February 2019

UAE labour law modernisation efforts continue into 2019

After a busy 12 months in the development of labour laws in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the authorities look set to continue to focus on modernisation efforts in 2019.

The UAE Labour Law of 1980 remains the underlying legislation governing employment relationships in the UAE private sector. However, the UAE economy and workplace is much more sophisticated and diverse than it was when this law was originally implemented. The series of regulations and decrees that have been introduced to supplement that law are therefore extremely important to enable UAE-based companies to continue to attract, appropriately manage and retain leading talent from around the world.

Source: Out-Law.com

HR Minister Says RM1,100 Minimum Wage is Too High, May Come Up with New Basic Salary

Speaking to reporters after a meeting with employers from the Sabah chapter of the Malaysian Employers Federation on Monday (February 25), he said that based on feedback, it was noticed that the salary increase resulted in higher operating costs.

The government will now focus on some of these sectors, such as plantations, hotels, coffee shops, and many others, by setting their basic salaries to more realistic figures.

Source: World of Buzz

LHC orders govt to enforce the Domestic Workers Act

The Lahore High Court has directed the provincial government to ensure enforcement of Punjab Domestic Workers Act 2019 and suggested that a day in the year may be notified as a “Domestic Workers Day” along with the “Labour Day” to share sympathies with the domestic workers.

“The Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) should also come forward to play their due role in creating awareness among the general public regarding domestic workers’ rights. A comprehensive social and electronic media campaign be launched by the government for creating awareness amongst people regarding the plight of domestic workers and aforesaid new enactment,” Justice Jawad Hassan remarked in a detailed verdict issued on a petition demanding rights for the domestic workers.

Source: International News

Illinois Governor Signs Bill Raising The Statewide Minimum Wage To $15 Per Hour

On February 19, 2019, Governor JB Pritzker signed into law the “Lifting Up Illinois Working Families Act,” which raises the state’s minimum wage, in increments, to $15 per hour by 2025.1 With the enactment of this bill, Illinois has become the fifth state to pass a statewide increase in the minimum wage to $15 per hour, joining California, New Jersey,2 New York, and Massachusetts.3

Increases for Regular and Youth Wage

Under SB 1, the minimum wage is scheduled to increase with a series of hourly rate adjustments over the next five years to achieve the $15 hourly pay rate. For workers at least 18 years old, hourly rates will go from $8.25 to $9.25 per hour, beginning on January 1, 2020. After six months, the hourly minimum will increase to $10 per hour through the end of 2020. Thereafter, the minimum wage will go up one dollar per hour on the first day of each year until it reaches $15 per hour on January 1, 2025.

Source: Mondaq

The ESports Industry-The Top Ten Labor and Employment Law Issues

While Major League Baseball and the NFL often speak of growing revenue, Esports has enjoyed a meteoric rise in popularity and an accompanying increase in revenue streams of its own. Buoyed by investments into Esports organizations from international stars like Michael Jordan and Drake, and the increasing popularity of Esports stars like Tyler “Ninja” Blevins and his gaming streams to millions of fans on Twitch, 2018 was a record-breaking year for the Esports industry. As revenue grew an estimated $900 million, estimates show that the industry that got its start in a dimly lit home basement could grow to a whopping $1.7 billion by 2021.

Source: National Law Review

Congressional Committee Votes In Favor Of Pay Equity Law

The House Committee on Education and Labor just voted in favor of the Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R. 7, S.270), which, if ultimately enacted, would amend federal wage and hour law “to provide more effective remedies to victims of discrimination in the payment of wages on the basis of sex, and for other reasons.” The Paycheck Fairness Act, or PFA, notes that the Equal Pay Act (EPA) “has not worked as Congress originally intended,” and concludes that “improvements and modifications to the law are necessary to ensure that the Act provides effective protection to those subject to pay discrimination on the basis of sex.”

Source: JDSPura

Senate passes $15 minimum wage by 2024

Poverty has a corrosive effect on our families, our communities and schools, and on our Vermont State Budget. I believe that along with Climate Change, poverty is the biggest challenge we face as a state. Our state budget increases in mental health, substance abuse prevention, food and housing assistance programs, education, health and corrections – are in large measure a result of poverty’s impacts.  Many of the economic issues we will address this biennium will, I hope, deal with reducing poverty.  Whether that is increasing the minimum wage, passing a Paid Family Leave bill or creating more affordable housing – all will help improve life for our lowest income Vermonters.

Vermont’s minimum wage is still considerably lower than our livable wage.  In enacting the original federal minimum wage, President Roosevelt meant for it to be the minimum amount people needed to live on.  No one in Vermont can live on the minimum wage now – so people work two or three jobs to earn enough to live on.  Windsor County has the second highest housing cost in Vermont.

Source: Mountain Times

Casey backing $15 minimum wage bill in U.S. Senate [Poll]

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania said Tuesday that he is adding his support to legislation to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, joining the party’s growing chorus at the state and federal level ahead of the 2020 presidential election.

The bill Casey is joining is already backed by 30 fellow Democrats. It is written by U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and backed by five other Democratic senators who, like the politically independent Sanders, are seeking the party’s nomination to run for president.

Casey acknowledged that winning passage in the Republican-controlled Senate is a tall order, but that it is important to build support for it now if a Democrat is elected president in 2020.

“I would not be a candidate during 2020 running for Senate or Congress not supporting this because I think it’s popular across the board,” Casey said. “Not only do people know the data on wages, but they’ve also lived these lives of very little wage growth and I think it’s the No. 1 economic challenge that we have.” In the Democrat-controlled U.S. House, similar legislation is sponsored by 198 Democrats, including eight of nine Pennsylvania Democrats.

Source: Reading Eagle

Expanded Maternity Leave law to cost SSS P7.5B more

The Expanded Maternity Leave law, which was signed into law last Feb. 20, is expected to cost the Social Security System (SSS) an additional P7.5 billion in benefits. In a briefing, SSS president and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Emmanuel Dooc said this amount is on top of the PHP6 billion in maternity benefits disbursed in 2017. As of end-September 2018, SSS disbursed about PHP5.2 billion worth of maternity benefits and this was extended to 241,680 members.

Dooc said they will look for ways to fund this additional benefit even as the state-run pension fund for private sector workers can now impose a hike in monthly contributions following the signing into law of Republic Act (RA) 11199, or the Social Security Act of 2018.

Source: Panay News

New York adopted a $15 minimum wage in 2016: Where’s my pay raise?

The state’s new minimum wage of $15 an hour already applies for some workers in New York City, but those in the rest of the state must wait before they get the higher pay. When can workers here expect to see $15 an hour?Workers in Upstate New York may not see their pay hit that amount until as late as 2024 – nearly six years after downstate workers.

Why the long delay?

Legislators passed a law in 2016 raising the state’s general minimum wage to $15 an hour, but they called for it to be phased in over a number of years. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said the law will lift the earnings of more than 2.1 million New Yorkers. The phase-in is different between New York City, Long Island, Westchester and the rest of the state because of differences in the cost of living, especially housing, said Morris Peters, a spokesman for the Division of Budget.

Source: Syracuse.com

Govt told to ensure enforcement of domestic workers act

“Non-government organisations (NGOs) should also come forward to play their due role in creating awareness among the general public regarding the rights of domestic workers. A comprehensive social and electronic media campaign be launched by the government for creating awareness among people regarding the plight of domestic workers and aforesaid new enactment,” Justice Jawad Hassan remarked in a detailed verdict issued on a petition demanding rights for the domestic workers.

Source: Dawn

Trump renews call for federal paid family leave in State of the Union

President Trump called for federal paid family leave during his State of the Union address, saying his plan would allow every new parent a “chance to bond with their newborn child.”

American parents are guaranteed time off from work to spend with a newborn child under the Family and Medical Leave Act — but they often have to make it work without a paycheck. The United States is the only developed country in the world with no federally mandated paid family leave. That will change if Trump’s proposal comes to fruition.

“I am also proud to be the first president to include in my budget a plan for nationwide paid family leave — so that every new parent has the chance to bond with their newborn child,” Trump said.

Source: EBN

Illinois’ minimum wage would hit $15 in 2025 under the plan introduced by state Senate Democrats

Illinois Senate Democrats on Wednesday started advancing a bill that would raise the state’s minimum wage to $9.25 per hour on Jan. 1 and to $15 per hour by 2025.

Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford, a Maywood Democrat who for years has been attempting to raise the minimum wage from $8.25, filed her proposal Wednesday after more than a week of behind-the-scenes negotiations with labour leaders, business groups and Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s administration. A Senate committee approved the bill hours later on a party-line vote, and the full Senate could vote as early as Thursday.

Source: Chicago Tribune

Danville considers offering paid parental leave, extra vacation for city workers

Danville officials are looking into the possibility of offering paid parental leave and increasing vacation time for its employees.

The move comes after councilman Adam Tomer called for more leave for city employees during council’s meeting Tuesday night.

“People need to have time to recharge and time to spend with their loved ones,” Tomer said during the meeting.

Source: GoDanRiver.com

Don’t tax new minimum wage, NLC pleads

The Nigeria Labour Congress has called for an amendment to the present Income Tax Law so that the new National Minimum Wage of N30,000 will not be taxed.

NLC’s General Secretary, Dr Peter Ozo-Eson, made the call in Abuja in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday.

Ozo-Eson was reacting to a motion submitted by the National Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria at the plenary session of the 12th National Delegates Conference of the NLC.

Source: Punch

Small businesses react to the minimum wage increase one month later

This year the minimum wage in Las Cruces increased to $10.10 an hour. A couple of small businesses said the increase might look good on paper but isn’t so great in real life.

Jerry Silva has owned the Savemart grocery store in Las Cruces since 1976 and has close to 40 employees. Almost half of them are paid at minimum wage, and now with the increase, Jerry has to have fewer employees on his payroll to compensate.

“Right now we’re operating 100 hours less than before and that’s how we’re compensating this increase,” Silva said. “We’re trying everything not to increase our prices.”

Source: KFox14

Memo Lays Out Plan To Raise Illinois Minimum Wage

The current plan to raise Illinois’ minimum wage to 15 dollars-an-hour would start next year. The Chicago Tribune is reporting on a leaked memo from Governor J.B. Pritzker’s office that would have the state raise the starting wage by a dollar to start 2020, then hike the wage again by 75 cents in July. That’d make Illinois’ minimum wage ten dollars-an-hour next year. The plan would continue to raise the minimum wage to 15 dollars by 2025. Business groups in the state say that’d be too much for many employers to handle.

Source: 1340 WJOL

U.K. Employment Law Update: Employment Law Reform, Uber’s Appeal and Proportionate Pay

The U.K. government has published its Good Work Plan. The report’s proposals seek to implement most of the recommendations in the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices, which we reported in 2017 and 2018. The government has presented its proposals under three headings: fair and decent work, clarity for employers and workers, and fairer enforcement.

Fair and Decent Work

  • Those on zero-hours contracts would be able to request a more predictable and stable contract after 26 weeks of service.
  • The length of the gap required to break the continuity of employment would be extended from one to four weeks, making it easier for casual employees to accrue employment rights.
  • The current principle allowing employers to pay agency workers less in exchange for guaranteed pay between assignments would be repealed


County raises minimum wage for some full-time government workers

Many of the 89 government employees work for the county library, parks and rec, Department of Social Services and the Sheriff’s Office. However, county commissioners do not have the power to raise the minimum wage for everyone else. Only the state can do that.

North Carolina is not a home-rule state, which means local counties and cities only have the power granted to them by the General Assembly. Last year, North Carolina lawmakers approved a minimum wage increase to $15 an hour for state workers, which also only affects government employees.

Source: WSOCTV.com