Links Onboard – Latest APAC Tax, Payroll & Labour Law Updates
Below is the latest issue of Onboard, 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.
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Want a more in-depth look the legislation by each location? Check out our location legislation summary page for more!
- Hong Kong
- South Korea
- New Zealand
AEOI to be implemented for MPF schemes and ORSO registered schemes starting 2020
Taking effect on the 1 January 2020, there will be an amendment of the taxation arrangement for the Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information in Tax Matters (AEOI) relating to MPF schemes and ORSO registered schemes.
Under the amendment, MPF schemes and ORSO registered schemes will become reporting financial institutions (Reporting FIs) and will be required to comply with the due diligence and reporting obligations relating to the AEOI.
In accordance to the Amendment Ordinance, the MPFA reminds employers to take all practicable steps to ensure that their employees become members of an MPF scheme.
Reminder for October contribution month in Macau
A notice was issued on the 18th September by the Social Security Fund (FSS) reminding employers to pay contributions of the obligation system for their employees on time.
Late payment interest and fines may be charged to employers who fail to make their payments on time.
With the October contribution month, employers are obligated to register with the FSS if they had established a labour relationship within the contribution month. Employers are also obligated to pay contributions for their long-term employees for the preceding calendar quarter.
Increasing minimum wages across China
China has been steadily increasing minimum wages across various provinces. Beijing, Chongqing, Shaanxi, and Shanghai have already increased their minimum wage. The latest province to raise its minimum wages is Hebei.
Taking effect on the 1st November 2019, Heibei will increase its minimum wages to 1,900 RMB , 1,790 RMB , 1,680 RMB , and 1,580 RMB , accordingly, depending on the city workers are located in.Reference Source
Rising minimum wages in Taiwan this 2020
Amendments came in August to raise the minimum wages for 2020. The rise will take effect starting 1 January 2020. With the amendments, there will be a 3% rise from NT$23,100 to NT$23,800 in the monthly wage, and a 5% raise in the hourly minimum wage from NT$150 to NT$158.
The raise in minimum monthly wage is expected to benefit 1.36 million domestic workers while the minimum hourly wage is expected to benefit 500,000 workers.
Employee compensation keeping up with healthcare costs
Starting 1 January 2020, there will be a 10% increase in the compensation limits for death and permanent incapacity for employees. There will also be a 25% raise in compensation limit for medical expenses, raising it from $36,000 to $45,000.
Bill to amend the Workers’ Minimum Standards of Housing and Amenities Act 1990 passed
Amendments aligning to international labour standards were passed on the 15 July 2019. Instead of applying to all the Malaysia, the Act will only apply to Peninsular Malaysia and the Federal Territory of Labuan.
Requirements and responsibilities relating to employees’ accommodation includes:
- provide separate accommodation to employees of the opposite gender;
- take necessary preventive measures to ensure employees’ safety and well-being;
- take fire safety measures in accordance with relevant written laws;
- ensure the electrical wiring systems comply with safety requirements in accordance with relevant written laws; and
- ensure employees receive the necessary medical assistance
Raising minimum wages for workers in major cities
As part of Malaysia’s plans by the Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng’s plans to modernise the labour market, starting January 2020, the minimum wage for workers in major cities of Malaysia will be raised to RM 1,200 from the RM 1,100 in 2019.
Progressive updates in the 2020 Budget
In a recent budget issued by the Finance Minster of Malaysia, as part of their efforts to keep with the progressive labour market the Government will be reviewing the 1955 Employment Act, with focus on the following areas:
- Increase of maternity leave from 60 days to 90 days effective in 2021;
- Extend the eligibility to overtime from those earning less than RM 4,000;
- Improve the protection and procedures for handling sexual harassment complaints, and;
- Introduce new provisions on the prohibition of discrimination on religion, ethnicity, and gender.
7000 state enterprise employees to benefit from improved compensation
Under the new proposal, compensation for employees working for 20 consecutive years or more will be increased along with other updates aimed to compensate employees who have benefited the state for a long time.
The proposal will apply to state enterprise employees retiring from 30 September 2019 and onwards. According to the Ministry of Labour in Thailand, 7,00 state enterprise employees will benefit from this.
Ministry of Manpower releasing job to expats
Following last years new regulation for hiring foreign workers, an updated list of jobs covering 18 industries was released by the Indonesia’s Ministry of Manpower, opening up opportunities for expats in the area.
The change was implemented 27 August 2019, listing over 2,000 roles, intended to attracted more highly-skilled talent into Indonesia.
10 year plan to reduce corporate income tax
Plans to lower the corporate income tax will take place in 2020. The CIT reduction will be applicable to both resident and non-resident corporations, reducing the current 30% rate to 20%.
The reduction will be carried out in increments over the span of 10 years, reducing 1 percentage point each year to reach a corporate income tax rate of 20%.
Increase of paternity leave for employees and other changes to promote workplace equality
Amendments by the Equal Employment Opportunity and Work-Family Balance Act took effect on the 1st October 2019. With the amendments there will be an increase the number of paternity leaves an employee is allowed to take, increasing it from the original 5 days to the current days of leave.
With the new amendments, employees taking taking care of their child aged 8 or less shall be granted reduction of working hours upon request.Reference Source
Increase in minimum wage benefiting 12% of employees in Australia
On 1 July, the national minimum wage was increased by 3%. Key changes from the annual wage review are as follows:
- 3% increase in national minimum wage for award/agreement free employee
- increasing the current weekly minimum wage increase from $719.20 to $740.78 (an increase of $21.60 per week)
- increasing the current hourly minimum wage increase from $18.93 to $19.49 (an increase of 56 cents per hour).
- 3% increase to the modern award minimum wages
Changes to temporary work visas addressing skills shortage
On 17 September 2019, the Minister of Immigration announced changes to temporary work visas. The changes will be carried out in phases from now to 2021.
The first phase of changes took place on the 7 October 2019, applying to Talent Accredited Employers. The new changes are aimed to help employers fill current demands while addressing talent gaps through long term workforce planning.
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