Cross border advice and transactions

In the last five years, with the development of information technology and mobile devices, the distinction between being “at work” and “off work” has been profoundly altered. Working time is no longer confined to being in an office and working days are both more intense and infinitely extendable, making monitoring working times even more complex.Switching off

Coupled with a global economy, many employees feel that they are permanently connected to their work, irrespective of time zones and local laws. Continue Reading Switching off: making sense of working time laws in Europe

Statutory holiday pay should include variable pay and allowances

The European Court of Justice has recently decided in the case of Lock v British Gas Trading Ltd (Case C-539/12) that an employee should receive “normal pay” during their 5 weeks of UK statutory annual leave. “Normal pay” is not limited to base pay, but includes compensation for commission and allowances which the employee would have received had they been working during the leave.

Click here to read the full version of our recent European Employment Law Alert on this case:

What does this mean for employers?

The ECJ decision has major implications for clients with UK operations who operate variable pay programs, or pay overtime or attendance allowances. Going forward, these additional amounts may need to be included in annual leave payments and employees could also bring “back-pay” claims for extra holiday pay. UK employers may need to consider these extra annual leave costs when agreeing to extra pay elements such as variable pay, paid overtime or allowances.

Renewed focus on collective agreements

An increase in strikes in China, including recent campaigns at a number of international businesses has given new impetus to previous efforts to put in place a collective bargaining regime. Earlier this year, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security released a notice that, by the end of 2015, collective agreements must cover 80% of the employers in China. While the Notice does have a direct effect on employers, the expectation is that it will accelerate the trend towards compulsory collective bargaining rules in all provinces.

For more detail the full version of our recent China Employment Law Alert is available: Employers Prepare for Compulsory Collective Bargaining.

What does this mean for employers?

While Australia has a well-established collective bargaining regime, developments of this nature are always of interest. It’s possible that aspects of our system may be used in developing the new regulation in China. More importantly, clients who have operations in China should assess whether they are prepared for any new developments, and consider if their own collective bargaining experiences could assist in preparing a strategy for their China operation.