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Global Benefit Insights - February 2022


Kuwait Mandatory Healthcare For Expats

All expatriate employees within Kuwait must purchase a health insurance plan from Health Assurance Hospitals Company (Dhaman) for themselves and their resident dependants from 2023 to replace the mandatory health insurance issued by the Ministry of Health. The plan will initially cost KWD 130 (USD 427) per annum and it will increase by KWD 20 (USD 66) every two years until it reaches a maximum premium of KWD 190 (USD 625) per person. There has been no defined date from when this is to commence, however, acting sooner rather than later has been recommended to ensure compliance from 2023.

The Kuwait Insurance Federation has also submitted a proposal for expatriate residents aged 60 and over without a university degree to implement a medical plan that would cover medical expenses up to KWD 10,000 (USD 32,895) per annum, KWD 8,000 of this is for hospitalisation use. This plan would have an annual premium of KWD 500 (USD 1645) per person, per annum. The plan would not include routine dental care, physiotherapy or palliative care. It would also need to be provided by one of the main six insurers who are listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange. These insurers are currently - Gulf insurance group s.a.c., National insurance company s.a.c.a., Warba insurance s.a.c., Kuwaiti reinsurance s.a.c.a., First Takaful insurance, Waqaq Takaful insurance company.

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Czech Republic Non-EU Immigration Requirements

From 1st January 2022, non-EU foreign residents within the Czech Republic must arrange medical cover with a non-life insurance company.

Non Non-EU foreign residents within the Czech Republic, who are not eligible to contribute into the public health insurance fund must secure equivalent cover with a non-life insurance company. This is following an amendment made to the immigration act that came into effect for new foreign residents who arrived in the Czech Republic after 2nd August 2021.

The cover can only be provided by the state-controlled insurer Pojistovna VZP. This new VZP monopoly will last for an initial period of five years before being reviewed. Should coverage be offered under an International Medical Insurance plan, the requirement is satisfied and no further coverage is needed. Non-EU residents that have access to public healthcare or an EHIC/GHIC card are also exempt.

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Increased Retirement Age in Israel

From 2022, there will be an increase to the normal retirement age for women within Israel.

Israeli parliament has passed a law that allows the normal retirement age for women to increase from 62 to 65. The new law states that there will be increases to the normal retirement age by four months per year from 2022 to 2024 (until reaching age 63) and then three months per year from 2025 to 2032.

To compensate any negative effects on women who are approaching retirement, there will now be an increase to the duration of unemployment benefits for women aged 60 or older, additional professional training programs, increases to the employment grant paid to low-earning women, and increases to the amount of income old-age pensioners younger than age 70 can receive without reducing their pensions. The law does not affect the normal retirement age for men, which will remain at 67.

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Portugal Increases Bereavement leave

Law passed to increase bereavement leave in Portugal.

On On 4th January it was announced that the Labor Code Law no.7/2009, Sec 259 had been amended to provide employees with 20 consecutive days of paid leave following the death of their child.

In the event of the death of a spouse or parent, leave shall remain at five consecutive days. Employees shall still be entitled to two consecutive days of leave for the death of a second or third-degree relative (e.g. grandparents, grandchildren) as well as second-degree collateral relatives (e.g. brother, brother-in-law, and adopted child).

Employees are entitled to receive psychological support in a National Health System establishment after the passing of their children, step-children, children-in-law, godchildren (on civil custody relationships), and close family members (i.e. spouses, Parents). This support should be requested by the employee to their medical practitioner and all support should commence within five days of the date of death.

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Hong Kong Public Holidays Increase

Additional five public holidays granted to Hong Kong residents.

Approved in July 2021 but implemented from 2022, residents of Hong Kong will receive an additional five public holidays between 2022 and 2030. Under the staggered timeframe, the first additional public holiday will be Buddha’s birthday in 2022. This will be followed by Boxing Day in 2024 and three days at Easter in 2026.

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Singapore increases CFP contributions

Contributions rise for 55-70 year-olds.

With effect from January 2022, contributions into the Singapore CPF (Central Provident Fund) scheme will increase for employees aged 55 to 70. The increase in broken down into three age bands; 55 to 60, 60 to 65 and 65 to 70. The contribution rise is detailed below.

Employees age Previous total contribution Total Increase Employee Increase Employer Increase New total contribution
Above 55 to 60 26% 2% 1% 1% 28%
60 to 65 16.5% 2% 1% 1% 18.5%
65 to 70 12.5% 1.5% 1% 0.5% 14%

These increases apply to employees that earn above SGD 750 per month.

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