Worldwide: Employment International Newsletter - October 2015

Last Updated: 23 October 2015
Article by Clyde & Co LLP

In this edition, from the UK we cover significant developments for UK employers, and have updates from Hong Kong, India, Qatar and the UAE on a variety of issues. From our international alliance partners L&E Global, we have an update from the U.S. and highlights from Europe.

Employment "at a glance" guide – Singapore

The employment landscape in Singapore used to be pretty static. However, the last two years have seen an enhancement of employee protection in Singapore. The Employment Act (Cap. 91) of Singapore generally covers employees (regardless of nationality) who are under a contract of service with an employer, other than seamen, domestic workers, government employees or any person employed in a managerial or an executive position earning more than SGD 4,500 per month (EA Employees). Those employees who do not fall within the scope of the Act (Non-EA Employees) enjoy certain limited protections under other legislation. However, their employment terms and conditions are principally governed by their employment contracts.

Europe: Highlights from Germany, Sweden and Switzerland

Specialists in employment law at Pusch Wahlig Legal, Hamilton and Humbert Heinzen Lerch, member firms of L&E Global, summarise some significant court decisions and developments

Hong Kong: Call for alignment of statutory and general holidays

Simon McConnell, Partner and Michelle Lai, Associate in Clyde & Co's Hong Kong office report on the proposals to change holiday entitlements.

Recently, the Hong Kong Government has been engaged in discussions into increasing the number of statutory holidays from 12 to 17 days, to match general or public holidays. This proposal is aimed at removing the disparity in the holiday entitlements of blue-collar workers and office workers, which could be regarded as unfair and discriminatory against blue-collar workers.

India: Providing a safe working environment for women employees

Vikram Bhargava, Associate Partner and Priyanka Anand, Associate in Clyde & Co Clasis India office report on the new law on the prevention and prohibition of, and redress for, sexual harassment of women in the workplace

The principle of gender equality is enshrined in the Indian Constitution and the Fundamental Rights, amongst others, ensure equality and equal protection, prohibiting discrimination on the grounds of sex, and thereby providing equality of opportunity to all citizens in matters relating to employment. The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act 2013 has been introduced to uphold the Constitutional mandate and to protect women from sexual harassment at work.

Qatar: a new rule about salary payments

Emma Higham, Legal Director and Yasser Shabbir, Associate based in Clyde & Co's Doha office report on the new system for salary payments.

Until recently, salaries and any other sums payable to employees under their contract of employment were paid to an employees' account at a bank agreed by the parties, or to an agent appointed by the employee. However, this is being changed so that payment will have to be made directly from the employer's local Qatari account into a Qatari account in the name of the employee.

Singapore: Team moves – are they so wrong?

Julia Yeo, Legal Director in Clyde & Co's Singapore office comments on a recent decision involving issues around a team move.

Team moves have always been a tricky area for employers. While it makes good commercial sense to recruit an existing team with a proven collective track record from a competitor, it invariably invites a strong reaction from the competitor in the form of legal claims for damages and injunctions to prevent the hiring of the team.

UAE – New law on discrimination and hatred: What every employer needs to know

In this article, Rebecca Ford and Sara Khoja partners in Clyde & Co's Dubai office consider the key rules and the potential impact of the new legislation, and implications for employers.

On 20 July 2015, the UAE announced its adoption of a new  Federal law on preventing discrimination and hatred. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, announced that the law "guarantees the freedom of  individuals from religious intolerance... and underpins the UAE's policy of inclusiveness." The new legislation is a significant  development in the UAE and has been widely welcomed.

UK: Five significant developments for UK employers

Mark Hammerton, Partner and Corinna Harris, Professional Support Lawyer, based in Clyde & Co's Manchester and London offices respectively consider some key decisions and developments for employers.

U.S.: Supreme Court rules legally-married same-sex spouses entitled to federal recognition and lifts California ban on same-sex marriages

Specialists in labour and employment law at Jackson Lewis, L&E Global United States, discuss a recent Supreme Court decision on the rights of same-sex couples, and what this means in the context of their employment rights.

Effectively legalizing gay marriage throughout the United States, a divided U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that states must issue a license for a marriage between two people of the same-sex and that state prohibitions against same-sex marriages violate the Fourteenth Amendment rights of same-sex couples. The Supreme Court found that state-wide prohibitions on same-sex marriage violate the Equal Protection and Due Process clauses of the U.S. Constitution's Fourteenth Amendment. This decision has wide-ranging implications for employers.

Meet Sandy Kemp, employment partner in Clyde & Co's Aberdeen office

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The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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