Onboard- APAC 2022 Q4 Legislation Update

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.

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
    • Pilot Rehabilitation Programme for Employees Injured at Work
    • Domestic Helper Contract Measures Extended
    • Minimum Wage to Increase to HK$40 Per Hour By May 2023 If Proposal Is Approved

  • Mainland China
    • New Supportive Measures for Eldercare & Childcare
    • E-Invoicing: Expansion of the Fully Digitalized E-Fapiao Program
    • Prohibition on Paying Salaries in Virtual Currency
    • Private Pension Scheme Launched
    • China Insurance Premium Deferral

  • Singapore
    • Expansion of Progressive Wage Approach and Coverage
    • New Retail Progressive Wage Model Recommendations
    • New Primary Healthcare System for Eligible Workers
    • Introduction of the Complementarity Assessment Framework (COMPASS)
    • Singapore Seeks to Hire More Persons with Disabilities
    • Central Provident Fund (CPF) Interest Rates Remain Unchanged
    • Increase in Wages for Retail Workers Up To 8.5% From 1 September 2022
    • Vesak Day Date Revised for 2023
    • Launch of Service to Help Employees Track CPF Contributions

  • Malaysia
    • Amendments to the Employment Act Postponed to 1 January 2023
    • Monthly Salary Ceiling Increased for SOCSO Contributions
    • Amendments to the Personal Data Protection Act to Be Proposed

  • Thailand
    • Increase in Minimum Wage By 5%-8%
    • Reduced Social Security Contribution Rate for Employer & Employee Portion

  • Vietnam
    • New Laws for Better Cybersecurity
    • New Conditions for Granting of Registration Certificates to Foreign NGOs
    • Specification of Cases of Uninsured Losses in Construction Activities
    • Interest Rate Support for Businesses
    • Economic Zones and Industrial Parks Managed Under New Regulations
    • Changes in Region-Based Minimum Wages
    • Jobs That Require Trained Employees
    • Work Duration for Employees in Gas Works
    • Update of Identity Card Numbers by Enterprises
    • Unemployment Insurance Fund for Employees Affected by Covid-19

  • Cambodia
    • Minimum Wage for Workers in Textile, Garment, Footwear, Travel Goods and Bag Industries for 2023 Increased
    • Public Holidays for 2023

  • Indonesia
    • Personal Data Protection Bill Passed
    • New Regulation Focusing on IP Financing
    • More Countries Eligible for Visa on Arrival and Visit Visa Exemption
    • Insurance Requirement for Employers of Short-Term Foreign Workers

  • India
    • Income Tax Exemption for Ex-Gratia Payment Due to Covid-19

  • Philippines
    • Bill to Grant 10 Days of Bereavement Leave to Employees Filed
    • Freelance Workers Protection Bill Approved

  • South Korea
    • Ministry of Employment and Labor to Reduce Documents Required When Applying for Employment Promotion Subsidies
    • Korea to Expand Foreign Workforce Quota
    • Employers Required to Provide Rest Facilities to Employees
    • Ministry of Employment and Labor Announces Minimum Wage Rate for 2023
    • South Korea Records Record Low Unemployment Rates
    • Government Increases Foreign Worker Quota in 5 Industries

  • Taiwan
    • Minimum Wage to Increase in 2023
    • Revision of IP Case Adjudication Act
    • Visa-Exempt Entry Scheme for Nationals of the US, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, European Countries, and Diplomatic Allies Reinstated
    • Labor Insurance Premium Rate to Increase in 2023
    • National Health Insurance Number of Dependents to be Changed in 2023

  • Japan
    • Visa-Free Travel to Be Restored
    • Amendment to Enforce Financial Action Task Force Travel Rules on Cryptocurrency
    • Establishment of Parental Leave at Birth (Postnatal Paternity Leave)
    • Split Parental Leave
    • Extension of Social Insurance Coverage
    • Revision of Employment Insurance Premium Rates

  • Australia
    • Workforce Australia – The New Employment Service
    • Australia to Announce 1 million Tech Jobs by 2030
    • Minimum Wage Increases for Some Awards From 1 October 2022

  • New Zealand
    • New Residence Pathways Introduced
    • Increase in Recognised Seasonal Employer Scheme Cap

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.

Links One Payroll Solutions Asia

HONG KONG

Pilot Rehabilitation Programme for Employees Injured at Work

Mainly targeted at injured construction employees, the Labour Department set out a three-year Pilot Rehabilitation Programme, primarily funded by the Government, in the hopes of earlier recovery and returning to work faster. Employees working in the construction industry that faced an injury on or after 1 September 2022 will be able to participate in the programme.

Participants will pay the same fees as public hospitals for treatment and reimbursement of medical expenses can be claimed from employers in accordance with the Employees’ Compensation Ordinance (ECO).

Reference Link

Domestic Helper Contract Measures Extended

As the city continues to fight Covid-19, all Foreign Domestic Helper (FDH) contracts expiring on or before 31 December 2022 can be extended for a maximum of six months. If the employer requires to employ the respective FDH further, they should be applying for a contract renewal.

Reference Link

Minimum Wage to Increase to HK$40 Per Hour By May 2023 If Proposal Is Approved

After a 4 year freeze, Hong Kong’s minimum wage will see an HK$2.50 increase to HK$40/hour from HK$37.50/hour by May 2023, if the proposal set by the statutory body is approved. The Minimum Wage Commission began the review in April 2022 and will pass over its recommendations to the Executive Council by the end of October 2022.

Reference Link

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MAINLAND CHINA

New Supportive Measures for Eldercare & Childcare

Starting 29 August 2022, the eldercare & childcare industry that has been affected by Covid-19 will be able to benefit from:

  • Rent reductions and exemptions
  • Tax and fee reductions
  • Social insurance
  • Financial support.

Reference Link

E-Invoicing: Expansion of the Fully Digitalized E-Fapiao Program

E-fapiao is a national unified e-invoicing service platform that will provide pilot taxpayers 24-hour online services to issue, deliver, and verify fully digitalized e-fapiao free of charge. Special tax control equipment, such as golden tax USB disk, tax control USB disk, and tax UKey are no longer required. There will be a total of six kinds of fapiao co-existing in China during the country’s ongoing fapiao system reforms:

  • VAT fapiao
  • General VAT fapiao
  • Special VAT e-fapiao
  • General VAT e-fapiao
  • Fully digitalized special VAT e-fapiao
  • Fully digitalized general VAT e-fapiao

The program kicked off on the 1st of December 2021 and the implementation in China’s mega-cities was completed in 2022. A complete implementation across the country will be executed by 2025.

Reference Link

Prohibition on Paying Salaries in Virtual Currency

In July 2022, the Chaoyang Primary People’s Court of Beijing has ruled that companies should not pay wages in virtual currency. Based on the “Notice on Further Preventing and Resolving the Risk of Virtual Currency Trading and Speculation” issued in 2021:

  • Virtual currencies do not have the same legal status as legal tender
  • Virtual currencies such as Bitcoin, ETH and USDT are not legal tender, and should not and cannot be circulated as currency in the market.

Reference Link

Private Pension Scheme Launched

21 April 2022 saw the very first introduction of China’s private pension scheme for workers to have supplementary funds in addition to their existing pension funds. It was also created to tackle the issue of China’s ageing population. Workers will be allowed to contribute up to 12,000 yuan each year. The scheme is slated to be rolled out through one-year trials in selected cities first before it is implemented nationwide. In an effort to encourage participation, contributors will enjoy tax breaks.

Reference Link

China Insurance Premium Deferral

China has been allowing the deferral of social insurance premium payments for businesses affected by the pandemic to reduce the financial burden on them.

In April 2022, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MHRSS) and the State Taxation Administration (STA) jointly released an announcement, which allows five pandemic-hit sectors, namely catering, retail, tourism, civil aviation, and road, waterway, and railway transportation, to defer payments on the three basic social security premiums attributed to the employer – pension insurance, unemployment insurance, and work-related injury insurance.

Then in May 2022, the social insurance premium deferral policy was further expanded to cover an additional 17 industries and all micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), as per the announcement released by the MHRSS, the STA, and the Ministry of Finance on 31 May 2022.

Reference Link

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SINGAPORE

Expansion of Progressive Wage Approach and Coverage

The expansion will introduce a requirement where firms employing foreign workers must pay at least the relevant Sectoral or Occupational PWs to local workers in applicable job roles, and at least the Local Qualifying Salary (LQS) to all other local workers. The expansion will additionally introduce Occupational PWs for administrators and drivers which will take effect from 1 March 2023. Cleaning, security, and landscape Sectoral PWs will be extended to in-house local workers.

Reference Link

New Retail Progressive Wage Model Recommendations

Kicked off on 1 September 2022, the new wage model gives a clear career progression for workers in the retail sector. The baseline wage will increase from $1,850 in 2022 to $2,175 in 2024 – a growth rate of 18% over the three-year period. Mandatory training requirements to upskill workers will also be carried out.

Reference Link

New Primary Healthcare System for Eligible Workers

On 1 April 2022, this was carried out to address care gaps identified during the global pandemic to provide integrated, accessible, and affordable primary healthcare services to workers. It primarily aims to support a closed-loop care system for proactive public health surveillance to reduce the risk of large disease outbreaks. Eligible workers’ employers are required to purchase and maintain a mandatory Primary Care Plan (PCP) for eligible workers.

Reference Link

Introduction of the Complementarity Assessment Framework (COMPASS)

Starting 1 September 2023, Employment Pass candidates must pass a two-stage eligibility framework. This was introduced to enable employers to select high-quality foreign professionals, while improving workforce diversity and building a strong Singaporean core.

Reference Link

Singapore Seeks to Hire More Persons with Disabilities

Singapore aims to have 40% of working-age persons with disabilities employed by 2030. A fresh task force will work on designing alternative employment models which can support more people to work and increase the number of organisations that commit to being inclusive through the Enabling Mark and Enabling Employment Pledge. Additionally, Singapore’s Ministry of Education will be partnering with social service agencies to set up 5 new Special Education schools.

Reference Link

Central Provident Fund (CPF) Interest Rates Remain Unchanged

The interest rates at banks continue to be below the effective CPF floor rates, it was announced on 2 August 2022. Interest rates for CPF are maintained at a floor rate of 2.5% for the Ordinary Account, and 4% for the Special, Medisave and Retirement Accounts. Despite the current climate of high inflation, the CPF interest rates will not be changed.

Reference Link

Increase in Wages for Retail Workers Up To 8.5% From 1 September 2022

Local retail workers will enjoy an annual pay increase of 8.4% to 8.5% over the next 3 years under a proposed wage ladder to boost low wages in the sector. The government will co-fund 75% of the salary increase for workers with gross monthly wages of up to S$2,500 in 2022, and 45% for workers with gross monthly wages of S$2,500 to S$3,000 to help retailers cope with the increase in costs.

Reference Link

Vesak Day Date Revised for 2023

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has announced that 2 June 2023 will be the new official public holiday for Vesak Day.

Reference Link

Launch of Service to Help Employees Track CPF Contributions

The CPF Board has released the CPF Contribution Alert service on 1 September 2022, for members to find out if their employers have made CPF contributions for them on the respective month, making it easier for employees to keep track.

Reference Link

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MALAYSIA

Amendments to the Employment Act Postponed to 1 January 2023

More time has been given after several players cited a lack of time to prepare and financial constraints. Added measures have been suggested apart from the amendments already agreed upon, such as anti-discriminatory clauses for foreign maids in the First Schedule of the Act.

Reference Link

Monthly Salary Ceiling Increased for SOCSO Contributions

The limit is now increased from RM4,000 to RM5,000 per month from 1 September 2022. This increase will impact an additional 1.5 million workers across Malaysia.

Reference Link

Amendments to the Personal Data Protection Act to Be Proposed

Amendments will be tabled in the Parliament in October 2022. Amendments that businesses will need to be aware of – when the Act is passed after are:

  • The appointment of a data protection officer – a designated person in the company who will oversee data protection strategies and implementation in the company
  • Data breach notification – proposed time is 72 hours from detection of suspected data breach
  • Data processor – the outsourcing of data to third parties
  • Data portability – allowing users to switch data without security concerns
  • Transfer of personal data to places outside Malaysia – data can be transferred to any jurisdiction except those that have been blacklisted.

Reference Link

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THAILAND

Increase in Minimum Wage By 5%-8%

Thailand’s Labour Minister, Suchart Chomklin, approved a 5%-8% increase in the daily minimum wage, taking effect starting 1 October 2022. The increments will be implemented at 12 rates, ranging between 1 Baht and 2 Baht for certain provinces and will be carried out according to each province’s current GDP standing.

Reference Link

Reduced Social Security Contribution Rate for Employer & Employee Portion

The Cabinet approved to reduce the Social Security Contribution rate from 5% to 3% for both portions (Employer & Employee) effective from October-December 2022.

Reference Link

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VIETNAM

New Laws for Better Cybersecurity

Taking into effect from 1 October 2022, it is made mandatory for all domestic and foreign businesses running in Vietnam to store data on personal information of service users in the country. This is per Decree 53 that is dated 15 August 2022. The rules will require:

  • Data generated by service users in Vietnam, including account names, service use time, credit card information, email and IP addresses, most recent logins and registered phone numbers
  • The domestic storage of data on relationships of service users in Vietnam, such as friends and groups with which users connect
  • All domestic enterprises, regardless of the services they provide, to store aforesaid data in Vietnam
  • International companies that provide telecommunications services, services of data storage and sharing in the cyberspace, supply of national or international domain names to service users in Vietnam; e-commerce; online payment; social networking and social media; and online electronic games to comply
  • Enterprises may choose methods of data storage provided that data will be stored for at least 24 months. Meanwhile, system logins serving criminal investigation and handling of violations will be stored for at least 12 months
  • Foreign companies to set up their local representative offices or branches in the course of their operation in Vietnam.

Reference Link

New Conditions for Granting of Registration Certificates to Foreign NGOs

Foreign NGOs in Vietnam, starting 1 November 2022, will be granted registration certificates if they carry a valid legal entity status in the territories and countries they were founded.

Reference Link

Specification of Cases of Uninsured Losses in Construction Activities

Taking effect from October 1, Circular 50 states that losses caused by wars, riots or industrial strikes; acts of terrorism; nuclear reaction or radiation or radioactive contamination will not be entitled to compensation by insurers.

Contractors are obligated to buy insurance for their construction workers, with the payable insurance amount of at least VND100 million per worker upon the occurrence of an accident.

Reference Link

Interest Rate Support for Businesses

The government issued Decree 31 on 20 May 2022, stating that the interest rate support, which will be 2% a year, will go on from the official date of the loan grant up until the date the borrower pays the loan principal and interest as agreed upon between the borrower and the lender. However, it must not be later than 31 December 2023.

Reference Link

Economic Zones and Industrial Parks to Be Managed Under New Regulations

Made to replace Decree 82 of 2018, Decree No.35/2022/ND-CP, which was issued on 28 May 2022, carries some strong changes for economic zones and industrial parks. The new regulations add conditions for investment in facilities which include occupation rates, industrial park size and investor’s capacity, amongst others.

Reference Link

Changes in Region-Based Minimum Wages

The Decree No.38/2022/ND-CP has adjusted the region-based minimum wages. The guidelines follow:

RegionRegion-based minimum wage levels in Decree No. 90/2019/ND-CP
(Applied to June 30, 2022)
Region-based minimum wage levels in Decree No. 38/2022/ND-CP
(Applied from 7/1/2022)
Increase by
Region I4,420,0004,680,000
260,000
Region II3,920,0004,160,000240,000
Region III3,430,0003,630,000210,000
Region IV3,070,000
3,250,000
180,000
Reference Link
  • The region-based minimum wage increases by 6% as seen above.
RegionHourly minimum wage levels
Region IVND 22,500/hour
Region IIVND 20,000/hour
Region IIIVND 17,500/hour
Region IVVND 15,600/hour
Reference Link
  • The hourly minimum wage is formally prescribed for the first time as seen above.
  • Annul the regulation for minimum wage must be higher than 7% for trained employees
  • Adjust the regions for applying for a region-based minimum wage.

Reference Link

Jobs That Require Trained Employees

The Ministry of Labour, Invalids, and Social Affairs cooperates with the General Confederation of Labour to issue the Official Dispatch No. 2086/BLDTBXH-TLDLDVN. The guidelines follow:

  • Reviewing agreements in labour contracts, collective labour agreements, and regulations to adjust and supplement accordingly
  • Agreed contents of commitments in labour contracts, labour agreements, or other legal agreements, that bring more benefits for employees compared to provisions provided in this Decree, shall continue to be implemented unless otherwise agreed by both parties

Implemented Content, including the content that the level of wage to be paid to an employee performing a job that requires trained employees must be at least 7% higher than the relevant minimum wage level, shall continue to be implemented, unless otherwise agreed by both parties. The following took effect from 1 July 2022.

Reference Link

Work Duration for Employees in Gas Works

On 25 July 2022, The Ministry of Industry and Trade Issues state that employees who manage gas distribution pipeline systems and gas works work in shifts and working sessions, must not exceed 12 hours in 1 working day with the maximum session being 7 days.

Reference Link

Update of Identity Cards Numbers by Enterprises

Ho Chi Minh City’s Social Security issued the most recent update, on 27 August 2022, where citizen’s identity card numbers or personal identification numbers of insurance participants in the database run by the Vietnam Social Security, and the installation and use of VSSID. The main purpose behind this update is to eventually replace personal papers on integration and authentication of personal information.

Reference Link

Unemployment Insurance Fund for Employees and Employers Affected by Covid-19

For employees and employers affected by Covid-19, an Unemployment Insurance Fund has been issued by the Government which provides on support policy up to VND 3.3 million. The following guidelines have been implemented:

  • Subjects of Application: Employers specified in Article 43 of the Law on Employment (excluding state agencies, political organizations, socio-political organizations, people’s armed forces units and public non-business units whose frequent expenditures are covered by the state budget) that have been paying an unemployment insurance premium before 1 October 2021.
  • Reduction Rate: Employers are allowed to reduce the contribution rate from 1% to 0% of the monthly wage fund of the employees obliged to participate in unemployment insurance.

Reference Link

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CAMBODIA

Minimum Wage for Workers in the Textile, Garment, Footwear, Travel Goods and Bag Industries for 2023 Increased

Prakas #247/22 released a statement on the new minimum wage for 2023, the summary is below:

  • During the probationary period, the minimum wage is USD198.00
  • After probation, the minimum wage is USD200.00
  • The effective date for the following is from 1 January 2023.

Reference Link

Public Holidays for 2023

There will be a total of 21 Public Holidays in 2023 in Cambodia, as announced on 7 September 2022.

Reference Link

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INDONESIA

Personal Data Protection Bill Passed

Indonesia’s much-awaited Personal Data Protection Bill was passed on 20 September 2022. This will be Indonesia’s first comprehensive personal data protection law, having a wide scope that covers a range of issues such as consent to penalties.

Reference Link

New Regulation Focusing on IP Financing

The government of Indonesia recently issued an implementing regulation for the Creative Economy Law that seeks to support business actors in the creative economy including through IP financing. It is scheduled to come into force on July 12, 2023.  These are the requirements that creative economy actors must fulfil when applying for IP financing:

  • Provide a financing proposal;
  • Have a creative economy business;
  • Have an agreement related to the IP of a creative economy product; and
  • Have a certificate of registration of recordation of IP.

Reference Link

More Countries Eligible for Visa on Arrival and Visit Visa Exemption

Effective as of 25 August 2022, the number of countries whose citizens are eligible for a VOA for Tourism has been increased to 86. The countries that have been added are:

  • Albania
  • Andorra
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Ecuador
  • Iceland
  • Liechtenstein
  • Maldives
  • Monaco
  • Palestine
  • San Marino
  • Suriname
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vatican City

A Visit Visa Exemption may be granted to nationals of all ASEAN countries. Foreigners must show a passport with at least six months of remaining validity, a return ticket or a ticket to continue their journey to another country, and proof of payment for the Visa on Arrival (IDR 500,000).

Reference Link

Insurance Requirement for Employers of Short-Term Foreign Workers

In August 2022, Indonesia announced that employers who hire foreign workers (Tenaga Kerja Asing or “TKA”) to work in Indonesia for less than six months must now register the TKA in an insurance program that at least guarantees protection for work accidents. This requirement is governed under Article 8 of Government Regulation No. 34 of 2021 regarding the Employment of Foreign Workers (“GR 34”).

The insurance program for these short-term foreign workers shall consist of (a) work accidents, (b) health and (c) death. Also, the insurance company managing the program must provide participation data via a system connected and integrated with the TKA Online system at the Directorate of Foreign Workers Utilization Control of the Ministry of Manpower.

Reference Link

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INDIA

Income Tax Exemption for Ex-Gratia Payment Due to Covid-19

For family members of individuals who had passed due to Covid-19 who had received ex-gratia payment from the employer of the deceased or other persons, will be allowed to claim an exemption only if the death was within a period of 6 months from the individual testing positive – a statement by India’s Central Board of Direct Taxes was issued.

The clarification comes about a week after the last date for filing income tax return for financial year 2021-22.

Reference Link

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PHILIPPINES

Bill to Grant 10 Days of Bereavement Leave to Employees Filed

The Bill which has been filed in the House of Representatives will give 10 days of leave with full pay to employees in both private and public sectors. Employers who violate the proposed law will be fined as much as PHP20,000 or imprisonment for up to a month. House Bill (HB) 2345 was filed in July 2022.

Reference Link

Freelance Workers Protection Bill Approved

The House Labor and Employment Committee approved the Freelance Workers Protection Act which seeks to provide protection and incentives for freelancers in September 2022. The Bill aims to promote the safety and well-being of freelance workers, specifically by mandating the provision of mandatory hazard pay and night shift differential pay. It would also give freelance workers power to demand payment for services rendered through several legal channels, impose, civil penalties for unscrupulous hiring parties, and criminalise non-payment of compensation.

Any hiring party obtaining or retaining the services of a freelance worker shall execute a written contract with such freelance worker before said services are rendered. A civil penalty of PHP50,000 to PHP500,000 will be imposed for unlawful practices under the proposed law.

Reference Link

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SOUTH KOREA

Ministry of Employment and Labor to Reduce Documents Required When Applying for Employment Promotion Subsidies

The Ministry of Employment and Labor (MOEL) issues a statement on September 2022 regarding the reduction in documents required for reporting and application submission for the general public’s ease. In the near future, the MOEL states that they plan to be working closely with government agencies to use their data instead of asking employees to individually submit the following documents.

Reference Link

Korea to Expand Foreign Workforce Quota

On 31 August 2022, the Korean government held the 34th Foreign Workforce Policy Committee to increase the quota of foreign workforce for 2022. Employees under non-professional employment visas (E-9) are to be increased by 10,000 in total. Korea’s government has been actively working on simplifying the visa issuance process and has boosted the number of flights for migrant workers waiting to enter the country.

Reference Link

Employers Required to Provide Rest Facilities to Employees

For employers that have hired more than 20 regular employees or companies employing more than 10 regular employees, including more than two workers involved in seven specific job types are required to provide rest facilities. The seven job types include:

  • Call centre workers
  • Care service providers
  • Telemarketers
  • Delivery workers
  • Street cleaners
  • Apartment security guards
  • Building security guards

For employers that fail to do so, a fine will be levied against them. This took effect starting 18 August 2022.

Reference Link

Ministry of Employment and Labor Announces Minimum Wage Rate for 2023

In 2023, the applicable minimum wage will be KRW9,620 per hour and the rate for monthly salaries will be KRW2,010,580 for a 40-hour work week. The same minimum wage will apply to all industries.

Reference Link

South Korea Records Record Low Unemployment Rates

In September 2022, South Korea saw a fall in the Unemployment Rate from 2.9% to 2.5% – the labor market remains steady.

Reference Link

Government Increases Foreign Worker Quota in 5 Industries

The quota of foreign workers in farming, basic manufacturing, food, transportation, and shipbuilding industries is to be increased by the Ministry of Labor and Employment. The goal is to speed up the entry process for immigrant workers, streamline procedures for employers and strengthen the support for each industry. This comes into effect due to a shortage of workers in the following industries recorded in June 2022.

Reference Link

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TAIWAN

Minimum Wage to Increase in 2023

Taiwan’s Cabinet has officially approved a plan to raise the monthly minimum wage to NT$26,400 (US$865) and the basic hourly rate to NT$176, effective 1 January 2023. An estimated 2.32 million workers are expected to benefit from this wage increase, according to the Cabinet.

Reference Link

Revision of IP Case Adjudication Act

Proposed amendments revised on August 2022 include:

  • The Intellectual Property and Commercial Court (IPCC) will have jurisdiction over trials concerning theft of trade secrets, committed in Taiwan or overseas.
  • The IPCC will have jurisdiction over criminal offenses involving the infringement of trade secrets that involve national core technologies.
  • Activities in breach of a secrecy protective order will be subject to heavier penalties, and the crime of breaching a secrecy order outside Taiwan will be codified in order to improve the protective mechanism for the trials of criminal cases.
  • For civil matters of IP, new measures such as mandatory representation by a lawyer and expert witnesses are being considered.
  • An inspection system shall be added as a means of evidence investigation.  A neutral technical specialist may be chosen to enter a defendant’s premises to collect evidential material during a pending litigation.
  • The Patent or Trademark Review and Dispute Procedures will be instituted to conform to the current draft amendments to the Patent Act and the Trademark Act.  An adversary system shall bring about the transitioning of remedial appeals for patent and trademark cases from administrative litigation procedures to civil litigation procedures.
  • An information exchange mechanism between the proceedings of administrative reviews and judicial trials will be established.  The requirement of a duty of notification by an exclusive licensee to the patentee and restrictions on the filing for a retrial due to inconsistency in judgements of patentability will also be imposed.  Rules regarding the defensive post-grant amendment of claims during an infringement trial will be revised.

Reference Link

Visa-Exempt Entry Scheme for Nationals of the US, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, European Countries, and Diplomatic Allies Reinstated

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will reinstate visa-exempt entry scheme for nationals of the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, European countries, and diplomatic allies starting 12 September 2022. The scheme is open to the designated nations’ nationals entering Taiwan to engage in activities that do not require a permit, such as business, exhibition visits, fact-finding missions, international exchanges, visiting relatives, tourism, and social events.

Reference Link

Labor Insurance Premium Rate to Increase in 2023

From the year when the insurance premium rate reaches 10%, the rate will then be increased by 0.5% every two years until the rate reaches the upper limit of 13%. The current insurance premium rate is 11.5% (including employment insurance premium rate 1%) and will increase to 12% starting 2023.

Reference Link

National Health Insurance Number of Dependents to be Changed in 2023

The National Health Insurance Administration announces that for the stipulation pursuant to Article 29 of “National Health Insurance Act”, which stipulates that the number of dependents of the insured in items 1 to 3 of Category 1 of National Health Insurance scheme, for whom the group insurance applicants or the government subsidize premium, shall be 0.57 (stipulation shall become effective from 1 January 2023).

Reference Link

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JAPAN

Visa-Free Travel to Be Restored

This will take effect from 11 October 2022. Tourists will no longer be classified into ‘red’, ‘yellow’ or ‘blue’ categories and discounts for domestic travel will be introduced at the same time.

Reference Link

Amendment to Enforce Financial Action Task Force Travel Rules on Cryptocurrency

The plan is scheduled to be ready by 23 May 2023. New rules will pertain to money transfers & prevention of the use of crypto for money laundering. Rules will be amended to require exchange operators to collect customer information in transactions involving cryptocurrency and stablecoins.

Reference Link

Establishment of Parental Leave at Birth (Postnatal Paternity Leave)

Childcare leave at birth, also known as postnatal parental leave, can be enjoyed for up to 4-8 weeks of the birth of a child. When established, the leave can be requested for up to 2 weeks before the date it is being taken and can also legally be split into 2 periods.

Reference Link

Split Parental Leave

In the past, childcare leave could only be requested for until the child reaches the age of 1. The amendment makes it possible to take the leave twice in instalments – taking effect starting 1 October 2022.

Reference Link

Extension of Social Insurance Coverage

Currently, companies with 501 or more employees are obliged to enroll part-time and other short-time workers who meet certain requirements in social insurance. The amendment will extend this to companies carrying between 101 and 500 employees, taking into effect from October 2022.

Reference Link

Revision of Employment Insurance Premium Rates

Reference Link

From 1 October 2022, the employment insurance premium rate will be revised, and the premium rates will increase.

Reference Link

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AUSTRALIA

Workforce Australia – The New Employment Service

To help Australians find, change, or create jobs, Workforce Australia is the new employment services providing access starting 4 July 2022. Replacing the current employment services network, jobactive, the Points Based Activation System (PBAS) will let individuals carry greater personal responsibility.

Reference Link

Australia to Announce 1 million Tech Jobs by 2030

By 2030, 1.2 million fresh IT employment is set to be created by the Labour – since the country saw a shortage, particularly for technical and experienced tech roles. The changes will include making an improvement in understanding of job opportunities, fixing the gaps in education and training products and pathways, increasing the diversity of the tech workforce, directing skilled migration to areas of greatest need and scarcity, and improving industry-level supply and demand analysis.

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Minimum Wage Increases for Some Awards From 1 October 2022

Minimum wages in the aviation, tourism, and hospitality sectors see an increase starting 1 October 2022.

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NEW ZEALAND

New Residence Pathways Introduced

The 3 categories are ‘Straight to Residence’, ‘Work to Residence’, and ‘Highly Paid’. The Straight to Residence pathway will be ready for people to apply for from 5 September 2022 while the Work to Residence and Highly Paid pathways require people to have worked for 24 months and will be available for people to apply for from 29 September 2023.

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Increase in Recognised Seasonal Employer Scheme Cap

The cap, which will be set at 19,000 for the 2022/23 year is an increase of 3,000 on the previous season. The cap of 19,000 reflects the industry’s current assessment of its needs for the 2022/23 season based on production growth forecasts, employer demand and trends in the growth of the cap over recent years. Sick leave will also be introduced for Recognised Seasonal Employer workers from the time they commence employment each season.

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