Labour Law Insider – APAC 2024 Q1 Legislation Update

Links Labour Law Insider – Latest APAC Tax, Payroll & Labour Law Updates

Below is the most recent edition of Links’ Labour Law Insider, a quarterly publication. This legislative update encompasses significant developments in taxation, labour laws, payroll, and visa matters across Asia. Its purpose is to provide you with a quick and comprehensive update.

For more news and insights into the market, make sure to subscribe to our blog so you don’t miss out on the latest HR news, or contact our team to learn more about the latest changes!

  • Hong Kong
    • Updates for Businesses from the Hong Kong Policy Address 2023
    • Increase of Statutory Holidays in Hong Kong
  • Macau
    • Increase in Minimum Wage as of 1 January 2024
  • Mainland China
    • China Visa-Free Policy Expected to Boost Tourism
    • Voucher Handouts Expected to Boost Consumption
    • ‘Five-Star’ Card Recently Issued for Foreign Permanent Residents in China
    • 2024 Public Holidays in China
    • Deadline for Tax Declaration and Payment for 2024
  • Singapore
    • Interest Rate Floor on Special, MediSave and Retirement Account Monies Extended
    • Singapore to Transition About 1,000 Dormitories by 2030
    • Alliance for Action Launched to Help Companies Attract and Retain Talent
    • New Default Daily Limit for Online CPF Withdrawals
    • Network to Foster Mental Wellbeing in the Workplace Launched
    • Civil Servants to Receive 0.6 Month Year-End Bonus
    • Wage Hikes for Security Officers to be Scheduled
  • Malaysia
    • Employers Granted Financial Incentives Upon Implementing the Progressive Wage Policy
    • Malaysia Announces 2024 Budget on 13 October 2023
  • Thailand
    • Daily Minimum Wage to Increase by 2.37% in Thailand Starting January 2024
    • Launch of Thailand ESG Fund
  • Vietnam
    • Increase in Regional Minimum Wage in 2024
    • Removal of Common Minimum Wage and Change in Salary Structure For All States
  • Cambodia
    • Minimum Wage for Garment, Travel Goods and Bag Industries Set
    • Paid Public Holidays for 2024 Announced
    • Guidelines for Occupational Safety During Flooding Released
    • Businesses That Employ Children to be Fined and Shuttered
  • Indonesia
    • Jakarta Makes Changes to 2024 Minimum Wage
    • Mandatory Disclosure of Job Vacancies Announced
  • India
    • India’s Digital Personal Data Protection Act (DPDPA) Passed
    • Delhi’s Minimum Wage Increased
  • Philippines
    • Employers Urged to Pay 13th Month Pay on Time
    • “Trabaho Para sa Bayan Act” Aims to Address Challenges in Labour Market, including Unemployment and Underemployment
    • Philippines Releases List of Holidays for 2024
    • The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Launches the Taxpayer Registration Application Portal
    • Minimum Wage Earners in Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon and Soccsksargen See Pay Hike
    • Minimum Wage Increase in Ilocos and Western Visayas
  • South Korea
    • Payment Period and Upper Limit of Allowances for Civil Servants on Second Childcare Leave Increased
    • 52-hour Workweek to be Relaxed for Certain Sectors
    • Period of Parental Leave Extended From 12 Months to 18 Months
    • Childcare Allowance Non-Tax Limit Raised
  • Taiwan
    • Launch of Talent Taiwan Recruitment Service Center
    • Modification in the National Health Insurance Average Number of Dependents
  • Australia
    • Programme For Disabled People to Advance Their Careers Launched
    • Superannuation Under the National Employment Standards
  • New Zealand
    • Stricter Laws for Employers of Migrant Workers
    • 90-day Trial Period Extended to All Employers

If you have any questions regarding the content please contact Bella Khan at bella.khan@linksinternational.com or Lynette Liew at lynette.liew@linksinternational.com.

EOR Services in Asia Pacific

HONG KONG

Updates for Businesses from the Hong Kong Policy Address 2023

From the 2023 Hong Kong Policy Address that was delivered by Chief Executive, John Lee Ka-chiu, several highlights that businesses should take note of are:

  • As of 25 October 2023, Hong Kong is set to relax the visa policy for Vietnamese nationals, along with the criteria for Vietnamese applying for “multiple-entry visas” for business and travel purposes.
  • Visa policy for Laotian and Nepalese talent for employment, training, and study under the University Grants Committee (UGC)-funded institutions will also be relaxed.
  • Eight educational institutions added to List of Qualified Universities Under Top Talent Pass Scheme (TTPS) – bringing the total to 184.
  • Eligible investors who make investments of HK$30 million or above in assets can apply for entry into Hong Kong.
  • Hong Kong will encourage external companies to establish corporate divisions in the city, which will support foreign companies in accessing the Mainland China market.
  • Multiple-entry visas to Mainland China for foreigners working in Hong Kong-registered companies effective 26 October 2023.
  • Revision of the “418” requirement – shifting the calculation basis to the aggregate working hours over a four-week period, and this adjustment will subsequently be reflected in the Employment Ordinance.
  • Effective April 2024, the Working Family Allowance Scheme will increase by 15% .

Reference Link

Increase of Statutory Holidays in Hong Kong

Hong Kong looks to increasing the number of statutory holidays over the next few years. Starting from 2024, the first weekday after Christmas Day will be a statutory holiday under the Employment Ordinance.

Other statutory holidays will include Easter Monday from 2026, Good Friday from 2028, and The day following Good Friday from 2030.

Reference Link

Looking to streamline your HR administration and payroll in HK? Contact our professional payroll team now!

MACAU

Increase in Minimum Wage as of 1 January 2024

Macau has increased its minimum wage from 6,656 patacas to 7,072 patacas per month. The weekly wage will increase from 1,536 patacas to 1,632 patacas.

Additionally, daily wage earners will see an increase from 256 patacas to 272 patacas. Hourly earners will see an increase from 32 patacas to 34 patacas.

All changes will come into effect as of 1 January 2024.

Reference Link

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MAINLAND CHINA

China Visa-Free Policy Expected to Boost Tourism

Visa-free travel for Ordinary Passport Holders of France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Malaysia has been implemented from 1 December 2023 until 30 November 2024. Visitors can stay for no more than 15 days and can enter for business, tourism, visiting relatives and friends or transit.

Reference Link

Voucher Handouts Expected to Boost Consumption

Several provinces and municipalities in China are handing out vouchers to boost the consumption sector, especially for sales of automobiles and home appliances.

On 20 November 2023, Sanya handed out it’s third batch of vouchers where consumers can redeem duty-free products.

Dalian, on the other hand, issued vouchers worth 20 million yuan to boost sales of automobiles, home appliances, consumer retail products and catering services.

Reference Link

‘Five-Star’ Card Recently Issued for Foreign Permanent Residents in China

On 1 December 2023, China issued the ‘five-star card’ and a total of 50 foreigners from more than 20 countries received the first batch of cards in various localities across the Mainland.

Reference Link

2024 Public Holidays in China

The State Council released its 2024 Public Holiday schedule through its Circular of the General Office of the State Council on the Arrangement of Public Holidays in 2024 as follows:

  • 1 January – New Year
  • 10 February – 17 February – Spring Festival (Chinese New Year)
  • 4 April – 6 April – Tomb Sweeping Festival (Ching Ming Festival)
  • 1 May – 5 May – Labour Day
  • 10 June – Dragon Boat Festival
  • 15 September – 17 September – Mid-Autumn Festival
  • 1 October – 7 October – National Day

Reference Link

Deadline for Tax Declaration and Payment for 2024

The General Office of the State Taxation Administration recently issued a notice clarifying the tax declaration and payment deadlines for 2024. It specifies the deadlines for declaring and paying various types of taxes within 15 days after the end of each month or quarter. In the event of public holidays, the deadlines will be extended as follows:

DateTax Filing Deadline
January, March, July, August, NovemberAs of the 15th of the month
February 10th to 17th, 8 days offFebruary 23
April 4th to 6th, 3 days offApril 18
May 1st to 5th, 5 days offMay 22
June 8th to 10th, 3 days offJune 19
September 15th to 17th, 3 days offSeptember 18
October 1st to 7th, 7 days offOctober 24
December 15th (Sunday)December 16

Reference Link

Are you expanding your business into China? Learn more about how our professional HR team can help!

SINGAPORE

Interest Rate Floor on Special, MediSave and Retirement Account Monies Extended

The government has extended the 4% interest floor for Special, MediSave, and Retirement Accounts from 1 January to 31 December 2024.

In Q4 2023, the Special and MediSave Account rate has stood at 4.04%. Ordinary Account interest stays at 2.5%, and the HDB housing loan rate remains at 2.6% until December 31, 2023. CPF members under 55 get an extra 1% interest on the first S$60,000, and those 55 and above receive extra interest on the first S$30,000.

Extra Ordinary Account interest goes into the Special Account or Retirement Account. The Retirement Account interest rate is maintained at 4% from 1 January to 31 December 2023, for members participating in CPF LIFE above 55 years old.

Reference Link

Singapore to Transition About 1,000 Dormitories by 2030

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) plans to transition around 1,000 existing Purpose-Built Dormitories (PBDs) and Factory Converted Dormitories (FCDs) to improved interim standards by 2030 through the Dormitory Transition Scheme (DTS). The DTS aims to enhance public health resilience in migrant worker dormitories against future disease outbreaks by reducing the spread of infectious diseases.

Eligible dormitories will progressively adopt interim standards between 2027 and 2030, with some higher-risk ones transitioning earlier. MOM will collaborate with dormitories on individual transition timelines, urging operators to inform employers and residents early for alternative housing arrangements. The dormitories under the DTS will eventually move to the New Dormitory Standards by 2040.

Reference Link

Alliance for Action Launched to Help Companies Attract and Retain Talent

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has introduced the Alliance for Action (AfA) on Widening Access to Talent, aiming to assist employers in attracting and retaining a broader talent pool. Collaborating with key stakeholders like the Institute for Human Resource Professionals, Singapore Manufacturing Federation, SGTech, and Singapore Retailers Association, the initiative focuses on co-creating solutions in two areas.

Firstly, it seeks to tap into valuable skills and experience by adopting skills-based hiring practices. Secondly, it aims to boost workforce agility and retention through skills-based development practices, promoting career mobility within firms.

The AfA will run for six months from January 2024, concentrating on the manufacturing, information and communications technology, and retail sectors, with support from MOM, Singapore National Employers Federation, and National Trades Union Congress.

Reference Link

New Default Daily Limit for Online CPF Withdrawals

As of November 30 2023, a default daily online Central Provident Fund (CPF) withdrawal limit of S$2,000 will be applied for CPF members aged 55 and above to enhance protection against scams. Members can adjust this limit online, ranging from S$0 to S$200,000, with any increase subject to Singpass Face Verification (SFV) and a 12-hour cooling period.

Members can also activate the CPF withdrawal lock to set the daily limit to S$0, allowing withdrawals only in-person at CPF service centers. To re-enable online withdrawals, SFV authentication and a 12-hour wait are required. SFV and the 12-hour cooling period will also apply to contact details and, by the end of December 2023, changes to bank account details. New bank accounts will only be activated after bank confirmation of ownership.

Reference Link

Network to Foster Mental Wellbeing in the Workplace Launched

Singapore has introduced the Wellbeing Champions Network to support workplace mental health. Comprising management-level employees called “well-being champions,” the network aims to facilitate the exchange of best practices and the development of new initiatives. These champions can advocate for mental health policies among senior management. Members gain access to a dedicated platform and resources, with additional training on self-care techniques and identifying signs of burnout or distress starting in January 2024. The network includes over 50 founding members from organisations with progressive well-being practices, counselling, or advisory services.

Reference Link

Civil Servants to Receive 0.6 Month Year-End Bonus

All civil servants in Singapore will receive a 0.6-month year-end bonus, with junior-grade officers getting lump sum payments. Additional lump sums of S$400 and S$800 will be provided for different grades. In total, civil servants will receive a 0.9-month bonus in 2023, and officers up to MX13(I) will receive up to S$1,200 additionally.

The government will also continue to pay the non-pensionable annual allowance, known as the 13th-month bonus. The Ministry of Trade and Industry has revised the GDP growth forecast for 2023 to around 1%, considering the labour market outlook, subdued external demand, and geopolitical risks.

Reference Link

Wage Hikes for Security Officers to be Scheduled

The government has approved proposals by the Security Tripartite Cluster (STC) for the Security Progressive Wage Model (PWM). Effective from 1 January 2024 to 31 December 2025, the Security PWM includes a 2-year wage increase schedule for in-house security officers and a 2-year schedule for part-time hourly rates for outsourced security officers.

This schedule balances business sustainability with meaningful wage increments, aligning with the National Wages Council 2023/24 guidelines. The STC has also introduced hourly rates for clarity in outsourced security officers’ part-time and ad-hoc work arrangements. A further review of the Security PWM is planned for 2025.

Reference Link

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MALAYSIA

Employers Granted Financial Incentives Upon Implementing the Progressive Wage Policy

Employers who opt to increase their employees’ salaries in adherence to the progressive wage policy will be eligible for cash incentives provided by the government.

The progressive wage policy, a novel approach within the labour market, seeks to elevate workers’ wages and will operate alongside the minimum wage policy.

Expected to come into effect in April-May 2024, the primary goal is to motivate employers, particularly small and medium enterprises, to actively engage in this policy.

Reference Link

Malaysia Announces 2024 Budget on 13 October 2023

Key highlights businesses should take note of include:

  1. Special incentives and funding for PERKESO
  2. Employee provident fund contributions
  3. New visas and passes to attract more talent, investors and tourists
  4. More job opportunities and training programmes
  5. Increased income tax exemptions

Read more on our blog: Bajet 2024: Malaysia 2024 Budget Highlights For Businesses!

Reference Link

Our expertise is helping businesses in Malaysia grow! Learn more.

THAILAND

Daily Minimum Wage to Increase by 2.37% in Thailand Starting January 2024

As of January 2024, Thailand is set to increase its minimum wage by 2.37% and will be based on province. It was also reported that another potential wage hike might come in effect in April or May 2024.

Reference Link

Launch of Thailand ESG Fund

Starting November 21, 2023, individuals possessing taxable income can qualify for a tax deduction of up to 30% of their assessable income, capped at 100,000 baht annually. This deduction applies to the acquisition of units from any Thai ESG Funds, provided that they retain these investment units for a minimum duration of eight years from the purchase date.

The ESG fund is launched to promote financial wellness, market competitiveness, and national sustainability.

Reference Link

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VIETNAM

Increase in Regional Minimum Wage in 2024

As of 1 July 2024, a comprehensive reform of the salary policy will be implemented. The new common minimum wage table includes:

  1. Position salary schedule for leaders at all levels in the political system, covering cadres, civil servants, and public.
  2. Professional salary table for civil servants and public employees who do not hold leadership positions.
  3. Salary tables for the armed forces.

At the same time, adjust pensions, social insurance benefits, monthly benefits, preferential benefits for meritorious people and a number of social security policies that are tied to the common minimum wage.

  • Region 1 (Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, ..) will be increased to 4,960,000 VND.
  • Region 2 (Can Tho, Da Nang, ..) will see an increase of 250,000 VND.
  • Region 3 (Bac Ninh, Bac Giang, ..) will increase 220,000 VND.
  • Region 4 (Others) will increase 200,000 VND.

=> CAP of salary for unemployment insurance contribution to increase accordingly:

ItemCapped Salary for
Contribution
Employee
contribution rate
Employer
contribution rate
Social Insurance (SI)20 times of common minimum wage8%17.5%
Health Insurance (HI)20 times of common minimum wage1.5%3%
Unemployment Insurance (UI)20 times of the regional minimum wage1%1%

Reference Link

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CAMBODIA

Minimum Wage for Garment, Travel Goods and Bag Industries Set

In 2024, the minimum wage for garment, footwear, and travel goods factory workers is set at US$204 per month (approximately 840,000 Cambodian riel), including US$2 from Prime Minister Hun Manet. The decision was made during the National Council on Minimum Wage meeting, with around 100 representatives in attendance.

Prime Minister Hun Manet has tasked the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training (MLVT) with promoting additional measures like baby care centers and community kindergartens for worker well-being. MLVT Minister Heng Sour noted that Cambodia is the only country in Asia to increase the minimum wage for 2024 in these industries.

Reference Link

Paid Public Holidays for 2024 Announced

The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training has published the list of paid public holidays for 2024, applicable to all employees in factories and enterprises as defined in Article 1 of the Labour Law:

  • 1 January – International New Year Day
  • 7 January – Victory over Genocide day
  • 8 March – International Women’s Day
  • 13, 14, 15 and 16 April – Khmer New Year Days
  • 1 May – International Labour Day
  • 14 May – King Sihamoni’s Birthday
  • 22 May – Visak Bochea
  • 26 May – Royal Plowing Ceremony
  • 18 June – Queen Monineath’s Birthday
  • 24 September – Constitutional Day
  • 1, 2 and 3 October – Pchum Ben Festival
  • 15 October – Respect to the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk
  • 29 October – Coronation Day of King Sihamoni
  • 9 November – National Independence Day
  • 14, 15 and 16 November – Water Festival Ceremony
  • 29 December – Peace Day in Cambodia

For businesses that must operate consistently, owners should schedule employees to take turns for holidays to avoid disruptions. If mutually agreed upon or specified in regulations, workers’ days off can be scheduled at different times. Owners must maintain a list for inspection by the Labour Inspector and can temporarily assign replacements during days off.

Reference Link

Guidelines for Occupational Safety During Flooding Released

In October 2023, the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training issued guidelines to mitigate risks during flooding incidents. Factory owners are instructed to monitor flood situations, establish working groups, devise rescue plans, and provide protection and evacuation means for employees.

To prevent injuries or electrocution in the rainy season, regular electrical circuit inspections and technical safety checks are mandated. In cases of potential significant flooding, storing raw materials in secure locations is advised. The Ministry emphasises the importance of cooperation from both factory owners and workers, urging awareness of personal dangers during flash floods, including electric shock, drowning, stings, snake bites, and more.

Reference Link

Businesses That Employ Children to be Fined and Shuttered

In November 2023, The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training in Cambodia issued a stern warning, stating that businesses employing children will face closure, fines, or even criminal charges. Investigations into child labour abuse allegations will be conducted for owners or directors of factories, enterprises, and brick factories.

Unannounced inspections in high-risk sectors are conducted to prevent various forms of labour abuse, including child labour and forced labor. The response was prompted by a report from the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (Licadho), alleging the persistence of debt bondage and child labour in brick factories.

Reference Link

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INDONESIA

Jakarta Makes Changes to 2024 Minimum Wage

The provincial minimum wage in Jakarta for 2024 will stand at Rp.5.067 million, an increase of 3.38% or Rp.165,583.

Reference Link

Mandatory Disclosure of Job Vacancies Announced

President Joko Widodo enacted PR 57/2023 which is ‘Mandatory Reporting of Job Vacancies’ on 25 September 2023.

With the goal of decreasing the unemployment rate in Indonesia, the reporting of job vacancies shall be done within the manpower services related platform, the Manpower Information System. The reporting has no costs associated with it.

Reference Link

Is your business located in Indonesia? Outsource your payroll to see how much you can save!

INDIA

India’s Digital Personal Data Protection Act (DPDPA) Passed

President Droupadi Murmu has approved the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill in August 2023, which is now an Act. It covers personal data in India, online and offline, even if processed abroad for Indian individuals. Companies must safeguard user data, appoint a Data Protection Officer, and report breaches.

Consent is required for processing children’s and disabled persons’ data. The Act allows authorities to investigate and may recommend blocking violators. Penalties, up to Rs250 crore, can be imposed for data breaches. Any appeals are to be made to the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal.

Reference Link

Delhi’s Minimum Wage Increased

The Delhi government has raised the minimum wage rates for unskilled, semi-skilled, and skilled workers, effective from 1 October 2023. Monthly wages for skilled workers have increased by Rs312 to Rs21,215, for semi-skilled workers by Rs286 to Rs19,279, and for unskilled laborers by Rs260 to Rs17,494. The daily wage for unskilled workers is now Rs673, for semi-skilled workers it’s Rs742, and for skilled workers, it’s Rs816.

Reference Link

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PHILIPPINES

Employers Urged to Pay 13th Month Pay on Time

The Department of Labour and Employment (DOLE) urged private sector employers to disburse their employees’ 13th-month pay no later than 24 December 2023. DOLE emphasises that no exemptions or deferments will be permitted.

To learn more on how the 13th-month pay is calculated, refer to Links’ Guide to Hiring in Philippines.

Reference Link

“Trabaho Para sa Bayan Act” Aims to Address Challenges in Labour Market, including Unemployment and Underemployment

The “Trabaho Para sa Bayan Act” signed into law on 27 September 2023, targetting the resolution of issues like unemployment, underemployment, and various labour market challenges.

The legislation seeks to enhance employability and the competitive edge of Filipino workers by implementing initiatives focused on upskilling and reskilling.

Reference Link

Philippines Releases List of Holidays for 2024

The following dates are declared for holidays in 2024:

Regular Holidays:

  • January 1 – New Year’s Day
  • March 28 – Maundy Thursday
  • March 29 – Good Friday
  • April 9 – Araw ng Kagitingan
  • May 1 – Labour Day
  • June 12 – Independence Day
  • August 26 – National Heroes Day
  • November 30 – Bonifacio Day
  • December 25 – Christmas Day
  • December 30 – Rizal Day

Special (non-working) days:

  • August 21 – Ninoy Aquino Day
  • November 1 – All Saints’ Day
  • December 8 – Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary
  • December 31 – Last Day of the Year

Additional special (non-working) days:

  • February 10 – Chinese New Year
  • March 30 – Black Saturday
  • November 2 – All Souls’ Day
  • December 24 – Christmas Eve

Please refer to Links’ Guide to Hiring in Philippines for the latest updates on any changes in 2024 Holidays.

Reference Link

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Launches the Taxpayer Registration Application Portal

On 16 October 2023, the BIR introduced the Taxpayer Registration-Related Application (TRRA) portal, offering taxpayers an additional electronic avenue to submit their registration-related applications at the BIR Revenue District Offices (RDOs).

To acquaint taxpayers with its functionalities, the BIR organised complimentary webinars on 11-12 October 2023.

Reference Link

Minimum Wage Earners in Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon and Soccsksargen See Pay Hike

  • Cagayan Valley: Effective 21 September 2023, the wage board approved a two-phase increment totaling PHP30 in the minimum wage. This increase will be implemented in two equal parts: upon initiation and on 1 April 2024. Upon full execution, the minimum wage in the region will stand at PHP450 for non-agricultural establishments and PHP430 for agricultural establishments.
  • Central Luzon: On 19 September 2023, the wage board sanctioned a PHP40 raise for employees in non-agricultural, agricultural, and retail/service sectors. In provinces such as Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac, and Zambales, non-agricultural workers will receive wages between PHP493 and PHP500. Agricultural sector workers will be entitled to PHP454 to PHP470, while retail/service industry workers will receive PHP475 to PHP489.
  • Soccsksargen: As of 21 September 2023, the wage board implemented a PHP35 hike for non-agricultural, agricultural, and service/retail establishments, distributed across two phases: upon initiation and on 1 January 2024. Post-implementation, the daily minimum wage will reach PHP403 for non-agricultural workers and PHP382 for agricultural and service/retail employees in the region.

Reference Link

Minimum Wage Increase in Ilocos and Western Visayas

  • Ilocos: The Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board has raised the daily minimum wage by PHP30 to PHP35, setting it at PHP435 for non-agricultural establishments with 10 or more workers and PHP402 for those with less than 10 workers, including agricultural workers.
  • Western Visayas: The Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board has approved a uniform PHP30 wage increase across all sectors, resulting in a new daily wage of PHP480 for non-agricultural establishments with more than 10 workers, PHP450 for those with 10 workers or fewer, and PHP440 for agricultural workers.

Reference Link

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SOUTH KOREA

Payment Period and Upper Limit of Allowances for Civil Servants on Second Childcare Leave Increased

Effective November 2023, if both parents take parental leave for the same child, and the second parent is a public servant, the payment period increases from 3 to 6 months. The upper limit of the allowance also rises by KRW500,000 per month, reaching KRW4.5 million in the 6th month.

This change is part of the “Partial Revision of the Regulations on Allowances for Local Government Employees” by the Ministry of the Interior and Safety. Additionally, a draft amendment to the Employment Insurance Act aims to shift from the current “3+3 parental leave system” to a “6+6 parental leave system” in the private sector, as proposed by the Ministry of Employment and Labor.

Reference Link

52-hour Workweek to be Relaxed for Certain Sectors

In November 2023, the government announced that it is considering relaxing the 52-hour workweek policy for certain sectors with heavy workloads, based on a survey of 6,030 workers and employers. While the specific sectors weren’t identified, manufacturing and construction were mentioned. The plan includes maintaining the 52-hour limit but allowing revisions for specific businesses.

Additionally, there’s a proposal to change the counting of working hours from a weekly to a monthly or quarterly basis to accommodate varying workloads. The survey indicates support, particularly in the manufacturing field, for broader workweek counting systems.

Reference Link

Period of Parental Leave Extended From 12 Months to 18 Months

With effect from 1 January 2024, working parents with a baby aged 18 months or younger will be eligible for a combined parental benefit of up to KRW39 million for a 6-month duration if both parents take parental leave.

Reference Link

Childcare Allowance Non-Tax Limit Raised

Starting in 2024, the non tax limit for childcare allowances (childcare allowances) will be raised from 100,000 won per month to 200,000 won per month.

Reference Link

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TAIWAN

Launch of Talent Taiwan Recruitment Service Center

Set up as a one-stop service for gold card holders and other processional who come to live and work in Taiwan, the recruitment service center launches 1 November 2023.

The center is dedicated to hiring foreign professionals and getting them settled into living situations in Taiwan.

Reference Link

Modification in the National Health Insurance Average Number of Dependents

As of 1 January 2024, the average number of dependents stands at 0.56.

Additionally, the average monthly premium for individuals in categories 4 and 5 stands at NT$2,160 and will be entirely subsidised by the Taiwanese government.

Reference Link

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AUSTRALIA

Programme For Disabled People to Advance Their Careers Launched

As of November 2023, Australia has launched the Career Pathways Pilot 2023-2025, an 18-month employment programme for individuals with disabilities. Funded by the Department of Social Services and managed by the Australian Network on Disability and the Business Council of Australia, the initiative aims to address challenges in employment for over 90% of working-age individuals with disabilities. Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth highlights the programme’s goal of ensuring equal career advancement opportunities.

The pilot includes six components, focusing on enhancing the capabilities of employers, employees, and management levels, understanding barriers faced by individuals with disabilities, and providing educational materials for employers. Running until February 2025, the pilot will initially support over 80 individuals with plans for expansion.

Reference Link

Superannuation Under the National Employment Standards

In Australia, the National Employment Standards (NES) are the minimum employment entitlements that is mandatory to be provided to all employees.

As of 1 January 2024, the NES will include a right to superannuation contributions – meaning that unpaid or underpaid superannuation can be enforced under the Fair Work Act.

Reference Link

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NEW ZEALAND

Stricter Laws for Employers of Migrant Workers

Starting 6 January 2024, New Zealand will enforce tougher workplace rules, allowing fines for employers breaching migrant workers’ visa conditions. Non-compliant employers may face public listing and hiring restrictions. Changes to a migrant worker’s position require structured steps, including obtaining agreement, formalising it in a signed letter, and notifying Immigration New Zealand.

Additional requirements for employers of migrant workers, detailed in Immigration New Zealand’s Operational Manual, may necessitate accreditation for the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV), which mandates a minimum 30-hour workweek and payment at or above the New Zealand median wage, unless exempt

Reference Link

90-day Trial Period Extended to All Employers

As of 23 December 2023, all employers in New Zealand are able to provide all new employees with an offer which includes a trial period – which must be agreed on by both parties in writing.

Reference Link

Need help with your New Zealand payroll? Contact our team now!


Want a summary of the Q1 2024 APAC Labour Law Insider?

Watch Bite-Sized APAC Labour Law Insider Updates by Links’ Group Managing Director, Scott Thomson, and Links’ China HRO Director, Angie Xu, below:

Q1 2024 Labour Law Insider

Want an innovative HR experience? Learn more about Links’ award-winning services!

If you have any questions with regards to the content in our Labour Law Insider or Links International’s HR Outsourcing services, please contact Bella Khan at bella.khan@linksinternational.com or Lynette Liew at lynette.liew@linksinternational.com.

EOR Services in Asia Pacific

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Disclaimer: This publication has been prepared for general guidance on matters of interest only, and does not constitute professional advice. You should not act upon the information contained in this publication without obtaining specific professional advice. This post contains links to other websites owned by third parties. The content of such third-party sites is not within Links International’s control, and we cannot and will not take responsibility for the information, content or personal information collected by third-party sites.