Links International’s HR Outsourcing team sends out a quarterly update called ONBOARD, to keep clients aware of significant payroll and visa developments across the Asia-Pacific region. Here are the latest updates for your information:
Employers must submit ‘Employing Company’s Declaration’ form
An additional declaration page was added to form ID990B in July 2016 for sponsors to confirm that they have made genuine efforts to recruit locally before employing foreign nationals. This is compulsory and must be signed by an authorised person in the sponsoring company for all new and pending applications.
Duration of employment contract for Employment Visa extension
Employers are reminded to input the duration of the applicant’s employment in the supporting letter from the sponsor company. As suggested by immigration, the duration will be over three years.
CY Leung promises to resolve MPF offset controversy
During a meeting with the Federation of Trade Unions in September, Chief Executive CY Leung promised to resolve a controversial clause in Hong Kong’s Mandatory Provident Fund scheme that allows employers to settle severance and long-service payments using employees’ MPF savings. His office followed up with a written statement saying that he would attempt to tackle the controversy before his term as the city’s leader ends.
Local minimum wage increase in Beijing and Heibei provinces
Beijing and Hebei provinces have announced increases in local minimum wages, to be implemented on 1 September 2016. The new monthly wage for Beijing will be RMB1,890 (RMB21 hourly wage), whilst in Hebei it will range from RMB1,380 to RMB1,650 per month (RMB14-17 hourly wage), depending on the area in Hebei.
Nationwide random inspection for labour law compliance
The Human Resources and Social Security Ministry set out to implement comprehensive random inspections by the end of 2017. These random inspections will investigate the compliance of companies with a diverse range of regulations, including laws on labour contracts, labour dispatch, work permits for foreigners, child labour, protection of female workers and holiday, and over-time compensation.
First Foreign Employment License for interns issued in Shanghai
On June 20th 2016, the first Foreign Employment License designated “Intern” was issued in Shanghai by the Human Resources and Social Security Bureau following the “Thousand Intern Plan” signed between the governments of China and France last November.
Qualifying salary criteria for EP to increase in January 2017
From 1 January 2017, the qualifying salary criteria for Employment Pass will increase from SGD3,300 to SGD3,600. For existing EP holders, the increase will come into effect depending on the expiry date of the existing pass.
New Employment Claims Tribunal to be established in Singapore
A new Employment Claims Tribunal (ECT) will be established in Singapore from April 2017 to deal with salary-related disputes. This will provide an affordable way for workers to settle issues with their employer. There will be a limit of SGD30,000 on claims for cases with union involvement, and SGD20,000 for all other claims.
Changes to six-day working week legislation
A change to Taiwan’s six-day working week policy means some employees could be working up to 12 consecutive days. Taiwan’s Ministry of Labour has said that working more than six consecutive days will not be the norm, but there are some professions that must be allowed exemptions to the six-day policy. The Ministry insists that these changes can only be made with the employee’s consent, and that any employer found to be forcing staff to work longer than six days could be fined.
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