Worldly Wise


Minimum wage increase now in effect


The bump in pay is the result of an ordinance passed by the City Council in December 2014, which called for the city’s minimum wage to increase gradually, by $1 a year, for non-tipped employees.

This past Sunday, the minimum wage for many non-tipped workers in Chicago jumped from $11 to $12 an hour, according to a statement released by Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office last month.

According to the schedule set in the ordinance, the minimum wage was due to increase from $8.25 in 2014 to $13 in 2019, with each pay increase taking effect on July 1 each year during that period.

For tipped employees, the minimum wage went from $4.95 in 2014 to $5.95 in 2016, with all, if any, annual increases thereafter tied to the rate of inflation, but not to exceed 2.5 per cent. This year, a minimum wage for those workers jumped to $6.25.

Those annual CPI increases are contingent on the unemployment rate being lower than 8.5 per cent during the preceding year of the scheduled pay bump, according to city officials. For non-tipped workers, the minimum wage will increase with inflation starting in 2020.

In the statement, city officials explained that the 2014 ordinance will raise the minimum wage for 410,000 workers. They estimated that the ordinance will inject $860 million into the local economy by 2019.

Source: Austin Weekly News


South Korea tackles the workaholic culture with new labour law

South Korea is embarking on its own labour reforms to reduce overwork, resorting to draconian punishments on violators, but companies worried about greater costs may not necessarily increase hiring as hoped for by the government.

The revised law that went into effect Sunday slashes the maximum workweek to 52 hours from 68 for companies with 300 employees or more — equal to 12 hours of overtime. Violations will cost employers up to two years in prison or a fine of 20 million won ($17,882).

All businesses will be subject to the 52-hour cap by 2021. By reducing overwork and enforcing “work-sharing,” the government hopes to generate employment as well.

The corporate sector is scrambling to respond, such as by forcibly shutting down computers.

Source: Nikkei Asian Review

On June 29, Beijing’s Human Resources and Social Security Bureau announced that the city will increase its minimum wage, effective September 1, 2018.

Beijing will increase the monthly minimum wage from RMB 2,000 (US$300.57) to RMB 2,120 (US$318.60), and the hourly minimum wage from RMB 22 (US$3.31) to RMB 24 (US$3.61).

The wage hike of RMB 120 (US$18.03) per month is similar to last year’s increase when the city raised minimum wages by RMB 110 (US$16.53) per month.

Given the cost of living in Beijing and the nature of its economy, most workers in the city are paid according to market rates rather than minimum wages.

Beijing is increasingly becoming a post-industrial economy, with services constituting over 80 per cent of its GDP in 2017.

Once the minimum wage adjustment goes into force, Beijing will have the third highest minimum wage in the country.

Currently, Shanghai holds the highest minimum wage rate, at RMB 2,420 (US$363.69) per month, followed by Shenzhen, at RMB 2,200 (US$330.63) per month. Both cities increased their minimum wage in 2018.

Besides having the highest minimum wages, Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen also have the highest average wages in China.

Various trade union federations have demanded the government revise the minimum wage for workers it had announced recently.

Nepal Trade Union Federation Independent, the Socialist Democratic Trade Union Federation, the National Democratic Trade Union Federation, the Independent Democratic Trade Union Federation, among other trade union organisations, have placed this demand before the government through a press release on Wednesday.

They have called on the government to increase the minimum wage reasoning that it would be difficult to manage even a normal life with the minimum remuneration the government has determined. These trade union federations have accused the government of fixing the minimum wage against the agreement that it had reached with them. The government on July 8 fixed the monthly wage of workers at Rs 13,450.

The trade unions have urged the government to increase the minimum wage to Rs 22,000, citing that the situation would arise in which the workers working within the country would have to go for foreign employment owing to the low pay alone if the minimum remuneration was not raised.

The trade unions have warned of launching an agitation if the decision on the fixed remuneration was not corrected.

Source: Himalayan Times

On January 16, 2018, Democratic candidate Phil Murphy was sworn in as the 56th governor of the State of New Jersey, replacing Republican former governor Chris Christie. As reflected in the Report of the Labor and Workforce Development Transition Advisory Committee, Governor Murphy’s administration is poised to advance legislation that will have a significant impact on employers doing business in New Jersey. From raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour to curbing employee misclassification abuse, employers large and small can expect new legislation impacting the employer-employee relationship. In fact, in just his first six months in office, Governor Murphy has already signed into law one of the most expansive pay equity laws in the nation as well as a law that provides paid sick leave for New Jersey employees.

We have outlines several significant bills that have been introduced thus far in New Jersey’s 2018–2019 legislative session. Many of these bills failed to pass under the Christie administration but stand a much better chance of success under Governor Murphy.

Source: JDS Pura

Give national minimum wage a chance – Treasury

The current proposed national wage formula is different from the data set National Treasury used to develop its initial calculations on the impact of the policy on jobs and the economy, and the policy should be given a chance in its current form.

This is according to National Treasury, amid much speculation regarding how the national minimum wage will affect both the economy and jobs in the long term.

Treasury’s initial research into the national minimum wage in 2016 estimated there would be major job losses if the policy were implemented recklessly.

However, Treasury has told Fin24 this week this would only occur with the proposed levels it used in its initial research.

Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane recently sought clarity from President Cyril Ramaphosa on this through a written question in Parliament.

The national minimum wage will locate its legislative power within the National Minimum Wage Bill, the Basic Conditions of Employment Amendment Bill and the Labour Relations Amendment Bill, which are currently before Parliament.

Responding to questions from Fin24, National Treasury said the impact of the national minimum wage on the economy and jobs would vary, depending on the economic circumstances when it is introduced – not purely on model projections.

Source: Fin24

Members of the Lower Chamber of Parliament on Monday enacted a new labour law that has left it to the Ministry of Labour to set up a minimum wage through a ministerial order.

Though several legislators had advised the Minister of Labour to indicate in the new labour law how much will be minimum wage once the new labour law is enacted, they ended up settling on the government’s wish to set the new minimum wage afterwards through a ministerial order.

At Rwf100 per day, the country’s current minimum wage which was set in the 1980s is outdated and out of touch with today’s economic realities.

That situation has led labour unions in the country to push the government to revise the wage in order to protect vulnerable workers who are compelled to accept any pay from their employers as the law doesn’t specify what is not acceptable to pay workers except below Rwf100 per day.

Under law N°13/2009 of May 27, 2009, regulating labour in Rwanda, which will be amended by the new labour law enacted yesterday, the Minimum Guaranteed Wage (MGW) per categories of work was supposed to be determined by a ministerial order from the ministry of labour after collective consultations with concerned organs.

The revised labour law didn’t change that arrangement, leaving Members of Parliament compelled to hope that the government will this time around move swiftly to set up a new minimum wage.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Social Affairs in the Lower Chamber of Parliament analysed the new labour law enacted yesterday.

Its chairperson, Amiel Ngabo Semahundo, said that a ministerial order will soon decide a minimum wage in the country based on work sectors.

He said that the government has given reassurance that a minimum wage will be determined as soon as the new labour law is enacted.

Source: New Times

San Francisco’s minimum wage is now $15 an hour – here’s how that stacks up to other major cities

San Francisco has raised its minimum wage from $14 to $15 an hour, largely as a response to out-of-control housing prices. The law went into effect on July 1.

An hourly wage of $15 is more than twice the federal rate of $7.25, but it’s still not enough to live in San Francisco comfortably, according to an SFGate analysis of data from the National Low Income Housing Coalition. With a minimum-wage job, the numbers suggest, San Franciscans still need to work 160 hours per week to rent a two-bedroom home.

Minimum wage levels differ by city, but many activist groups in other metros are pushing for their own bumps to $15 per hour.

The Economic Policy Institute, a nonpartisan, nonprofit think-tank, has compiled a list of minimum wages in cities across the US. In some areas, workers who receive tips can make as little as $2.13 an hour.

Source: Business Insider

FNJ wants Rs 40k as the minimum wage for journalists

Jul 9, 2018-The Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) has demanded the government to double the existing minimum salary of journalists. The Minimum Wage Fixing Committee (MWFC) has set the minimum salary of journalists at Rs 19,500.

The FNJ wants the minimum wage doubled to Rs 40,000. The Working Journalists’ Welfare Promotion Committee (WJWPC) of the FNJ on Sunday handed over a memorandum of demand to Bal Krishna Ghimire, the member secretary of the MWFC. A meeting of the WJWPC on Saturday had decided to demand the government to set the minimum salary of journalists working for national media at Rs 40,000 and Rs 30,000 for the scribes working for media houses where the Working Journalists Act has not been fully implemented.

Making it clear that the fixed minimum salary was the remunerations for the entry-level journalists, FNJ has also demanded that the level-wise salary rate must be adjusted accordingly. FNJ Secretary Ram Prasad Dahal said the federation will begin a protest if the minimum wage of journalists is not set and implemented by July 17.

Source: The Kathmandu Post

Minimum wage could increase

The tiered structure of national minimum wage for workers over 18 on the Island could be scrapped this autumn, meaning a significant rise for those under 25.

Subject to Tynwald approval, the single hourly rate will rise to £7.85 from 1 October.

£7.83 is currently considered to be the ‘living wage’ for everywhere in the UK outside of London.

Whilst that would only represent a 35p rise for Manx over-25s – who currently earn a minimum of £7.50 per hour – it’s a steeper rise for 18-24-year-olds, who previously were entitled to separate rates based upon age.

It will be a particularly dramatic rise for 18-20-year-olds, who will effectively earn an extra pound per hour under the new scheme.

However, there will still be a lower rate of £5.85 per hour for those over the compulsory school age, who aren’t yet 18.

There’s also a rate of £6.95 for ‘development workers’ – people aged 18 and above who are receiving training from the Department of Education, Sport and Culture and are within the first six months of employment.

The rises still fall short of the estimated ‘living wage’ on the Isle of Man though, which remains at £8.61 per hour.

Source: Manx Radio the nation’s station

Delaware passes minimum wage hikes

  • Delaware joins the list of states and municipalities to pass minimum wage increases this year. Senate Bill 170, an amendment measure, was signed into law on July 1. Delaware’s rate hikes will increase incrementally over a span of four years, starting with $8.75 and ending at $10.25 an hour.
  • The effective dates of Delaware’s four minimum wage increases fall on Oct. 1 of consecutive years, starting in 2018. The first minimum wage increase to $8.75 an hour, is effective this year. The second increase to $9.25 is effective in 2019; the third step rises to $9.75 in 2020, and the fourth bump increases the wage to $10.25 in 2021. Delaware’s current minimum wage is $8.25. It rose from the federal rate of $7.25 an hour to $7.75 in 2014 and bumped up again to the current rate in 2015.
  • Delaware’s House Bill 483 allows employers to pay 50 cents an hour below the state’s minimum wage to workers under 18 and to those 18 and over during their first 90 consecutive days of employment.

Source: HR Drive

Many Undocumented Workers, There’s No Such Thing As Minimum Wage

Wage violations are commonplace in Chicago. They affect low-paid workers in industries like construction, food service and retail. Immigrants and people of colour are especially vulnerable because they tend to work in more low-income jobs. David, who requested a pseudonym to protect his safety, told In These Times his story.

Twenty-three-year-old David migrated to Chicago in late 2017. His first job was as a busboy at a restaurant on the Northeast Side. His job was to clean tables and bring water to customers. He said at the gig, where he worked earlier this year, he was being paid $6 dollars per hour plus tips.

According to David, he wasn’t receiving tips directly from customers. Instead, he was told he would get a percentage of net sales. This tipping method was never fully explained and left him in a vulnerable position. Some days, he says, he would receive no tips at all. He would be taken off the floor by the owner to clean the apartments above the restaurant during his shift. “She made me clean every apartment. Yet they had nothing to do with my job. Besides, they were not even part of the restaurant,” David recalls.

Although coworkers told him to object to unrelated work requests, they also warned him that refusing could cost him his job.

In mid-February, David said he was sick and the only employee on the restaurant floor. His boss told him that he had to clean the windows of the apartments from the outside. “There was a snow storm that week. I had a pretty bad and noticeable cold,” David says. Despite protesting that he was too sick, David says the owner of the restaurant made him work outside.

Source: In These Times

¥26 increase in minimum wage urged 

A labour ministry panel decided early Wednesday to propose raising mandatory minimum hourly wages for fiscal 2018 by ¥26 to ¥874 on a national average, with the growth being the largest since comparable data became available in fiscal 2002.

The size of the hike agreed at a meeting of a subcommittee of the Central Minimum Wages Council that started on Tuesday, is up by one yen from the previous fiscal year. The rate of increase for the year through March 2019 matched the government’s target of around 3 per cent for the third straight year.

Wages must be at or above the mandatory minimum levels for all employees in the nation. Paying wages falling short of the levels is illegal. The panel’s latest decision is good news for part-timers and other nonregular employees as wage levels are believed to be close to the minimum thresholds for many of these workers.

The panel’s proposals call for raising the minimum hourly wage by ¥27 for six of the country’s 47 prefectures, including Tokyo, by ¥26 for 11 prefectures, by ¥25 for 14 prefectures and by ¥23 for the remaining 16 prefectures.

The highest minimum wage would be ¥985, for Tokyo, while the lowest minimum wage would be ¥760, for eight prefectures — Kochi, Saga, Nagasaki, Kumamoto, Oita, Miyazaki, Kagoshima and Okinawa.

Source: The Japan News

New Zealand PM Ardern Brings Parental Leave Into Spotlight

Back in the Stone Age (1952), controversy surrounded the fact that Lucille Ball appeared in a number of I Love Lucy episodes while pregnant. The guys running CBS in the 50s may have felt a bit awkward about the situation, which would explain the diplomatic word choice in the title of the episode announcing Lucy’s pregnancy: “Lucy Is Enceinte.”

Those were the days when pregnant women in the U.S. had little job protection. Remember, it was only in 1978 that Congress passed the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which specifically prohibits bias based on pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. And the Family and Medical Leave Act, which allows 12 weeks of unpaid parental leave, didn’t come along until 1993.

World Leader Has Baby, Takes Six Weeks

Fast forward 66 years from Lucy’s accouchement and where do we find ourselves? Well, it’s a brave new world, folks.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern gave birth June 21 to daughter Neve Te Aroha Ardern Gayford, and she’s now taking six weeks of leave. Part of the reason Ardern will get back to running the country that quickly is her ability to entrust the baby’s care to her partner, Clarke Gayford, who is a TV and radio broadcaster.

Ardern is just the second woman to give birth while governing a country. The first was Benazir Bhutto, whose daughter Bakhtawar was born in 1990 while Bhutto was serving as prime minister of Pakistan.

Ardern’s approach to becoming a mother without sacrificing her career reinforces her government’s goal of changing the way women are treated in society.

“We were the first country where women fought for and won the right to vote, so I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t continue to be a leader,” Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter, who is expecting her first child in August, said in an interview.

Source: Bloomberg

House approves new national minimum wage

The House of Representatives this afternoon approved the new national minimum wage (NMW) of $7,000 per 40-hour work-week for the lowest paid workers.

The new rate, which becomes effective on Emancipation Day, August 1, will increase the old rate of $6,200, which has been in effect since 2016.

The minimum rate paid to security guards has also been increased, simultaneously as usual, to $9,700, up from $8,854 per week and reflecting a 9.6 per cent increase.

Opening the debate today, Minister of Labour and Social Security, Shahine Robinson, said that it was necessary for her ministry to do a balancing act, in order to protect both the wage-earning employers, as well as the workers earning the NMW.

“Some of the employers are also struggling financially,” Robinson said.

But, Opposition spokesman on labour and welfare, Horace Dalley, not only criticised the Government for calling back the MPs from their summer break to approve an increase which was announced from June 26 by the minister but suggested that was “not enough’.

Dalley criticised the level of increases for both minimum wage earners and security guards, describing them as “very small and meaningless”.

Source: Jamaica Bserver

Raise minimum wage to RM1,500, but do it gradually

Implementing the RM1,500 minimum wage for the private sector nationwide has to be done gradually as there are many factors involved, says Malaysian Em­­ployers Federation (MEF) executive director Datuk Sham­­suddin Bardan.

 He said there are many who are with the ‘assumption’ that the RM1,500 amount must be implemented as soon as possible.

Sham­­suddin said this year the minimum wage was set for a review and the new rate was supposed to be enforced effective July 1, but that failed to pass, with the government addressing other more pressing matters.

 He, however, said the federation has constantly proposed increasing the minimum wage.

“The mechanics into how the government will subsidise 50 per cent of the increase of the minimum wage in the private sector is still not made clear yet,” he said.

He said the streamlining of wages between the states in Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia is also yet to be completed.

“It will be too much of a pressure for the companies in Sabah and Sarawak to catch up with the minimum wage of RM 1,500 now, so doing it gradually will be better,” he said.

The current minimum wage is RM1,000 per month for Peninsular Malaysia and RM920 for Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan.

Source: Yahoo News 

Expats Urge Bahrain to Reconsider Minimum Wage Rule for Dependent Visas

The rule increased the minimum salary requirement of any foreign employee seeking a visa for dependants, such as a wife, husband or children.

Such visas used to be awarded to breadwinners earning at least BD250 a month, but in January it was announced the figure would rise to BD400.

The change only affects new applicants, with those already granted residence permits covered by an amnesty.

However, the amnesty for those earning below the threshold does not cover any new children they might have after the rule was implemented.

Section 4(5) of The Public Sector Equitable Compensation Act

The process of equality is a difficult one. It is long and involves a tremendous amount of collective work of citizens pressuring governments to act in the best interest of the citizens. The process needs to be by the books and activist-oriented and needs continual vigilance on the part of those who want gender equality through equal pay for equal work.

The Public Sector Equitable Compensation Act is a Canadian component of this tradition with the statements relevant to the equality of the persons through equitable compensations. There are a number of considerations to be born in mind about the equitable pay including the skill, the effort, and the responsibility for the work in question – or the work deriving from a particular job.

This particular section, Section 4(5), of the Act involves the consideration of equitable pay through the Governor in Council and regulations on 4 subsections related to prior sections of the Act including Section 4(1), Section 4(2)(a), Section 4(2)(b), and Section 4(3).

Altogether, these look at the assessment for equitable compensation, and the skill, effort, and responsibility for the work tied to conditions, and the qualifications linked to employee recruitment and retention, and the job groups/classes regarding equitable compensation assessment.

In regards to Section 4(5)(a), we can see the emphasis on the need for a proper assessment of the compensation. Previous publications can be seen for an examination of this issue. In the next Section 4(5)(b), we can see the prior discussion incorporated on the need for equal skill, effort, and responsibility to part and parcel of the equality of the sexes in the workplace.


Nigeria to announce new minimum wage in August – Union

The President of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), Mr Bobboi Kaigama, has said that a new figure agreed by the Federal Government and labour to serve as the new minimum wage will be announced in August. Bobboi said in Lagos on Wednesday that the committee working on the minimum wage had almost concluded negotiations on the matter.

The Federal Government had set a September date to roll out the new minimum wage for workers, although the Minister of Labour, Dr Chris Ngige, was recently reported as “double-speaking” on the issue.

Civil servants in Nigeria are eagerly awaiting a wage increase after years of enduring a wage structure, described by analysts as one of the lowest in the world.

But public office holders in Africa’s most populous nation, including members of the bicameral parliament, enjoy some of the biggest wages in the world, according to analysts.

Kaigama said that a tripartite committee meeting was held on Wednesday in Abuja, but refused to elaborate on the issues being discussed at the meeting.

“The tripartite meeting is holding today but I do not want to pre-empt the outcome or the level we have reached in our discussions, otherwise there will be unnecessary anxiety.

Source: Journal du


The city of Malibu, LA County Raise Minimum Wage to $13.25

The minimum wage was raised on July 1 to $13.25 for all companies within Malibu that have 25 or more employees. During a city council meeting on March 28, 2016, the wage ordinance was adopted and established. The minimum wage increase started gradually, beginning with $10.50 per hour on July 1, 2016, and will end up being $15 per hour by 2020.

Under Malibu’s ordinance, businesses with more than 25 employees are required to meet local minimum wage requirements, such as giving $14.25 per hour starting in 2019, and $15 starting in 2020.

“Malibu is a compassionate, fair-minded community, and we understand there are many people working in the city for whom any increase in their salary makes a difference in their well-being,” said Mayor Rick Mullen in a press statement. “At the same time, by phasing in the increase, we hope to give our local businesses time to adjust to the change.”

Enacted by LA County, small businesses with fewer than 25 employees are given time to adjust, with a one-year delay in implementing the increased minimum wage. However, wages will still increase annually and reach $15 per hour by 2021.

Source: Malibu Times

Guangdong’s Minimum Wages to Increase July 1

Last week, the Guangdong provincial government announced that they will increase the province’s statutory minimum wages from July 1, 2018.

The hike will boost minimum wages in Guangdong, one of China’s wealthiest provinces, by around RMB 200 (US$30.30) per month. It represents the province’s first increase in three years, with the exception of the city of Shenzhen, which administers its wages separately and also increased its minimum wage last year.

Like most regions in China, Guangdong sets different tiers of minimum wages according to the developmental status of the province’s urban clusters.

  • Group A: This is the tier for Guangdong’s most developed cities. In this category, Shenzhen increased the monthly minimum wage from RMB 2,130 (US$322.58) to RMB 2,200 (US$333.18), while Guangzhou will increase it from RMB 1,895 (US$286.99) to RMB 2,100 (US$318.03).
  • Both Shenzhen and Guangzhou will have hourly minimum wages of RMB 20.3 (US$3.07), with Shenzhen’s having increased from RMB 19.5 (US$2.95) and Guangzhou’s from RMB 18.3 (US$2.77).
  • Group B: This tier boasts of cities like Dongguan, Foshan, Zhongshan, and Zhuhai. Here the monthly wage will increase from RMB 1,510 (US$228.68) to RMB 1,720 (US$260.49), and the hourly wage from RMB 14.4 (US$2.18) to RMB 16.4 (US$2.48).
  • Group C: This tier includes the cities of Huizhou, Jiangmen, Shantou, and Zhaoqing, where the monthly wage will increase from RMB 1,350 (US$204.45) to RMB 1,550 (US$234.74), and the hourly wage from RMB 13.3 (US$2.01) to RMB 15.3 (US$2.32).
  • Group D: This tier consists of smaller cities like Chaozhou, Maoming, and Qingyuan, where the monthly wage will increase from RMB 1,210 (US$183.25) to RMB 1,410 (US$213.54), and the hourly wage from RMB 12 (US$1.82) to RMB 14 (US$2.12).

Source: China Briefing 

Oregon’s minimum wage jumps Sunday

Oregon workers earning the minimum wage get a raise Sunday.

The minimum wage in the Portland area will jump 6.7 per cent, or 75 cents, to $12 an hour. For a full-time employee, that works out to more than $1,500 extra a year – and nearly $4,700 additional since spring 2017.

Sunday’s increase is the second in a series of annual hikes approved in 2016 that will raise the minimum wage in the Portland area to $14.75 an hour in 2022. The minimum wage in the Portland area jumped more than 15 per cent last year, the first year of the new pay schedule.

Oregon lawmakers approved the more aggressive set of minimum wage hikes in hopes of reducing the income disparities between the state’s wealthiest residents and those at the bottom of the pay scale.

The minimum wage applies differently across the state, accounting for varying costs of living. In most of the state, outside the Portland area, the hourly minimum wage will climb 50 cents to $10.75 beginning Sunday. It will be $10.50 in 18 largely rural counties.

Oregon has one of the highest minimum hourly wages in the nation. For comparison, it’s $13.25 in the District of Columbia, $11.50 in Washington, $11 in Massachusetts and California.

Source: Oregon Live

Reducing inequality with the minimum wage

A debate over raising the minimum wage often focuses on whether jobs will disappear. But economists have become increasingly interested in how an increase to the minimum might affect other outcomes as well, such as output and inequality.

A higher minimum wage will obviously raise pay for those who remain employed at the new minimum. But in a working paper for the Minneapolis Fed’s Opportunity & Inclusive Growth Institute, economists Niklas Engbom and Christian Moser find that a hike in the minimum, in fact, increases wages for other workers, too, including relatively high earners.

The lowest earners enjoy a substantial increase when the minimum wage goes up, the economists find; middle earners receive a moderate increase, and top earners experience little or no rise. The result, therefore, is that “the policy change induced a notable decline in earnings inequality,” write Engbom and Moser, in “Earnings Inequality and the Minimum Wage: Evidence from Brazil” (IWP7). “At the same time, employment and output fall only modestly as workers relocate to more productive firms.”

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis

More Companies Than Ever Offer Paid Parental Leave

More than one in three U.S. employers offers paid maternity leave beyond the amount required by law, up from one in six earlier this decade, according to new data from the Society for Human Resource Management.

All 20 of the biggest companies in the U.S. now offer at least some paid maternity leave, with a handful of those employers offering time off for more than just the birth mother. Benefits such as paternity leave and “parental leave,” which includes new adoptive parents and same-sex couples, have also become more common.

So what’s happening? Companies haven’t necessarily discovered a new appreciation for working parents. This new-found generosity is generally self-serving—it’s meant to keep workers happy without raising their wages. More than 700 of the 1,012 organizations surveyed by SHRM said that increased benefit offerings in the last year were meant specifically to retain talent.

Source: Bloomberg Quint 

Maryland’s minimum wage to increase again 

OCEAN CITY, Md. – Maryland workers will see a larger paycheck now that the minimum wage as of July 1st will increase to $10.10.

According to Maryland state law, the minimum wage will go up by a dollar each year until July 2022 when it reaches 15 dollars.

According to local businesses, the increase does not really hurt them and it benefits seasonal employees.

“If you are doing good business, I don’t mind to pay 10 dollar minimum wage,” said the Ocean Mist’s Manager, Naginder Choudhar.

“When you do good business I don’t mind to pay,” said Choudhar.

“We have lots of kids working here Irish and European kids, and they’re all doing fine, and no one is going to get laid off or anything,” said the Golden Plate Sub Shop Manager, Jasmine Yilmaz.

Source: 47 ABC

Massachusetts’s “Grand Bargain” Increases Minimum Wage, Ends Sunday Retail Premium Pay, and Provides Extensive Paid Leave

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker just signed into law the so-called “grand bargain” bill, which contains provisions that will have a significant effect on employers in the state. The law is a compromise designed to avoid potential ballot questions about an increase in the state minimum wage, paid leave, and a reduction in the state sales tax. It contains key employment-related provisions, including:

a gradual increase of the state’s minimum wage from the current $11.00 per hour to $15 per hour by 2023;
a phase-out of the requirement that certain employees be paid time-and-one-half for Sunday and certain holiday work (a requirement found in the state’s blue laws); and
a phase-in of paid family and medical leave. (Specifically, employees will be able to take up to 12 weeks of paid leave to care for a sick family member or new baby, and up to 20 weeks of paid leave to attend to their own medical needs.)
Minimum Wage Increase and Premium Pay Elimination
The law will result in a gradual increase of the state minimum wage to $15.00 per hour through annual increases to $12.00, $12.75, $13.50, $14.25, and ultimately $15.00 in 2023. The law will also gradually increase the minimum wage applicable to tipped employees from the current rate of $3.75 per hour to $6.75 per hour in 2023.

In addition, the law will phase out time-and-one-half premium pay for retail workers on Sunday and certain holidays. The phase-out will decrease the applicable premium slightly each year, with no premium starting in 2023. The other Sunday and holiday work rules will still apply (work must be voluntary and refusal to work cannot be grounds for any type of penalty).

Paid Family and Medical Leave
The new paid leave requirements will be phased in over several years. Effective July 1, 2019, employers will be required to post a notice of the newly-available benefits and provide employees with specific written information about the benefits within 30 days of an employee’s start date. In addition, starting July 1, 2019, Massachusetts employers will begin contributing to the Family and Employment Security Trust Fund at a contribution rate of 0.63 percent of each employee’s wages (the contribution rate may be adjusted annually). . Employers with fewer than 25 employees in the state are not required to pay the employer portion of the leave premiums. We expect the details of this payment system to be clarified through regulations.

Source: National Law Review

Maryland minimum wage goes up and new laws take effect

Maryland’s minimum wage is going up.

The new $10.10 an hour wage went into effect Sunday.

It’s the last of the phased-in increases that were set by Maryland lawmakers in 2014. The first increase from $7.25 to $8 took place in 2015. It increased three times after that, to $8.25 in July 2015, to $8.75 in July 2016 and $9.25 last July.

Some lawmakers have pushed for increasing the minimum wage again, but the legislation stalled this year. Ben Jealous, the Democratic candidate for governor, supports increasing the minimum wage to $15.
Other new laws are taking effect Sunday in Maryland. One of them will extend disclosure rules that now apply to paid political ads for radio, television and print to online social media platforms like Facebook.

Source: The BaltiMore Sun

Oregon’s minimum wage jumps Sunday

Oregon workers earning the minimum wage get a raise Sunday.

The minimum wage in the Portland area will jump 6.7 percent, or 75 cents, to $12 an hour. For a full-time employee, that works out to more than $1,500 extra a year – and nearly $4,700 additional since spring 2017.

Sunday’s increase is the second in a series of annual hikes approved in 2016 that will raise the minimum wage in the Portland area to $14.75 an hour in 2022. The minimum wage in the Portland area jumped more than 15 percent last year, the first year of the new pay schedule.

Oregon lawmakers approved the more aggressive set of minimum wage hikes in hopes of reducing the income disparities between the state’s wealthiest residents and those at the bottom of the pay scale.

The minimum wage applies differently across the state, accounting for varying costs of living. In most of the state, outside the Portland area, the hourly minimum wage will climb 50 cents to $10.75 beginning Sunday. It will be $10.50 in 18 largely rural counties.

Oregon has one of the highest minimum hourly wages in the nation. For comparison, it’s $13.25 in the District of Columbia, $11.50 in Washington, $11 in Massachusetts and California.

Source: Oregon Live

Delaware lawmakers approve $1 minimum wage increase

Delaware lawmakers have narrowly passed a bill raising the state’s minimum wage after similar legislation was defeated in the Senate earlier this year.

The bill cleared the Senate late Saturday by one vote, followed by a similar one-vote margin several hours later in the House.

No Republican voted for the measure, with GOP lawmakers decrying the rushed vote shortly before 4 a.m. Sunday with no committee hearing and no chance for the business community and other members of the public to weigh in.

Angry House Republicans, in turn, vowed not to vote for an $816 million capital budget, which needs their support to pass.

The legislation would increase the current minimum wage of $8.25 an hour to $8.75 an hour on Oct. 1, and by another 50 cents next year to $9.25 an hour effective Oct. 1, 2019. A similar bill failed in March in the Senate on a 10-to-9 vote.

The legislation was introduced a week after the first bill failed. It was amended just before Saturday’s Senate vote to eliminate another proposed two-step increase that would have further raised the minimum wage to $10.25 per hour effective Oct. 1, 2021.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Source: The Washington Post 

Minimum wage? It’s time to talk about a maximum wage

Most of our mainstream political discourse on “fighting inequality” has revolved – for years now – around the more narrow goal of eliminating extreme poverty. Few of our elected leaders ever dare suggest that maybe we ought to think about eliminating extreme wealth as well. Even the mere idea seems a laughing matter.

Congressman Keith Ellison, a Minnesota Democrat, knows all this from personal experience. Earlier this year, in a talk to the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Ellison suggested that the time has come to start contemplating the notion of a “maximum wage”.

A reporter who heard those comments later asked Ellison about this maximum wage “joke” he had made. “I wasn’t joking,” Ellison replied. We need to get past the idea, he added, that we can leave some people in poverty while we let others “stack up dead presidents like nobody’s business”.

America’s rightwing media promptly swung into mockery mode. “You won’t believe what the progressives want to do next,” the Weekly Standard mocked above a story that described Ellison’s maximum wage comments as “jaw-dropping”.

“We think,” conservative pundit Laura Ingraham opined, “there should be a maximum term in office for people with ideas as stupid as this one.”

Someone ought to tell Ingraham that the idea of capping income has a long and distinguished history in America. In 1880, Felix Adler, the philosopher who would later lead America’s first national campaign against child labour, proposed a 100% tax rate on income above the point “when a certain high and abundant sum has been reached, amply sufficient for all the comforts and true refinements of life”.

Source: The Guardian 

Promoting Workplace Compliance Within Labour Supply Chains

As the Fair Work Ombudsman’s (FWO) Charity Collection Inquiry continues, charities and fundraising suppliers increasingly ask what they can expect once the inquiry’s findings are released.

On Monday the FWO released the findings of another inquiry, into the procurement of security services by local government, identifying measures for councils to improve their supply chain governance efforts. These lessons are readily applicable to charities and fundraising suppliers.

In describing the findings of the inquiry, FWO Natalie James reiterated a longstanding warning that “a lack of oversight and accountability on the part of organisations at the top of the supply chain…can play a significant role in creating conditions that give rise to non-compliance by contractors further down the chain”.

So how can charities at the apex of fundraising supply chains, sometimes with complex and multi-level contractor networks, discharge their obligations under Australian workplace laws to ensure fundraisers are lawfully engaged?

Source: PRObono Australia 

3.5% minimum wage hike takes effect this Sunday

Early this month, the Fair Work Commission announced a surprise 3.5 per cent increase in the minimum wage and corresponding award wages, putting an extra $24.30 per week into the pay packed of Australia’s lowest-paid workers.

Once the increase takes effect, employers will be bound to pay a national minimum of $18.93 per hour.

At the time of the announcement, workplace advisory firm Employsure warned that many employers, particularly small businesses, would feel a significant pinch from the increase.

“We have significant consultations with small businesses and the overwhelming view is that this increase will affect their bottom line significantly,” the group’s senior employment relations adviser, Josh Vikis, said.

“Since small businesses employ a majority of the Australian workforce and generate a fifth of our GDP, it is vital that they are provided with sufficient support to remain profitable whilst spurring growth.”

Mr Vikis added: “Australia has high wages and high living standards. Our minimum wage is one of the highest in the world.”

Source: My Business

Reducing inequality with the minimum wage

A debate over raising the minimum wage often focuses on whether jobs will disappear. But economists have become increasingly interested in how an increase to the minimum might affect other outcomes as well, such as output and inequality.

A higher minimum wage will obviously raise pay for those who remain employed at the new minimum. But in a working paper for the Minneapolis Fed’s Opportunity & Inclusive Growth Institute, economists Niklas Engbom and Christian Moser find that a hike in the minimum, in fact, increases wages for other workers, too, including relatively high earners.

The lowest earners enjoy a substantial increase when the minimum wage goes up, the economists find; middle earners receive a moderate increase, and top earners experience little or no rise. The result, therefore, is that “the policy change induced a notable decline in earnings inequality,” write Engbom and Moser, in “Earnings Inequality and the Minimum Wage: Evidence from Brazil” (IWP7). “At the same time, employment and output fall only modestly as workers relocate to more productive firms.”

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis

Guangdong’s Minimum Wages to Increase July 1

Last week, the Guangdong provincial government announced that they will increase the province’s statutory minimum wages from July 1, 2018.

The hike will boost minimum wages in Guangdong, one of China’s wealthiest provinces, by around RMB 200 (US$30.30) per month. It represents the province’s first increase in three years, with the exception of the city of Shenzhen, which administers its wages separately and also increased its minimum wage last year.

Like most regions in China, Guangdong sets different tiers of minimum wages according to the developmental status of the province’s urban clusters.

  • Group A: This is the tier for Guangdong’s most developed cities. In this category, Shenzhen increased the monthly minimum wage from RMB 2,130 (US$322.58) to RMB 2,200 (US$333.18), while Guangzhou will increase it from RMB 1,895 (US$286.99) to RMB 2,100 (US$318.03).
  • Both Shenzhen and Guangzhou will have hourly minimum wages of RMB 20.3 (US$3.07), with Shenzhen’s having increased from RMB 19.5 (US$2.95) and Guangzhou’s from RMB 18.3 (US$2.77).
  • Group B: This tier boasts of cities like Dongguan, Foshan, Zhongshan, and Zhuhai. Here the monthly wage will increase from RMB 1,510 (US$228.68) to RMB 1,720 (US$260.49), and the hourly wage from RMB 14.4 (US$2.18) to RMB 16.4 (US$2.48).
  • Group C: This tier includes the cities of Huizhou, Jiangmen, Shantou, and Zhaoqing, where the monthly wage will increase from RMB 1,350 (US$204.45) to RMB 1,550 (US$234.74), and the hourly wage from RMB 13.3 (US$2.01) to RMB 15.3 (US$2.32).
  • Group D: This tier consists of smaller cities like Chaozhou, Maoming, and Qingyuan, where the monthly wage will increase from RMB 1,210 (US$183.25) to RMB 1,410 (US$213.54), and the hourly wage from RMB 12 (US$1.82) to RMB 14 (US$2.12)

Source: China Briefing 

Increased minimum wage takes effect August 1 

Minister of Labour and Social Security Shahine Robinson yesterday announced a new national minimum wage and new hourly and weekly rates for security guards, effective August 1.

According to the minister, the new minimum wage will be increased from the current $6,200 per week to $7,000 per week, a 12.9 per cent movement, while the minimum rates for security guards will increase to $242.50 per hour, a 9.6 per cent rise, moving their basic weekly rates from $8,854 to $9,700 per week.

The minister also announced that she has recommended that a joint select committee of Parliament be appointed to deal with employment issues affecting the countries more than 30,000 security guards.

“I must point out that numerous concerns have been raised, and we must, therefore, take a serious look at what is happening in the industry,” she told the House.

She said that recently the issue of the security guards has been making the news “pretty often”, as has been the case for the past 30 years.

“I certainly do not expect the Opposition, at this stage, to use the issue of the security guards as a political football, or for mere political expediency. I would like to make it clear also that I have reviewed the sectoral presentations made by the previous minister of labour and social security between 2013/2015 and on not one occasion was any mention made of the security guards,” she pointed out.

The minister said, however, that she would be approaching the issue with a “win-win” attitude, rather than resorting to a confrontational tone, which could be prejudicial to social dialogue and damage the relationship enjoyed by the various parties through the Labour Advisory Council.

Source: Jamaica Observer

Salary Payment in Tokens: German Labour Law Considerations

Tokens are sets of data assigned to a certain user on a distributed ledger based network. A company can create tokens by initial coin offerings (ICOs), or it can purchase tokens in the market and transfer them to its employees. Tokens have different characteristics, but most academic works focus on Bitcoin. This makes it difficult to take all the different token forms into consideration and review the individual peculiarities of each. In order to understand the specific employment law issues and potential problems, it is, therefore, necessary to give an overview of the different types of tokens, their possible categorisation and the respective ways of creating them.

“Coins” and tokens are often differentiated based on their technical function. Advocates of such differentiation understand coins to be directly attributable to and having an internal function for, a network, whereas tokens do not serve the network. Following such approach, Bitcoin and Ether would classify as coins, whilst OmiseGo would be deemed a token. This article does not make a distinction between coins and tokens, as it has no impact on the questions discussed.


Commentary: It’s time to make parental leave a priority for everyone

Being a parent is a joyful and challenging experience. Being a parent in America is more challenging than it ought to be. And it’s past time both major political parties did something about it – by guaranteeing paid family leave for everyone.

A few days back from my own maternity leave – the third time around for our family – I am as conscious of my privilege in this area as I have ever been. As I return to my other day job of political strategist, and I’m looking hard at policy areas I would advise my own candidates to champion, it’s parental leave that’s at the top of the list.


For a nation that has long extolled “family values,” the United States has fallen far behind other countries in ensuring parents are able to focus on their children during those precious early weeks and months. In fact, the U.S. remains the sole industrialized nation without a paid family leave law on the books. The Family and Medical Leave Act merely guarantees those who work for a company with 50+ employees can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off – a luxury the vast majority of Americans would be hard-pressed to afford. A paltry 14 percent of American workers are offered paid family leave – and far fewer companies allow fathers time off to care for their newborn children than mothers.

While there are some companies that offer generous parental leave packages to their employees – and tout them in their press releases – it’s an expensive perk for higher-paying jobs. Such benefit packages are key to recruiting and retaining the best talent in the market for high-skill positions.

Source: CBS News

National Minimum Wage implementation date to be announced in ‘Due Course’


Workers will have to wait a little longer before they earn a minimum wage of R20 an hour or R3,500 a month.

Deputy President David Mabuza told Parliament on Monday that the national minimum wage implementation date will be announced and publicised in “due course”, while the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) finalises the matter.

In a written parliamentary reply, Mabuza says the NCOP’s select committee will be considering three labour matters, which include the National Minimum Wage Bill.

On concerns and objections to the bill, Mabuza says these have been considered and dealt with by the portfolio committee on labour and further concerns will have to be dealt with by the select committee in the NCOP.

Once the select committee has concluded its work, only then will it be possible to consider a date for promulgation of the bill as well as a date for the implementation of the national minimum wage.

Source: EyeWitness News

The ripple effect of minimum wage increases

The mid-Willamette Valley had nearly 6,900 jobs paying the minimum wage of $10.25 in the summer of 2017 — roughly 4,300 in Linn County and 2,600 in Benton County, according to Oregon Employment Department data.

As of July 1, that minimum wage is scheduled to jump to $10.75. But pay also likely will be pushed up for many workers who make slightly more than the minimum wage, and that could create a massive impact on local shops, stores and other operations, according to experts.

“The ripple effect is significant. It’s not just those minimum wage workers. It elevates everyone,” said Pat O’Connor, a regional economist with the Oregon Employment Department.

Workers making more than minimum wage but less than $15 accounted for roughly 30 percent of all jobs in the mid-Willamette Valley in the summer of 2017. That’s 17,000 jobs in Linn County and 11,400 in Benton County, according to state data. Minimum wage workers accounted for 7.3 percent of jobs in the area, state figures indicate.

“We don’t have a huge share of workers who only make minimum wage, but we have a fairly large share of workers who earn less than $15 an hour,” O’Connor said. And businesses with many of those employees will feel the pressure of increased labour costs, he added. After all, if the new employee gets a raise, the seasoned worker with more responsibilities also may get a bit of extra compensation so resentment doesn’t build up — and so they don’t jump for another job in this hot market.

Source: Democrat-Herald

Taiwan’s Central Bank advises govt. to increase the minimum wage

A report from Taiwan’s Central Bank suggests that in comparison to international averages, and Taiwan’s current financial situation, that there is still room for upward adjustment of the minimum salary in the country.

The report from the Central Bank suggests that raising the minimum wages across the country will not have a negative effect on employment numbers. On the contrary, the report suggests raising wages will improve the distribution of capital, and stimulate economic growth.

The report suggests that even a minor increase in average wages would greatly benefit young people, women, and employees working in the manufacturing sector.

UDN quoted Central Bank Chair Yang Chin-long as saying that the Central Bank is very concerned with the labour market in the country because it directly affects consumer prices and the nation’s economic development.

Since the Central Bank is committed to maintaining financial stability and the value of the currency, Yang hopes to see adequate measures taken to ensure a healthy labour force. Yang pointed out that the Central Bank can only make recommendations to the Ministry of Labor, but the Ministry does not have to take the advice.

Source: Taiwan News

Quebec passes new labour standards

The Quebec legislature has passed new legislation that revamps many of the province’s labour standards.

For example, it increases the number of weeks of absence authorized for certain events associated with parental responsibilities, and clarifies and broadens the definition of “relative.”

The new law also provides that certain days of absence may also be taken for the benefit of persons, other than relatives, for whom an employee acts as a caregiver.

Quebec’s “Act to amend the Act respecting labour standards and other legislative provisions mainly to facilitate family-work balance” also specifies that conduct, verbal comments, actions or gestures of a sexual nature may be a form of psychological harassment.

Source: Employment Law Today

New UAE labour insurance policy protects expat workers from job loss

New UAE legislation that replaces bank guarantees for private sector labour recruitment with a low-cost insurance policy will reduce costs for employers and offer better protection to vulnerable low-income expat employees, analysts said.

“The implications for the employer is that it will have to pay a lower upfront amount but secure potentially much wider cover for employee entitlements,” said Sara Khoja, a partner in the employment team at law firm Clyde & Co in Dubai.

“The employee will have better protection as he or she can complain to the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation in the event of non-payment of minimum entitlements and then the ministry can draw on the insurance to provide a payout.”

The new UAE Cabinet-approved legislation – unveiled by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, on Wednesday – do away with the Dh3,000 bank guarantee companies currently have to deposit for each new hire.

They will be replaced by a Dh60 insurance policy that offers workers protection for their workplace perks – such as an end of service benefits, holiday allowance, overtime allowance, unpaid wages, return air ticket and cases of work injury, with the maximum payout capped at Dh20,000 per person.

Source: The National 

New minimum wage: FG, labour set for a showdown over Sept deadline 

INDICATIONS  emerged, yesterday, in Geneva, Switzerland, of a looming showdown between organised labour and the Federal Government over the September deadline for the commencement of the new minimum wage. While organised labour, as represented by Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, insisted that September deadline was sacrosanct, the Federal Government said it was not realizable.

Addressing the 107th Session of the International Labour Conference, ILC, in Geneva, President of NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, said the ongoing process on the new wage must be concluded and implementation begins in September as earlier agreed. Defending this position while speaking to journalists at the conference, Wabba said: “I have told you that at the tripartite committee, we all committed to a timetable and timeline which is known and everybody is aware of it.

Source: Vanguard

Migrant Employers Need to Get the Record Straight

From 1 April 2017, employers who incur a penalty for breaching employment standards have faced a stand-down period preventing them from recruiting migrant labour. The stand-down period is for six months, one year, 18 months, or two years, depending on the severity of the breach.

This is to protect migrant workers from exploitation and unfair labour practices. Some of the businesses that have incurred penalties have actually been owned by migrants themselves. There seems to be a lack of awareness of employment law, particularly the rules for maintaining staff records for holiday pay and entitlements, and health and safety laws.

If you are a migrant business owner who employs staff, it’s essential you know and follow New Zealand employment law. If you don’t, not only will you face penalties for your business but you may have your visa revoked.

Source: Scoop Business

Cambodian parliament passes draft minimum wage law

The Cambodian National Assembly last week passed the draft minimum wage law aimed at promoting decent living for workers. The draft law with 33 articles is aimed at creating employment opportunities, increasing worker productivity and pushing for more scope for investment. The minimum monthly wage now is $170 per month. It was $40 in 1997.

Labor Minister Ith Samheng said at the National Assembly’s session that strengthening mechanism to increase the minimum wage is indeed important, according to Cambodian media reports.

A draft of the law handed over to unions and employers in Cambodia in April this year was devoid of the controversial clauses in earlier versions that penalised individuals for protesting or putting pressure on the wage determination process.

Minimum wage being raised for public servants – Newzealand 

Public service employees will now be paid at least $20.55 an hour, which works out to be $42,744 a year, Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins announced today.

The wage increase will be implemented with a one-off adjustment in pay with effect by September 1.

The majority of the workers who will benefit work in administration, welfare, contact centres and as assistant customs officers across 13 government departments,

“This decision is about supporting fair pay and employment conditions for a decent standard of living for all New Zealanders,” Mr Hipkins said.

“This Government strongly believes that every worker should be in a situation where the pay they receive means they can at least make ends meet.”

Source: TVNZ

Costco to raise the minimum wage to $14 for all workers

Costco employees will have more money in their paychecks as the company announced it will raise the minimum wage for all hourly employees.

Starting June 11, Costco’s 130,000 hourly workers will earn at least $14 an hour, almost doubling the current federal minimum wage of $7.25.

KABC reports Costco’s previous minimum wage was at most $13.50, depending on store locations.

Source: Local 10 News 

Missouri’s 2018 Legislative Session Ends With Changes in Governance and Employment Law

In the final days of Missouri’s 2018 legislative session, lawmakers passed dozens of bills, including those related to changes to prevailing wage payments and to the merit system for state workers. As of May 30, 2018, those bills and others had been forwarded to the desk of former Missouri governor Eric Greitens.

The path to enactment for the pending employment bills was thought to be more encumbered than expected following Greitens’s May 29, 2018, resignation announcement. Making his final hours count, Greitens signed two of three pending employment bills into law on Friday, June 1: Senate Bill (S.B.) 1007, which modifies the merit system for state employees, and House Bill (H.B.) 1413, which makes several changes to Missouri public sector labour law.

Source: The National Law Review

Poland’s labour ministry proposes higher minimum wage

The ministry wants the minimum hourly pay upped to PLN 14.70.

The minimum wage is currently set at PLN 2,100 a month, or 47.3 percent of the forecast average wage in Poland this year.

Minimum hourly pay at the moment is PLN 13.70.

The labour ministry’s proposals will be discussed by the Cabinet on Tuesday. The average monthly wage in Poland in the first quarter of this year rose to PLN 4,622, the country’s Central Statistical Office said last month.

Source: The News 

Western Visayas wage board approves the minimum wage hike

The Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) in Western Visayas has approved a minimum wage hike for private sector workers.

The decision was issued more than two months after a previously filed Wage Order lapsed on March 26 this year.

RTWPB Region 6 Chairman Johnson Cañete, in a press briefing at the Sugar Workers Development Center in Bacolod City Monday afternoon, announced that the new minimum wage rates in the region and cost of living allowance (COLA) are P295 and P365 per day, respectively.

Cañete said in Wage Order No. 24, workers in the non-agriculture, industrial and commercial establishments employing more than 10 employees will receive a minimum wage of P365 per day.

Based on the present minimum wage of P323.50, the RTWPB-6 has come up with an increase of P26.50 on basic wage and COLA of P15 bringing the total wage hike at P41.50.

For companies employing 10 workers and below, the new wage rate is P295 from P271.50. The wage hike is derived from an increase of P18.50 plus a COLA of P5 or a total of P23.50.

Source: GMA News Online

UIF benefits now extended to a full year

Sweeping changes to the Unemployment Insurance Act will mean that contributors who lose their jobs can draw benefits for up to a year instead of for eight months.

The department of labour plans to use part of the R133.3 billion surplus in the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) to expand the scope and reach of benefits, through amendments to the act which are due to come into effect soon.

Makhosonke Buthelezi, UIF director of communication and marketing, told GroundUp that the benefit changes would have meant that an extra R7 billion would have been paid out between January 2017 and April 2018. The UIF paid R8.47 billion in benefits in the 2016/17 year.

The extra benefits will be paid out of the surplus in the fund. There will not be any increases in contributions by employers or employees. Employees contribute 1% of their salary to the fund. The employer must match that amount and then transfer the money to the fund.

Source: The Citizen

B.C.’s new minimum wage now in effect

B.C.’s minimum wage is going up by $1.30 Friday to boost the province’s current wage of $11.35 per hour to $12.65.

The wage increase is part of the provincial government’s plan to raise the current wage to just over $15 per hour by 2021.

To make that happen, the minimum wage will increase every year until that amount is met:

  • June 1, 2019: $13.85 an hour ($1.20 increase)
  • June 1, 2020: $14.60 an hour ($0.75 increase)
  • June 1, 2021: $15.20 an hour ($0.60 increase)

The head of the B.C. Federation of Labour, Irene Lanzinger, says it’s not too much too soon.

“We have to remember that under the Liberals, we had a 10-year period when the minimum wage didn’t go up at all,” Lanzinger said.

B.C.’s minimum wage remained at $8 per hour from 2001 to 2011 under the Liberal’s Gordon Campbell government.

When Christy Clark, also of the B.C. Liberal Party, became premier in 2011, she increases the minimum wage to $8.75 per hour. By the time she left office in 2017, the province’s minimum wage was $10.85.

“We live in a very expensive province. The poverty line is about $15 an hour. So there are hundreds of thousands of workers who, even if they work full-time, have a wage below the poverty line [and] that’s just not fair.”

Source: British Columbia

Costco just became an even more appealing place to work after raising its minimum wage to $14 an hour

About 130,000 Costco employees are about to get a boost. In a call with investors on Thursday, Costco’s CFO, Richard Galanti, confirmed that the retailer would be raising its minimum wage from $13 to $14, effective June 11.

Warehouse employees will receive an increase of between $0.25 to $0.50 an hour, he said. The wage increase comes in the wake of the GOP’s corporate tax cuts, which has encouraged companies to raise wages and even hand out bonuses to employees.

Earlier this year, Walmart also announced that it would raise starting wages for its hourly employees from $9 to $11 and would offer a one-time cash bonus of up to $1,000 to other employees who are not impacted by these increases.

More than 1 million employees would benefit from this, according to Walmart. Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said that the wage increases were a direct result of the tax cuts, which could also help the company to offer lower prices for customers, provide more training for sales associates, and investment in technology.

The same day that this news broke, Walmart also announced that it would be closing 63 of its 660 Sam’s Clubs warehouse stores, costing thousands of employees their jobs.

Source: Business Insider

Trade Union Law effective: Labour Ministry

The Labour Ministry and the Arbitration Council Foundation yesterday attributed a sharp decline in labour dispute cases last year to a Trade Union Law enacted in 2016.

ACF yesterday held a national conference promoting effective governance related to industrial relations.

It reported that over the course of 15 years, the council has received a total of 2,650 labour dispute cases involving one million garment workers. The report added that 75 percent of labour disputes were resolved.

In 2017, there were only 50 reported cases, it noted, a drop from 248 cases in 2016 and 338 cases in 2015.

The ACF also said that 87 percent of disputes were related to the garment manufacturing sector and tourism.

Mam Vannak, a Labour Ministry secretary of state, said that the decline can be attributed to the Trade Union Law law passed in 2016.

“We notice that since the Trade Union Law was enacted, employers and employees seem more cooperative in finding solutions,” he said. “So the number of labour disputes sent to the council has declined. This is what we are happy about and it’s a no-headache solution.”

Men Nimmith, ACF executive director, said that the council used to receive hundreds of cases.

Source: Khmer Times

Fair Work Commission rules on minimum wage

The Fair Work Commission (FWC) has today announced its decision to increase the national minimum wage by 3.5% from 1 July 2018.

This means that for about 200,000 workers who are paid the national minimum wage, base wages will increase from $18.29 an hour or $694.90 per 38-hour week to $18.93 an hour or $719.20 per week.

As in previous years, the FWC also increased minimum wages for up to 2.3 million workers who have their pay set by any of the 122 modern awards by 3.5%.

In its decision, the FWC said the current economic conditions supported an increase, “…the economic indicators now point more unequivocally to a healthy national economy and labour market.”

The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) wanted an increase of $50 a week, arguing it would help Australians grappling with the rising cost of living.

Minister for Small and Family Business, the Workplace and Deregulation, Craig Laundy said the FWC had reinforced a wage rise of the size proposed by the ACTU would, “…carry a substantial risk of reducing the employment opportunities for low-skilled workers, including many young persons, who are looking for work.”

As is its standard practice, the FWC considered evidence from unions, employer representatives, community groups, state governments and the Commonwealth to reach its decision.

Source: HRD Australia

INSIDE LABOUR: Minimum wage, innovation and persecution

It will probably be a year before the controversial minimum wage bill passes through the National Council of Provinces and becomes law. By then, especially taking account of the 1 percentage point VAT increase to 15% and the hike in the fuel levy, the living costs of lower-paid workers will have risen greatly.

Supporters of the measure tend to stress R3 500 a month as the proposed minimum income, with President Cyril Ramaphosa pointing out that more than 6 million workers are paid less than this. Therefore, it is argued, this large group stands to benefit from the legislation.

But this is an illusion since many, perhaps most, workers earning less than R3 500 a month are in domestic employ. And the new law puts their hourly minimum at R15, a sum slightly less than the existing minimum set by ministerial determination for workers in major urban areas.

Most domestic workers are also not in full-time work; many labour for two or three employers and often, on average, for a total of perhaps for three or four days a week or less. Under the proposed new dispensation, even a 40-hour, a five-days-a-week job would mean just R2 400 a month.

In many cases, certainly in major centres such as Johannesburg and Cape Town, half that amount could go on transport alone.

Source: Fin24

Minimum wage increased by 3.5% to $18.93 an hour

The stronger economic forecast has allowed an increase of the national minimum wage by 3.5%, taking it to $18.93 per hour.

But the increase decided upon by the Fair Work Commission on Friday is well below the 7.2% called for by unions.

The FWC decision sets the new minimum wage at $719.20 a week. That will mean wages will rise by $24.30 a week for about two million workers.

The commission pointed to stronger economic indicators and forecasts from the federal government, the International Monetary Fund and the Reserve Bank.

Source: The Guardian

South Africa sets first-ever minimum wage

A minimum wage, of 20 rand ($1.59) per hour, has been set in South Africa for the first time in the country’s history.

Supporters of the bill say the new wage will reduce inequality and boost economic growth as it will encourage more spending. A 2016 commission, led by President Cyril Ramaphosa, found that just under 50% of employed South Africans earned less than the new minimum wage.

Following this, South Africa’s government voted overwhelmingly in favour of passing the new minimum wage bill, with the expectation that it will help the lowest paid workers, including almost 75% of farm and domestic workers.

David N. Margolis writes that minimum wages can both “protect workers with low bargaining power from exploitation” and “increase household income.” In his IZA World of Labor article, Introducing a statutory minimum wage in middle and low-income countries, Margolis argues that the “motivations for introducing a statutory minimum wage in developing countries include reducing poverty, advancing social justice, and accelerating growth.”

Source: IZA World of Labour

Maternity protection in the workplace

Every second Sunday of May, we honour and pay tribute to our mothers for their strength, resilience and the pivotal role they play in shaping us into the people we are today.

From a legal standpoint, we may also pay tribute to mothers in a way that extends beyond the purely personal sphere. The Philippines has an obligation to pass measures—at a national level—to strengthen the social protection of women workers, specifically as regards maternity protection at the workplace.

Our country falls below regional and international standards in terms of statutory paid maternity leave. Based on a 2012 report by the International Labor Organization (ILO), our country grants one of the fewest paid maternity leave days, compared with its Southeast Asian neighbours. Existing Philippine laws grant only 60 days of paid maternity leave for women who undergo normal childbirth, and 78 days for those who deliver via caesarian section.

In contrast, Vietnam grants expectant mothers 180 days of paid maternity leave, while Singapore grants 112 days’ leave. Myanmar grants 98 days’ paid leave, in line with the recommended number of paid maternity leave days under Convention 183 of the ILO.

Source: The Manila Times

Maternity leave with full pay if you work one year completely in UAE

This is in accordance with Article 30 of the Federal Law No. 8 of 1980 regulating Employment Relations in the UAE (the ‘Employment Law’). Which states: “A female employee shall be entitled to maternity leave with full pay for a period of 45 days, including the period preceding and the period following her confinement, on condition that she has been in her employer’s service for a continuous period of not less than one year. If she has not completed the aforesaid period of service, she shall be entitled to maternity leave with half pay.

On the expiry of her maternity leave a female employee may be absent from her work without pay for a maximum period of 100 consecutive or non-consecutive days, if such absence is due to an illness preventing her from resuming her work and if the illness is confirmed by a medical certificate issued by the medial service specified by the competent health authority or if the latter authority confirms that the illness was caused by the women’s work or confinement.

The leave provided for in the preceding two paragraphs, shall not be deducted from another period of leave.”

The Employment Law is silent on resignation by an employee during maternity leave. Therefore, you may resign and see whether your employer accepts your resignation. However, it is recommended you serve your notice period upon re-joining the employment immediately after your maternity leave to avoid any objections from your employer.

Source: Khaleej Times

LABOUR BUZZ: National minimum wages effective May 1, 2018

The time arrived on May 1st, 2018 and the National Minimum Wage (NMW) became law in South Africa. Jubilation for many workers and unions but the serious concern in how to keep business doors open for many employers.

Employers that cannot afford the increase MUST apply online for exemption. Applications for exemptions do not make provision for manual submission and the process can only be accessed via the NMW website which should have been running since March 2018 to allow applications. I have attempted to access this online application system but with no success.

However, to assist employers and as a lot of confusion seems to be around the following, wages need to be implemented effective 1 May 2018.

Source:  Estcourt and Midland News

Daily minimum wage is set as 4800 Kyats for workers of Myanmar

The Government of Myanmar has fixed 4,800 Kyats as there new daily minimum wage for labourers to reduce poverty and inequality and to strengthen democracy and promote sustainable development.

The National Committee Minimum Wages proclaimed that the Minimum Wages applies to private business which has around 10 workers but not small and family-owned companies with less than 10 workers.

Meanwhile, the Myanmar government has also announced raising the salary of civil servants across the country with effect from the month of April.

The Ministry of Planning and Finance stated that the current annual salary ranges will be hiked by 10 percent and 20 percent respectively.

The workers wanted 5,600 kyats per day as their minimum wages but the National Committee for Minimum Wage decided to give 4,800 kyats per day as the Minimum Wages.

Source: Xinhuanet

Trump’s Government wants to reduce child labour laws

The Trump Government wants to reduce decades-old protections for America’s youngest workers by allowing teens to toil for long hours under some of the nation’s most treacherous workplace.

The Labor Department will propound relaxing current rules—known as Hazardous Occupations Orders — that bar 16- and 17-year-old apprentices and student learners from receiving extended, supervised training in certain dangerous jobs, sources told Bloomberg Law.

That includes roofing work, as well as operating chainsaws, and various other power-driven machines that federal law recognizes as too dangerous for youths younger than 18.

Source: New York Post

How Saudi labour law caters to women

It has been observed that labour law issues receive a wide response from employees and business owners. Mostly, employees and employers will refer to this system only when they need to, without paying attention to the small duties and rights.
I believe that both parties have rights and duties that they are unaware of which are very important and reflect directly on their performance. In this series on the Saudi labour system, we will talk briefly about the most important terms affecting the employee’s job and the employer’s decisions.
Therefore, the current focus is more on the empowerment of women and the great emphasis on their rights and equality with their male colleagues, owing to their impressive contribution in the wheel of Saudi development, and their significant efforts in the development of the national economy.

Source: Arab News

BusinessNZ says labour law changes will mean unions control conditions of the entire workforce

New Zealand’s corporate sector has stepped up its attack on proposed labour laws, saying it would put the control of conditions in the hands of a fraction of the workforce and undermine a move towards flexible working conditions.

Business New Zealand appeared before the Education and Workforce select committee in its hearings on the Employment Relations Amendment Act.

Kirk Hope, chief executive of BusinessNZ, said the law could breach privacy laws as well International Labour Organisation conventions ratified by the last Labour Government, around voluntary participation in collective bargaining.

“It’s certainly not great for business, it’s not going to be that great for workers and indeed it’s not going to be that good for New Zealand, frankly,” Hope told the select committee.



South Korea labour law cuts working week to 52 hours

A controversial new law in South Korea will limit the working week from a maximum of 68 to 52 hours.

The government says it will help work-life balance, but some businesses say it will make them less competitive.

Source: Aljazeera

More than 200,000 workers to get back pay after NMW investigations

In the 2017/18 financial year, HMRC investigators uncovered £15.6 million in underpayments to these workers, up from £10.9 million for more than 98,000 workers last year.

HMRC attributes this jump in non-payment cases to an online complaints service it launched last year, which led to a 132% increase in reports.

The Government is due to launch its annual advertising campaign to raise awareness of workers’ right to receive the national living wage or national minimum wage and point them towards an online resource where they can report underpayment.

On 1 April, the national living wage rate increased to £7.83 per hour for those aged 25 and over, while the national minimum wage rose to 7.38 per hour for those aged 21 to 24.

Business Minister Andrew Griffiths said: “Employers abusing the system and paying under the legal minimum are breaking the law.

“Shortchanging workers is a red line for this Government and employers who cross the line will be identified by HMRC and forced to pay back every penny and could be hit with fines of up to 200% of wages owed.”

Source: Personnel Today

Farmworkers entitled to minimum wage for some tasks, high court says

Farmworkers in Washington who are being paid a piece-work rate must be paid minimum wage for the time they spend doing other tasks, a divided state Supreme Court said Thursday.

In response to a question from a federal judge, a bare majority of the court said the state’s minimum wage law plainly requires employers to pay their adult workers at least minimum wage for the hours worked. They can’t average the amount they get from piece-work with a lesser hourly wage for other tasks so that the weekly paycheck totals the amount that would be paid under minimum wage.

“There is no exception, other statutory provision, or judicial or executive interpretation that allows employers to evade the plain language in the context presented,” Justice Mary Yu wrote in a majority opinion signed by four other justices.

The case involves a possible class-action suit in U.S. District Court between farm workers and the Dovex Fruit Co. of Wenatchee over wages and working conditions. U.S. District Judge Salvador Mendoza asked the state’s highest court for an interpretation of the Washington Minimum Wage Act, which is under dispute by the two sides.

Source: Spokesman

New California Ruling Easy as ‘ABC’ to Determine Employee or Independent Contractor?

Los Angeles, California courts have been debating, defining and determining employment status—whether a worker is an employee or independent contractor– since 1989. Mis-classification has always been a grey area, despite California labour law holding for three decades the “Borello” standard. As of April 30, however, the new and more rigid “ABC test” is being used to identify disputes under wage orders. And experts say it will have far-reaching implications for the California workforce.

Independent contractor misclassification persists in all industries, from taxi drivers and truck drivers to cable installers and service industry workers. In California and many other states, it is presumed that workers are employees and not independent contractors, and the burden is on the employer to demonstrate that the worker is properly classified as an independent contractor.

Some employers classify a significant portion of their workforce as independent contractors to reduce overhead and provide greater flexibility. By classifying workers as an independent contractor, the employer avoids minimum wage and overtime requirements, the meal and rest break requirements, prompt payment of wages, and various penalties for violating these laws.

Source: Lawyers and Settlements

Failing to pay the national minimum wage should be a criminal offence

Yet in 2017, the Low Pay Commission estimated that some 1.9 million jobs paid at or below the National Minimum Wage (NMW). This is likely to rise to 3.4 million by 2020. Currently, around 362,000 jobs earned less than the NMW. The picture worsens when it is noted that a 20% of UK’s population earns less than the living wage.

Those most likely to be low paid to include women, the young, part-time and temporary employees, those in lower-skilled occupations, and those employed in the hospitality, retail and care sectors. Of course, men are not immune.

Souce: Left Foot Forward

The new law will force 3,000 big companies to show they are stamping out slavery

The federal government will force 3,000 big companies to explain how they are stamping out modern slavery, a move welcomed by anti-slavery campaigners.

But unions and Labor say the changes will be “inadequate and ineffective” without the creation of an independent anti-slavery commissioner or penalties for corporations that breach their new requirements.

The government has been urged to act on modern slavery following a series of revelations of widespread exploitation, including of migrant fruit pickers in Australia, domestic workers in Australian embassies, and children in foreign orphanages.

Source: The Guardian

How the United Kingdom protects its employees against discrimination

New regulations introduced under the UK Equality Law came into effect on April 5th. Now compliant under the new act, companies in the UK which employ 250 or more people are required to report the disparities in compensation statistics of men and women. The truth is that everybody expected wage disparity between the two sexes. After all, it is a centuries-old tradition.

The only question that had loomed was, “How much?” And the answer to that question is what has still managed to surprise.

Some high-level numbers to denote the gap:

  • Average median pay gap between men and women is 12%
  • A total of almost 8 in 10 companies pay men more than women in the UK
  • Men form the majority of the highest pay quartile in 19 of the 21 areas of the private sector.

Source: People Matters

Ontario Finalizes Pay Transparency Act, 2018, Targeting Large Employers

As we reported in March of 2018, the Ontario government recently introduced legislation designed to create pay transparency by prohibiting employers from asking job applicants about pay history, requiring employers to report their pay practices to the Ministry of Labour, and authorizing the appointment of compliance officers to investigate whether employers have complied with the bill’s requirements, among other things.

The Ontario government recently passed Bill 3, the Pay Transparency Act, 2018, making Ontario the first province in Canada to enact pay transparency legislation. Bill 3 replaces the original Bill 203 that had been introduced in March 2018. The new Pay Transparency Act, 2018, clarifies several of the new rules that will apply to Ontario employers starting in 2019, with an initial focus on targeting larger businesses. But it also leaves a number of uncertainties that will need to be clarified in future regulations (i.e., rules made by the government outside of the formal lawmaking process).

Source: Lexology

Ontario introduces pay transparency legislation in Ontario

Bill 3, the Pay Transparency Act, 2018, passed Third Reading in the Ontario Legislature on April 26, 2018. The legislation will require an employer to disclose certain compensation information about, and to, employees and prospective employees, and restrict the information an employer may solicit during the hiring process. The Pay Transparency Act, 2018, comes into force on Jan. 1, 2019. Accordingly, employers (particularly those with more than 100 employees) should prepare now.

Source: Employment La Today

Rwandan trade unions in the fresh appeal for minimum wage on Labor Day

Rwanda’s trade unions on Tuesday made a fresh appeal for the government at the national Labor Day celebrations to expedite setting up of a new minimum wage.

There is need to fast-trackRwandan trade unions in fresh appeal the setting up of a new minimum wage as part of efforts to improve relations between workers and employers in the country, said Martin Rugema, head of Rwanda Workers Trade Union Confederation, in Rubavu district, western Rwanda.

Workers in the informal sector in rural areas need at least 87,000 Rwandan francs (101 U.S. dollars) minimum wage while those in urban areas need a minimum wage of at least 126,000 Rwandan francs (147 U.S. dollars), according to a survey of the trade union Labor Congress and Workers’ Brotherhood in Rwanda.

Source: Xinhuanet

NJ’s Equal Pay Act, FLSA Opt-Ins, “Ambush Election” Rule, Guidance on New Tax Credit

A weekly rundown of the latest news in the field brought to you by Epstein Becker Green. We look at the latest trends, important court decisions, and new developments that could impact your work. Join us every Monday for a new five-minute episode! Read the firm’s press release here and subscribe for updates.

Source: Jdsupra

Philippine President Duterte signs an order banning ‘illegal’ short-term labour

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday (May 1) signed an executive order banning employ-on-contract practices, even as tens of thousands of workers marked Labour Day with a huge rally to call him out for reneging on a key campaign promise.

Ending short-term labour was one of Mr Duterte’s many campaign promises. Two-thirds of the country’s 39 million to 40 million workforces are on short-term contracts, according to a 2016 government estimate.

Source: Straits Times

The long-standing issue of child labour in Africa

Africa has the world’s highest incidence rates of child labour with severe rates in sub-Saharan Africa where more than 40 per cent of all children aged 5–14 labour for survival, or about 48 million children.

As per the current status provided by the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), Sub-Saharan Africa has the largest proportion of child labourers (29 per cent of children aged 5 to 17 years). In the Middle East and North Africa, fewer than 1 in 10 (7 per cent) of children in this age group are performing potentially harmful work.

Source: Devdiscourse

Qatar sets best standards for the welfare of workers

Minister of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs, H E Dr Issa bin Saad Al Jafali Al Nuaimi has said that Qatar is having the best standards for workers’ welfare as it has updated most of the labour legislation to comply with the best international standards.

The Minister said that International Labour Organisation (ILO) has become a strategic partner, especially after opening an office in Qatar. “Qatar has become a role model in the workers’ welfare,” he said while speaking at the 5th Labour and Workers Conference organised by Dar Al Sharq to mark the Workers’ Day at Marsa Malaz Kempinski Hotel yesterday.

Meanwhile, ILO has confirmed that Qatar made remarkable advancement to ensure the rights of workers. “The realisation of the fundamental principles and rights at work is making significant progress in Qatar,” said Corrine Vergha, Director of the International Labour Standards Department at ILO while addressing the event.

Source: The peninsula

 New Jersey Equal Pay Act Signed Into Law

On Tuesday, April 24, 2018, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed into law the Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act (the “Act”), which amends the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (“NJLAD”) to provide enhanced equal pay protections for New Jersey employees. The Act, which becomes effective on July 1, 2018, prohibits pay disparities based upon characteristics protected by the NJLAD, such as race, creed, colour, national origin, nationality, ancestry, age, sex, etc. Specifically, the Act makes it an unlawful employment practice “[f]or an employer to pay any of its employees who is a member of a protected class at a rate of compensation, including benefits, which is less than the rate paid by the employer to employees who are not members of the protected class for substantially similar work, when viewed as a composite of skill, effort and responsibility.”

Source: National Law Review

Following Election of Governor Murphy, New Jersey Finally Enacts Equal Pay Bill

On April 24, 2018, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed the Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act that was passed by the legislature several weeks ago and is aimed at lessening the wage gap in the Garden State. The Equal Pay Act is more comprehensive than similar laws passed in other states because it extends legal protections not just based on gender, but to all protected classes under New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination (“LAD”).  The bill amends the LAD and makes it illegal for an employer to pay a person protected under the LAD less than an employee performing similar work.

Source: JD Supra

Qatari laws to match global standards: NHRC

The Qatari laws have sought compliance with international labour standards, and labour legislation continues to improve, said Sultan Hassan Al Jamali, Assistant Secretary General of National Human Rights Committee (NHRC).

He said that the Domestic Workers Law was passed in 2017, and we hope that labour laws will continue to evolve until all international standards met with the availability of mechanisms that ensure the best working conditions.

Al Jamali was speaking at a seminar on Labor and Residence Law for the Indian Community in Qatar yesterday at Doha Hilton Hotel. The seminar was organised by NHRC to educate the representatives of Indian Community so they could pass the information to their fellow citizen’s, especially blue-collar workers in their native language for better understanding. “The right to work is one of the human rights enshrined in many international conventions, including the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which the State of Qatar recently acceded to,” said Al Jamali.

Source: The PeninsulaQatar

The Truth About the New Laos Minimum Wage Hike

After months of deliberation, Laos’ Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith announced this week that the country’s minimum wage will increase from 900,000 kip ($108) to 1.1 million kip per month. This rise is set to take effect from early next month.

The Lao Federation of Trade Unions (LFTU), a state-sponsored union organization, had petitioned for the minimum wage to be increased to 1.2 million kip per month, which they said was necessary because of the rising cost of living. But the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, a lobbying group, put up a strong fight, arguing that any minimum wage rise above 1 million kip would be disastrous for the country’s manufacturing industry, still nascent at best, while also asking for a two-year implementation period for the wage rise in order to soften the blow of extra salary expenditure.

Thongloun, it would seem, has sided with the forces of labour, not capital, in this dispute. Some analysts thought that the ruling Communist Party might have instead swayed in the other direction, given that national debt is mounting – 68 percent of GDP in 2016 – while the Party is keen to diversify its economy, long reliant on the export of natural resources. Unlike neighbouring Myanmar, Cambodia, and Vietnam, Laos’ low-cost manufacturing sector remains in the developmental stages relatively speaking, which industry bodies argue won’t be helped by raising salaries.

Source: The Diplomat

LISTEN: How will minimum wage increases affect the restaurant industry in B.C.?

With ever-advancing technologies and artificial intelligence creeping into the workforce, job security for current and future generations has never been more worrying. CKNW’s Future of Work series focuses on how British Columbia’s job market is going to evolve and how to help workers get the best possible employment opportunities in the future.

B.C. has announced plans to raise its minimum wage to $15.20 by 2021 and to eliminate a special, lower minimum wage for people who serve liquor. They’re big changes that have many in the restaurant industry on edge.

Source: Global News

House OKs bill to let towns and counties hike the minimum wage

Local governments would be able to pass laws increasing the state’s minimum wage within their jurisdictions under a bill that won preliminary approval in the Colorado House on Monday.

The Democratic sponsors of the bill, Reps. Jovan Melton of Aurora and Jessie Danielson of Wheat Ridge said HB1368 was nothing more than a local-control measure, something that would allow those governments that have a higher cost of living to decide for themselves what their minimum wages should be.

Republicans, however, had a different opinion.

“It hurts the people making minimum wage in that district because overall it creates fewer jobs,” said Rep. Dan Thurlow, R-Grand Junction. “The second really bad part of it is it creates confusion around the state. If you have people trying to do business across the state, and you’ve got different minimum wages in all the jurisdictions, it creates a real problem for them accounting-wise. It drives up costs, and it probably incentivizes people to figure out solutions that use fewer minimum wage workers … such as computer ordering systems at restaurants.”

Source: The Daily Sentinel 

New York State Moves One Step Closer to New Pay Equity Laws

On the heels of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s call for New York to take additional steps to close the gender wage gap, the New York State Assembly passed a suite of pay equity legislation that would impact both private and public employers if successfully enacted.

New York’s existing Achieve Pay Equity Act (“APEA”) already aims to combat gender-based pay differentials. The New York State Fair Pay Act, one of the bills passed by the Assembly, extends equal pay legislation beyond gender, and would make it an unlawful discriminatory practice to pay “wages to employees at a rate less than the rate paid to employees of the opposite sex or of a different race or national origin for work in equivalent jobs.”  Additionally, employers could not pay wages to employees “in a job dominated by employees of a particular sex, race or national origin at a rate less than the rate at which such employer pays to employees in another job that is dominated by employees of the opposite sex or of a different race or national origin, for work on equivalent jobs.”

Source: JD SUPRA

Australia- Queensland’s Labour Hire Law In-force

Queensland, Australia’s “Labour Hire Licensing Act 2017” came into effect on 16 April 2018, and labour-hire service providers covered by the regulation have 60 days from its start to apply for a licence, according to the “Asia Pacific Legal Update Q1 2018” by Fiona Coombe, Director, Legal & Regulatory Research, at Staffing Industry Analysts.

A person provides labour hire services if the person supplies another to perform work.

“The regulations clarify the definition of a ‘worker’ and exclude certain categories of individual,” according to the report. “Exemptions include high-income earners not covered by a modern award or enterprise agreement or Queensland’s industrial relations system; individuals who are supplied by one entity to another which is part of the same group; and secondments of an in-house employee of a provider or similar arrangements.”

Source: Staffing Industry

Little Switzerland workers take an employer to court over ‘no work, no pay’ principle

Little Switzerland’s holding company World Gifts Import B.V. pleaded with the Court to reject the claims. The Little Switzerland stores in St. Maarten suffered extensive damage due to Hurricanes Irma and Maria, which struck St. Maarten in September 2017.

Little Switzerland sells jewellery and luxury watches in more than 30 locations in the Caribbean, including in St. Maarten. The hurricanes severely damaged Little Switzerland’s Front Street and Harbour stores, which led to no or hardly any turnover since. Whereas the Harbour store has partially reopened in the meantime, the Front Street store, which is currently under reconstruction, remains closed until July/August 2018, lawyer Daniella Engelhardt of Van Eps Kunneman Van Doorne law office stated on behalf of the company. She said the renovation of the Front Street store, which was severely infested with mould, would cost the US $1.3 million.

Source: The Daily HeraldThe Daily Herald

Kenya needs a law on transfer of employees

The enactment of Labour Laws in 2007 has no doubt left Kenya standing among nations with the most robust workplace legal regimes in the world.

And that is further buttressed by the fact that the Employment and Labour Relations Court, which enjoys exclusive jurisdiction in the determination of labour disputes in Kenya, is known the world over for its pro-employee stance.

In many instances, the court has shown a willingness to bend double backwards to ensure employees who knock on its doors do not go home empty-handed unless their case is completely hopeless.

Source: Business Daily Africa

After we increased the minimum wage in 2016, unemployment didn’t go up (contrary to warnings)

THE INCREASE IN the national minimum wage rate did not lead to greater unemployment among minimum wage workers, according to a new study published by the ESRI and the Low Pay Commission.

On the 1 January 2016, the minimum wage increase from €8.65 to €9.15 per hour. The Low Pay Commission make recommendations on what the minimum wage should be.

The commission has said previously that it should be increased from €9.25 per hour to €9.55 per hour, which equates to an extra €12 over a 40-hour week.

This study examined if that increased cost of wages on businesses led employers to reduce their number of employees or the number of hours worked, an argument often used by those against an increase in the minimum wage.

While the research did find that there was a reduction in the average number of hours worked by minimum wage employees, the evidence suggests this was driven by an increase in part-time workers joining the labour market following the wage increase.

Source: The Journal

Liberals to introduce new minimum wage legislation for private-sector contractors

The Liberals will introduce new legislation on Tuesday that will set a minimum wage rate for construction workers, building services or cleaners under government contract. The legislation will include provisions for market-standard rates that contractors and sub-contractors have to pay their employees.

Contractors will be expected to bid on government contracts taking those rates into account.

Source: The Star 

Sexual harassment in the workplace a widespread issue—Minister

Sexual harassment in the workplace is a real and widespread issue, however, it is also a very broad and ambiguous subject. Many employers and employees do not completely understand what constitutes sexual harassment or who can be charged with a violation.

So said Labour Minister Jennifer Baptiste-Primus who spoke yesterday’s launch of the Equal Opportunity Commission’s Guidelines on Sexual Harassment in the workplace. It was held at the Government Plaza, Port-of-Spain.

Baptiste-Primus said the prevention of sexual harassment was crucial for a workforce that prides itself on rewarding merit, refuses to tolerate discrimination and fosters gender equality.

“The work environment is expected to be a place where decent work is practised, or where employment ethics, respect for women and equal treatment of all workers should be upheld,” the minister urged.

Baptiste-Primus said that discrimination in the workplace and more specifically sexual harassment in the workplace was a global phenomenon which undermines the attainment of decent work.

“The elimination of discrimination in employment was one of the pillars of the Decent Work Agenda which have been endorsed at the highest political levels internationally and actions to promote this agenda have been pursued by the Government through ratification of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention No 111, Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, 1958 and the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

Source: Guardian

Proposed New York law allows employees a right to disconnect from work

In a most interesting development on the other side of the globe, New York City officials are considering banning work emails outside of office hours. Sounds strange in a globalized world where we are all connected on a 24 X 7 basis, and talking more often about how robots might soon take away our jobs!

The proposed law on private employees disconnecting from electronic communications during non-work hours seeks to amend the New York city charter and the administrative code of the city of New York. If passed, it will make it unlawful for private employers from requiring their employees in New York to check and respond to emails and other electronic communication outside of work hours. As per Wikipedia, the ‘right to disconnect’ is a proposed human right regarding the ability of people to disconnect from work and primarily not to engage in work-related electronic communications such as e-mails or messages during non-work hours.  Some countries in Europe already have such a right included in their labour law. France was the first country to introduce this concept in 2001, based on a decision of its Supreme Court, which held that “the employee is under no obligation either to accept working at home or to bring there his files and working tools.”  Based on the recent development in New York, it now seems that other continents are considering this concept.

The thinking behind this development is to protect employees when they choose to disconnect from work. This would allow them a better work-life balance. While employees may still choose to respond to emails outside of work hours, not doing so cannot lead to any retaliation from their manager who as such should not expect a response. Additionally, employers will need to adopt necessary policies surrounding working hours, paid time off (during which employees have a right to disconnect), emergency situations, etc. Obviously, there will be certain exceptions to this rule, for example, work-related emergencies. On-call employees will also not be entitled to any protection on days that they are scheduled to work. Government employees will also be excluded. As per the proposed law, the employer could be subjected to a monetary fine if it does not comply with the requirements. Currently, this law is restricted to employers having at least ten employees in New York.

Source: People Matters