Belgium Working Week Amendments
A bill has been entered to allow employees the right to request a four-day working week.
Announced earlier this year, a proposal to offer employees the opportunity to request a shorter working week with no loss of pay was sent for approval. The bill has been agreed and from this autumn, employees can request a 38-hour work week in four 9.5-hour days instead of five 7.36-hour days, or a 45-hour week and a consecutive 31-hour week rolling.
The change is to be implemented on an initial 6-month trial basis, allowing the employees to gauge if the changes will work for them. The date it is effective is yet to be announced, further specifics will be announced at a later date.
Malta Family Leave
From August 2022, Malta has introduced additional leave requirements that will impact employers.
The legislation introduces 10 working days of paid paternity leave per child to fathers and second parents, regardless of their marital or family status. The leave is available to all employees regardless of their length of service and must be taken immediately following the birth or placement for adoption.
All employees are entitled to five working days of unpaid carer’s leave per year to care or a parent or a relative living in the employee’s household. Employees will be required to provide proof of illness and need for their care.
From 2 August 2022, two of the four months of parental leave entitlement available for each parent are now government-paid (previously unpaid). Two of the four months is now transferrable. Parental leave is paid at the same rate established for the sickness benefit entitlement under the Social Security Act. Leave may be taken due to birth of a child, adoption of a child, child fostering in the case of foster parents, and upon obtaining legal custody of a child.
At least 12 months of continuous employment with the same employer is required, regardless of whether they are full-time or part-time, and in a fixed or indefinite employment contract. Any remaining leave may be transferred with the employee when they change employment meaning employers will be required to track all leave taken.
Parental leave must be taken as follows:
- 50% must be taken from the birth of the child until age 4
- 25% must be taken when the child is between the ages of 4 and 6
- 25% must be taken when the child is between the ages of 6 to 8
Flexible working arrangements
years, as well as those caring for a person living in their household, may request flexible working arrangements. These requests can include working remotely, flexible hours, and reduced hours. Any refusal of a flexible working arrangements request must be justified in writing by the employer within two weeks.
Japan Childcare Leave
From 1st October 2022, fathers are entitled to take 4 weeks of paternity leave.
The change allows employees to take leave in one single period or split it into two separate occasions. The paternity leave must be taken within 8 weeks of birth and is paid at 67% of salary by the social security system.
This leave is in addition to the Childcare leave that all employees are entitled to within Japan.
Sweden Price Base Amount Changes
It has been announced that the 2023 Price Base Amount (PBA) that is used to calculate social benefits will increase considerably from current and previous levels.
The PBA in Sweden has been adjusted to SEK 52,500 for 2023. This is an increase of SEK 4,200 from the previous year.
The increased Price Base Amount has been calculated as SEK 53,500 for 2023, again a SEK 4,200 increase on last year.
Nicaragua Introduces Public Holiday
In May 2022 it was announced that from 2022 Nicaragua will celebrate an additional paid public holiday.
Mother’s Day has been added to the list of mandatory paid public holidays. The date of this for 2023 is Tuesday 30th May.
Qatar Social Security Reform
From 3rd January 2023, the new Social Security Law for Qatar will become effective.
Details of the expected changes include:
Currently, the Qatari social security system which is administered by the General Retirement and Social Insurance Authority (GRSIA) applies to Qatari nationals working in the public sector as well as certain private sector firms. The new law expands private sector coverage to all Qatari nationals aged 18 or older with employment contracts of a minimum of one year. Voluntary coverage will also be available to selfemployed Qatari nationals.
Private sector employers with at least one Qatari employee under an employment contract of a minimum of one year are required to participate unless they offer a private pension plan with better benefits than the social plan.
Increase in contribution rates
The new law introduces a monthly earnings ceiling of QAR 100,000 for employee contributions and increases the contribution rates for employees and employers as follows:
- 7% of gross monthly earnings for employees
- 14% of gross monthly payroll for employers
Minimum old-age pension
The new law introduces a minimum monthly old-age pension of QAR 15,000 for public sector employees, the minimum pension is yet to be set for the private sector.
Social security contributions are currently paid based on an employee’s base pay and social allowances. As housing allowance is commonly offered by employers, it will be considered covered earnings, up to QAR 6,000 per month.
Early retirement age
The age to claim an old-age pension will rise from age 40 to age 50.
Contribution period and calculation
The minimum contribution period to receive a full pension will increase from 15 years to 25 years. In addition, the old-age pension at retirement for private sector employees will be calculated based on their average gross monthly salary over the final three years of employment instead of the final five years.
Malaysia - parental leave changes become effective from September 1st
Finland - paid parental leave policy changes become effective from September 1st
Ireland - introduces sick pay from September
Denmark - paid parental leave policy changes become effective from September 1st