Global Daily News

  • Counteroffers a stopgap retention strategy

    Staff members who accept counteroffers typically leave the company in less than two years anyway, according to a survey by Robert Half International Inc. (NYSE: RHI).Many companies are offering higher salaries to keep workers who state they plan to quit for a better job opportunity, but the research suggest this method serves only as a stop-gap retention strategy for employers and isn’t a long-term career solution for employees.“Counteroffers are typically a knee-jerk reaction to broader staffing issues,” said Paul McDonald, senior executive director for Robert Half. “While they may seem like a quick fix for employers, the solution is often temporary. When employees accept a counteroffer, they will likely quit soon afterward.”The research found 58% of senior managers across a variety of professional fields — including finance and accounting, technology, legal, marketing and advertising, and human resources — extend counteroffers to keep employees from leaving for another job. The primary reasons leaders said they extend counteroffers are to prevent the loss of an employee’s institutional knowledge and to avoid spending time or money hiring a replacement.The senior managers were also asked, “On average, how long do employees who accept counteroffers remain with your company?” The mean response was 1.7 years. In a blog post discussing the survey, Robert Half provided five reasons making a counteroffer is counterproductive: A salary counteroffer isn’t a long-term remedy It can have a negative ripple effect A counteroffer can cause a dip in morale It could cause a rift in trust Counteroffers don’t improve employee performance The online survey was developed by Robert Half and conducted by an independent research firm. It includes responses from more than 5,500 hiring decision makers in the US across a variety of professional fields. &nbs […]

  • Canadian staffing index falls 4% year over year

    The Canadian staffing index, which measures staffing activity in Canada, fell 4% in June on a year-over-year basis to a reading of 107.“In June, the volume of billed hours appears roughly unchanged from last year after accounting for one fewer working day this year,” said Maxim Kupfer, research analyst at Staffing Industry Analysts. “The last three months of index readings suggest that growth has leveled off on a year-over-year basis.”On a month-over-month basis, the index fell 2% in June.The Canadian Staffing Index measures the hours of labor performed by a sampling of temporary and contract workers in the staffing industry. Staffing Industry Analysts produces the index on behalf of the Association of Canadian Search, Employment and Staffing Services. […]

  •'s parent company invests $500 million in ride-sharing firm Didi Chuxing

    Booking Holdings invested $500 million in Beijing-based human cloud, ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing, which Staffing Industry Analysts ranks as the second-largest B2C human cloud platform after Uber.The deal was announced today and styled as a strategic partnership.Booking Holdings is based in Norwalk, Conn., and its brands include, Kayak,, and OpenTable. The deal with Didi Chuxing will enable Booking Holdings to offer on-demand car service through their apps.“We look forward to seamlessly connecting every segment of the journey and improving everyone’s traveling experience through more collaborative innovation with the Booking brands on product, technology and market development,” said Stephen Zhu, Didi Chuxing’s VP for strategy.Didi Chuxing bought Uber’s China business in 2016, and earlier this year began operations in Mexico.In addition, Didi Chuxing is also reported to be looking at an initial public offering, and Reuters reported that the company is planning to spin off its car rental and maintenance services business. […]

  • Google takes job search service to UK; opportunities, pressure for ecosystem

    Google launched its job search service ‘Google Jobs’ yesterday in the UK. The artificial intelligence job search tool will show job postings from sites such as Reed, Gumtree, Guardian Jobs, Haymarket and service will be similar to the US version of Google Jobs, which launched last year. Users can search for “jobs near me,” “teaching jobs,” or similar job-seeking queries in the UK, and receive the “freshest and most relevant” openings from across the web. Users will also be able to access salary information, reviews and ratings of the employer and different options to apply for a job, or use a location filter to see jobs in the areas that are convenient for them.“This move by Google highlights how advances in AI technology are recreating the talent ecosystem providing more and more avenues to connect employers to potential employees,” said Bryan Peña, senior VP, contingent workforce strategies, at Staffing Industry Analysts. “This will put pressure on existing companies to stay relevant and improve services in the face of these new deep.pocketed entrants.” In a blog post, Google said that since launching its job search service last year, they have seen 130% more companies showing jobs in Search and connected tens of millions of people around the world to new job opportunities.“This launch also builds on the commitment we made last year to help 100,000 people in the UK find a job or grow in their career by 2020,” Google said. “We’re doing that through our Google Digital Garage program, which gives anyone free training in digital skills and products to help grow their career, business or confidence.”The Digital Garage is based in Manchester, UK, and open seven days a week.While many job boards have partnered with Google, many question whether Google will, at some stage, decide to cut them out altogether and deal directly with employers and jobseekers. BBC News reported that Indeed, the world’s largest job board according to Staffing Industry Analysts’ research, has refused to share its data with Google.“At this time, Indeed has decided not to partner because we feel that's the best decision for jobseekers,” Indeed marketing chief Paul D’Arcy told the BBC. “Moving forward, we will continue to evaluate this and other partnerships.”Indeed’s decision to avoid the new service means links to Indeed pages now appear further down Google’s results pages.Indeed is owned by Recruit, one of the world’s largest staffing firms. Recruit also recently acquired Glassdoor. […]

  • More than 80% open to new jobs: Accounting Principals and Ajilon

    More than 80% of full-time workers are actively seeking or passively open to new job opportunities, according to a survey released by specialty recruitment firms Accounting Principals and Ajilon.The survey 26% of respondents are actively seeking new job opportunities and over half, 55% are passively open to new job opportunities.More than half of respondents, 59%, think one to two years is the appropriate length of time to stay at a new job before looking for a new position. This was highest among respondents aged 26 to 34 at 43.2%, 35 to 54 at 30% and 18 to 25 at 21%.Approximately 15% of all respondents think you should always be looking for new opportunities.“With the unemployment rate hitting record lows, the labor market is tighter than ever,” said David Alexander, president of Accounting Principals and Ajilon. “Employees are more receptive to considering inbound job opportunities and the cultural norm for an acceptable length of time to stay at a company has shifted. This means employers need to continually evaluate whether they’re fostering an environment that retains top performers.”Consistent with expectations, the survey found that salary is the most important factor that respondents consider when deciding to accept a job offer. Additionally, 43% of respondents would be enticed to leave their company if another one offered a better salary or pay.Aside from being underpaid, cited by 35% of respondents, relationships with colleagues and managers was the second top reason why respondents would quit or start looking. More than half of respondents stated their top reason that keeps them from quitting their job is the loyalty they feel to their team, boss, coworkers or their company. On the flip side, 32% of respondents would quit their job or start trying to find another job due to a bad manager or boss.Accounting Principals and Ajilon partnered with Allison+Partners' Research+Insights team to survey 1,004 US full-time workers in sales, office and management/professional occupations. The survey was conducted between April 24 and May 8, 2018. […]

  • UK – Parity provides H1 trading update, performance in line with expectations

    Parity (AIM:PTY), the London-based technology focused consultancy and staffing business, provided an update on trading for the six months ended 30 June 2018.Parity reports that it has traded well and its performance is in line with group expectations in the period and is expected to deliver double digit growth in the group’s profit before tax from continuing operations compared to the same period in the prior year. In addition, the group said its tight cost controls and working capital management continues to provide a solid platform upon which to grow.Alan Rommel, CEO, commented, “This robust first half performance combined with an encouraging sales pipeline from both existing and new customers, gives us confidence in achieving sustained organic growth, supported by our continued investment in new sales capability and our development of higher value services targeting the high growth data solutions markets.”A further update will be provided within the half year results for the six months ended 30 June 2018, which are expected to be announced by mid-September.As of last trade Parity Group traded at £13.90, up 6.51% on the day and 13.13% below its 52-week high of £16.00, set on 8 June 2018. Based on its current share price the company has a market value of £13.39 million. […]

  • UK – MPs recommend recruitment agencies collect age data after report finds more than a million over-50s locked out of work

    MPs have suggested giving recruitment agencies greater responsibility for collecting age data after a report published by the Women and Equalities Committee found that there were over 1 million people aged 50 or over who are out of work but willing to work.The report stated, “We want to see recruitment agencies accept greater responsibility, collecting data on where older workers are being excluded and developing a plan of action to remove discrimination from the recruitment process.”It added that, since transparency is being used with some success to challenge discrimination in other areas such as the gender pay gap, it could also be extended to older workers via the reporting of age profiles for workforces.The report said that the government and the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) are not doing enough to enforce the law and say they “must be clearer that prejudice, unconscious bias and casual ageism in the workplace are all unlawful under the Equality Act 2010”.“Too little is being done to enforce the law,” the report stated. “Neither the Government or EHRC with its considerable enforcement powers, are intervening in the recruitment sector where so much of the evidence demonstrates unlawful ways of working. The public sector struggles to retain older workers when it should be leading the way, but the EHRC is not investigating whether the public sector equality duty is being met. We want it to do so.”But Richard Woodman, head of employment law at Royds Withy King, told The Independent that the suggestion to have recruitment agencies collect age data was “unusual to say the least”.“Recruitment agencies, like all employers, need to operate within the current laws, and we do not believe they are best placed or indeed the right businesses to police workplace discrimination” Woodman said. “If the committee wished to see meaningful change it would be better to perhaps call on the government to introduce a mandatory reporting requirement for businesses over a certain size, as it has done with gender pay gap reporting.”The Centre for Ageing Better also responded to the report and called on UK employers to ensure they have more age-friendly employment policies and practices."The UK workforce is changing - and employers need to catch up,” Patrick Thomson, Centre for Ageing Better’s lead on age-friendly employment, said. “Improving policy and practice, tackling age bias and creating an age-friendly workplace culture is vital to ensuring that people can work for as long as they want to.""Employers who don’t make these changes will be left behind,” Thomson said. “This matters for older workers, and younger workers, who mostly expect to work longer than their parents. Without changes to our workplaces, more and more of us will face worse working lives as we age."The report cautioned that any reduction in inward migration following the UK’s exit from the EU will also mean fewer young workers.  It added that the number of over 50s either working or available to work will grow by around one million by 2025.Age discrimination in all its forms is against the law and, in employment, has been for more than 12 years. The UK has had a ban on age discrimination in employment since 2006. In 2010 the Equality Act brought all the different anti-discrimination laws together into a single statute, including the ban on age discrimination. […]

  • UK – Google launches job search service in the UK

    Google launched its job search service ‘Google Jobs’ yesterday in the UK. The artificial intelligence job search tool will show job postings from sites such as Reed, Gumtree, Guardian Jobs, Haymarket and service will be similar to the US version of Google Jobs, which launched last year. Users can search for “jobs near me,” “teaching jobs,” or similar job-seeking queries in the UK, and receive the "freshest and most relevant" openings from across the web. Users will also be able to access salary information, reviews and ratings of the employer and different options to apply for a job, or use a location filter to see jobs in the areas that are convenient for them.In a blog post, Google said that since launching its job search service last year, they have seen 130% more companies showing jobs in Search and connected tens of millions of people around the world to new job opportunities.“This launch also builds on the commitment we made last year to help 100,000 people in the U.K. find a job or grow in their career by 2020,” Google said. “We’re doing that through our Google Digital Garage program, which gives anyone free training in digital skills and products to help grow their career, business or confidence.”While many job boards have partnered with Google, many question whether Google will, at some stage, decide to cut them out altogether and deal directly with employers and jobseekers. BBC News reported that Indeed, the world’s largest job board according to Staffing Industry Analysts’ research, has refused to share its data with Google.“At this time, Indeed has decided not to partner because we feel that's the best decision for jobseekers," Indeed marketing chief Paul D'Arcy told the BBC. “Moving forward, we will continue to evaluate this and other partnerships."Indeed’s decision to avoid the new service means links to Indeed pages now appear further down Google's results pages. […]

  • Germany – Number of job vacancies up 15%

    The number of vacancies in the first half of 2018 increased by 15% compared to the first six months of the previous year, according to a study from the Federal Employers' Association of Personnel Service Providers (BAP) published in BAP Job Navigator examined job market development in the first half of 2018 when compared to the first half of 2017. The study showed that 26% of the job advertisements in the first half of 2018 were published by personnel service companies (staffing firms), this is 16% more than during the same period last year.Chief Executive of BAP Thomas Hetz, commented, “The current BAP job navigator makes it clear that a shortage of skilled workers, especially personnel service providers, is taking over.” Hetz added that the recruitment market remains “extremely tense and difficult to fill."The BAP Navigator also found that demand is highest in the craft and trades sector. In the first half of 2018, approximately 680,770 job offers were advertised, an increase of 12% compared to the first half of 2017."Considering how difficult it has become in the private sector to find a suitable and qualified craftsman, this observation is hardly surprising," Hetz said.Demand for technical specialists was nearly as high as for the crafts and trades sector. In the first half of 2018, approximately 617,100 jobs were offered with BAP adding that there were personnel and temporary employment agencies advertised 21% of these jobs.BAP found the biggest increase was in the transport and logistics sectors (32%) and in the purchasing (procurement) sector (27%). BAP said that recruitment firms played a key role in these figures as they published 39% more jobs in the logistics sector and 35% more jobs in the purchasing sector when compared to the first half of 2017.Meanwhile, BAP’s report also showed that 19% more jobs were offered to young professionals in the first half of 2018, while experienced professionals had 16% more jobs to choose from compared to the same period last year. In the first half of 2018, apprentices had 20% more apprenticeships available to those interested in training. Those looking for an internship were offered almost 18% more in the first half of 2018 than in the first half of 2017. […]

  • China – Government publishes regulation on human resources market to boost employment

    China's cabinet has released a provisional regulation on the human resources market which will take effect in October. The regulation aims to improve employment agency services, help maintain the rise in job opportunities and boost the economy.The regulation is the country's first administrative regulation on job hunting, hiring, and associated services in the human resources market. Premier Li Keqiang signed the regulation which will come into force on 1 October.According to news site, Xinhua, the move is aimed at bringing order to activities on the market, promoting rational movement and optimal allocation of human resources, and supporting employment and entrepreneurship. The regulation also aims to improve the development of China's human resource service sector by clearly defining the range of services, behaviour norms, management requirements and the role of the government, while attracting the participation of the private sector.According to the new regulation, human resources will need to be “fair and credible” and service standards should be improved to guide, regulate and supervise the employment market.Governments at or above county-level will be required to establish online systems that provides information on local labour demand. International cooperation and exchanges on human resources based on equality and mutual benefits will also be encouraged.Local governments or agencies will not be allowed to set unlawful restrictions on the rational movement of human resources, in terms of household registration, birth place or identity.Those companies that provide human resources for a profit will only be allowed to start their intermediary business after obtaining permission from the relevant human resource and social insurance administrations.Recruiting agencies will be expected to follow a code of conduct on internet security and ensure the credibility and legality of recruiting information released to the public through discrete checking. Any discriminative and confidential information must not be disclosed or leaked to job applicants and agencies must not abuse their power to infringe on individual’s legal rights."In drafting the regulation, we have widely solicited opinions online from the public and suggestions from ministries, local governments and industry associations,” Du Yaling, director of the department for social management legislation of the Ministry of Justice, said. “Changes had been made to the draft based on feedback from employment agencies, companies and their employees and experts.”Zhang Yizhen, vice-minister of human resources and social security, commented, “Many job agencies are small and fall short in using new technologies such as big data, cloud computing and mobile internet. Therefore, a new regulation is vital for improving China's human resources markets, promoting a free and healthy flow of talent and better serving employment and high-quality development.&rdquo […]

  • Malaysia – Unemployment rate remains stable in May

    Malaysia’s jobless rate stood at 3.3% in May, down slightly from 3.4% in the same period last year, according to data from Statistics Malaysia.There were 504,800 unemployed people in May compared with 507,500 a year earlier, a decrease of 0.5%.Meanwhile the number of employed persons increased by 2.8% in May to 14.85 million, when compared to the same month last year.The labour force participation rate in May 2018 increased by 0.6% to 68.4% as compared to the same period last year (May 2017: 67.8%).In May 2018, the country’s labour force stood at 15.35 million, up from 14.96 million a year earlier. […]

  • India – “Gig economy is unlikely to have an upper hand over staffing” Staffing Quote of the Week

    In a Q&A with PeopleMatters, Rituparna Chakraborty, President of Indian Staffing Federation (ISF), spoke about the gig economy and how staffing companies can remain a valid option for jobseekers who are looking for flexible employment.“The Gig economy is a reality, however, for more advanced labour markets,” Chakraborty said. “Rapid increase in Internet penetration and constant innovation in technology has made this possible. Having said that, the market in India is big enough to accommodate the gig-economy and the staffing firms –and given that employment market in India is largely informal in nature, gig economy is unlikely to have an upper-hand overstaffing.”She said that while gig-economy based workers thrive on the independent lifestyle, there are limitations and downsides of being an independent professional and this is where it helps to be employed with a staffing service provider.“Staffing firms can stay relevant to their clients and candidates by offering a differentiated value proposition,” Chakraborty said. “So the staffing services companies would need to demonstrate to their candidates the overall value they offer in helping a job-seeker build a sustainable career while giving the candidates the flexibility they desire. They need to underscore the importance of Employer Relationship, Employee Benefits & Support, and enabling specialisation while bringing in the element of learning & skill-building, which is a critical enabler of jobs today. Staffing firms need to be seen as a comprehensive one-stop resource of jobs and career-related advice.&rdquo […]

  • Australia – Cosmetics company Lush admits to underpaying thousands of staff (Sydney Morning Herald)

    Cosmetics giant Lush will pay back AUD 2 million (USD 1.4 million) to staff after admitting it had underpaid more than 5,000 retail and manufacturing workers across Australia over the past eight years, reports the Sydney Morning Herald reports. Lush Australia director Peta Granger said the large-scale underpayments, which were uncovered in an internal investigation and published yesterday, were due to "serious payroll system errors". Part-time employees who worked overtime are expected to be the worst affected by the underpayments, with Lush saying some staff members could be as much as AUD 10,000 (USD 7,360) out of pocket. In a statement, the company attributed the massive wages breach to inefficiencies in its payroll system during the 2010 transition to the Fair Work Act's system of "modern awards", the basic wages safety net affecting most workers. The company said it would invest in upgrading its “very manual” payroll system. […]

Latest Research

  • SI Report Webinar - July 2018

    In this webinar topics covered include: Legal & regulatory trends Temp employment via the human cloud  The key to website and app effectiveness What drives temp satisfaction  IT staffing trends in the Financial Services Sector  Financial results for publicly-owned staffing firms  And of course the latest updates on the state of the economy, employment trends and developments in the US staffing industry.Download presentation slides 180710 SI Report Webinar Presentation Slides - You do not have permission to view this object. Select the play button to begin viewing. […]

  • North America Legal Update Q2 2018

    In this report, we round up the legal developments affecting the workforce solutions ecosystem in North America in Q2 2018: Canada  Quebec Temporary Foreign Worker Agencies to be Licensed  Ontario Introduces Workplace Safety Protections for Temporary Agency Workers  Ontario Scraps Bill 148 Public Holiday Leave Formula  Ontario Pay Transparency Act  British Columbia Increases Leave Entitlements  United States Supreme Court Endorses Arbitration Clauses to Avoid Class Action Lawsuits   Staffing Company Unable to Rely on Arbitration Clause due to Transportation Exemption   NLRB Announces Joint Employer Rulemaking Vermont Proposes Banning Non-compete Clauses Colorado Enacts Privacy and Cyber-Security Laws California Passes Groundbreaking Law Giving Privacy Rights to Residents Crackdown on H-1B Visas for Third Party Worksites Misclassification Developments and Portable Benefits for Independent Contractors California Ruling Places the Burden of Proving Contractor Status on Employers Legal Disclaimer: This update is provided solely for the purposes of information, and should not be considered legal advice. It is always recommended to seek the advice of qualified legal counsel before taking action.To download a pdf copy of this update click below: NorthAmerica_LegalUpdate_Q2_20180709 - You do not have permission to view this object. Canada 1. Quebec Temporary Foreign Worker Agencies to be LicensedBill 176, An Act to amend the Act Respecting Labour Standards (LSA) received Royal Assent on June 12, 2018 and requires personnel placement agencies and recruitment agencies for temporary foreign workers to hold a license. Businesses that retain the services of such an agency that does not hold a valid license will be liable to a penal sanction. In addition, personnel placement agencies and the client enterprises that retain their services will be ‘solidarily’ liable to an employee for any pecuniary obligations owed to the worker i.e. either one can be compelled to pay the full amount.Personnel placement agencies and recruitment agencies for temporary foreign workers must obtain a license issued by the CNÉSST which shall publish a list of agencies holding a valid license. Any existing agency that applies for a license within 45 days of the law coming into force will be authorized to continue to exercise its activities until the CNÉSST determines their application.In addition, no personnel placement agency may remunerate an employee at a lower rate of wage than that granted to the employees of the client enterprise who perform the same tasks in the same establishment solely because of the employee’s employment status, and in particular because the employee is remunerated by such an agency or usually works fewer hours each week.In other provisions inserted into the LSA, no employer may charge a temporary foreign worker a fee related to his recruitment (s.92.12) or take custody of personal documents or property (s. 92.11).These provisions will be effective once the government adopts a regulation to set out the categories of the various licenses that may be made available along with the terms of validity and administrative penalties. 2. Ontario Introduces Workplace Safety Protections for Temporary Agency WorkersEffective April 6, 2018, the Ontario government proclaimed Schedule 5 of Bill 18, the Stronger Workplaces for a Stronger Economy Act, 2014 amending the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 (WSIA). The amended WSIA permits the government to make regulations requiring the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board to impose the costs of an injury sustained by a temporary help agency worker on the client for experience rating purposes. These changes to the WSIA will only apply to Schedule 1 employers who participate in one of the WSIB's experience rating programs. The changes will not apply to self-insured Schedule 2 employers.Currently, when an employee of a temporary help agency (“assignment employee”) sustains an injury while performing work for a client, liability for the injury and any related costs are imposed on the temporary help agency who supplied the employee, rather than on the client.Supporting regulations have not yet been filed but it is expected that any proposed regulation will undergo a consultation period before it is implemented. 3. Ontario Scraps Bill 148 Public Holiday Leave FormulaOn May 7, 2018, the Ontario government issued a new regulation under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (the “ESA”) that will reverse the changes made to the calculation of public holiday pay that were recently enacted under Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017. Beginning July 1, 2018, the public holiday pay formula will revert to the formula in effect before Bill 148.Prior to Bill 148 coming into force, public holiday pay was calculated for any employees who didn't work regular hours each week by taking the employee's total wages for the four weeks prior to the work week in which the public holiday fell and dividing that number by 20. As a result, employees were paid holiday pay in proportion to the time they worked for their employer regardless of whether they were full-time, part-time or casual employees.Under amendments introduced by Bill 148 on Jan. 1, 2018, the calculation of an employee’s public holiday pay entitlement was equal to the total amount of wages earned in the pay period immediately prior to the public holiday, divided by the number of days the employee worked in that same period. This resulted in costly changes for employers who employed casual and part-time workers and disproportionate entitlements in certain circumstances where casual employees could be entitled to more holiday pay than part-time employees and the same holiday pay as full-time employees.For example, if a casual worker worked only one day in a month before a holiday and it fell in the pay period preceding that holiday, then the worker would be entitled to a full day of wages under the formula that was included in Bill 148. In contrast, the previous formula to which the government is reverting, resulted in that worker being entitled to 1/20 of a days’ wage.The government has indicated that this reversion to the old formula is only an interim measure, and that it intends to implement a new public holiday pay system by December 31, 2019. Therefore, the new regulation will come into effect on July 1, 2018 and will be in force until December 31, 2019.Affected employers should amend their public holiday pay arrangements and inform their employees of the change. 4. Ontario Pay Transparency ActOn April 26, 2018 Bill 3, An Act Respecting Transparency of Pay in Employment (the “Pay Transparency Act”) was enacted in Ontario. It aims to promote gender equality in compensation and hiring practices.From Jan. 1, 2019 employers will be prohibited from asking job applicants about their compensation history, either directly or through an agent though an applicant may still disclose such information voluntarily. All public job postings will be required to include information about the expected compensation or the range of the expected compensation for the role. From this date, employers will be prohibited from intimidating, dismissing or otherwise penalising an employee (or threatening to do so) because he or she has, among other things, made enquiries about the compensation of employees within the organization or the organisation’s transparency plan; or disclosed his or her compensation to another employee.Where a collective agreement is in force, allegations of reprisals will be dealt with through arbitration. Otherwise, an employee will be able to file a complaint with the Ontario Labour Relations Board. The burden of proof will be on the employer to prove that it did not take reprisal measures against the employee.Employers with 100 or more employees will be required to collect prescribed information pertaining to their workforce composition and differences in employees’ compensation according to gender and other characteristics. The employer must compile a report (a “pay transparency report”) containing this information and post it online or in a conspicuous place in the workplace, and submit a copy to the Ministry of Labour, which may also publish the report and details of any violations online.Employers with more than 100 employees but fewer than 250 employees will be required to submit their first pay transparency report no later than May 15, 2021. Employers with 250 or more employees will be required to submit their first report no later than May 15, 2020.The Ministry of Labour will appoint compliance officers with the power to enter and inspect any workplace to conduct compliance audits and investigate a possible contravention of the act. Compliance officers will be able to issue notices of contravention and impose penalties for violation of the act. Fines will be determined in accordance with regulations yet to be published.This measure is the first to be taken in Canada, but follows a trend elsewhere in the World with Iceland, the UK and Germany passing similar legislation to tackle gender pay inequality. Employers in other provinces and territories within Canada may expect to see legislation on this over time, so it might be prudent to start reviewing pay and recruitment policies in advance of a legal requirement to do so. 5. British Columbia Increases Leave EntitlementsOn May 17, 2018 Bill 6 received Royal Assent and came into force on that day. Bill 6 introduced amendments to the British Columbia Employment Standards Act (ESA) to align provincial leave benefits with changes made to federal employment insurance benefits as well as new and extended maternity, parental and compassionate care leave. Pregnancy leave - Expectant mothers are entitled to 13 weeks of leave before the birth, increased from 11 weeks. Parental leave - New or expectant mothers will have the option of taking 17 consecutive weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave towards the end of their pregnancy or after childbirth. New mothers will also be entitled to begin up to 61 additional consecutive weeks of parental leave immediately after their 17-week pregnancy leave. Non-birth partners or adoptive parents are entitled to take up to 62 consecutive weeks of parental leave within 18 months of the child's birth or adoption. Child death leave – This will increase from three days of "unpaid bereavement leave" to two years' unpaid, job-protected leave following the death of a child (under 19). Child death leave must be taken in a single, continuous period or on an intermittent basis with the employer's consent. Compassionate care leave – This is increased from eight to 27 weeks for employees who must care for a family member that is terminally ill and has a significant risk of death within 26 weeks. An employee may take the leave any time within a 52-week period, but the leave cannot exceed 27 weeks in total. Crime-related child disappearance leave - A parent whose child (under 19) disappears as a result of crime may take unpaid, job-protected leave of up to one year. The leave must be taken in a single continuous period or on an intermittent basis with the employer's consent. If the child is found alive, the parent is entitled to remain on leave for 14 days. Employers in British Columbia should review their current policies and collective agreements regarding leaves of absence to ensure compliance with the new requirements. United States 1. Supreme Court Endorses Arbitration Clauses to Avoid Class Action LawsuitsTo avoid the disruption and cost of litigation, many employers have adopted arbitration agreements as a condition of employment that include class and collective action waivers. Under these agreements, employees and employers mutually agree that any dispute between them will be resolved through arbitration, rather than in court, and employees also agree that their claims will be heard only on an individual basis and not in a class or collective action.In a series of cases the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) had ruled that such clauses were a violation of the right of workers to engage in “concerted activity” to improve wages or working conditions under section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Several of these cases were appealed and while some courts of appeal rejected this argument, the Sixth, Seventh and Ninth Courts of Appeal agreed with the NLRB.On January 13, 2017, the high court granted a judicial review (certiorari) in three cases (Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, Case Number 16-285; Ernst & Young LLP et al. v. Stephen Morris et al., Case Number 16-300; NLRB v. Murphy Oil USA Inc., Case Number 16-307) to resolve the issue.In a majority decision on May 21, 2018 the Supreme Court held that employers are not violating the NLRA if they include class and collective action waivers in arbitration agreements as a condition of employment. In the minority judgement Judge Ginsberg stated that “the inevitable result [of the decision] will be the underenforcement of federal and state statutes designed to advance the well-being of vulnerable workers”. However, the majority held that the NLRA was concerned with collective bargaining rights and the right to organize and that class actions were hardly known in the 1930’s when the NLRA was passed.This decision resolves the issue and endorses the practice of employers to use arbitration as a fair, efficient and less expensive way to resolve labor disputes out of court. It does not prevent future legislation barring arbitration agreements in employment although this is currently unlikely at federal level. 2. Staffing Company Unable to Rely on Arbitration Clause due to Transportation ExemptionIn another case involving the question whether an employer can rely on an arbitration clause in an employment contract, the Fourth Circuit of the California Court of Appeal ruled that a truck driver engaged by a staffing company could not be compelled to arbitrate a state wage and hour claim against his staffing company employer, despite the existence of an arbitration clause and a class action waiver.There is an exemption under the Federal Arbitration Act for transportation workers. The staffing company in Muro v Cornerstone Staffing Solutions Inc argued that the exemption only applies if the employer is part of the transportation industry. The Court held that a significant, if not primary focus of the staffing company’s business was on transportation, so the exemption applied to them.The California Court has adopted a wide interpretation of the exemption but it highlights the question as to whether a staffing firm operating solely or to a large extent in providing staff to clients operating in the transportation sector, will be considered part of that sector. The interpretation of the transportation exemption is to be considered by the Supreme Court in New Prime Inc v Oliveira in Autumn 2019. 3. NLRB Announces Joint Employer RulemakingIn our Q1 2018 North America Legal Update we reported on the fact that the NLRB’s decision in the case of Hy-Brand Industrial Contractors, Ltd, (365 NLRB No. 156 (December 14, 2017) (“Hy-Brand”) which restored its “direct control” joint employment standard, had been vacated due to an alleged conflict of interest of a Board member. This means the more restrictive BFI standard prevails until it is overturned by a Court.On June 5, 2018 the Board Chairman confirmed that the NLRB would issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) in the Summer to permit the Board “to consider and address the issues in a comprehensive manner and to provide the greatest guidance”. He also stated that “final rules issued through notice-and-comment rulemaking are required by law to apply prospectively only”.Whatever standard the Board ultimately adopts at the conclusion of the rulemaking process, the Board’s intention is that the final rule will bring certainty to this area of labor law. 4. Vermont Proposes Banning Non-compete ClausesVermont is the latest state to propose legislation banning noncompete clauses in some or all instances. Vermont’s House Bill 566 would ban the use of clauses preventing employees from being employed in a competing business following termination of their employment, and any restrictive covenants that restrain an individuals’ livelihood. Such clauses are defined as “agreement[s] not to compete or any other agreement that restrains an individual from engaging in the lawful profession, trade, or business.” which would ban all non-competes other than in two distinct areas - the sale of a business, or the dissolution of a partnership.Eight states (California, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah) have already passed legislation to ban or restrict the use of noncompete clauses following a government “call to action” in 2016. This provided state legislatures with “best-practice policy objectives” aimed at curbing the misuse and overuse of restrictive covenants and suggested three potential areas of reform: Banning non-competes for certain categories of workers (such as workers in public health and safety, low-wage earners and workers laid off or terminated for cause); Improving the transparency and fairness of non-competes (through notice or consideration provisions or regulating the timing of execution); and Encouraging employers to draft enforceable agreements through the adoption of the “red pencil doctrine”. Other states proposing legislation are Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Philadelphia.Recently two identical bills were introduced to Congress which, if enacted, would for all practical purposes amount to a nationwide ban on employee covenants not to compete post-termination of their employment. Senate Bill 2782, the Workforce Mobility Act of 2018 would ban any company engaged in interstate commerce from requiring any employee to sign a covenant not to compete. Simultaneously, H.R. 5631 was introduced in the House of representatives. Both Bills have been referred to Committees for consideration. 5. Colorado Enacts Privacy and Cyber-Security LawsColorado has enacted House Bill 18-1128 that provides protection for the personal data of Colorado residents. The new law, which becomes effective on September 1, 2018 requires covered entities that maintain, own, or license "personal identifying information" (PII) of a Colorado resident to implement and maintain reasonable security procedures and practices that are "appropriate to the nature of the personal identifying information and the nature and size of the business and its operations."The law defines PII broadly to include a social security number; personal identification number; password; passcode; official state or government-issued driver’s license or identification card number; government passport number; biometric data; employer, student, or military identification number; or financial transaction device (as defined in C.R.S. § 18-5-701(3)).Covered entities must take measures to protect PII when transferring it to third parties. Unless a covered entity agrees to provide its own security protection for the information it discloses to a third-party service provider, the covered entity "shall require" the third-party service provider to implement and maintain reasonable security procedures and practices that are appropriate to the nature of the PII disclosed and reasonably designed to help protect the PII from unauthorized access, use, modification, disclosure, or destruction. A "third-party service provider" is defined as an entity that "has been contracted to maintain, store, or process personal information on behalf of a covered entity."The law requires covered entities that maintain electronic or paper documents that contain PII to develop a written policy for the destruction of such documents when they are no longer needed.The new law strengthens and expands Colorado’s data breach notification law. Covered entities must notify affected individuals within 30 days after determining that a security breach occurred that resulted in, or is likely to result in, misuse of personal information. The new law also expands the types of information that, if compromised, will trigger a breach notification obligation. Specifically, the law defines "personal information" to mean a Colorado resident’s first name or first initial and last name in combination with any of the following data elements: social security number; student, military or passport identification number; driver's license number or identification card number; medical information; health insurance identification number; or biometric data. The definition also includes a Colorado resident’s username or e-mail address in combination with a password or security questions and answers that would permit access to an online account or a Colorado resident's account number or credit or debit card number in combination with any required security code, access code, or password that would permit access to that account. However, a covered entity does not need to provide notice if the information was encrypted unless the encryption key also was compromised.Colorado businesses should ensure they update any privacy policies and procedures for breach notification. Click here for further information. 6. California Passes Groundbreaking Law Giving Privacy Rights to ResidentsIn the wake of the European Union’s GDPR, California has passed the toughest consumer privacy provisions in the US which will apply from Jan. 1, 2020. The California Consumer Privacy Act 2018, AB 375, introduces provisions similar to the GDPR which put consumers in control of their data and place obligations on companies to protect their personal information. Personal information is widely defined as information that identifies, relates to, describes, is capable of being associated with, or could reasonably be linked, directly or indirectly, with a particular consumer or household.The rights benefit California consumers, who are defined as individuals who are resident in California for more than a temporary or transitory purpose, and anyone domiciled in California who is outside the State for a temporary or transitory purpose. Rights include: A right for consumers to make written subject access requests (no more than twice per year) to understand what data (and categories of data) is held about them and what is done with their data, including how it is shared with third parties. These must be responded to within 45 days (the period can be extended once under limited circumstances). Information must be provided in portable format. A business must inform a consumer at or before the point of collection about the categories of information to be collected and what the information will be used for. Consumers have the right to erasure of data subject to exceptions, including data security and complying with a legal obligation. The individual should also be told about their right to erasure. Businesses will have to include a 'do not sell my personal information' option on websites (or through other media where applicable). Businesses will be prevented from offering a lower level of service to consumers who object to the sale of their data, but will be able to offer enhanced products or services for additional data, subject to restrictions. The Act applies to any commercial business in California, which either has annual revenue over US$25m; holds personal data of over 50,000 people, households or devices; or which generates at least half its annual revenue through the sale of personal data. 7. Crackdown on H-1B Visas for Third Party WorksitesUSCIS announced earlier this year that it was intending to step up its efforts to ensure that those working at third party worksites were genuinely employed by the sponsoring company for the duration of their visa.The Department of Labor has also indicated an intention to add a requirement to list the name and address of third-party work sites to the labor condition application for non-immigrant workers, Form ETA-9035 & 9035E. The street address of the work site has been required for a while, but the business name of the end client was not. The consultation document on this proposal states “this enhanced data collection will allow the Department to better track employer usage of the program and provide greater transparency to the public with respect to the employment of H–1B, H–1B1, and E–3 non-immigrant workers in the United States”. The consultation closed on June 25.Criticisms about the abuse of the H-1B visa system have largely been directed at consulting firms bringing in overseas labor and displacing US workers but staffing firms placing workers with third party clients will also face greater scrutiny. 8. Misclassification Developments and Portable Benefits for Independent ContractorsIn the past few months, employers using independent contractors have faced a barrage of developments in the form of measures to combat misclassification through state-backed initiatives, court rulings and proposed legislation.New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy established a task force on employee misclassification in May to review the existing law and levels of enforcement, and to develop best practice and recommendations to encourage employers to be compliant.Separately, 12 attorneys general filed an amicus brief in a case before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), arguing that intentional misclassification does violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The board will decide whether to uphold the decision of an administrative law judge in the case of Velox Express Inc. vs. Jeannie Edge. An administrative law judge had previously found that intentional misclassification of workers as independent contractors violated the act but Velox appealed this decision to the NLRB. The attorneys general argue intentional misclassification gives companies an unfair advantage and takes money from workers. However, business groups argue upholding the decision will lead to confusion, increased litigation and stifle business. “Indeed, some of the most innovative, entrepreneurial, and productive advances in recent years in our nation’s economy have evolved from new and expanding independent relationships between individuals and employers”, the HR Policy Association said in its amicus brief to the court.Jeannie Edge was a driver for Velox Express, an Indiana-based firm that operated a courier service collecting medical samples from doctors’ offices, clinics and hospitals and transporting them to a laboratory in Nashville, Tenn. Velox engaged Edge as an independent contractor. When her contract was terminated, she filed a charge with the NLRB alleging Velox violated the act, according to filings. The NLRB administrative law judge agreed, and ruled that by classifying drivers as independent contractors, Velox restrained and interfered with their ability to engage in protected activity by effectively telling them that they are not protected by Section 7 and thus could be disciplined or discharged for trying to form, join or assist a union or act together with other employees for their benefit and protection.The 12 states involved are Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington.In the courts, in February a U.S. magistrate judge handed down a significant win for Grubhub, concluding that a driver who sued the company under California’s minimum wage, overtime and employee expense reimbursement laws was not covered by those laws because he was an independent contractor, not an employee. However, the driver in the GrubHub case has appealed that decision in the wake of a ruling by the California Supreme Court on April 30 that a tougher test on misclassification should be applied in relation to California wage and hour legislation. The ruling has cast doubt on workers’ arrangements in that state (see 9. below).Portable benefits for independent contractors are a hot topic with states and local governments moving forward with proposals to explore the provision of benefits to individuals performing work in the gig economy. Most notable are proposals that have been set forth in the state legislatures in Washington, New York and New Jersey. California has been exploring this approach as well.Employers wishing to engage independent contractors should take legal advice to ensure the arrangements and the contract documentation support a classification of the workers as independent contractors in the jurisdiction they will be employed. 9. California Ruling Places the Burden of Proving Contractor Status on EmployersOn April 30, 2018, the California Supreme adopted the restrictive “ABC test” used in other jurisdictions for determining when a worker qualifies as an independent contractor in a case Dynamex Operations West, Inc., under California’s Industrial Wage Orders.Under the “ABC” test, the workers are presumed to be employees unless all three of the following conditions are met:A) the worker is free from the control and direction of the hirer in connection with the performance of the service, both under the contract for the performance of the work and in fact; andB) the worker performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business; andC) the worker is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, profession or business of the same nature as that involved in the service performed.The first test examines the right of control rather than simply the exercise of control. The second test requires the employer to show that the worker’s job is independent, separate and distinct from the employer’s business, and not a regular or continuous part of the business. It is not sufficient to show that the work is performed other than at the premises of the employer. The final test looks at whether the individual usually provides services of the sort performed for the employer.The ABC test is a more stringent test than the Borello test that was used previously. The Borello test is a multi-factor test that looked primarily at whether the hiring entity had a right to control how the services were performed along with other secondary factors such as whether the worker was engaged in a distinct occupation, the level of skill required, the location of the work and whether the worker supplied their own tools.In adopting the ABC test, the court restricts the use of independent contractors by employers, to those individuals who have already established a business to provide services that are distinct from the business carried on by the employer.Since the ruling, dozens of businesses and trade organizations, including three local chambers of commerce, have sent a letter to the California Legislature outlining concerns about the legal precedent set by the state Supreme Court’s decision. Their objection is that it would limit opportunities for individuals seeking flexible or part-time work arrangements and would open employers up to excessive legal claims. According to the letter, companies in Massachusetts have already seen a significant increase in litigation since that state adopted a similar worker classification test to the one laid out in Dynamex.The Dynamex ruling is currently limited to California’s wage and hour legislation, which potentially means that a worker may still be considered to be an independent contractor in relation to other laws for which the Borello test may still be applied. Aside from the confusion this may give rise to there is little guidance on how to establish the “B” prong of the ABC test in practice, for example if the hiring entity employs some IT staff, to what extent is that considered to be in the usual course of the hirer’s business. In addition, the need to satisfy all three tests makes this a more stringent test than before. Employers using independent contractors should review their contracts and work arrangements and seek legal advice where appropriate.Legal Disclaimer: This update is provided solely for the purposes of information, and should not be considered legal advice. It is always recommended to seek the advice of qualified legal counsel before taking action. […]

  • July 2018 US Jobs Report

    Event- On a seasonally adjusted basis, total nonfarm employment rose by 213,000 in June, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in its monthly jobs report. Temporary help services employment rose by 0.3% in June, adding 9,300 jobs, and the temporary penetration rate remained at 2.04%. The national unemployment rate ticked back up to 4.0%.Background and Analysis- On a year-over-year (y/y) basis (June 2018 over June 2017), total nonfarm employment was up 1.6%, and monthly job gains have averaged approximately 198,000 over the past 12 months. Temporary help employment was up 3.2% y/y, with monthly job gains averaging approximately 7,900 over the past 12 months.The economic sectors that most drove total nonfarm employment growth in June (on a seasonally adjusted basis) include professional services excluding temporary help (+40,700), manufacturing (+36,000) and healthcare and social assistance (+34,700). Retail trade was the only decliner (-21,600) and there was no change in the Information sector.BLS Revisions- The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for May was revised from +223,000 to +244,000 and the change for April was revised from +159,000 to +175,000. With these revisions, total nonfarm employment gains during the two-month period were 37,000 greater than previously reported.The change in temporary help services employment for May was revised from -7,800 to -4,700 and the change for April was revised from +9,200 to +17,800. With these revisions, temporary help employment growth was higher than previously reported by 11,700 jobs.Staffing Industry Analysts’ Perspective- This month’s jobs report was favorable, reflecting the improving economic backdrop and outlook. (The Conference Board’s latest projections of US GDP growth for Q3 and Q4 of this year are 3.5%, citing greater consumer and business confidence). Though this month makes the current economic expansion nine years old, it has been an expansion ranging from 1% GDP growth at times to the current 3%+ growth. While temporary staffing typically stalls out in the latter stages of an economic expansion, it also responds to substantial fluctuations within an expansion, adding 9,300 jobs last month for example. Though data can be choppy on a monthly basis, we would not be surprised to see temporary staffing continue to benefit from the favorable changes in the economy in the short-term as businesses adjust to greater demand, after which we expect the industry to cool to a slower pace more typical of the mature phase in an economic cycle.Though the unemployment rate ticked back up to 4.0% in June (from 3.8% in May), it was entirely driven by a welcome surge in the labor force of 601,000 people. As there currently are not many unemployed people left in the labor force, drawing people back into the labor force will be important for continued job growth. (The US labor participation rate last month for those 25-54 years old was 82.0%, up from below 81% in 2015, but below pre-recession levels of 83%.) The only news in this jobs report close to disappointing was that that y/y growth in hourly wages was unchanged from last month at 2.7%; we anticipate a small rise in response to inflation and a stronger economic backdrop.Members may download our jobs report tool by clicking the link below. Monthly Employment Situation July 2018 - You do not have permission to view this object. […]

  • Buyer Survey Americas IF 2018

    Key Findings: This report contains initial findings of the 2018 Workforce Solutions Buyer Survey, including survey questions and unanalyzed summary statistics. It represents the 13th annual such survey conducted by Staffing Industry Analysts. These findings are based on a survey conducted in May-June 2018, and reflect the opinions of respondents from 150 companies with contingent workforce programs or workforce solutions providers operating in the Americas region. A map defining the different regions appears on page 13. (Programs may or may not operate in other regions as well, but all programs included in this report have operations in the Americas region.) To qualify for the survey, companies were required to have 1,000 or more employees (not including contingent workers). Only one respondent per company was used. More detailed analyses of these survey responses will be released in separate reports. The full report can be downloaded by clicking the link below: WF Solutions Buyer Survey 2018 Americas Initial Findings 20180705 - You do not have permission to view this object. […]

  • In this report, we round up the legal developments affecting the workforce solutions ecosystem across the Middle East & Africa in Q2 2018:Saudi Arabia Anti-Harassment Law Comes into ForceUnited Arab Emirates Insurance Scheme Replaces Workers Guarantee; New Rules on Employment of UAE Nationals Legal Disclaimer: This update is provided solely for the purposes of information, and should not be considered legal advice. It is always recommended to seek the advice of qualified legal counsel before taking action.To download a pdf copy of this update click below: MiddleEastAfrica_LegalUpdate_Q2_20180716 - You do not have permission to view this object. Saudi Arabia Anti-Harassment Law Comes into ForceA new law, Decision 488 dated 14/9/1439H, came into force on 24 Ramadan 1439 H, equivalent to 8 June 2018. Whilst harassment has long been unlawful under Islamic Sharia principles in the Kingdom (which adopts the Hanbali school of Islamic Sharia law), this new law strengthens the position regarding harassment and sets out clear penalties for violation of its provisions. The new law is not restricted to women and applies to any individual regardless of gender. It aims to protect individuals from words, acts, implicit behaviour or innuendo of a sexual nature by one individual against another targeting that individual's body, modesty or personal life by any means including modern technology and communications.  The law aims to protect an individual's dignity, privacy and personal freedom in accordance with Islamic Sharia rules and regulationsAny individuals suffering or witnessing alleged harassment are under a duty to report the allegations.  Public authorities are also able to raise complaints in the public interest.  All organisations whether government or non-governmental and in particular within an employment context are under an obligation to take steps to prevent harassment occurring.In addition to any other potential penalty or punishment under general Islamic Sharia principles (which could include public lashing) or any other harsher punishment under other laws, penalties for breach of the law are: A 2 year prison sentence and/or a fine of SAR 100,000 (USD 26,630); A 5 year prison sentence and/or a fine of SAR 300,000 (USD 79,886) if the victim of the harassment is a child, a person of special needs, if the perpetrator was in a position of power or influence over the victim, if the harassment occurs at a place of work, education or child care, if the victim and the perpetrator are of the same sex, if the victim was sleeping or unconscious, or if the harassment occurs at a time of crisis, accident, or disaster. Any person aiding or assisting harassment will be liable to the same punishment as if he or she had been the perpetrator of the harassment. Any person making a false complaint of harassment is also liable to the same punishment as if they had perpetrated the harassment. A person initiating harassment will be liable to half the potential penalty imposed on the actual perpetrator of the harassment.In an employment context, employers are under an express obligation to: Put in place an internal complaints mechanism and procedure; Put in place procedures to investigate complaints validity as well as ensure their confidentiality; Take remedial action with regard to any breaches of these policies and the obligations under this law on employers; and Not seek to prevent or replace (e.g. through trying to replace the criminal process under the law with an internal process) a victim's right to raise a complaint to the authorities regarding any harassment. All businesses will now need to take steps to comply with the law. United Arab Emirates 1. Insurance Scheme Replaces Workers GuaranteeThe UAE Cabinet, on 18 June 2018, introduced a new insurance scheme for workers’ guarantees has been introduced. The previous mandatory deposit of AED 3,000 per worker (USD 816) is now replaced by a new insurance scheme that cost only AED 60 (USD 16) annually per worker.The newly created scheme allows businesses to recover approximately AED 14 billion (USD 3.8 biillon), representing the value of current guarantees paid by employers, and enhances the ease of doing business in the UAE.The new system aims to achieve a wider coverage of the rights and entitlements for the workers. The insurance policy covers the workers’ entitlements in terms of end of service benefits, vacation allowance, overtime allowance, unpaid wages, worker’s return ticket and cases of work injury, in which the insurance coverage amounts to AED 20,000 (USD 5,444) per worker.   2. New Rules on Employment of UAE NationalsTo further promote the policy of Emiratisation, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) has issued Ministerial Decree Number 212 of 2018 on Regulation of Employing Nationals in the Private Sector replacing earlier decrees which imposed restrictions on the termination of UAE nationals employed in the private sector and which set out the rules and procedures pertaining to the recruitment of UAE nationals.Uunemployed UAE nationals may apply for employment with any companies registered with the MoHRE. Once they are successful, the decree prescribes various rules which must be followed to successfully employ the UAE national. This includes the requirement to secure the usual work permit. Once issued, the MoHRE will issue the employee with an employment pack that will include, amongst other things, a Guide of the Rights and Obligations of Private Sector Workers.As part of the process, the decree provides for UAE national employees to be employed on a two-year employment contract (which may be renewed by mutual agreement) and for the MoHRE to make available to the UAE national training programmes relevant to his or her role and in line with market requirements. The MoHRE is also obliged to update the General Pension and Social Security Authority (GPSSA) with the employee's current employment status.While the new decree does not prevent an employer offering a UAE national employee an unlimited term contract, the decree appears to envisage that UAE nationals will be engaged for a minimum of two years on fixed term contracts and existing rules on initial and renewed fixed term contracts will apply.This new decree does not come into effect until it is published in the official gazette, which has not yet taken place. Clyde & Co provide further detail of the provisions of the new Decree. […]

  • Europe Legal Update Q2 2018

    In this report, we round up the legal developments affecting the workforce solutions ecosystem in Europe in Q2 2018:European Union EU Agrees Text of Revised Posted Workers Directive Limiting Employment after Statutory Retirement Age to a Fixed Term is not Discrimination Belgium: Decree Permits Temporary Workers for Public ServicesDenmark: Changes to the Danish Holiday Act in 2020France: Supreme Court Provides Broader Interpretation of the Use of Fixed Term ContractsGermany: Constitutional Court Confirms Ban on Fixed-Term Employment of Former EmployeesItaly: New Government Proposes Limits on Temporary WorkNetherlands: Reduction in Tax Facility for Foreign WorkersNorway: New Restrictions on Temporary WorkSlovakia: New Rules on Job AdvertisementsUK: Supreme Court Clarifies Substitution Rights in Pimlico Plumbers Case UK Government Consultation on Extending Off-Payroll Working Rules to Private Sector Changes to Pay Slips and Self-Employed NICs from April 2019 UK Data Protection Act 2018 In Force Legal Disclaimer: This update is provided solely for the purposes of information, and should not be considered legal advice. It is always recommended to seek the advice of qualified legal counsel before taking action.To download a pdf copy of this update click below: Europe_LegalUpdate_Q2_20180716 - You do not have permission to view this object. European Union 1. EU Agrees Text of Revised Posted Workers DirectiveOn 11 April 2018, the European Council agreed the text on the revision of the posting of workers directive with the European Parliament. The final adoption of the directive will come at a later stage, once the legislation has been voted in by the Parliament.The revised directive provides: Posted temporary workers will benefit from the same rules on remuneration as local workers in the member state to which the worker has been temporarily posted. After 12 months of a posting (with the possibility of a 6 months extension) the posted worker will be subject to most of the labour laws of the host country. Collective agreements can be applied to posted workers, not only in the construction sector as present, but in all sectors and branches. Temporary work agencies must guarantee posted workers the same terms and conditions which apply to temporary workers hired in the member state where the work is carried out.Member States will have two years to implement these rules after the entry into force of the directive. SIA will provide further details once the directive is finalised. 2. Limiting Employment after Statutory Retirement Age to a Fixed Term is not DiscriminationThe prohibition of discrimination on grounds of age in a European Directive does not prevent national law permitting an employer to limit the extension of an employee’s contract past the statutory retirement age to a fixed term. This was the ruling of the European Court of Justice (CJEU) in the German case of Hubertus John v Freie Hansestadt Bremen (C-46/17).The claimant was a teacher in Bremen who had reached the statutory retirement age and, according to the applicable collective bargaining agreement, his employment relationship with the city of Bremen would have ended with the achievement of the statutory retirement age. However, the parties agreed to continue the employment relationship beyond that date deferring the automatic termination of the employment relationship according to section 44 No. 4 of the collective bargaining agreement. The teacher then applied to defer the termination of the employment relationship further; however, this was declined and the teacher brought an action against the city of Bremen. His claim was on the grounds that a time limitation on the postponement of the end of the employment relationship was discriminatory on grounds of age or an abuse of European Directive 2000/78/EC establishing equal treatment for fixed term employees.The CJEU held it was not discriminatory and doubted whether a repeated postponement of the end of the employment relationship could be considered as successive fixed-term contracts rather than the contractual postponement of retirement age.UK employers cannot force employees to retire or set a retirement age unless it can be objectively justified as 'a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim'. However, it is still possible to extend the employment relationship by agreement. Belgium Decree Permits Temporary Workers for Public ServicesIn our Q1 Europe Legal Update we reported that the Council of Ministers had approved a Royal Decree permitting both federal administrations and autonomous public companies to use temporary agency workers. The Decree of 27 April 2018 was published on 16 May 2018 and permits Flemish public services and local authorities to use temporary agency workers for several purposes, principally: The temporary replacement of both civil servants and staff members under contract; A temporary increase of work; The performance of exceptional work. “Temp to perm” arrangements, allowing the employer to test the temporary worker, with the aim of offering permanent employment following a positive evaluation of their work, has been excluded from the scope of permitted temporary agency work.For each of the purposes for which temporary work is authorised, a maximum period of 12 months applies, including extensions. Employee representative organisations must be informed in advance of the employment of the temporary workers.According to Loyens and Loff, contracts with temporary agencies generally fall within the scope of the rules on public procurement. Therefore, authorities must in principle follow a tender procedure when awarding these contracts.The Decree regularises the use of temporary agency labour by public authorities which has long been a “grey” area. While this is to be welcomed it may also introduce restrictions, such as the continuing prohibition on temp to perm placements. Staffing agencies and public-sector employers should seek legal advice in relation to existing arrangements and the implications for their future workforce needs. Denmark Changes to the Danish Holiday Act in 2020From 1 September 2020, the new Danish Holiday Act enters into force changing the rules for accruing and taking holidays in Denmark. The purpose of the new rules is to ensure that all employees can take paid leave in the same year as they accrue the holiday, bringing Denmark in line with the rest of the European Union.The new Act will result in several substantial changes: Employees will accrue leave for the 12-month period from September 1 to August 31, and employees can take the accrued leave in a 16-month period starting from September 1 of the leave period until December 31 in the subsequent year. If the employee is prevented from taking holiday leave, then up to four weeks' holiday leave must be transferred to the next leave period. This differs from the current rules according to which untaken leave is paid out. The employer and the employee can agree to transfer any accrued and untaken holiday leave that exceeds four weeks. If this is not done by the end of the leave period, the leave will be paid out to the employee. Agreements on shortened notice require an individual arrangement. Thus, after the effective date of the new rules, contracts of employment may not contain a general provision regarding a shortened notice for holiday leave. Commencing 1 January 2019, there will be a transitional period from the old to the new regime. France Supreme Court Provides Broader Interpretation of the Use of Fixed Term ContractsUntil recently, the systematic use of fixed-term contract workers to deal with the "usual" absences of employees for annual leave, sick leave, etc. would lead to the re-characterisation of the fixed-term contract as a permanent contract of employment of indefinite duration [cass. soc. Nov. 13, 2008, No. 06-40060, BC V No. 212;]Applying the judgment of the European Court of Justice in a 2012 case, (CJEU 26 January 2012, Bianca Kücük v Land Nordrhein-Westfalen C-586/10) the Court of Cassation in a judgment of 14 February 2018 (Cass. soc., February 14, 2018, n ° 16-17.966) has held that an employer’s use of recurring fixed term contract employees or the use of a fixed term employee for a long period to replace absent employees does not automatically lead to the recharacterization of the fixed term contract as a contract of indefinite duration.In this case, an individual was engaged by an association as a service agent on a two-week fixed-term contract in 2010 to replace an employee who was on sick leave. After concluding two further replacement contracts in 2010 the individual was engaged on a total of 104 fixed term contracts between April 2011 and February 2014. The individual claimed that the fixed term contract was converted into a contract of indefinite duration according to the relevant provisions of the French Labour Code.According to Article L. 1242-1 of the Labor Code, the fixed-term contract, whatever its motive, cannot have the purpose or the effect of permanently providing a job related to the normal and permanent activity of the company. In addition, a fixed-term contract may be concluded for the replacement of an employee in the event of absence or suspension of the employment contract (Article L. 1242-2 of the Labor Code). Finally, according to Article L. 1244-1 of the Labor Code, if the employer wants to re-employ the same employee this is only permitted to replace an absent employee or an employee whose contract is suspended, for seasonal work, or work for which is it uncommon to enter into a permanent contract.The appellate court ruled in favour of the employee by holding that a company such as the association concerned, which has a large number of employees, is ordinarily faced with periods of holiday, illness, and maternity leave that necessitate replacement of absent employees for various occasional causes. The court said that the foreseeable and systematic use of the individual to provide replacement cover for the association’s employees over a three-year period constituted a full-time resource used to meet a structural need of the employer.  The Court of Cassation overturned the appellate court’s ruling on the basis of the CJEU judgment in the Kücük case on the Fixed-Term Work Directive (CJEU, 26 January 2012, n. 586 / o 10). The Court concluded that the reasons given by the Court of Appeal were "insufficient to characterize, in view of the nature of the successive jobs held by the employee and the structure of the membership of the association, that these contracts were intended to or for the purpose of permanently providing a job related to the normal and permanent activity of the association."While this judgement does not overturn the Labour Code, it does relax the interpretation of the use of fixed term contracts to cover recurring absences. Any employer engaging individuals on recurring fixed term contracts should take legal advice on the implications of this judgement. Germany Constitutional Court Confirms Ban on Fixed-Term Employment of Former EmployeesIn June 2018, the Federal Constitutional Court in Germany (Bundesverfassungsgericht) overruled a 2011 judgment of the Federal Labour Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht) that an employer could employ a former employee on a fixed-term contract, provided the employee had not been previously employed within a three-year period. The wording of the law simply prohibits fixed-term employment if the employee was “previously employed” with the same employer, and does not make reference to any threshold period.The legal framework for fixed-term employment contracts is set by the German Part-time and Fixed-term Employment Act (Teilzeit- und Befristungsgesetz,TzBfG). According to Section 14 paragraph 2 sentence 2 of the TzBfG, fixed term employment contracts will be null and void if the employee has been previously employed by the employer. This literally means that the employer may not employ someone on a fixed term if they have previously been employed at any time in the past, no matter how long ago. This rule has been criticized over the years and, in its 2011 decision the Federal Labour Court determined that the prohibition on previous employment only applied to previous employment within the last three years before the fixed-term contract commences.The Federal Constitutional Court held that setting a three-year threshold period is not the role of the judiciary but must be laid down by legislation. Therefore, the three-year threshold is invalid and cannot be used by employers to justify using a fixed term employment contract with former employees.This illustrates the current approach to employment rights in Germany, prioritizing the protection of employees above the need of employers for a flexible workplace. Any employer who has employed retirees or other former employees on fixed-term contracts within three years of prior employment with the same company must take legal advice on the implications of this decision. Italy New Government Proposes Limits on Temporary WorkIn a move aimed at increasing job security, Italy’s populist government approved a law on 2 July 2018 that increases limits on temporary contracts and penalises firms that move production offshore. The so-called ‘dignity decree’ still needs approval within the next 60 days by Parliament to become final.The draft law increases costs for firms that use temporary contracts, and reduces the number of times they can be renewed to a maximum of two years from three. This move reverses the reforms introduced by the Legislative Decree no. 81 of 2015 (the “Jobs Act”) which extended temporary contracts to 36 months. “With this decree we are seeking to demolish previous laws that increased job insecurity," Labour and Industry Minister and leader of the populist five-star movement Luigi Di Maio said. “We placed limits on the abuse of temporary contracts, and we increased penalties for unfair job dismissals.” Di Maio, who during his campaign promised to stop the abuse of temporary contracts, also said that the decree contains measures to help those who work in the gig economy, which he says is an emblem of the precarious work he has vowed to erase.The decree was criticised by trade association Confesercenti. “Changing the rules on temporary contracts is "a step backward" and may have "significant economic impact on businesses and negative fallout on employment," Confesercenti said in a statement. "It would be a hard blow to bear especially in the tourism and services sector, because the measure arrives when the summer season has already begun and will affect current contracts.”“I think it’s a mistake, you don’t increase work by making the rules more rigid,” Vincenzo Boccia, head of industry lobby Confindustria, told Reuters.ISTAT data showed that as of May 2018 there were least 3 million people on temporary work contracts and almost 15 million had permanent contracts.This move returns Italian law to the position which prevailed prior to the “Jobs Act” reforms introduced in 2015. Once the law receives Parliamentary approval employers and staffing agencies should take legal advice on the implications for existing contracts of a reduction in assignment length from 36 months to 24 months. Netherlands Reduction in Tax Facility for Foreign WorkersEmployees recruited from abroad to work in the Netherlands can apply for a 30% allowance facility if they enjoy an annual wage of at least EUR 37,296 (as of 2018) and fulfill certain additional criteria. The facility operates as a reimbursement for the additional expenses often incurred for their temporary residence in the Netherlands. The maximum applicable period for the 30% allowance facility (also called the 30% ruling) is currently 8 years but will be limited to 5 years as from 1 January 2019. The 5-year period will apply to both new and existing cases.Employers of workers in the Netherlands should make those individuals aware that the period of the allowance is being reduced, and should take advice on the steps necessary to manage this change. Norway New Restrictions on Temporary WorkNorway recently passed legislation requiring temp workers to be engaged on permanent contracts paid between assignments. This and other restrictions on temporary and fixed term work are likely to come into force on 1 January 2019.The amendments to the Working Environment Act passed on 4 June 2018 include: A new requirement for temporary workers to be hired on a continuous permanent contract of employment and paid between assignments. Zero hours contracts are banned. Restrictions on temporary work: Temporary employment may be entered into when work is temporary; as a substitute; apprenticeship; for up to 12 months subject to a cap of 15% of the employees; and subject to annual agreement with elected representatives. An agency worker will be deemed to have an indefinite employment with the client employer after temporary employment for 3 years. There should be a quarantine period of 12 months after a temporary worker is terminated before employing a new hire into that role. Staffing firms operating in Norway should take legal advice on converting existing temps onto the new permanent contract and the implications this will have for their business. Employers that engage agency workers should inform themselves of the legal restrictions and ensure they prepare for these changes to come into force. Slovakia New Rules on Job AdvertisementsTo make the recruitment process more transparent, the amended Labour Code introduces a new requirement for the advertising of job positions. As of 1 May 2018, job advertisements shall include information about the base salary offered. This requirement applies to all forms of advertisement including online advertising, posters or billboards. The agreed base salary in the employment contract with a successful candidate must not be lower than the one advertised.Employers may be fined up to approximately EUR 33,000 if the job advertisement does not include information about the base salary offered. If the base salary agreed in the labour contract is lower than the one advertised for the vacant position, the fine may reach up to EUR 100,000.In other changes to the Labour Code, Parliament introduced wage supplements for work performed at weekends and increases the supplements for work during night shifts. These increases are to be phased in gradually.Employers should now take account of the changes in the wording of all forms of job advertisement and ensure that he salary offered matches the salary advertised. UK 1. Supreme Court Clarifies Substitution Rights in Pimlico Plumbers CaseOn 13 June, the Supreme Court rejected an appeal by Pimlico Plumbers against a finding that a plumber, Mr. Smith, was a worker rather than an independent contractor, giving him rights to holiday pay and sick pay.The Court accepted that Mr. Smith was not an employee but considered that the tribunal had come to the correct conclusion in finding that he was a ‘worker’ in accordance with the definition in s230(3)(b) Employment Rights Act 1996. This defines a worker as an individual who has entered into or works under “any other contract…whereby the individual undertakes to …. perform personally any work or services for another party to the contract whose status is not by virtue of the contract that of a client or customer of any profession or business undertaking carried on by the individual….”The judgement was hailed in the media as a landmark judgment but the Court declined to provide a clear test for employment status and offered guidance only on the extent of the right of substitution and whether the recipient of the worker’s services is a client or customer. Pimlico Plumbers (PP) exerted a “substantial measure of control” over Mr. Smith’s work and overall the evidence pointed against PP being a client or customer of Mr. Smith. In giving the Supreme Court’s judgement, Lord Wilson said:“On the other hand, there were features of the contract which strongly militated against recognition of Pimlico as a client or customer of Mr Smith. Its tight control over him was reflected in its requirements that he should wear the branded Pimlico uniform; drive its branded van, to which Pimlico applied a tracker; carry its identity card; and closely follow the administrative instructions of its control room. The severe terms as to when and how much it was obliged to pay him, on which it relied, betrayed a grip on his economy inconsistent with his being a truly independent contractor. The contract made references to “wages”, “gross misconduct” and “dismissal”. Were these terms ill-considered lapses which shed light on its true nature? And then there was a suite of covenants restrictive of his working activities following termination.”Mr. Smith was also expected to provide his services personally and although he had a right to substitute another to do the work, that right was limited to another plumber engaged by PP. The Court held that just because someone can use an assistant on a job or bring in a specialist for part of it does not amount to substitution of personal performance.This decision does provide some pointers for companies wishing to present a seamless customer service model and exerting tight control over their brand image, such as Uber, whose own appeal against an employment status decision is due to be heard by the Court of Appeal in October. 2. UK Government Consultation on Extending Off-Payroll Working Rules to Private SectorOn 18 May 2018, the UK government announced a public consultation to look at tax avoidance in the private sector. The government claims evidence suggests that the taxpayer could be missing up to £1.2bn a year by 2023 as a result of people getting the rules wrong, and incorrectly paying tax as if they were self-employed.HMRC’s preferred option is to extend the rules that apply in the public sector to the private sector as they have evidence from independent research that the public-sector reforms have been largely successful in tackling non-compliance in relation to public-sector engagements of PSC contractors. Since 6 April 2017, where contractors are engaged through their own personal service limited company (PSC) by public-sector bodies, responsibility for correctly applying the IR35 rules falls on the public-sector body engaging the PSC. If the contractor is deemed to be an employee for tax purposes the public-sector body, an agency or other third party paying the contractor’s company (the “fee payer”) is required to deduct and pay to the tax authority (HMRC) any income tax and National Insurance contributions from payments made to the PSC that should have been classed as employment income.PAYE data covering the first ten months of the reforms, from April 2017 to February 2018, indicates that an additional 58,000 individuals working in the public sector are paying PAYE and NICs than in previous periods. In light of this evidence showing the apparent success of the public-sector reforms, it seems likely that the rules will be extended to the private sector from the start of the next financial year. Staffing firms and employers should therefore take steps to review their workforce and consider the implications of such a move for their businesses and the contractors they currently employ.For further information on IR35, the public-sector off-payroll working rules and the consultation, SIA members should refer to the SIA report IR35 and Off-Payroll Working Rules: An Overview. The consultation closes on 10 August 2018. 3. Changes to Pay Slips and Self-Employed NICs from April 2019From April 2019 employers will be required to include on employees’ payslips the number of hours worked by the employee for which they are being paid, but only in situations where the employee’s pay varies as a consequence of the time worked. Employment Rights Act 1996 (Itemised Pay Statement) (Amendment) Order 2018 (SI 2018/147) was laid before parliament on 8 February 2018 and comes into force on 6 April 2019. The amendments made by this Order do not apply in relation to wages or salary paid in respect of a period of work which commences before the Order comes into force.Also from 6 April 2019, Class 2 National Insurance contributions will be abolished and Class 4 contributions will be reformed to include a new threshold (to be called the Small Profits Limit).Self-employed workers, i.e. freelancers who provide services other than through a corporate entity or a partnership, currently (2018 to 2019) pay 2 types of National Insurance: Class 2 if profits, after deduction of expenses, are £6,205 or more a year: £2.95 per week Class 4 if profits are between £8,424 (lower profits limit) and £46,350 (upper profits limit) a year: 9% Class 4 if profits are above £46,350 (upper profits limit) a year: 2% Class 2 NICs are flat-rate weekly contributions paid by the self-employed to gain access to contributory benefits. Class 4 NICs do not currently give access to contributory benefits.After abolition, those with profits between the Small Profits Limit and Lower Profits Limit will not be liable to pay Class 4 contributions but will be treated as if they have paid Class 4 contributions for the purposes of gaining access to contributory benefits. All those with profits at or above the Class 4 Small Profits Limit will gain access to the new State Pension, contributory Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Bereavement Benefit. Those with profits above the Lower Profits Limit will continue to pay Class 4 contributions. 4. UK Data Protection Act 2018 In ForceThe UK's third generation of data protection law received Royal Assent with its main provisions coming into force on 25 May 2018 to coincide with the effective date of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Although the GDPR had direct force and effect in the UK according to EU law, EU member states were entitled to derogate from the GDPR in some respects. In the case of the UK, the government passed the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018) with the aim of modernising data protection laws and ensuring they are effective in the years to come post-Brexit. However, this means that the GDPR and the DPA 2018 must be read side by side to understand the applicable law in the UK.The DPA goes beyond GDPR in that it covers national security and allows employers to carry out criminal records checks when recruiting for roles other than those where a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check is required.According to XpertHR, the Act allows employers to process criminal convictions data where necessary for the purposes of performing or exercising employment law obligations or rights. To carry out such processing, an employer would have to have in place a policy that explains its procedures for securing compliance with the principles of the GDPR in relation to the processing of the criminal records data, and that explains its policies on erasure and retention of the data. The Act also authorises processing criminal records data in other circumstances, including where the subject has given his or her consent. This would allow employers to request a criminal records check where the prospective employee agrees to this, provided that the consent meets the specific requirements under the GDPR.The UK Information Commissioners’ Office (ICO) is developing updated guidance to the DPA 2018. Employers should refer to the ICO website for further information on the DPA 2018. SIA has published two reports on GDPR, entitled Implementing GDPR: A Guide and GDPR: Frequently Asked Questions. Legal Disclaimer: This update is provided solely for the purposes of information, and should not be considered legal advice. It is always recommended to seek the advice of qualified legal counsel before taking action. […]

  • UK Statutory Expenses Tool

    IntroductionThis workbook contains UK statutory expense rates and benchmark data for 2010 to 2018. The Dashboard allows you to examine rates and benchmarks, as well as perform scenario analysis to calculate statutory expenses (£) for various wage levels. The second and third tabs contain graphs showing the trend in Minimum Wages (Min Wages) and National Insurance threshold (NIC threshold). The remaining tabs contain background data on temporary agency workers (TAW), their 12 Week Qualifying Period (12 week), information about paid holidays and statutory benefit.To download the workbook, please select the link below: UK Statutory Expense Tool 20180716 - You do not have permission to view this object. […]

  • Largest Staffing Firms in Italy

    • This report provides our latest estimate of the size of the Italian staffing market and ranks the largest staffing firms by revenue.• Adecco is the leader in a consolidated market responsible for 16% of the entire Italian staffing market. The top 3 companies combined revenue accounts for 41% of the entire market.• Although the top three staffing firms are not domestic, Italian staffing firms dominate the rest of the Top 50.• The Italian staffing market continued to grow favourably in 2017 (+24%).• Please note that we have ranked companies by revenue, according to industry custom, but this ranking should not be taken to imply that a firm with a higher rank provides a better service or more value to its shareholders. All currency amounts are in Euro (€).To download a copy of the report, click below: Largest Staffing Firms in Italy - You do not have permission to view this object. […]

  • Asia Pacific Legal Update Q2 2018

    In this report, we round up the legal developments affecting the workforce solutions ecosystem across the Asia Pacific region in Q2 2018:Australia: Minimum Wage Increase 1 July 2018; South Australia Postpones Labour Hire Licensing Scheme; New Long Service Leave and Portable Benefits for Victoria Employees Hong Kong: Amended Rules on Employment AgenciesJapan: Government Passes Reform on Overtime and Atypical Working ConditionsNew Zealand: Labour Hire Contractors Found to be Employees of the End-UserPhilippines: Bill Proposes Limiting Fixed-Term Employment and Labour-Only SubcontractingSingapore: Employment Act Changes from 1 July 2018; Tripartite Standard on Contracting with Self-Employed Legal Disclaimer: This update is provided solely for the purposes of information, and should not be considered legal advice. It is always recommended to seek the advice of qualified legal counsel before taking action.To download a pdf copy of this update click below: AsiaPacific_LegalUpdate_Q2_20180716 - You do not have permission to view this object. Australia 1. Minimum Wage Increase 1 July 2018On 1 June 2018, the Fair Work Commission increased the minimum wage by 3.5 percent or AUD 24.30 (USD 18.11) per week. The new weekly minimum wage will be AUD 719.20 per week (USD 536.23) or AUD 18.93 per hour (USD 14.11). The changes will come into effect on 1 July 2018. 2. South Australia Postpones Labour Hire Licensing SchemeThe new labour hire licensing law in South Australia commenced on 1 March 2018 and requires all providers to apply for a licence before 31 August 2018 to be compliant with the new scheme. However, the State Government received submissions from stakeholders raising various issues in relation to the labour hire licensing scheme. To enable proper consideration of the submissions received and to allow sufficient time for the issues raised to be appropriately addressed, the Government has advised that the Consumer and Business Services (CBS) department will not enforce the licensing requirements prior to 1 February 2019. To obtain a licence in South Australia, businesses must show that they are fit and proper to be a licence holder; and have sufficient financial resources to carry on the business properly under the licence. In addition to the application fee, businesses must pay an annual fee of AUD 1,200 (USD 895).The maximum penalty for a business providing or engaging in unlicensed labour hire services is AUD 400,000 (USD 300,000). Penalties may also apply where businesses attempt to enter into arrangements designed to circumvent the obligations; or provide officials with false or misleading information about their contracting arrangements.Labour hire businesses in South Australia are advised to postpone seeking a licence until further information is available from CBS.Herbert Smith Freehills provides an update on some of the other developments in Australia’s labour hire licensing laws. 3. New Long Service Leave and Portable Benefits for Victoria EmployeesOn 8 May 2018 the Victorian Parliament passed the Long Service Leave Bill 2017 (Vic) which will commence by 1 November 2018.The Long Service Leave Act 2018 (Vic) will allow employees to apply to take long service leave after seven years’ service. Any period of paid parental leave, and up to 12 months of unpaid parental leave, will count towards an employee’s length of continuous service, and no amount of parental leave will break continuity of service. However, the rate at which long service leave accrues under the new Act will not change.These changes will impact all employees in Victoria, unless they are specifically excluded from the operation of the Act. The changes will apply to any requests to take long service leave after the commencement of the Act (being no later than 1 November 2018).In addition, the Victorian Government introduced the Long Service Benefits Portability Bill 2018 (Vic) on 27 March 2018. The Bill passed the Legislative Assembly and was debated in the Legislative Council on 9 May 2018. The proposed commencement date is 1 April 2019.The Bill seeks to provide long service leave entitlements to workers in the contract cleaning, community services and securities industries, who perform essentially the same role under various contracts after working for seven years, irrespective of the number of employers that the individual works for over that time.Employers in these industries will be required to register themselves and their employees and contractors with a new Portable Long Service Benefits Authority, which will manage the scheme. Employers will pay a levy based on the ‘ordinary pay’ of each employee to finance the payment of entitlements.Herbert Smith Freehills provides further information on these developments. Hong Kong Amended Rules on Employment AgenciesOn 9 February 2018, the government amended Part 12 of the Employment Ordinance on Employment Agencies and the Employment Agency Regulations. The amendments increase the maximum penalty for overcharging commission from job-seekers and for operating an unlicensed employment agency from HKD 50,000 (USD 6,370) to HKD 350,000 (USD 44,590) and imprisonment for three years. The offence of overcharging is not only limited to the licensee, but also includes the recruitment agency’s associates (including any director, manager, or employee of a licensee).The amendment introduces new grounds for the Commissioner for Labour to refuse an issuance or renewal, or to revoke a licence where the licensee has been non-compliant with the Code of Practice for Employment Agencies. Japan Government Passes Reform on Overtime and Atypical Working ConditionsThe Japanese government has passed a Bill for Legislation for Promotion of Work Style Reform. the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare will prepare the draft legislation. Some of the key provisions are as follows: Limits on Overtime: In principle, overtime will be limited to 45 hours per month and 360 hours per year. Even in special circumstances where certain exceptions apply, overtime must be less than 100 hours a month, the monthly overtime average over multiple months may not exceed 80 hours, and annual overtime must not exceed 720 hours. Establishing a Sophisticated Professional System: This system would exempt individuals engaged in specialised work from regulations on working hours, and would strengthen measures for the protection of employee health. For example, this would provide employees with at least 104 days of holiday.  Securing Fair Working Conditions Regardless of Employment Type: This will aim to further eliminate some of the “unreasonable” differences of benefits offered in the terms and conditions of regular employees and those of part-time employees, fixed-term employees, and dispatched employees. On this last proposal, two recent cases illustrate the disparity that often exists between regular employees and these atypical workers. On 1 June 2018, the Supreme Court ruled that Article 20 of Japan’s Labour Contract Law prohibits irrational or unreasonable discrimination based on employment status, i.e., against those on fixed-term rather than permanent employment contracts. Article 20 does not require equal treatment but prohibits irrational disparity that is not related to the type of work, the level of responsibility or other reasonable circumstances.It is anticipated that some provisions of the legislation will be effective from 1 April 2019. New Zealand  Labour Hire Contractors Found to be Employees of the End-UserIn Prasad v LSG Sky Chefs New Zealand Limited, the Auckland Employment Court addressed a claim that two workers engaged as independent contractors through a labour hire agency were actually employed by the end-user company.The Court concluded that the workers were employed by the end-user, on the basis that there was non-existent or unclear contractual documentation about the relationship between the parties, there was a significant degree of control by the end-user company over the workers, and the work was for an indefinite period. In deciding this issue, the Court looked at the “real nature” of the relationship between the workers and end-user company and how this operated in practice. The Court concluded that the contracts were poorly drafted, and the workers were “steam-rolled into signing a document which they had no real understanding of”. The Court also found that the relationship was more analogous with an employer-employee relationship than independent contractors. For example, the workers worked solely for the end-user company, had little control over when, how or what work they did, wore the uniforms of the end-user company, and complied with the end-user’s practice of filling out time sheets. The Court compared the workers with employees directly employed by the end-user company, and found little distinction between the two in practice.The Court, in its judgement stated: “A labour-hire agreement does not represent an impenetrable shield to a claim that the “host” is engaging the worker under a contract of service. Much will depend on the facts of the individual case and an analysis of the real nature of the relationship, including how it operated in practice. That is, of course, nothing more than a simple statement of the way in which s 6 [Employment Relations Act 2000] is intended by the Legislature to operate.”In line with the current trend in other countries, the New Zealand Employment Court took a “substance over form” approach in this decision and demonstrated that workers will not automatically be considered independent contractors because of the label given to them. Instead, this depends on the merits of each case and will be highly factual. This decision also emphasises the importance of ensuring an unambiguous and properly drafted agreement is in place between the workers and the agency employer, to clearly document the agreement between all the parties. Philippines Bill Proposes Limiting Fixed-Term Employment and Labour-Only SubcontractingEarlier this year the House of Representatives approved a bill that would amend the existing Labour Code to ban fixed-term contracts aimed at stopping the abuse of workers’ rights. House Bill 6908, entitled "An Act Strengthening the Security of Tenure of Workers, Amending for the Purpose Presidential Decree No. 442, as amended, otherwise known as the Labour Code of the Philippines" would also restrict the use of labour-only subcontracting. The bill is yet to be approved by the Senate.If passed into law, the measure would ban the use of fixed-term contracts to end a practice known as “endo” or “end-of-contract”. This is where an employer hires an employee on successive five-month contracts to bypass the law which deems employment to be regular after six months’ probation. Fixed-term employment would be prohibited, except in the cases of employing overseas Filipino workers, workers on probation, temporary replacements of permanent employees who are absent, seasonal workers and workers engaged for a specific project to be determined by the employer upon hiring.It provides that the rights and benefits of such fixed-term employees shall be on a par with regular employees. A probationary employee who has rendered at least one month of service would be entitled to a termination payment of 1/2 month's salary.Among the key provisions of HB 6908 is a prohibition on labour-only subcontracting under Article 106 of the Labor Code. This is defined as being the provision of labour by a contractor when any of the following is present: the contractor does not have substantial capital or investment in the form of tools, equipment, machineries, work premises etc.; the contractor has no control over the workers' methods and means of accomplishing their work; the contractor's workers are performing activities which are directly related to the principal business of the employer. The legal framework for this already exists but has not been fully implemented before now.In addition, the bill would require all persons or entities operating as job contractors to obtain a license from the Department of Labour and Employment. The amendments would also impose heavier penalties on employers who violate their workers' right to security of tenure: PHP 30,000 (USD 600) for a person or entity operating as a job contractor without a license, as long as the person or entity does not commit other violations in the code; A fine of PHP 30,000 (USD 600) for those unlicensed contractors who practice labour-only contracting per employee, with the fine not exceeding PHP 5 million (USD 93,250). The person or entity shall also be barred from applying for future licenses; A PHP 30,000 (USD 600) fine per employee for licensed contractors practicing labour-only contracting. Their license will also be revoked; A PHP 30,000 (USD 600) fine per employee for persons or entities that engages fixed-term employees, with the fine not exceeding PHP 5 million (USD 93,250). The measure would deem illegal dismissal "without just or authorized cause or without observance of procedural due process." A worker is entitled to reinstatement pending appeal and should not lose existing seniority rights and privileges, benefits, back wages, and the like.It has been said that a ban on fixed-term contracts to cure the abuse of these contracts by employers is like “curing a headache by lopping off the head”. There is resistance from employers and some have argued there should be better enforcement of existing rules. The bill is yet to be passed by the Senate so it is unclear whether this measure will be passed in its proposed form. If it is, employers and staffing agencies should take legal advice as to the impact of these two provisions on existing and future staffing arrangements. Singapore 1. Employment Act Changes from 1 July 2018Singapore’s Employment Act (“EA”) has undergone its first comprehensive review since 2012 providing a significant overhaul to Singapore’s employment law landscape.The key changes include: Widening the scope of the EA to apply to all employees regardless of salary levels. It is expected the EA will offer protection to professionals, managers and executives who have not previously been covered giving rights to paid sick leave, overtime and other benefits. An increase in the salary cap for non-workmen i.e. white-collar workers, from SGD 2,500 (USD 1,835) to SGD 2,600 (USD 1,910). This will mean more workers are entitled to protection over hours of work and rest days. An extension of the right to annual leave to all employees. Extending the Fair Consideration Framework (i.e. guidelines governing the fair consideration of Singaporeans for all job opportunities) which applies to all companies in Singapore. At present, employers with more than 25 employees and jobs which pay a fixed salary of more than SGD 12,000 (USD 8,816) per month are exempt from the framework. With effect from 1 July 2018, the Fair Consideration Framework will apply to all employers with at least 10 workers and for jobs paying less than SGD 15,000 (USD 11,000) per month. Increase in minimum qualifying salary for S Pass holders (mid-level skilled foreigners) – There will be an increase in the minimum qualifying monthly salary for S Pass Holders from SGD 2,200 (USD 1,616) to SGD 2,400 (USD 1,763) in two (2) phases: increase to SGD 2,300 (USD 1,690) (effective 1 January 2019) increase to SGD 2,400 (effective 1 January 2020). The majority of these changes are expected to come into force on 1 April 2019. 2. Tripartite Standard on Contracting with Self-EmployedIn February 2018, the Tripartite Workgroup (TWG), formed in 2017 to identify common challenges faced by self-employed persons (SEPs) and develop recommendations to address these challenges, submitted its report to the Government. As a result of its recommendations a Tripartite Standard on Contracting with Self-Employed Persons has been developed.SEPs refer to persons who operate their own trade or business. Those who do not employ any paid workers and are not contributing family members are also known as “own account workers”, “freelancers” or “independent contractors”.The Tripartite Standard is aimed at providing a non-binding set of guidelines or best practices for businesses to engage SEPs or freelance services. For example, specific key terms of engagement are to be agreed with any SEPs and set out in writing before any production or services are delivered.Businesses that adopt the Tripartite Standard can use its logomark in their corporate and marketing collateral to distinguish themselves and allow SEPs to easily identify service-buyers and intermediaries that follow best practice. Legal Disclaimer: This update is provided solely for the purposes of information, and should not be considered legal advice. It is always recommended to seek the advice of qualified legal counsel before taking action. […]

  • Buyer Survey APAC IF 2018

    Key Findings: This report contains initial findings of the 2018 Workforce Solutions Buyer Survey, including survey questions and unanalyzed summary statistics. These findings are based on a survey conducted in May-June 2018, and reflect the opinions of respondents from 50 companies with contingent workforce programs or workforce solutions providers operating in the APAC (Asia/Pacific) region. A map defining the different regions appears on page 13. (Programs may or may not operate in other regions as well, but all programs included in this report have operations in the APAC region.) To qualify for the survey, companies were required to have 1,000 or more employees (not including contingent workers). Only one respondent per company was used. More detailed analyses of these survey responses will be released in separate reports. The full report can be downloaded by clicking the link below: WF Solutions Buyer Survey 2018 APAC Initial Findings 20180705 - You do not have permission to view this object. […]

  • Salary Guide for Australia

    Most awards (set of negotiated and standardised rules governing how companies employ workers, including rates of pay and working conditions), enterprise agreements or registered agreements will set out when employees must be paid (weekly, fortnightly or monthly). If they do not, employees must be paid at least monthly. They cannot be 'paid-in-kind' (for example, with goods such as food)According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), average weekly earnings (AWE) grew by 2.4% to $1,191.50 in the 12 months to November 2017, accelerating from the 1.6% increase seen in the year to August. The AWE report measures the total taxable gross weekly earnings of all Australian workers divided by the total number of workers. A breakdown of weekly wages by sector, by sex, by state and by industry are available from the ABS.  There are currently three categories of minimum wage: 1) award minimum wages, which are industry-specific 2) the national minimum wage, which is used as a “safety net” and is of general application to all industries and occupations; 3) the special national minimum wage, which applies to specified categories of vulnerable workers, like junior employees, trainees and employees with a disability. Minimum wages are calculated on an hourly and weekly basis. Working hours of full-time employees should not be more than 38 hours per week. However, it can be less for part-time workers.In June, the Fair Work Commission set an increase to the national minimum wage and modern award minimum wage rates of +3.5%. Australia's minimum wage will increase by AUD 0.64 per hour to AUD 18.93 (USD 13.90) per hour or AUD 719.20 (USD 528.43) per week. This exceeds last year's increase of 3.3% The increases will be effective from the first full pay period on or after 1 July 2018. Casual workers are entitled to an additional 25% loading, for foregoing full-time benefits including annual leave. Their wages will be based on the wage entitlement of the award for the workplace in which the host requires them to work.Those employees covered by a modern award (or enterprise award) are entitled to be paid at least the minimum wage set out in that award. The wages of approximately 22.7% of all employees in Australia are determined by a modern award. The Fair Work Commission's decision will, therefore, affect a significant number of businesses in Australia.Below is a compilation of Australian salary guides, which provide more exact figures based on industry, experience, and function. In some cases, the reports are available online and others you can download them, either directly or after filling in a short form.Adecco Australia 2018 Salary Guide - Data for Australia by sectors: Accounting & Finance, Sales, Marketing & Events, Government, Education and Engineering including regional differencesAustralian Salaries – Online salary database with over 80,000 contributions in salary database.Frontline Recruitment Group – Offers detailed salary data on the retail sector.Greythorn – Provides salary information on IT roles and specialisation including IT Security, DevOps, Project Management and Software development.Hays Salary Guide - Data by profession sectors covered include Banking, Engineering, Finance, IT, Insurance, Life Sciences, Oil & Gas and Sales and Marketing.Hudson Australia 2018 Salary Guides - Hudson surveyed organisations across Australia to find out how much they are paying to attract and fill roles across a range of specialist areas including Analytics, HR and Risk & Compliance.Kelly 2018 Australia and New Zealand Salary Guide – Kelly provides a detailed look at salary levels across a range of roles in key sectors including Office Clerical, Industrial and Accounting & Finance and provides a location by location overview of the trends in Australian and New Zealand employment markets.Mahlab – Comprehensive insight for employers and professionals into Australia’s legal industry including remuneration tables.Michael Page Australia 2018 Benchmark Report - Annual guide to salaries in Australia by sector including Engineering and Marketing/Creative, helping to ensure that employers in line with average salary benchmarks and market rates. Morgan McKinley 2018 Salary Guide - The 2018 Salary Guide includes the following disciplines: Accounting & Finance, Analytics, Business Analysis, Compliance, Strategy, Innovation, Government, IT, Risk Management and Project & Change Management.Peoplebank Salary Guide Australia – Report provides national and state market outlooks on IT & digital salaries and hiring intentions.Robert Half 2018 Australian Salary Guide -  Report provides an extensive overview of industry salaries for finance, accounting, technology, and administration and office support professionals.Talent International – The guide provides a detailed salary information for contract and permanent tech positions across Australia and New Zealand.Taylor Root - Annual salary guides for the legal/compliance, banking and financial services sectors in AustraliaThe Creative Store – Offers detailed salary data of creative sector.If you have a resource you would like to see listed here; please contact Matt Norton. For further information, please refer to SIA’s A Look at the Australian Contingent Market Report and Overview of the Australian Market.&nbs […]

  • Directory of Suppliers to Staffing Firms - June 2018

    This report identifies and categorizes specialist suppliers to staffing firms globally. With 23 different categories ranging from advisors & consultants to payroll funding and back office,with approximately 900 vendors spanning over 60 countries.The Directory provides a comprehensive range of solutions and services that staffing firms may require to operate their businesses more efficiently and more effectively. Directory of Suppliers to Staffing Firms 2018 - June Update - You do not have permission to view this object. […]