In its Budget 2023-2024, the government of Singapore introduced several parental benefit enhancements that aim to improve work-life balance for parents of children who are Singapore citizens. These changes include increasing the duration of unpaid infant care leave from six days to 12 and the period of paternity leave reimbursable by the government from two weeks to four weeks. Both changes apply to births or adoptions from 1 January 2024, but the extension of the length of paternity leave reimbursable by the government does not currently include a requirement that employers grant additional paternity leave.
The Middle East has become a dynamic talent market, and the Gulf nations are actively reforming laws and institutions to support the growth.
The Mexican government introduced draft bills that would reduce the statutory maximum workweek to 40 hours over five days, double the statutory annual Christmas bonus, and increase the seniority premium payable on termination.
The proposed changes, which would amend the Federal Labor Law, are still under discussion by the Mexican Congress. If passed, the reform would enter into effect on 1 January 2024.
The UAE cabinet recently introduced an alternative way for private sector employers to deliver the End of Service Gratuity (EOSG) to their expatriate (non-Emirati) employees in the UAE and its free zones. The new government-sanctioned option involves externally funding a gratuity savings plan through monthly contributions that would replace the lump-sum payment calculation under the existing EOSG system.
Implementation details of the new voluntary EOSG are yet to be released by the UAE government.
The government of Israel issued a countrywide emergency order subsequent to the attack on 7 October 2023, imposing “special conditions” that will remain in effect until further notice.
The government of Mauritius recently passed its Budget 2023–2024, which introduces several employment related provisions, including a four-day workweek option, miscarriage leave, and an onsite childcare requirement for employers with more than 250 employees. The law also provides enhancements to existing leaves, including paternity leave.
Key employment measures of the Budget enacted by The Finance (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2023 come into effect on 1 July 2023.
The labor division of the French High Court (Cour de Cassation) issued decisions enabling employees who are absent from work due to sick leave to accrue paid time off during their leave. The revised method of paid leave accrual came into immediate effect on 13 September 2023 for all companies.
The government of Luxembourg passed two laws transposing the European Union (EU) Directive 2019/1158 on work-life balance for parents and carers into local law. The laws entered into effect on 21 and 22 August 2023 and introduced paid carers’ leave and paid force majeure leave, as well as an extension to the existing paternity leave entitlement.
The Omani government recently issued Royal Decree No.53/2023 (the “New Law”), which introduces a seven-day paternity leave, a one-year unpaid childcare leave for female employees, and increases current maternity, sick, and bereavement leaves. The New Law also introduces an Omanization requirement, mandating that companies employ a certain number of Omani nationals based on their local headcount.
The New Law entered into effect on 26 July 2023, and businesses must comply by 26 January 2024 (six months from the enactment of the New Law). Companies will receive additional guidance via the implementing regulations expected to be released in the coming months.
The government of Israel recently introduced a health insurance reform establishing a comprehensive Private Medical Insurance (PMI) framework that creates a uniform structure for basic health policy.
The new circular entered into effect on 1 May 2023.
The new circular is expected to come into effect on 1 May 2023.