News Flash

Japan/EU: Biggest trading bloc

The European Union and Japan have concluded a new economic union. This will establish the largest free trade area in the world. The main beneficiaries from the agreement are likely to be Japanese carmakers and European food and beverage producers.

UK: Mind the gap

A total of 372 employers employing 250+ workers have so far reported under the gender pay gap reporting obligations – a small fraction of those that must report by the April 2018 deadline. Although the Financial Times has recently reported

South Africa: Extension of parental leave

The Labour Laws Amendment Bill has now passed through parliament and now awaits approval by the National Council of Provinces. This gives all couples the right to take parental leave if they adopt or use the services of a surrogate

Argentina: Economic recovery plan

Following success at the mid-term elections the government has launched plans to cut taxes over the next five years. Corporation tax would be cut from 35% to 25% if re-invested and both personal taxation and social security cut considerably. It

India: Incidence of bonded labour

The Tamil Nadu government is undertaking a study to determine the extent of bonded labour in the state. So far 65,000 of the 300,000 workers rescued from bonded labour in India have been found in Tamil Nadu. This illegal practice

EU: Legislators exceed powers

The EU Council of Ministers and MEPs are knowingly exceeding their powers by seeking to approve a measure which the EU Treaty clearly gives them no power to introduce. The revised EU Posting of Workers Directive will require employers to

China/UK: NDA to build trust

A China-UK research and innovation non-disclosure agreement (NDA) has been mutually drawn up by officials in each government. This is designed to encourage collaboration and is fully compliant with laws in both countries.

United Kingdom: Price fixing

Although the true annual rate of consumer price inflation (including owner-occupied housing) had been predicted to hit 3.1% in September, it officially rose by 2.8%. Curious difference? Our statistical analysis of the weights used for calculating the index indicates fabrication.

Germany: A deal at last

An agreement has finally been reached between the airline Lufthansa and its 5,400 pilots. The deal will run until 2022, reduce pension costs, delay retirement ages, increase salaries by up to 10.3%, add a one-off bonus and open the way

USA : Complex negotiations begin

The private carrier UPS has started negotiations with the IBT (Teamsters) union over changes due next July for 250,000 US employees. There are 30 supplemental agreements and top of the list for the union will be improvements to health care

HRM compliance survey

We received a very good response to our recent survey of HRM legal and quality standards compliance. Access to the resulting report is limited to participants. However, it threw up a great deal of data – with often unexpected and

EU: That priority hire

A major concern for anyone trading across borders in the European Union must be the holding of trusted trader status (AEO) relating to customs simplification, security and safety. Although this offers great advantages to those operating in supply chains, many

Australia : : Fair Work Amendment

Employers, particularly franchise chains, who deliberately flaunt the minimum wage and other entitlements’ rules under the Fair Work Act 2009, now face stiff new penalties. This follows the passing of the Fair Work Amendment Bill on September 5th

France: Macron Labour Reforms

The French government has announced the outcome of its recent talks on labour reforms. The agreed changes include:

* A new facility for employers and workers to reach agreement at a company level. Negotiations with a non-elected employee (not approved

Russia: “Safe” data transfers

It is curious that Russia, one of the states most ready to invade personal privacy, also regulates the transfer of privacy to other countries providing a “sufficient level” of protection for personnel data. That is perhaps why two of the