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Global benefits insights - May 2024

May 21, 2024


Passes Labor Law No. 13/2023

The new law introduces several changes, that entered effect on 21st February 2024.

Some of the key changes are:

Maternity leave has increased from 60 calendar days to 90 calendar days, with the first 60 being paid by the government and the remaining 30 days being unpaid. Maternity leave can commence up to 20 days before the expected delivery date.

In addition, employers are now prohibited from terminating the employment agreement of an employee during pregnancy, whilst breastfeeding and for up to 1 year after their return from maternity leave, except in cases of expiry or dismissal.

Paternity leave has also increased from 1 day of unpaid leave to be taken within 24 months of the child's birth to 7 days, to be taken within 18 months of the child's birth. Should the mother die following childbirth or become disabled, the father will be entitled to 60 days of parental leave.

Foster carers and guardians will now be eligible for the same parental benefits as birth mothers and fathers.

Annual leave is remaining at 12 days for the first year of employment, however, from the second year this is increasing from 24 days to 30 days.

Termination indemnities due to “structural, technological, or market reasons” are being amended from 20 days’ salary per year of service to the following:

  • 30 days’ salary when base pay plus seniority bonus is up to 7x the sector’s minimum wage
  • 15 days’ salary when the base pay plus seniority bonus is 7x - 18x the sector’s minimum wage
  • 5 days’ salary when the base pay plus seniority bonus exceeds 18x the sector’s minimum wage

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Increases parental leave entitlement

Following the 1st July 2023, further changes to the parental leave entitlement have been announced, effective from 1st July 2024.

Gender-neutral paid parental leave will increase from 20 weeks to 22 weeks. There are further planned increases to 24 weeks in July 2025, and 26 weeks in July 2026.

The leave will remain government-paid and will be payable at the national minimum wage. Leave must be used within 2 years of the child’s date of birth or adoption.

The income threshold limit to qualify for the new parental leave entitlements will be AUD 350,000 for a family.

The government also announced it will make superannuation contributions on government-paid parental leave payments. This will apply from 1st July 2025.

Further details are to be announced in the May 2024 budget.

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Increases minimum qualifying salary for Employment Pass in 2025

Effective from 1st January 2025, the qualifying salary for all new applications will increase.

The Employment Pass (EP) qualifying salary for new applications will increase to a minimum of SG$5,600 per month, and SG$6,200 in the financial services sector. The salary applicable will be determined by age.

The increased salary thresholds will also apply to Employment Pass renewals from 1st January, 2026.


Increases retirement and re-employment ages

Announced on the 4th March 2024, retirement and re-employment ages will increase to 64 and 69 respectively in 2026.

Currently, the retirement age is 63 for all employees, and the national re-employment age is 68.

Grants and Senior Employment Credit (SEC) can be earned by employments with employees aged over 60, depending on their salary.



Reduces taxable income threshold for parental allowance

The taxable income threshold for parents’ eligibility for the parental allowance (“Elterngeld”) was reduced, starting with babies born on or after 1st April 2024 and will reduce again in 2025.

The minimum and maximum monthly parental allowance payments remain at €300 and €1,800 respectively.

Parents who have babies who are born on or after 1st April 2024 with joint taxable income exceeding €200,000 are no longer eligible for the parental allowance. For births on or after 1st April 2025, the amount will be reduced to €175,000. Previously, the cap was set at a combined salary of €300,000.

The taxable income threshold for single parents is €150,000 if their baby is born on or after 1st April 2024. There is no planned change to the threshold in 2025 that applies to single parents.

Previously, eligibility was capped at €250,000.



Introduces right to request remote and flexible working

Effective 7th March 2024, employees have the right to request remote and flexible working in Ireland, subject to eligibility.

Employees can request remote and flexible working from the first day of their employment, but they must have already worked for an employer for 6 months before the start of any arrangement.

To be eligible to request flexible working, employees would need to be a parent or acting parent for a child under the age of 12, or age 16 with a disability or long-term illness, or be a carer for someone living in their household who has a serious medical condition.

Employees must submit their written request or use an online application form at least 8 weeks before the start of the proposed flexible working arrangement, and employers then have 4 weeks to respond.


South Africa

Announces new public holiday

29th May will now be a public holiday in 2024 to allow employees to vote in their national and provincial elections.

Employees who work on that date will be entitled to the higher of either double their normal wage for the day, or the employee’s ordinary wage for the day “plus the amount earned by the employee for the time worked on that day.”

A public holiday has been given to encourage people to vote in the election.

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United Arab Emirates

Introduces Qualifying Scheme pension contributions

Specifically, employers who are registered in the Dubai International Finance Centre (DIFC) will be required to contribute for United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nationals.

As of 1st March 2024, the DIFC Law No. 1 of 2024 (Amendment Law) has amended Part 10 of the DIFC Employment Law (Law No. 2 of 2019, as amended).

DIFC employers now need to contribute top-up payments into a DIFC Qualifying Scheme for eligible employees who are local nationals of the UAE or the GCC and who are registered with the General Pension and Social Security Authority (GPSSA).

Under the GPSSA’s pension law, the contributions for private sector UAE national employees are calculated on a maximum salary cap of 70,000 AED.

Under the new law, employers will continue to pay their usual GPSSA contributions and must now also pay top-up contributions into a DIFC Qualifying Scheme for eligible employees whose monthly pension contribution is less than the amount that would have been paid into a Qualifying Scheme, if the employee had not been a UAE or GCC national.

The employer’s top-up contribution must be paid if it is 1,000 AED or more — if it is less, there is no requirement to pay the adjusted amount into a Qualifying Scheme.

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United Kingdom

Reduces National Insurance Contribution rates

Effective from 6th April 2024, the National Insurance Contribution (NIC) rate for employees is reduced to 8%.

Following a reduction in the NIC rate from 12% to 10% in January 2024, the UK government has announced a further reduction to 8% (for those earning up to the upper earning limits) that applies from 6th April 2024, to coincide with the end of the 2023/24 tax year.

The NIC rate for employers remains unchanged at 13.6%


Minimum wage increases from 1st April 2024


Nova Scotia has increased the minimum wage to CAD 15.20/hour effective 1st April 2024, up from CAD 15/hour.



The monthly minimum wage for white collar workers increased from 1st April 2024 €830, up from €780.

A seniority supplement (5% to 10%) is also payable depending on an employee’s employment status, and service.


New Zealand

The hourly minimum wage from 1st April 2024 for adults increased to NZD 23.15, up from NZD 22.70. The training and starting minimum wage is NZD 18.52, up from NZD 18.16.


United Kingdom

Increased minimum wage rates (the National Living Wage — NLW) took effect from 1st April 2024.

The NLW is paid to individuals aged 21 and older and is now £11.44/hour (up from £10.42); £8.60/hour for individuals aged 18 to 20 (up from £7.49); and £6.40/hour for individuals aged 16 to 17 (up from £5.28).

The rate for apprentices is £6.40/hour (up from £5.28) for individuals younger than 19 years, or in the first year of an apprenticeship.
The daily allowable accommodation deduction is £9.99 (up from £9.10) for employer-provided accommodation.

From April 2024, the NLW is extended to include 21 and 22-year-olds.


Minimum wage increases from 1st October 2024


Ontario announced that it will increase its minimum wage to CAD 17.20/hour as of 1st October 2024, up from CAD 16.55/hour.



United Kingdom

  • Employees can request flexible working requests from day 1 of employment
  • Carer's Leave introduced
  • Changes to paternity leave

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