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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.

The national and international spotlight on pay equity is getting brighter by the day.  By way of illustration, this post explores two laws that took effect on January 1, 2018, one in California and one in Iceland, and a wage equity ordinance in Philadelphia that is currently being challenged on constitutional grounds.  These are just examples of the much larger trend at the local and state level in the United States, as demonstrated by the Fisher Phillips Pay Equity Map. This trend can be seen around the world as more countries introduce some form of pay equity measures.  Overall, the major question that all companies should be

In late September, my colleague, Brian Ellixson, published a post concerning the start of a power swing, from France’s historically employee-friendly labor regime to a somewhat more employer-friendly system. Indeed, although French employment law still largely favors employees over employers, we are already seeing the beginnings of a potential sea change in the French labor market, both in the context of employer’s reliance on the new labor reforms and the resulting prospects of large-scale growth in the labor market.

Tags: France

Yesterday, IG Metall, Germany’s largest metal union, entered into an agreement with employers in the state of Baden-Württemberg that allows for a 28-hour work week for its members.  The two-year deal covers 900,000 employees in the metals and electrical industries in the southwestern state that is home to such prominent employers as Daimler AG and Robert Bosch GmbH.

Tags: Germany

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and partner Clark Gayford are expecting their first child in June 2018, just shy of the July 1 effective date of a new law extending the period of paid parental leave from 18 to 22 weeks. The Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill, passed on November 30, 2017 extends the period of paid parental leave from 18 to 26 weeks by July 1, 2020. The government’s expressed aim is to support working families, reduce financial stress, and to allow for more bonding time for care givers who are not in a position to take any unpaid leave.

When a US company decides to hire an employee in another country the question of whether to send the applicant an offer letter inevitably arises. Sending an offer letter prior to the final contract is normal practice in the US.  But this is not the case in other jurisdictions, and for good reason. 

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