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Global Benefit Insights - March 2022

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Sri Lanka Proposes Changes to Workers Compensation Law

In February 2022, the Sri Lankan government have presented a bill to amend the Workers Compensation Ordinance.

The main proposal, is to extend the current coverage for accidents that occur on the way to or from work in addition to the coverage whilst in the workplace.

Current amendments proposed also include changes to how wages are calculated and a general increase for death or permanent/temporary disability. The amendments propose more gradations of earnings as well as sharp increases in payment amounts. For example the current lowest compensation band for death would increase from LKR 181,665 (USD 699) to LKR 1.14mn (USD 4,385) whilst the highest would increase from LKR 550,000 (USD 2,115) to LKR 2mn (USD 7,693). Partial disability percentage amounts are also proposed to increase, for example with the loss of one eye rising from 50% to 80% and total loss of hearing from 60% to 80%.

These proposals may change up until the final bill is approved.

Source : adaderana.ik / compfie.com

Pension Fund Reform in Sweden

Following the proposals of the pensions working group, Sweden will be reforming the pension system in 2022.

A reform of the premium pension system is currently underway in Sweden with amendments to legislation expected to come into force on 1 June 2022.

The reformed system will include new regulations for choosing premium pension funds and will offer pension savers freedom of choice in how their fund assets are invested. In addition, a new authority will be established to manage the premium pension fund market. The name of the new authority will be Fondtorgsnamnden.

Source : regeringen.se

Dubai Leave Amendments

As of February 2022, Dubai has announced immediate changes to leave allocation, focusing on family leave.

Maternity Leave

Maternity leave for married female employees has increased from 45 days to 60 days. The first 45 days remain fully paid while the additional 15 days are paid at half of the employee’s salary. Female employees are now eligible for paid maternity leave regardless of their length of service (previously a minimum of one year of service was required to be eligible).

Under the new labour law, married female employees are also entitled to an additional unpaid leave of up to 45 days in the event of illness themselves or the child as a result of the pregnancy or the birth. Married female employees who suffered a stillbirth or a miscarriage after six months of pregnancy are now entitled to the same maternity leave benefits.

Married female employees are still entitled to two nursing breaks for a total of one hour per day however, this has been reduced to 6 months instead of 18 months that previously applied.

Paternal leave

The new labour law also introduces 5 working days of paid parental leave that may be taken within six months after the birth of the child. Employees are entitled to such leave regardless of their length of service. It is currently undecided whether this leave will be paid by the employer or the government, or if it is to be full pay or partial pay.

Leave for parents with disabilities

Employees, regardless of gender, whose child is born with a disability are now entitled to an additional 30 days of leave with full pay which may be extended to an additional 30 days of leave without pay. This is in addition to all other leaves.

Compassionate leave

Employees are now entitled to 5 days of paid leave in the event of the death of their legal spouse and 3 days of paid leave in the event of the death of a parent, child, sibling, grandchild or grandparent. It is still undecided whether this leave will be paid by the employer or the government, or if it is fully or partially paid.

Source : timeoutabudhabi.com / tamimi.com

Denmark equalises leave between parents

The Danish parliament recently adopted a bill introducing a new parental leave model equalizing family leave entitlements between both parents, including samesex couples.

The bill is expected to enter into effect on 2 August 2022, and apply to births from that date forward.

The bill states the total family leave entitlement available for each parent after the birth of a child will be 24 weeks (two weeks maternity/paternity leave directly after birth, plus nine weeks of nontransferable parental leave up to age 1). This is combined with 13 weeks of sharable parental leave When one of the parents is unemployed, the entire 22 weeks of paid parental leave can be claimed by the employed parent.

Single parents and LGBTQ+ families

All single parents, not just mothers, will now be entitled to 46 weeks of family leave. In addition, from 1st January 2024, single parents will be able to share their family leave with a close family member such as the child’s aunt, uncle or grandparents (the exact amount that can be transferred still needs to be agreed).

LGBTQ+ families will also be entitled to share a portion of their family leave. They will be able to share their family leave not only with close parents but also with other “social parents.” Social parents includes the legal parent’s spouse or their cohabitant partner, a known donor who has a parental relationship and their spouse or cohabitant partner.

Source : thelocal.dk / voiceofeu.com

Bulgarian Retirement Changes

In 2022 there have been changes to the retirement ages, minimum and maximum state pension benefits within Bulgaria.

With effect from 1 January 2022 the earliest normal retirement age for men is 64 years and 5 months provided they have at least 39 years and 2 months of qualifying contributions. The earliest normal retirement date for women from 1 January 2022 is 61 years and 10 months provided they have at least 36 years and 2 months of qualifying contributions.

The maximum monthly pension payable increases from BGN 1,440 to BGN 1,500 per month with effect from 1 January 2022. From 1 January 2022, the minimum old age pension increased from BGN 300 to BGN 370 per month.

By June 2022, all Bulgarian pensioners will receive an additional BGN 60 per month to ensure they are financially supported due to the pandemic. Previously the amount payable was BGN 120 per month but due to the increase in pensions amounts, this has been reduced.

Source : bulgariabusinessinsider.com / noinvite.com

Social Security Changes in Serbia

In 2022, there is a reduction in the employer contributions for pension and disability in Serbia.

The Law on Compulsory Social Insurance Contributions in Serbia was amended from 1 January 2022 to reduce the total pension contribution from 25.5% to 25%. This therefore reduces the employer’s state pension and disability insurance contribution from 11.5% to 11.0% of wages.

Source : taxsummaries.pwc.com


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