Effective 1 July 2023, Poland has cancelled the epidemic state of emergency along with a number of concessions that had been granted to employers. Employers have varying deadlines by which to meet the restored obligations.
The Dutch government decided at the beginning of 2023 to eliminate the premium discounts that were historically available to group health insurance plans, known locally as collectives (collectiviteitskorting). This has left some employers reconsidering the value of a group plan and whether they should consider offering other benefits to offset the loss of the premium discount.
The UK government recently announced changes in pensions, childcare, universal support scheme, and employee share plans, among others, as part of the Spring Budget 2023 to remove obstacles to participation in the workforce.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) government recently introduced – for the first time – a mandatory unemployment insurance scheme. The scheme aims to protect employees who lose their jobs for reasons out of their control, by ensuring the availability of unemployment income for up to three months. The new Involuntary Loss of Employment (ILOE) insurance scheme, which was announced by the Minister of Human Resources and Emiratization in May 2022, came into effect 1 January 2023.
Less than six months before the Turkish presidential election, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan recently announced in a press conference that the minimum age requirement for retirement (age 58 for women and age 60 for men) will be eliminated. This change allows more than 2 million workers to retire immediately.
The Turkish government plans to introduce and approve legislation on early retirement without meeting the age requirement in the coming weeks.
On 30 March 2023, the European Parliament adopted the Pay Transparency Directive (the “Directive”) to increase pay transparency and to close the gender pay gap across European Union (“EU”) member states. The Directive imposes, among other things, gender pay gap reporting obligations for larger employers, transparency obligations regarding pay setting, the right for employees to request pay information, as well as protective measures and access to justice for victims of pay discrimination.
In due course, the Directive will be submitted to the European Council to be formally approved and published in the EU Official Journal. The Directive will come into force 20 days after its publication date, and member states will be required to pass national legislation meeting the new minimum requirements established by the Directive within three years.
The French government recently introduced legislation aiming to reform the country’s pension system by gradually increasing the minimum retirement age from 62 to 64, as well as the number of years of insured employment needed to be eligible for a full pension from 42 to 43 years.
To speed the passage of the controversial reform, the French government used its constitutional power to bypass the parliament vote. The reform is expected to enter into effect once its compliance with the French constitution is confirmed by May 2023.
The Bulgarian government recently amended its Labour Code to extend paternity leave entitlements and introduce a right to flexible work arrangements for parents of young children and carers. The amendments align Bulgaria with the European Union Directive No. 2019/1158 on work-life balance for parents and carers.
The amendments were published in the State Gazette and became effective on 1 August 2022.
In an effort to enhance the adequacy of statutory minimum wages, promote collective bargaining on wage-setting, and improve access to minimum wage protections, European Union (EU) member states will be required, no later than 15 November 2024, to pass national legislation meeting new minimum requirements established by Directive 2022/2041 of 19 October 2022 (the “Directive”) on adequate minimum wages.
On 20 June 2022, the Puerto Rico government passed Act No. 41-222, which amends certain provisions of the 2017 Labor Code to increase labor protections for private sector workers. The Act introduces many changes including the amendment of the severance payment calculation formula, vacation and sick leave accrual rules, annual bonus thresholds and meal breaks rules.