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Australia: Parliament Passes 15% “Backpacker Tax” Rate

(Dec. 7, 2016) On December 1, 2016, on the last parliamentary sitting day of the year, the Australian Parliament voted to pass a bill establishing a 15% income tax rate for temporary foreign workers known as “working holiday makers” (WHMs, or “backpackers”) commonly referred to as the “backpacker tax.” The tax rate to be applied to […]

Mexico/El Salvador/Guatemala/Honduras: Memorandum of Understanding on Labor Pilot Program

(Nov. 30, 2016) In October 2016, labor authorities from Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras signed a memorandum of understanding providing for a labor pilot program whereby nationals of the Central American signatory countries may temporarily migrate to Mexico  to work in certain industries.  (Press Release, Secretary of Labor and Social Welfare, Suscribe México Acuerdo […]

International Labour Organization: Report Issued on Non-Standard Jobs

(Nov. 21, 2016) The International Labour Organization (ILO) has issued a report on non-standard forms of employment, recommending that policies be changed. (Non-Standard Employment Around the World: Understanding Challenges, Shaping Prospects (Nov. 14, 2016), ILO website.) Non-standard employment includes temporary or part-time work, work obtained through agencies or sub-contractors, self-employment, and disguised employment relationships. (Press […]

International Labour Organization: Forced Labor Protocol Enters into Effect

(Nov. 17, 2016) On November 9, 2016, the International Labour Organization (ILO) announced that its International Protocol P029 of 2014 to the Convention Concerning Forced or Compulsory Labour (the Forced Labour Convention of 1930) had officially entered into force. On the same date, Argentina became the ninth country to ratify the Protocol. (Aaron Christenson, International […]

Taiwan: Requirements for Employers to Obtain Subsidies for Childcare Facilities Eased

(Nov. 4, 2016) It was reported on September 5, 2015, that Taiwan’s Ministry of Labor had relaxed the requirements for employers’ applications for childcare subsidies by amending the Regulations on Breast Feeding/Milk Collection Room and Childcare Facility Measures and Standards and on [Applicable] Subsidies. The purpose of the change is “[t]o help expand and promote […]

France: Controversial Labor Law Reform Adopted

(Oct. 14, 2016) On August 9, 2016, French President Francois Hollande signed into law a significant reform of France’s labor laws. (Loi n° 2016-1088 du 8 août 2016 relative au travail, à la modernisation du dialogue social et à la sécurisation des parcours professionnels (1) [Law No. 2016-1088 of 8 August 2016 on Labor, Modernization […]

UN: Call to Include Human Rights Provisions in Trade Agreements and Dispute Resolution

(Sept. 27, 2016) On September 13, 2016, the United Nations Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order, Alfred de Zayas, called for all future trade agreements to include provisions extolling the primary importance of human rights. He also said that the treaties should be aligned with the duty that states […]

United Nations: Report on Debt Bondage

(Sept. 26, 2016) On September 15, 2016, Urmila Bhoola, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Slavery, presented a report on slavery in the modern world, in particular debt bondage, to the 33rd Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC), being held September 13-30, 2016.  (Debt Bondage Remains the Most Prevalent […]

France: Dismissal of Whistleblowers Illegal

(Sept. 8, 2016) On June 30, 2016 the Cour de Cassation (France’s Supreme Court for civil and criminal matters) ruled that the dismissal of whistleblowers is illegal. (Arrêt n° 1309 du 30 juin 2016 (15-10.557) [Judgment No. 1309 of June 30, 2016 (15-10557)] COUR DE CASSATION – CHAMBRE SOCIALE – ECLI:FR:CCASS:2016:SO01309, Cour de Cassation website.) The Cour […]

Israel: Labor Court Orders Compensation for Age-Based Discrimination

(Sept. 7, 2016) On August 21, 2016, the Regional Labor Court in Tel Aviv Yafo accepted a suit for compensation for unlawful dismissal of an employee in violation of the prohibition on age discrimination under Israel’s Equal Opportunities in Labor Law (EOL Law), 5748-1988. (Sefer HaHukim [BOOK OF LAWS, the official gazette] No. 1240 p. […]