Employment Law

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.

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.

France

France Introduces Profit Sharing Mandate for Smaller Employers

On 29 November 2023, the French government passed the Profit-Sharing Act requiring companies with 11 to 49 employees to implement a profit-sharing scheme effective from 1 January 2025. This program is set to run as a five-year trial and will then be reassessed by the government to determine if the profit-sharing obligation for these smaller employers will become permanent and in what format.

Ukraine introduces limitations to employment rights during martial law period

The Ukrainian parliament recently adopted a new law introducing certain limitations to employment rights as a response to the presidential Decree No. 64/2022, which declared martial law in Ukraine following the Russian invasion.

“On Organizing of Employment Relations During Martial Law” (the “Law”) entered into effect on 15 March 2022 and is expected to apply until 13 May 2024, as extended by the Ukrainian President.