Month: August 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.

European Union

EU Enacts Pay Transparency Directive to Address Equity

European Union (EU) Directive 2023/970 on pay transparency (the “Directive”) which entered into force on 6 June 2023, requires each EU member state to pass legislation enacting the requirements as outlined in the Directive by 7 June 2026.
The goal of the directive is to further reduce or eliminate gender pay inequity within the EU through measures aimed at countering gender pay discrimination, through the collection and disclosure of pay gap data, compensation for those who have suffered pay discrimination, and penalties against employers for violations.


The Netherlands to reform its pension system [updated]

On 22 December 2022, the Dutch House of Representatives approved the draft bill of the Future of Pensions Act (in Dutch: Wet toekomst pensioenen – WTP). The legislation, which goes before the Senate in January 2023, aims to implement reforms of the Dutch supplementary pension system that were agreed upon between employers, employees, and the government in 2019. The WTP introduces several important changes, notably the obligation to provide occupational pension schemes on a defined contribution (DC) basis only instead of a defined benefit (DB) provision accrual.
The WTP will come into effect on 1 July 2023. A transition period until 1 January 2028, previously 1 January 2027, applies for employers and pension providers to implement the changes in consultation with the employees and/or their representatives.


Ireland expands family leave entitlements [updated]

The Irish government recently approved the Work Life Balance and Miscellaneous Provisions Bill 2023 which introduces a right to request flexible working arrangements, five days of government-paid domestic violence leave, and five days of unpaid carer’s leave (called “serious medical care leave”).

The Bill is currently in its third reading before the Irish parliament and is expected to enter into force in the near term (the exact date is yet to be determined).