Impending Changes of Legislation

Filter Countries

Portugal: Legal action for the recognition of the existence of employment contracts – extension of scope

Initially only targeting “fake” independent contracting, this mechanism (which consists of a public prosecution lawsuit following Labour Authority [“Autoridade para as Condições do Trabalho” (ACT)] down raids, that identify signs of possible employment relationship formally structured as non-employment contracting), has now been extended to cover any cases where employment contract features are found by the authority, namely “fake” internships or volunteer work.

Additionally, this mechanism now allows the Public Prosecutor (“Ministério Público”) to initiate injunction judicial measures and request dismissal suspension orders to be issued by courts whenever the relevant relationship is terminated (by initiative of the alleged employer) after the Labour Authority has notified same alleged employer to recognize the existing contract as an employment relationship.

This process of recognition is initiated by the ACT and promoted before the labour courts by the Public Prosecutor.

For more information, please contact Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados our affiliated member firm in Portugal.

Portugal: Sports contracts – new legal framework

We highlight the following changes regarding sports contracts:

  • Sports practitioners’ employment contract

Maximum duration: 5 seasons (general rule) or 3 seasons (for under aged), instead of 8;

Trial period: 15 days (instead of 30) in agreements entered into for 2 seasons or less and, in any case, subject to explicit agreement by the parties;

Remuneration: may be paid in 10 or more instalments of equal amount, instead of being paid on a monthly basis plus Christmas and vacation allowances (14 months);

Disciplinary proceedings: statute of limitation set to180 days, instead of 1 year;

Unlawful dismissal: the sports practitioner’s reinstatement is no longer possible;

Unilateral termination without cause by the sports practitioner’s: as a general rule, the new employer is jointly and severally liable for the payment of any compensation due for the termination of the previous contract.

  • Sports practitioners’ training agreements

Maximum duration: 3 seasons, instead of 4; however, the agreement may be extended until the end of the season in which the trainee turns 19 years old.

  • New regulation of the sports agents’ activity

Under Aged: sports agents are prevented from representing sports practitioners who are under age;

Maximum duration: 2 years, being the parties prevented from including automatic renewal clauses;

Remuneration: cannot exceed 10% of the net amount of the sports practitioner´s remuneration.

For more information, please contact Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados our affiliated member firm in Portugal.

UAE: Summary of recent Legislative Amendments

Cabinet Resolution No. 11 of 2017

The 2017 Resolution implements the following key changes:

  • Category Two has from date of inception been subdivided into 3 bands (A, B and C). The 2017 Resolution introduces an additional band – band D.
  • As established by the 2010 Resolution, companies are required to pay a bank guarantee sum as part of the visa and work permit application process. This sum varies depending on the company’s classification. The 2017 Resolution does not amend the fees payable, but rather confirms the amounts and introduces the amounts payable for companies falling within the new Category Two, Band D.
  • The list of circumstances where companies may be exempt from paying bank guarantees has been extended. In addition to the previous five exemptions, companies falling under any band within Category Two or Category Three will be exempt from paying the applicable bank guarantee where the new employee is classed as a ‘skilled’ employee.
  • The 2017 Resolution comes into effect six months following its publication and is therefore expected to come into force on 1 December 2017.

Cabinet Resolution No. 15 of 2017

Fees payable to the Ministry for their services have been amended. The fees table has been extended to include the newly introduced Band D within Category Two (as discussed above). Certain fees and categories have been split to the extent that different fees have been allocated to employees considered ‘skilled’ and those ‘with limited skill’. Other changes include a reduction to some of the fees, an increase to others and removal of some services altogether, such as services for individuals over the age of 65 years.

The 2017 Resolution also changes the fine structure to the extent that some fines have been reduced and capped, some increased, some caps have been removed and additional categories have been introduced. The new resolution introduces a grievance procedure allowing parties subject to an administrative fine to appeal such decision.

The new resolution is set to go through a staggered implementation phase over the coming months, with the new fees for services provided by the Ministry expected to come into effect around the 1 December 2017, being 6 months following the resolution’s publication date and some administrative fines expected to come into force later in the year.

Cabinet Resolution No. 17 of 2017

The new resolution removes certain immigration services previously available from the Ministry of Interior.

For more information, please contact L&E Global.

Sweden: Increased whistle-blower protection for employees and contractors in certain private enterprises

The new Act on Whistle-blower Protection entered into force on 1 July 2017. According to the new Act, employees and contractors in private education, healthcare and social services will retain protection equal to employees in corresponding public services when disclosing information in accordance with constitutional provisions. The protection is limited by existing rules on confidentiality and will grant no new rights to disclose documents. Employers that intentionally hinder disclosure of information or make inquiries about the whistle-blower, risk penalty by fine or imprisonment.

For more information, please contact Cederquist our affiliated member firm in Sweden.

Poland: Lack of information regarding sick note is a violation against employing establishment

It may be treated as a violation of the basic employee’s duties if an employee performed work in the working establishment while being sick. Supreme Court had to decide if the contract could be terminated without a notice period if there was a violation not against an employer itself but against an employing establishment, which is not only good of an employer, but also a common good of the employees. As a result, taking into consideration that art. 100 § 2 point 4 of the Labour code provides that an employee is obliged to take care of the best interests of the employing establishment, the Supreme Court decided that even in case a where the employee’s presence was in the employer’s best interest, the contract of employment may be terminated without notice if the interest of the “employing establishment” as the community of employer and employees was violated. In this case, this violation was a sick employee present in working establishment.

For more information, please contact A. Sobczyk & Wspólpracownicy our member firm in Poland.

The Netherlands: Amendments to the Working Conditions Act

As per 1 July 2017 several amendments to the Working Conditions Act have been implemented. The amendments regulate, among other things, that every company must appoint a so-called prevention officer, the right of the employee to consult the company doctor about work related health and safety issues at all times, the right of the employee to ask for a second opinion regarding the advice of the company doctor, the right to consent of the works council as to the appointment of the prevention officer, and the obligation for the company and the occupational health and safety service to have a contract in place in which certain specific elements are included, such as the right of the company doctor to visit the work place and the obligation of the company doctor to have a complaint procedure in place and to report occupational illnesses to the company.

For more information, please contact Palthe Oberman our member firm in Netherlands.

Italy: a new “Voucher” System

Through article 54 bis, Law 21 June 2017, no. 96, the old “voucher system” has been replaced with two new procedures:

• The “family book”, which can be used by family members for various types of activities such as small domestic projects, including maintenance or assistance at home with babies, elderly, ill individuals or people with disabilities;
• The “occasional employment contracts”, which can be used by all employers with no more than 5 full-time permanent employees, Public Administration, associations, foundations and other private bodies.

Through the new “occasional employment” system, the employer (“user”) can acquire occasional and sporadic working performances from workers, in compliance with the economic limits provided for by the law.
The economic limits are:

  • for each occasional worker – with reference to all the employers – a total amount not exceeding € 5.000;
  • for each employer – with reference to all of the occasional workers – a total amount not exceeding € 5.000;
  • for all the performances of each occasional worker in favor of the same employer, a total amount not exceeding 2.500 Euros.

These amounts refer to the remuneration received by the occasional worker, net of contributions, insurance premiums and management costs.

As of July 2017, according to the new “voucher system”, an on-line platform of the Italian Social Security Institute (INPS) has been set up: the employer will be able to pay the occasional workers charging on the platform the remuneration that will be finally paid directly by the Italian Social Security Institute (INPS).

For more information, please contact LABLAW – Studio Legale our member firm in Italy.

India: Employee State Insurance Corporation changes the time period of contribution

Regulation 31 of the Employee State Insurance (General) Regulations, 1950 under the Employees’ State Insurance Act, 1948 has been amended by a circular notified by Employee State Insurance Corporation, whereby the contribution in respect of any employee by the employer shall be due within 15 days of the last day of the calendar month in which the contributions fall due. The time period for the same was earlier 21 days. Further, such contributions have to be made by the employer within 15 days of the last day of the calendar month in which contributions fall due, as to not attract interest or penalty under the Employees’ State Insurance Act, 1948. It is pertinent to note here that penalty includes both imprisonment and/or fine under the said Act. This amended provision has been made effective for contributions which are due from June, 2017.

For more information, please contact IndusLaw our affiliated member firm in India.

India: The new law on disability: Applicable to both public and private companies in India

With the Disability Law in force, the obligations of private establishments will now specifically include:

(a) the framing, publication and registration of the equal opportunity policy on their website and need to registered with the relevant authorities under the Disability Law;
(b) the modification of internal policies with reference to recruitment practices being aligned with the equal opportunity policy;
(c) the appointment of a Liaison Officer (only for establishments having twenty (20) or more employees); and
(d) compliance with the standards of accessibility. With specific regard to physical environment, private establishments are required to adhere to the Harmonized Guidelines and Space Standards for Barrier Free Built Environment for Persons with Disability and Elderly Persons, issued by the Ministry of Urban Development in February, 2016.

The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 (the “Act”) also provides a list of twenty-one specified disabilities, which, if present in any individual degree greater than forty per cent, will be categorized as a ‘benchmark disability’. Persons with such benchmark disabilities are entitled to additional benefits under the Disability Law. Further, the Act also identifies a separate category of persons with benchmark disabilities requiring high support needs such as physical, psychological and intensive support, and confers additional benefits upon them.

For more information, please contact IndusLaw our affiliated member firm in India.