Argentina Introduces a One-Time Tax-Free Allowance

On 31 August 2023, the Argentinian government passed Emergency Decree 438/23 mandating private and public sector employers pay employees earning ARS 400,000 or less a one-time tax-free allowance of up to ARS 60,000. The exact, final amount will depend on the employee’s net monthly salary.

The allowance must be paid in two equal installments: the first installment must be paid within 15 days from 31 August 2023 and the second installment must be paid with the salary of the month of September 2023.


Romania Adds a Public Holiday for 2024

The Romanian government recently passed a new law introducing two additional annual paid public holidays on 6 January and 7 January for the feast days of the Epiphany and Saint John the Baptist, respectively.

Law no. 52/2023 entered into effect on 9 March 2023 and the new public holidays will apply to all employees in Romania starting from 2024.


Australia expands unpaid parental leave entitlements

On 22 June 2023, the Australian government passed the Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Protecting Worker Entitlements) Bill 2023 expanding unpaid parental leave entitlements to ease leave restrictions on employee couples.


New remote working legislation around the world [Updated]

With the rise of technology, work from home has been a steadily growing trend for many years. Remote working has exploded since Spring 2020 with quarantines, workplace closures and lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic, at least for jobs and industries that do not always require workers to be on-site.

This abrupt worldwide shift to remote work has sparked new logistical and structural legal challenges that have warranted many countries to pass teleworking legislation, some of which are summarized in this article.


France Enhances Leave Entitlements for Working Parents of Children Suffering from a Disability or a Serious Health Condition

The French government recently passed amendments to the Labor Code increasing government-paid bereavement leave following the passing of an employee’s child, as well as government-paid leave that may be taken following the diagnosis of a child’s disability or serious health condition.
The amendments entered into effect on 19 July 2023.


Spain Expands Family Leave Entitlements

The Spanish government passed legislation transposing the European Union (EU) Directive 2019/1158 on work-life balance for parents and carers into local law. Royal Decree Law 5/2023 entered into effect on 30 June 2023 and introduces, among other provisions, unpaid parental care leave, paid force majeure leave, and extensions to current carers’ leave provisions and other existing leaves.

South Africa

South Africa Proposes the Creation of a Universal Healthcare System Financed by Employees

On 12 June 2023, the National Assembly of the South African Parliament passed the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill (the “Bill”). The Bill aims to establish a universal healthcare system supported by a National Health Insurance Fund (the “Fund”). As it stands, the Fund is expected to be financed by monthly employee payroll contributions and through general tax increases.

The Bill has advanced to the next stage and has been referred to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) for review and possible revisions. Once final, the Bill will be sent to the President for assent.


Global Flu Vaccine Resources

Lockton’s global benefits experts have compiled information on flu vaccines to assist multinational employers in evaluating the ability to provide preventive treatment to their global workforce.


UAE Passes Amendments to Emiratization Framework

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) government had previously introduced legislation increasing the number of UAE nationals who are working in the private sector by increasing quotas under its existing Emiratization framework. All private sector employers with at least 50 employees will be required to increase Emiratis’ proportion in the workforce to at least 10% of the workforce by 2026.

The Emiratization requirements which entered into effect on 30 June 2023 increased the Emiratization quota from a 2% to a 4% Emiratization quota.

Australia Increases Superannuation Contribution Rate

On 1 July 2023, the Australian government increased the Superannuation Guarantee (SG) contribution rate by 0.5% to 11% of employees’ earnings. The SG rate is scheduled to increase by 0.5% each year until it reaches 12% of employees’ earnings on 1 July 2025.