July 12 2022, the Default Option system has been implemented in accordance with the revision of the Workers’ Retirement Benefit Guarantee Act. After a one-year grace period, the application will begin in earnest on July 12 2023. For new subscribers, the designation of default options becomes mandatory and is recommended for existing subscribers.
The default option system, which will take effect in earnest from July, is only applicable to DC type and IRP operated by workers themselves.
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The Cabinet Approves NT$16 Billion Youth Employment Program
In May 2023, The Cabinet approved the second phase of a cross-agency youth employment program where 800,000 young people will be guided on securing jobs over the next 4 years. The program (second phase) kicked off in May and will run until 2026 for people aged between 15 years old to 29 years old and carries a budget of NT$16 billion.
Taiwan Eases Rules and Restrictions for Foreigners Seeking Residency
As of 30 May 2023, Taiwan passed amendments to relax rules and restrictions on foreign nationals (including spouses and children) seeking residency and permanent residency in the country. The new regulations allows spouses, children under 18, and children above 18 with disabilities of those who have made “special contributions” to Taiwan, “high-level professionals,” those who have won an award in a professional field, or hold an investment visa to apply for an alien permanent resident certificate (APRC).
Guidelines for Agreement on Payday and Wage Payment
On 9 February 2023, the Ministry of Labor issued the “Guiding Principles for Agreements between Worker and Employer on Wage Payment Dates and Wage Payment”.
The guidelines cover the frequency at which wages should be paid, in an effort to protect the rights and interests of workers receiving wages.
Updates in Regulations of Leave-Taking of Workers Amendment
The Ministry of Labor, Republic of China (Taiwan) has declared that starting from May 3, 2023, the Workers’ Leave-Taking Regulations have become enforceable. According to the article, employees are prohibited from withholding full attendance bonuses in cases where a worker has a miscarriage within the first three months of pregnancy and chooses not to take maternity leave but opts for regular injury and sick leave instead.
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Amendment of the Childcare and Family Care Leave Act – Mandatory Disclosure of the Status of Employees Taking Childcare Leave
As of 1 April 2023, employers with more than 1,000 full-time employees are required to publicly disclose the ‘percentage of male employees who have taken childcare leave’ or the ‘percentage of employees who have taken childcare leave and leave for childcare purposes on an annual basis’.
Change in Power Harassment Measures
Since April 1, 2023, it has been made mandatory for small and medium -sized enterprises to comply with power harassment measures which was previously only imposed on large companies.
Overtime Work Imposed to SMEs
The application of overtime work (50%) which is over 60 hours per month was previously only imposed on large companies. However, as of 1 April 2023, it has been expanded to small and medium-sized enterprises.
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Australia Increases its National Minimum Wage by 5.75%
Effective 1 July 2023, Australia will implement an increase in its national minimum wage.
The wage will increase from $812.60 to $882.80 per week, or $21.38 to $23.23 per hour based on the standard 38-hour work week.
The increase applies from the first full pay period starting on or after 1 July 2023.
The National Minimum Wage applies to employees who are not covered by an award or registered agreement.
Shutdown Rules for 78 Modern Awards Changed
Under the Fair Work Act, the Fair Work Commission is required to review modern awards every four years. In the latest review, 78 modern awards will be modified to incorporate a new “model term.” This term will replace existing shutdown clauses that allow employers to direct employees to take annual leave during periods of business shutdown.
The changes will take effect on May 1, 2023. Some of the awards to be amended include the Clerks – Private Sector Award 2020, Hospitality Industry (General) Award 2020, Miscellaneous Award 2020, and Professional Employees Award 2020.
Australia to Close Gap in Disability Employment
In April 2023, the Australian government announced increased boosted funding for disability employment support to enhance job prospects for individuals with disabilities. With the employment rate for people with disabilities significantly lower compared to those without disabilities, the government has allocated an additional AU$92.1 million to the Disability Employment Services (DES) program. This funding increase aims to narrow the employment gap and provide assistance to an additional 10,000 people through DES. The government’s commitment to increasing support for disability employment reflects a dedication to breaking down barriers, promoting workplace equality, and empowering individuals with disabilities to reach their full potential.
Study and Training Support Loan Changes to Apply From 1 July 2023
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has released new HECS-HELP tax tables that apply from 1 July 2023.
There are no changes to the normal PAYG tax tables for the 2023–24 income year. The only change is to study and training support loans.
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Minimum Wage Exemption to Finish by Mid-2025
In the Budget 2023, the government declared its intention to eliminate the discriminatory minimum wage exemption (MWE) by mid-2025. This exemption allows disabled individuals to be paid less than the minimum wage. As part of their manifesto commitment, the government plans to replace MWE permits with a wage supplement. This means that all disabled people will receive at least the minimum wage.
Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector, stated that around 800 disabled individuals will see their wages increase to the minimum wage through this wage supplement. The aim is to support disabled individuals in finding paid employment and reduce their dependence on welfare benefits.
Hourly Living Wage to be Increased
Starting from September 1, 2023, the living wage will rise by NZ$2.35 to reach NZ$26 per hour. Employers who participate in the Living Wage Movement commit to paying their workers this specified hourly amount. A complete reassessment of the living wage is conducted every five years to ensure it effectively tackles poverty among employed individuals and enhances their overall security and well-being. Reverend Stephen King, the Chairperson of the Living Wage Movement, emphasized that this recalibration guarantees ongoing efforts to combat in-work poverty and promote the welfare of working individuals.
Parental Leave Payments to be Increased
Starting from July 1, 2023, paid parental leave entitlements in New Zealand will be raised by 7.7% to align with the increase in the average wage. Associate Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety announced that new parents will receive an additional NZ$51 per week, with a total increase of NZ$1,327 for those taking the full 26 weeks of parental leave.
Eligible parents will now receive a weekly payment of NZ$712.17 before tax, up from NZ$661.12. Self-employed parents will see their minimum rate increase to NZ$227 per week, equivalent to 10 hours of the minimum wage. Furthermore, starting from mid-2024, new parents on paid parental leave will receive a 3% government contribution to their KiwiSaver account, provided they continue making their own contributions.
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