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In light of the coronavirus outbreak in China, President Trump issued a Presidential Proclamation limiting the entry of most foreign nationals who were physically present in China during the 14-day period before their attempted entry into the United States. This travel restriction took effect at 5:00 PM ET on February 2. Below are details for employers to understand your obligations and best practices during this time.

The European Court of Justice recently held that EU member states must require employers to set up an “objective, reliable, and accessible system” to measure each worker’s daily working hours in order to satisfy the Working Time Directive. In the 2019 case brought from Spain, the ECJ held that employers must establish systems that accurately record every employee’s working hours in order to make sure they are working within the legal limits.

To tackle the karoshi (“death by overwork”) problem, Japan enacted the Workstyle Reform Act in June 2018. The Act requires employers to implement specific measures to limit employees’ working hours and create a healthier and more flexible work environment. The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare has set different compliance deadlines ranging from April 1, 2019 to April 1, 2023 for different requirements of the Act. This staggered schedule gives employers sufficient time to amend their work rules and put compliance mechanisms in place. The compliance deadlines also depend on the size of the employer as defined below.    

Following the conclusion of Pride Month, it seems only fitting to address a relevant outcome in the cross-border context, which also has an impact on global employers and their employee benefits offerings. In, Leung Chun Kwong v Secretary for the Civil Service and Commissioner of Inland Revenue [2019] HKCFA 19, the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal (“CFA”) – Hong Kong’s highest court – held that same-sex couples who are legally married overseas, in jurisdictions where same-sex marriage is recognized, such as the U.S. (same-sex marriage is not currently legally recognized in Hong Kong) are entitled to the same spousal employment and tax benefits enjoyed by heterosexual married couples in Hong Kong.

UK employers entering into non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) as part of their sexual harassment or discrimination settlements will begin to find the scope of their NDAs significantly limited.  This article focuses on the latest development in the UK, but an increasing number of other jurisdictions are also beginning to adopt similar requirements.

Singapore is sitting on a demographic time bomb. According to UN projections, nearly half (47%) of the country’s population will be 65 years or older by 2050 and the median age is expected to grow from 40 years old in 2015 to 52.8 years old by 2050. Singapore’s aging workforce, coupled with the ultra-low birth rate of 1.2 child per woman, means that an increasing number of employers now need to keep their senior employees around for longer. To combat this “profound” problem, as described by the country’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, the government enacted the Retirement and Re-employment Act (“RRA”) in 2012 and revised it in 2017 to expand the covered group.

Federal immigration authorities just announced that they will continue the ongoing suspension of premium processing for cap-subject H1B petitions, contravening earlier assertions that premium processing would be available starting mid-September. In the August 29 announcement made by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the agency also announced that it will expand the suspension to include additional H1B petitions, continuing through an estimated date of February 19, 2019.

In response to increasing media reports of “karoshi” (employee death due to overwork), Japan has made some major changes to its Labor Standards Act of 1947. Under a recent amendment to the Act, which goes into effect for large employers in April 2019 and a year later for small- and medium-sized companies, overtime for most employees will be capped at less than 100 hours per month, and less than a total of 720 hours per year. 

Were you one of the lucky few to “win” one of the 85,000 H-1B visa numbers in this year’s random selection process held by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) lottery? The USCIS held its annual lottery drawing on April 11, 2018 to pick the congressionally mandated 65,000 Bachelor’s cap and 20,000 Master’s cap petitions that will be processed this year for the 2019 fiscal year. The agency will begin sending out receipt notices for the selected petitions.  As in years past, the USCIS will reject and return all unselected petitions with the uncashed filing fee checks.   

Fisher Phillips attorneys had the pleasure and privilege of presenting with Jingo Lu, Esquire, a lawyer from China, at a recent International Employers Forum event in Washington D.C.  Jingbo kindly accepted our invitation to answer some of questions about employment relationships in China. More particularly, we will delve into how employment relationships may be legally terminated in China, a jurisdiction that requires employers to have cause to terminate an employee.

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