Ireland

Ireland to Introduce a New Auto-enrollment Pension Scheme for Employees

The Irish government recently published a bill introducing the mandatory automatic enrollment of eligible employees into a central government-run defined contribution pension fund. Auto-enrolment is expected to take effect in January 2025, once the bill is passed. If the bill passes, the auto-enrollment pension scheme will be effective in early 2024.

Netherlands

The Netherlands Reforms Its Pension System

The Netherlands has embarked on sweeping pension reform that will affect most employer-sponsored and industry-wide pension plans and require significant effort from employers, employee representatives, pension providers, and asset managers over the next several years to amend schemes by the 1 January 2028 deadline. Employers should begin their transition planning now.

Globe

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.

New teleworking legislation varies widely across countries. While some countries introduced their first teleworking general legal framework, other countries passed more detailed measures. This article will only cover permanent teleworking legislation that has entered into effect since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020. Temporary COVID-19 related measures, as well as proposed legislation not yet passed as of the publication of this article will not be addressed.

War and the Workplace in Israel

As combat operations continue in Gaza, there have been several developments affecting the workplace, employee rights, and employer obligations in Israel.

Cyprus

Cyprus Increases Maternity Leave Entitlements  

Cyprus has extended maternity leave entitlements for first-time birthing mothers, first-time adopting mothers, and mothers whose newborn is hospitalized for 14 or more days for health reasons. The extended leave provisions enacted by the Protection of Maternity (amendment) Law of 2024 apply to female employees who are on maternity leave or commencing maternity leave from 1 March 2024.

Mozambique Expands Leave Entitlements

The government of Mozambique passed Labor Law No. 13/2023 introducing several changes, including increases in maternity leave, paternity leave, and annual leave entitlements.

The changes entered into effect on 21 February 2024.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong Increases Statutory Public Holidays

The Hong Kong Employment (Amendment) Ordinance 2021, which focuses on progressively increasing statutory annual paid public holidays from 13 days to 17 days by 2030, entered into effect on 5 March 2021. The first of the five additional public holidays, the Birthday of Buddha, became effective in 2022. The second one, which falls on the first weekday after Christmas, will become available to employees in December 2024.

Bahrain Implements New End of Service Gratuity For Expatriates

The Bahraini government recently introduced legislation (Edict 109 of 2023) requiring private sector employers to participate in a government program to fund and deliver the mandatory End of Service Gratuity (EOSG) payments for expatriate (non-Bahraini) employees.

Karnataka Introduces Compulsory Gratuity Insurance Rules

On 10 January 2024, the government of Karnataka released compulsory gratuity insurance rules, 2024 (the “Rules”), mandating that businesses in Karnataka, covered under the Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972, obtain an insurance policy to cover their gratuity liabilities.