The Irish government recently introduced the Sick Leave Bill 2022 to provide all employees with up to 10 days of employer-paid sick leave. If passed, the bill would enter into effect sometime in January 2022, and its implementation would be phased over a four-year period from 2022 to 2025.
In an effort to encourage as many people as possible to be vaccinated, the Canadian provinces of Alberta, British Colombia, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island have passed legislation to provide employees with paid leave to get vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus during working hours.
The Belgium government recently agreed on introducing a series of reforms aimed at boosting private sector employees’ work-life balance. The most notable changes include the option for employees to ask their employers for a four-day workweek as well as the right to disconnect. Once a draft bill outlining and explaining the new measures is introduced, it will enter into effect after it is passed by the Belgium parliament. This process will likely take months and may alter current provisions.
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.
The Irish government passed a law extending the government-paid parent’s leave from five weeks to seven weeks. The Parent’s Leave and Benefit Act 2019 (Extension of Periods of Leave) Order 2022 entered into force on 2 July 2022.
On 20 May 2022, the Nicaraguan government passed new legislation (Law No. 1118) making Mother’s Day a mandatory paid national public holiday. The new national public holiday will be celebrated on 30 May every year starting from 2022.
The Australian Fair Work Commission (FWC) has increased the national minimum wage by 5.2%, effective 1 July 2022. Modern Award minimum wages also increased by 4.6% per week, effective from the first full pay period starting on or after 1 July 2022, or 1 October 2022, based on industry.
The Japanese government passed legislation amending the Child and Family Care Act by introducing a four-week paternity leave and adding more flexibility to existing parental leave entitlements to ensure a better work-life balance for working parents. The new legislation entered into effect 1 April 2022, with many provisions entering into effect over the following months.
In September 2020, the Indian Parliament passed three federal employment law codes on social security, industrial relations, and occupational safety, health and working conditions.
Along with the Code of Wages passed in 2019, which has not yet been implemented, the new codes consolidate and simplify existing laws and introduce changes to multiple federal labor laws, including those impacting employers’ retirement benefits costs and liabilities toward gratuity.
While the Indian government hasn’t announced an implementation date yet, the four codes are likely to be made effective by April 2021.
On 1 July 2021, the Australian government increased the superannuation guarantee contribution rate by 0.5% to 10% on earnings up to the new maximum contribution base of AUD 58,920 per quarter. The concessional contribution cap has also increased to AUD 27,500. The increases will help stimulate Australia’s post-pandemic economy and support a better retirement for eligible workers.