In principle, these lump-sum allowances are not considered as ‘salary’ from a tax point of view, as they are a reimbursement of costs to be borne by the employer. Generally, the latter are reimbursed on a flat-rate basis. The setting of the lump-sum allowance is a factual matter, depending on the function of the worker and his/her duties. In practice, many companies request a ruling by the tax ruling commission or their local tax office in order to avoid recharacterisation of the cost allowance into taxable remuneration. However, the tax administration recently decided to change its policy in that regard. From now on, only the tax ruling commission will decide on lump-sum allowances concerning employer related costs. Local tax offices are no longer allowed to issue such rulings.
i) The Government of British Columbia recently announced that it is investing money in training programs to help with labour shortages in the province. The programs are meant to help young people, small businesses, and employers in the retail, hospitality, agriculture and acquaculture sectors. ii) The Ontario Securities Commission’s Whistleblower Program is scheduled to be available online as of June 2016. The Whistleblower Program will allow individuals to report serious securities-related misconduct directly to the Ontario Securities Commission and provides rewards to eligible whistleblowers.
On April 14, 2016, PRC Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security released a Circular to lower social insurance contribution rates.
i) Publication of the decree on organising video conferences of employee representative bodies, terms for use of recording and stenography during Works Council sessions. ii) Publication of the order and decree granting enhanced powers to the Labour Inspection, awarding the administration new prerogatives, and detailing the procedure for seeking a penal settlement. iii) Decree for transportation companies that second travelling or navigating employees on the national territory. iv) Terms for dematerialisation of recruitment aid for SMEs. v) Parameters for calculating contributions that construction companies must pay for short-time work due to bad weather for the period from 1st April 2016 to 31st March 2017. vi) Setting minimum wages for apprentices.
An employer, who is part of the evangelic church in Germany, requested the membership in the evangelic church or any connected church in a job advertisement. A rejected applicant, who was not a member of the evangelic church, filed a claim against her rejection. Therefore, the German Federal Employment Court submitted the following main question to the European Court of Justice: Does Art. 4 para. 2 of European Directive 2000/78/EC, allow that an employer may bindingly determine that a specific religion of an applicant is a necessary, lawful and justified business requirement for the kind of work or the circumstances of the kind of work pursuant to the ethos of the employer?
As reported in April 2016, the Central Government had, on February 10, 2016, notified amendments to the Employees’ Provident Funds Scheme. Following protests from employees of various sectors, the Central Government withdrew these amendments to the Act via a notification dated April 19, 2016. The original provisions of the Act remain valid and include: (a) the employee can still re-register with the Employees Provident Fund Organization as a “new member” upon taking a new employment; (b) employees who are migrating outside India or taking up employment abroad can still withdraw their full Provident Fund accumulations prior to leaving India; and (c) an employee can still, after 2 months following the cessation of his/her employment, make a full withdrawal of all Provident Fund accumulations.
The National Institute for Social Security Contributions’ recent declaration that more than 100.000 employees received social security contributions reductions, though they were not entitled to, has sparked an important public discussion on how the Government can remedy this error.
i) On 1 April 2016, the adult minimum wage went up by 50 cents to NZD15.25 per hour. ii) Employment confidence rose 3.3 points to 104.8 in the March quarter, according to The Westpac-McDermott Miller Employment Confidence Index.
As per the updated penal procedure, fruit of the poisonous tree may now be used. This means that an illegally recorded conversation between employer, client, or member of the board of executives will be treated as valid evidence by a court. Illegally obtained evidence was prohibited before the amendment was implemented.
The following extension decrees were recently issued on existing collective agreements that determine that the provisions of these agreements are thereafter applicable to all employees and employers within a specific business area or industry: i) Provisions contained in the collective agreement between Easyjet Airline (Portuguese Branch) and the Civil Aviation Flight Union (SNPVAC) are extended on the mainland territory to the employment relationships between the same employer and non-unionized cabin crew employees. ii) Provisions in the collective agreement between the Association of Food Distributors (ADIPA) and food retailing Unions are extended to all employers engaged in food product retailing, including drinks, fruit, vegetables and seeds, and employees at their service (regardless of their affiliation).