Employment

General environment
Austria Relatively strict and employee-friendly in many aspects due to a rich trade union history in Austria.

A large number of Collective Bargaining Agreements covering almost every industry sector.

No concept of employment at will. Only the first month of an employment relationship can be agreed as a probationary period, during which the employment can be terminated by either party with immediate effect without giving reasons.
China Chinese law is relatively employee friendly. There is no firing at will. Disputes that are not resolved amicably with employees frequently end up in labour arbitration/litigation.

Well drafted bilingual labour contracts and employee handbooks are important in practice.

Trade unions are less influential in practice, compared with some Western countries.
Czech Republic Employees enjoy a wide statutory protection as the weaker side. There is no concept of "employment at will", only the first three months of an employment law relationship can be agreed as a probationary period, during which the relationship can be terminated by either party with immediate effect without giving reasons. Any other dismissal by the employer must be justified by a real and serious cause; the reasons are stipulated in the Labour Code.

In August 2021, an amendment to the Czech Employment Act came into force. This new regulation also allows users, i.e. companies hiring workers through a contract on work or a service contract, to be fined for hidden agency employment.
Hidden agency employment is a prohibited practice in which a legal entity without an employment agency licence assigns its employees to a third-party user to carry out dependent work, which is supervised and managed by the third-party user.
In other words, any outsourcing, service contracts or contracts on work should be subject to a detailed review to verify that they do not show signs of hidden agency employment.
A fine up to CZK 10,000,000 (approx. EUR 394,000) may be imposed on both parties (i.e. on suppliers and users) for hidden agency employment.
England & Wales Stricter and more employee friendly than the US, lighter than mainland Europe.
No concept of employment at will although the first two years’ employment is close to this.
France The concept of “employment at will” does not exist. Any dismissal must be justified by a real and serious cause, the absence of which may render the employer liable for damages.
Germany Stricter and more employee friendly than the US and UK but not as strict as e.g. in France. Protection against unfair dismissal if the company has more than 10 employees on the ground in Germany. No concept of employment at will and no “pay in lieu”. Employment relationships are co-determined by works councils where such is established. Mandatory co-determined supervisory board if the company has >500 employee.
Hong Kong The HKSAR Government regulates employees’ rights and benefits, occupational safety and health through various labour legislation.

As of now, 31 relevant International Labour Conventions apply to Hong Kong. Such conventions are promulgated by the International Labour Organisation that is a specialised agency of the United Nations. The conventions deal with a multitude of labour issues including conditions of work, employment policy, employees’ compensation, labour relations and occupational health and safety.
Hungary The Labour Code contains minimum provisions for employment contracts and applicable rules for an employment relationship just as for the termination of an employment relationship. The Labour Code contains sections that are binding while other parts allow derogations to a certain extent. The labour environment is stricter and more employee-friendly since the new Act.

Generally, there is strong protection of the employees by giving effect to the principle of equal treatment. Certain employee groups (such as women from the time of their pregnancy, until the child reaches three years of age or minor employees) enjoy special protection and benefits.

There are two levels of the statutory minimum wage:

The 1st level applies to all employment relationships under Hungarian law: The minimum wage in this level amounts to gross HUF 167,400 (approx. EUR 479) monthly (or HUF 963 [approx. EUR2.76] per hour).

The 2nd level applies to all employees with secondary education level: The minimum wage in this level amounts to gross HUF 219,000 (app. EUR627) monthly (or HUF 1,259 [app. EUR 3.6] per hour).
Ireland Employment law in Ireland is governed by statute, common law and a range of fundamental rights protected by the Irish Constitution. EU Directives and decisions of the Court of Justice of the European Union also apply.
Italy Any dismissal must be justified and grounded on certain reasons.
Netherlands Strict, though much more employee friendly than the US and the UK. Dutch law is characterized by its preventive dismissal assessment, which includes that an employer cannot terminate unilaterally without the permission of the court or the labour office.
Poland The Labour Market in Poland is considered as employee-friendly but lighter than in countries of Western Europe. No concept of employment at will.

In the case of an indefinite contract with the strongest employment guarantee, it is required to indicate the reason for termination in writing. The weaker protection of the labour code is characterised by a definite or trial period contract, which can be terminated without reason.
Singapore The employment environment in Singapore is generally not as strict as mainland Europe, and the standards are closer to that of the US/UK. Parties are free to contract as they wish.
Slovakia Strict and employee-friendly. No concept of employment at will, except for the probationary period in which the employer may terminate the employment with immediate effect and without giving any reasons. As a general rule, the probationary period may not exceed three months. A six-month probationary period can be agreed with employees in managerial positions.
Ukraine Collective Agreements exist in almost every industry sector. There is no concept of employment at-will, and probationary period for employment cannot exceed three months - or in some cases, six months. Employers have the right to dismiss employees with three days’ notice in writing during probation period.
United Arab Emirates The employment relationship is governed by the UAE Federal Labour Law (Law No. 8 of 1980) (“the UAE Labour Law”) as amended from time to time which sets out a minimum standard of employment conditions that are obligatory for all employers in the UAE. As a Federal statute, the provisions of the UAE Labour Law apply to all private sector employers based in the UAE, including those that are established in free zones. Although the free zone may implement internal employment regulations applicable to companies established within it, these will merely supplement the minimum provisions as laid out in the UAE Labour Law.

There are only two current exceptions to the overarching application of the UAE Labour Law. The first is in the Dubai International Financial Centre (“DIFC”) which is a separate jurisdiction with its own employment legislation, namely the DIFC Employment Law 2019 (as amended) (the “Employment Law”). The application of the Employment Law is to all employees and employers who are based and ordinarily work in the DIFC. The second exception is the Abu Dhabi Global Market (“ADGM”) which also has its own employment legislation, namely the Abu Dhabi Global Market Employment Regulations 2019.

All expatriate employees must obtain a residency visa and work permit. As part of that process, they will be required to enter into a standard form contract either with the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (“MOHRE”) or the relevant free zone in which the entity is established. That being said, there are certain free zones (e.g. the Dubai Development Authority Free Zone) that allow companies to submit their own internal employment contract as opposed to the free zone standard form contract.

UAE entities registered with MOHRE (which shall primarily be onshore entities) that employ over 50 employees are subject to Emiratisation requirements. These UAE entities must ensure that 2% of the workforce is comprised of UAE Nationals. However, no such quotas exist in free zones at present. In employing workers via free zone entities/keeping headcount of onshore entities to less than 50 employees, commercial companies can avoid the application of Emiratisation quotas.
Unfair dismissal maximum damages (length of service needed for this to apply)
Austria Depending on length of service (six weeks to five months’ salary payment) according to law as well as compensation payments for unused holidays. Deviating contractual agreements in favour of the employee are possible.

Basically from the first day of employment. A one month probationary period can be agreed upon during which the employment can be terminated by both sides with immediate effect without further (monetary) consequences (unless the termination was discriminatory).
China In cases where an employer termination is found to be illegal, the employee is entitled to reinstatement or, if impossible, to double the statutory severance pay.
Czech Republic If the employment law relationship has been invalidly terminated, the employee may notify the employer in writing that he insists on being further employed. The employment relationship shall continue to exist and the employer shall be obliged to provide the employee with compensation for wages. The employee shall be entitled to compensation in the amount of the average earning from the date of notification to the employer until the time when the employer allows the employee to continue his work or when the employment relationship validly ends.

Invalidity of termination of an employment relationship may be claimed by both, the employer and the employee, at the courts no later than within two months of the date when the employment relationship was to end through such termination.

In order to avoid problems occurring especially in connection with delivery of a notice given by the employer an amendment to the Labour Code was adopted with the effectiveness as of 1 July 2020. According to this new regulation the employer is entitled to deliver the notice to the employee also through a postal service provider without the need to prove the unsuccessful delivery in person at the workplace or wherever the employee is found as this was required before the adoption of a new regulation.
England & Wales Approximately £85,000 plus up to approximately £15,000 depending on age and years of service. Two years
France Maximum amounts of damages fixed by the French labour Code in consideration of the employees’ seniority: from a maximum of one month’s gross remuneration for an employee having less than one year seniority to a maximum of 20 months’ gross remuneration for an employee having more than 29 years’ seniority (not including any damages on other grounds, such as moral harassment, overtime, etc).
Germany No statutory law for damage compensation. Severance pay only if agreed to/employer decides to pay one (no statutory entitlement).

A dismissal needs to have a justified reason (operational, personal or behavioural reason) if the German Act Against Unfair Dismissal (KSchG) applies. This is the case as soon as employee has been with the company for 6 months and more than 10 employees are employed in the operation.

If the dismissal is void and the claim of the employee successful, the employee will have to be re-employed or the employer needs to buy-out by a severance payment. Rule of thumb to calculate such severance pay is: 0.5 -1 monthly gross salary x years of service.

Smaller businesses up to 10 employees are not subject to unfair dismissal protection.
Hong Kong In the case of an unreasonable dismissal, the Labour Tribunal may order:

- terminal payments (for a continuous contract of not less than 24 months)

In the case of an unreasonable and unlawful dismissal, the Labour Tribunal may order:

- terminal payments

- an award of compensation not exceeding HK$150,000
Hungary Once the probation period has expired, the termination of the employment relationship shall be justified with at least one of the listed reasons of the Act (in connection to the employee’s behaviour in relation to the employment relationship, or employee’s ability or the employer’s operations) which means the employer must provide a specific reason for dismissing an employee within a certain time frame following the occurrence of the cause.

In case of wrongful termination of an employment relationship by the employer, the employee is entitled for compensation of damages. The compensation paid by the employer for loss of income from employment payable to the employee may not exceed twelve months’ salary. In addition the employee is entitled to severance pay as well, if his employment relationship was wrongfully terminated. The concrete amount of the severance payment depends on the length of service at the employer (beginning with one month’s salary after three years and up to six month’s salary after 25 years).
Ireland Notwithstanding any express contractual right to terminate, employees have statutory protection against unfair or discriminatory dismissal. Subject to exceptions, where an employee has one year’s continuous service, they can bring a claim for unfair dismissal. If successful, the Workplace Relations Commission of Ireland may award re-instatement, re-engagement or compensation of up to two years’ gross remuneration. Compensation is the most common award. Compensation is calculated on actual and projected future loss only, and an employee must mitigate loss by making efforts to secure alternative employment. Few cases result in the maximum award.
Italy In case of unfair dismissal, usually the labour courts apply an economic sanction. It is an indemnity which varies within certain different ranges depending on: (1) company’s headcount; (2) employee’s hiring date; and (3) employee’s level of classification.

The company could be condemned to reinstate the employee, paying an addition indemnity, only in few cases of unfair dismissal provided by law and in case of void dismissal.
Netherlands Statutory compensation (severance payment) of 1/3rd of a monthly salary (including average bonuses/variable pay) per year of service applies upon termination. There is no requirement for certain years of service to become eligible for this (so from commencement of employment). In case of unfair dismissal (which could be granted in case of serious imputable acts of the employer), there is no maximum to the amount of “fair compensation”. These amounts vary from case to case, and are hard to predict upfront.
Poland Reinstatement to work with the former conditions or monetary compensation. This compensation amounts to the remuneration due for a period ranging from two weeks to three months not less than the remuneration for the period of notice (statutory max. three months), unless the dismissed employee enjoyed special statutory protection against termination (e.g. pregnancy or maternity leave), therefore compensation might be greater.
Singapore Compensation for wrongful dismissal should consist of:
i. an amount representing the loss of income suffered, capped at three months of the employee’s base pay

ii. an amount reflecting the harm caused to the employee due to the wrongful dismissal, capped at two months of the employee’s base pay but subject to a 50% uplift/reduction depending on aggravating/mitigating factors.
The above compensation is also subject to the Employment Claims Tribunal’s jurisdictional cap of S$20,000 or S$30,000 (if mediation was first pursued by the employee).

Managers and executives that were dismissed with notice of salary in lieu of notice can only file a wrongful dismissal claim if they have served their employer for at least six months.
Slovakia Where the court decides on the invalidity of the termination of employment, the employee may receive wage compensation from the day he/she announced the employer that he/she insists on keeping a job until the employer enables the employee to keep working, or until a court rules on employment termination. Such a period may not exceed 36 months.

If this period exceeds 12 months, the employer may ask the court to reduce wage compensation down to 12 months. The entitlement of the employee to receive wage compensation for unfair dismissal is not conditional upon the length of his/her service at the employer.
Ukraine Reinstatement to work under the same conditions as before, and compensation for the entire period of forced absence in the amount of the average monthly wage, but not more than for one year.
United Arab Emirates The UAE Labour Law provides that a court may award compensation of up to three months’ remuneration (i.e. basic salary including allowances) for arbitrary dismissal, in addition to all other statutory/contractual termination payments. No minimum length of service is required to claim arbitrary dismissal after the expiration of the probation period.

In the DIFC, there is no unfair dismissal remedy. The only potential form of compensation available to an employee under the DIFC Employment Law is in relation to unlawful discrimination.
Maximum statutory notice from employer
Austria Six weeks to five months depending on the length of service according to law.
Deviating contractual agreements in favour of the employee possible.
China No notice period in case of termination with just cause (limited statutory reasons). 30-days' notice period in other cases (also limited statutory reasons).
Czech Republic The notice period must be the same for the employer and the employee and shall equal at least two months. The notice period may be extended only by agreement between the employer and the employee; such agreement must be made in writing.

The notice period shall commence on the first day of the calendar month following delivery of the notice and end upon expiry of the last day of the relevant calendar month.
England & Wales After one month, one week per year worked, up to a maximum of 12 weeks.
France Depending on the terms of the contract and of the applicable Collective Bargaining Agreement: in practice between one and three months depending on status and seniority (in specific cases, up to six months).
Germany - 7 months to end of month (≥20 years service)
- 4 months to end of month (≥10 years service)
- 2 months to end of month (≥5 years service)
- 1 months to end of month (≥2 years service)
- 4 weeks to 15th or end of month (>6 months service)
- 2 weeks (≤6 months service).
Hong Kong During probation period (a maximum of three months):

- within first month of probation: notice not required.

- After first month of probation: in accordance with the employment agreement (where he employment agreement makes provision for the required length of notice), but in any case not less than seven days.

After probation period:

- where the employment agreement makes provision for the required length of notice: in accordance with the employment agreement, but in any case not less than seven days.

- where the employment agreement does not make provision for the required length of notice not less than one month.
Hungary As a general rule, the period of notice is thirty days. The minimum notice period for dismissal increases with the length of the employment.

Where the employment is terminated by the employer, the thirty-day notice period shall be extended:
- by five days after three years
- by fifteen days after five years
- by twenty days after eight years
- by twenty-five days after ten years
- by thirty days after fifteen years
- by forty days after eighteen years
- by sixty days after twenty years of employment at the employer.
Ireland The statutory notice period to terminate an employment contract depends on the employee's length of service. The maximum statutory notice is 8 weeks (when length of service exceeds 15 years). The statutory notice period to terminate an employment contract depends on the employee's length of service. The maximum statutory notice is 8 weeks (where service exceeds 15 years). Typically a contractual notice period applies to both the employer and employee, ranging from one month to six months depending on the seniority of the role.
Italy Italian law does not directly provide a maximum notice period. Generally, it is regulated by the National Collective Bargaining Agreement (“NCBA”) and it may vary depending on the working seniority and the level of classification of the employee. The only exception to the notice period is provided in case of dismissal or resignation for cause or communicated during the probationary period which are immediately effective upon their receipt by the other party.
Netherlands The relevant notice period depends on the years of service of the employee whose employment agreement is being terminated.
<5 years of service: 1 month.
>5 to <10 years of service: 2 months.
>10 and <15 years of service: 3 months.
15+ years of service: 4 months.
Poland The period of notice of termination of a contract of employment for an indefinite period and for a definite period depends on the period of employment with the given employer:

(i) two weeks to end of week if the employee was employed for less than six months;

(ii) one month to end of month - for at least six months;

(iii) three months to end of month - for at least three years.

If a contract for employment is made for a trial period (which is maximum three months) from three business days up to two weeks.

Deviating contractual agreements in favour of the employee admissible (often used for managers).
Singapore
For employees covered under the Employment Act (Chapter 91) the Minimum statutory notice from employer:
i. the length of notice must be same for both employer and employee and determined based on the terms of the contract of service (may be up to four weeks depending on the employee’s length of service)

ii. if there is no agreed length of notice in the contract of service, required notice of termination is dependent upon the employee’s length of employment which could be up to four weeks.
Slovakia One to three months depending on the length of service and the termination cause. The notice period starts on the first day of the calendar month following its delivery.
Ukraine As a general rule, two months prior to a change of essential working conditions or other legal grounds that may result in the termination of an employment agreement.
United Arab Emirates Under the UAE Labour Law, the minimum notice period is 30 days but an employer and employee can mutually agree to a longer notice period without any limitation. However, Ministerial Decree 765 of 2015 limits the maximum allowed notice period to three months. However, during the probationary period (6 months is the maximum allowable probation period under the Labour Law), the contract can be terminated effectively immediately.

In the DIFC, the minimum notice period is:

- 7 days, if the period of continuous employment is less than 3 months.
- 30 days, if the period of continuous employment is at least 3 months but less than 5 years.
- 90 days, if the period of continuous employment is 5 years or more.
Collective agreements/Works Councils common?
Austria Very common. Collective Bargaining Agreements (between chamber of commerce and trade unions) covering almost every industry sector.

Works councils within the undertakings are also very common and relatively powerful.
China A company with 25 or more employees must establish a trade union which may negotiate and conclude a collective contract. In practice, collective contracts are extremely rare.
Czech Republic Collective Bargaining Agreements are not as widespread as in other European countries, although rather common in heavy industries (eg automotive, mining).

Work councils and representatives for occupational health and safety protection may also be elected in an employer’s organisation. The establishment of such bodies is not mandatory, even if a certain number of employees is exceeded.
England & Wales Very rare.
France Industry-wide Collective Bargaining Agreements (“CBAs”) generally apply to companies in France.

Social and Economic Committees (new Works Councils) have to be implemented as from 11 employees over 12 consecutive months. In companies employing at least 50 employees over 12 consecutive months, the Social and Economic Committee has specific powers in economic, financial and strategic matters and benefits from a budget for its functioning and for social activities to the benefit of the employees.
Germany Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs can declare specific collective bargaining agreements (“CBA”) as generally binding. Keeping such aside, the only reasonable way how CBAs come into binding effect is that the contracts refer to it or that company concluded CBAs that shall apply. It is not mandatory to form a works council. Employees and operations with more than five employees may elect a works council. However, always an initiative by the employees is required to start the founding of a works council.
Hong Kong Collective agreements are very rare (coverage of less than 3%).

Works councils do not exist in Hong Kong. Employee representation in Hong Kong is implemented through trade unions.
Hungary Collective agreements can theoretically be concluded at the workplace level, at the professional/technical level, at the class level, at the sectoral level, at the territorial level or at the national level. Currently the micro level counts as dominant in Hungary, the professional or national level is not present yet. According to non-official statistics approximately one third of the employees fall within the scope of a collective agreement (those individuals mainly employed in the public sector).

If the average number of employees is higher than fifteen a shop steward, if it is higher than fifty a works council shall be elected. Both the shop steward and the works council have the same entitlements. Works councils are a right of the employee and not a duty of the employer.
Ireland They are not common. Unlike many jurisdictions, employers are not bound to recognise a trade union unless taking over a business that already recognises one. Employees may join a trade union but employers are not obliged to negotiate with any such trade union in relation to employees’ terms and conditions of employment. Trade union membership amongst the international employer sector in Ireland is particularly low. Employers do need to take care, however, not to unintentionally recognise a trade union or create collective bargaining arrangements by negotiating with a trade union.
Works councils are not a significant feature of the Irish industrial relations landscape. Irish law includes specific provision for the establishment of both European and local level works councils but, in practice, they are rare.
Italy The application of NCBA is convenient (not mandatory) because it generally provides a complete discipline of the employment relationship – the Italian employment contracts are generally very short document as they can refer to NCBA for any matter not specifically addressed in the contract.

Typically, a company chooses a NCBA specifically tailored on the business sector.

Even if not applied, in case of claim, the NCBA are taken into account to compare possible less favorable provisions of the individual employment agreement.
Netherlands Collective agreements common, but not in technology.

Works Council is mandatory at 50 + employees.
Poland Collective agreements are not common in private business sector. They are more common in state owned companies and some industries (eg mining).

Works Councils might be established if employees so desire once the number of employees exceeds the 50 person threshold. It is a statutory entitlement for employees’ and there is no obligation.
Singapore Collective agreements are common within specific industries, such as transport and manufacturing.
Trade unions are administered by the Industrial Relations Act (Chapter 136), the Trade Disputes Act (Chapter 331) and the Trade Unions Act (Chapter 333), among others.
Slovakia Collective agreements are common both on an employer and sector level.
Works councils are also common but not as much as trade unions.

A works council can be set up in a company that has at least 50 employees. Companies that have more than two but less than 50 employees can have an employee trustee. The rights and obligations of an employee trustee shall be identical to the rights and obligations of a works council.
Ukraine Very common. Sectoral Collective Agreements (developed by trade unions) cover nearly every industry sector. However, Works Councils may have only advisory functions and have limited authority.
United Arab Emirates There are no trade unions in the UAE and employee representatives are not common. Therefore, collective agreements do not exist.
Maximum working hours
Austria 40 hours per week is the normal working time according to law - although many CBAs provide a weekly working time of 38.5 hours.

For overtime, a maximum of up to 12 hours per day and up to 60 hours per week is possible under circumstances. However, a maximum of 48 hours per week (on average) within a timeframe of 17 weeks must in general not be exceeded.
China In principal, eight hours per day and 40 hours per week (but subject to exceptions for allowed overtime).
Czech Republic 40 hours weekly working time, the duration of a shift may not exceed 12 hours.

Overtime work ordered to an employee may not exceed eight hours in individual weeks and 150 hours in a calendar year.

In order to support the work-life balance of employees a statutory regulation of job sharing was adopted (effective from 30 July 2020).
England & Wales 48 per week (opt-outs are common).
France 48 hours per week and 44 hours per week during 12 consecutive weeks (specific provisions can be provided by CBAs and company collective agreement).

10 hours maximum per day, subject to exceptions.
Germany 48 hours per week (Monday to Saturday), average eight hours per working-day, max ten hours per working-day; max. of 40 hours in a five-day working week common.
Hong Kong Currently, there is no legislation regulating working hours except for the employment of children and young persons (meaning a person of or over 15 years old but under 18 years old) employed in certain industrial undertakings.
Hungary The rules relating to work schedules shall be laid down by the employer. As a general rule, work shall be scheduled for five days a week, between Mondays through Fridays. Where working time is defined within working time framework covering up to four months, working time may be irregularly for each day of the week or for certain days only (irregular work schedule).

According to the work schedule:
i. the daily working time of the employee shall not exceed 12 hours
ii. the weekly working time of the employee shall not exceed 48 hours.
Ireland Save for some limited exceptions, the maximum working week is 48 hours, aggregated over a reference period the duration of which varies according to the nature of the employment but is typically four months.
Italy Usually, the working time in Italy is of 40 hours per week (equal to 8 hours per day if divided in 5 days). Part-time is allowed only in case of specific agreement. Overtime is allowed only within the maximum limit of 250 hours per year and subject to an extra payment.
Netherlands An average of 48 hours a week during a period of 16 weeks.

In general 60 hours a week.
Poland Regular working time is eight hours per day and an average of 40 hours per week in an average of five days working per week (usually Monday-Friday) within an adopted settlement period not exceeding four months – basic working time system. Polish law provides numerous possibilities of working time system modifications to reflect one’s business needs.

With overtime hours a maximum of 13 hours per day and 48 hours in a week.

Regular employees must be provided with minimum uninterrupted resting periods of 11 hours per day and 35 hours per week.
Singapore Rules relating to working hours only apply to employees that fall under Part IV of the Employment Act (whether shift or non-shift workers)

Shift workers: the hours of work must not exceed an average of 44 hours per week over any continuous period of 3 weeks, and subject to a maximum of 12 hours per day (except in prescribed circumstances)

Non-shift workers: for those who work 5 days or less per week, the agreed hours of work must not exceed 9 hours per day or 44 hours per week, and subject to a maximum of 12 hours per day (except in prescribed circumstances)

Overtime
Maximum permitted overtime is 72 hours per month, unless the employer successfully obtains an exemption from Singapore Ministry of Manpower.
Employer must pay at least 1.5 times the hourly basic rate of pay.
Slovakia Maximum weekly working time is 40 hours. An employee working alternately on both shifts of a two-shift operation shall have a maximum working time of 38 and ¾ hours per week, and on all shifts of a three-shift operation or continuous operation, maximum working time of 37 and ½ hours per week.

An employee's average weekly working time including overtime may not exceed 48 hours.
Ukraine 40 hours normal weekly working time, five days per week on average (usually Monday-Friday)
Overtime work should not exceed four hours for two consecutive days and 120 hours per year for each employee.
United Arab Emirates The following restrictions apply under UAE Labour Law:

- Working hours must not exceed 8 hours per day or 48 hours per week, over a 6-day week. However, this can be increased to 9 hours per day for some businesses. Working hours are reduced by 2 hours per day during the Islamic month of Ramadan for all employees (excluding the DIFC).

The following restrictions apply in the DIFC:

- Weekly working hours must not exceed, on average, 48 hours over a 7-day period, unless the employer first obtains the employee's written consent to work longer hours.
- In the DIFC, reduced Ramadan hours by 2 hours per day are only applicable to Muslim employees.
Minimum paid time off
Austria Typically five weeks annual leave.
Six weeks after 25 years of service.
Austrian law also stipulates 13 public holidays that generally have to be paid time off.
China Depends on time in employment:

- if more than 1 year but less than 10 years, 5 days annually

- if less than 20 years, 10 days annually

- if more than 20 years, 15 days annually.
Czech Republic The duration of annual leave shall equal at least four weeks in a calendar year and at least five weeks in case of state employees.

From 1 January 2021 the annual leave will be no more counted in days, but in hours.
England & Wales 20 days plus eight public holidays (but market is often higher).
France 25 working days (five weeks) per year.
Germany 20 days minimum statutory holiday entitlement in a five days-working-week plus public holidays which depend upon the State the employee lives/works. Market-standard often higher and between 25-28 contractual vacation days.
Hong Kong Rest days:
An employee employed under a continuous contract is entitled to not less than one rest day in every period of seven days.

Annual leave:
Employees under a continuous contract (i.e. being continuously employed by the same employer for four weeks or more, with at least 18 hours worked in each week) are entitled to paid annual leave after having been employed under a continuous contract for every 12 months ranging from a minimum of seven days to a maximum of 14 days, depending on their length of service.

Statutory holidays:
Employees, irrespective of their length of service, are entitled to 12 statutory holidays in each year. Employees having been employed under a continuous contract for not less than three months immediately preceding a statutory holiday are entitled to pay on statutory holidays.

Maternity leave:
A female employee employed under a continuous contract immediately before the commencement of her maternity leave and having given notice of pregnancy and her intention to take maternity leave to the employer, is entitled to maternity leave. She is entitled to maternity leave pay if she has been employed under a continuous contract for not less than 40 weeks immediately before the commencement of the scheduled maternity leave, given notice of pregnancy and her intention to take maternity leave and produced a medical certificate specifying the expected date of confinement if so required by her employer.

Paternity leave:
A male employee is entitled to five days of paternity leave for each confinement of his spouse or partner if he is the father of a new-born child or a father-to-be, has been employed under a continuous contract and has given the required notification to his employer. He is entitled to paternity leave pay if he has been employed under a continuous contract for not less than 40 weeks immediately before the commencement of paternity leave and has provided the required document to the employer within 12 months after the first day of paternity leave taken (or, if he ceases to be employed, within 6 months after the cessation of employment).
Hungary Employees are entitled to paid annual leave comprising vested vacation time and extra vacation time. The amount of vested vacation time shall be twenty working days and rises gradually based on the age of the employee up to a maximum of 30 working days in the year when the employee reaches the age of 45. In certain cases employees shall be entitled to extra vacation time (for example based on the number of their children).
Ireland Full time employees are entitled to 20 days' paid annual leave. Most international employers operating in Ireland provide up to 25 days' annual leave, based on the employee’s service. Employees may also be entitled to maternity, paternity, parental, parent’s, force majeure, carers’, adoptive and health and safety leave. With the exception of force majeure and health and safety leave, there is no legal obligation to pay an employee while on such leave. Employees are also entitled to nine further paid leave days for public holidays (or payment or time in lieu, depending on the circumstances).
Italy 4 weeks per year.
Netherlands 20 days taking into account a 40-hour week, but the market offering is often higher than the minimum amount.

Public holidays are additional.
Poland The length of leave (in a full-time job the period of education is partially included for annual leave entitlement calculation purposes):

(i) 20 days - if the employee has been employed in his/her entire career for less than ten years;

(ii) 26 days - more than ten years.

The length of leave for an employee working on a part-time basis is established in proportion to the amount of working time of such an employee.


Deviating contractual agreements in favour of the employee is admissible (often used for managers).

National holidays are additional.
Singapore Employees who fall under Part IV of the Employment Act (Chapter 91) who have worked for his or her employer for at least 3 months is entitled to 7 days’ paid vacation/time off/leave for the first year of service. An additional day of leave every subsequent 12 months of service will be provided, up to a maximum of 14 days.

For employees who fall outside the Employment Act entirely or those who fall within the Employment Act but not Part IV, their paid vacation/time off/leave are based on contractual agreement.
Slovakia Employees younger than 33 years of age who are not taking care of a child are entitled to a minimum of four weeks of paid holiday per calendar year. Employees younger than 33 years of age who are taking care of a child and employees older than 33 years of age are entitled to a minimum of five weeks of paid holiday per calendar year.
Ukraine Typically, 24 calendar days of annual leave.
Furthermore, the Ukrainian Government establishes public holidays, which are generally paid time off.
United Arab Emirates Under the UAE Labour Law, an employee is entitled to paid leave for each year of service of not less than:

- 2 calendar days per month, for an employee who has more than 6 months' service but less than one year's service.
- 30 calendar days plus private sector holidays as announced by the UAE Federal government from time to time. Under the UAE Labour Law, an employee is entitled to paid leave for each year of service of not less than:

In the DIFC, an employee who has carried out at least 90 days of service is entitled to paid vacation leave of 20 working days per year. This is accrued pro rata in the first year and is calculated at the rate of 1:12 of the employee's leave entitlement on the first day of each month of service.
Requirement for Pension Plan
Austria There is no requirement for a pension plan in the common sense. However there is mandatory employer contributions of 1.53% of the gross monthly salary into an employee severance fund (for employment relationships commenced on or after 1 January 2003).
China Enterprise annuity plans exist but are currently voluntary.

Statutory basic pension insurance is part of the social insurance system.
Czech Republic A pension plan per se does not exist in the Czech Republic.

In general, the Czech public pension system consists of:

- a mandatory basic pension insurance, in the context of a pay-as-you-go system

- a voluntary complementary additional pension insurance with state contributions, capital funded.
England & Wales Obligations to automatically enrol workers into a pension plan were being phased in until 2018.

Minimum contributions are currently 3% employer and 5% employee.
France This is managed by the National Pension Fund, which provides base as well as complementary pension to French employees.
Germany Not statutory.
Hong Kong The amount of contribution required under the Mandatory Provident Fund Scheme
for the employee is 5% of the relevant monthly income of the employee, subject to a maximum cap of HK$1,500 per month and except for where the relevant monthly income of the employee is less than HK$7,100.

The amount of contribution required for the employer is 5% of the relevant monthly income of the employee, subject to a maximum cap of HK$1,500 per month.
Hungary What is mandatory is the state required pension insurance contribution which consists of the employee’s contribution deducted by the employer of/from the employee’s gross salary and the employer’s contribution (both paid by the employer to the Hungarian Tax Authority).

There is no statutory obligation to have a pension plan. It is only a possibility for employers to grant a pension plan, but it is highly unusual in Hungary.

You as employer may provide a certain supplementation of the pension your employees will receive by opening a voluntary pension fund account. (A voluntary supplementary pension fund is a non-profit organisation founded by private persons which provides supplementary pension insurance services to its members according to the Act LXXXII of 1997 on Private Pensions and Private Pension Funds). It is a more cost-conscious possibility than wage increase and also promotes the improvement of the self-provisioning and financial culture of the employees. In addition to this the employer can account the membership fee assumed (employer’s contribution) as cost.
Ireland Employers are not obliged to establish an occupational pension scheme for their employees. Employers must provide employees with access to a personal retirement savings account (or PRSA), a contract based retirement savings product. Employers are not required to make contributions to a PRSA on behalf of their employees. The Irish government is considering introducing an auto-enrolment system to increase pensions coverage but final proposals have not yet been presented.
Italy Pension plans are managed by the Italian National Institute of Social Security. There are also supplementary funds to which employer can accede.
Netherlands No statutory obligations.

Some sectors are covered by an industry-wide Pension Plan, but not in technology.
Poland There is a voluntary national pension program “PPK” (Employee Capital Pension Plans) available for the employees and mandate (non B2B) contractors.

PPK consists in the fact that an employee enrolled in the program has a specific part of his remuneration paid monthly to an account maintained by a selected financial institution. The second part is financed by the employer and the state also contributes its part once a year.

The employee may pay the basic contribution – 2% of the gross remuneration but may increase the contribution by another 2%. The basic employer's contribution is 1.5% of the employee’s gross remuneration, but may increase it by an additional 2.5%, i.e. The State contributes to provide the participants with a welcome payment of PLN 250 and each participating year with PLN 240.

If only at least one employee or mandate contractor intends to participate in the PPK, the employer must establish a PPK. This requires concluding the agreements with a chosen financial institution on running the PPK and managing the PPK and afterwards fulfilling all remaining statutory obligations. Anyway, the potential participants may voluntarily resign from participating by submitting a declaration thereto.

Incompliance with PPK statutory obligations may be a subject to criminal liability.
Singapore Singapore’s compulsory pension plan is the Central Provident Fund (CPF) scheme. This is available to Singapore Citizens and Singapore Permanent Residents only.

Non-domestic employees are not eligible to pay or receive CPF contributions.
Slovakia A pension plan per se does not exist in Slovakia. The pension system is based on three separate systems - (old-age pension from the mandatory pension insurance, old-age pension saving scheme, voluntary supplementary pension saving scheme).
Ukraine There is a mandatory unified social contribution of 22% of the monthly employee’s wage, a portion of which will be an automatic contribution to the Pension Fund.
United Arab Emirates The statutory pension requirements only apply in relation to employees who are UAE and GCC nationals and who meet certain statutory eligibility requirements. Employer contributions (including employee deductions) are deposited with the General Pensions and Social Security Authority.

Expatriates working in the UAE are not eligible for a UAE state pension. If an employer chooses to establish a company pension scheme for its expatriate employees, the employees are entitled to select either the pension scheme or the end of service gratuity (whichever is more favourable to the employee). In respect of end of service gratuity, in the UAE, an expatriate employee (non UAE/GCC national) who has completed at least one year of continuous service may be entitled to an end of service gratuity payment on termination of employment, which is calculated with reference to basic salary (excluding any allowances):

- 21 calendar days’ basic pay for each year of service for the first 5 years of service; and
- 30 calendar days’ basic pay for each additional year

The maximum end of service gratuity is capped at two years' salary.
Remote Working/Cross-Border Working – especially in regards to COVID-19
Austria Remote working/Home Office is generally permitted although an (written) agreement between employee and employer is required. The employer cannot unilaterally order remote working. If home office is agreed, the employer is obliged to provide the digital work equipment (laptop and, in principle, also cell phone including data connections). If the employer refuses to do so, the employee is entitled to reimbursement of costs. Furthermore, the employer must track (entire spended in the) home office days ( this is due to tax benefits). In general, certain reservations should be included in the corresponding agreement, also with regard to termination as well as a general (preliminary) permission only for home office activities in the state of the company (Austria).

Home office abroad may - under certain circumstances - lead to a change in taxation rights/the change in the tax status of the employees concerned. The relevant double taxation agreements, consultation agreements, cross-border commuter regulations, etc. should therefore be observed in advance.

Further, it should also be noted that if Austrian employees of a foreign employer temporarily work in an Austrian home office and social security contributions are generally payable abroad, exceeding a scope of activity of 25% due to the home office activity can lead to the fact that the social security obligation changes in principle to the country of residence/Austria. However, it is partly (at least for certain countries) also argued that only Covid-19 conditional changes due to temporary emergency measures do not lead to change - according to statements by the Austrian and German social security institutions. However, in this respect the concrete and current national views of the social security agencies must be considered.

Moreover, an employee's home office activity in Austria may, under certain conditions (especially if it is not only temporarily due to Covid-19 restrictions), constitute a permanent establishment of a non-Austrian employer in Austria leading to an Austrian taxation right for that part of the employer's profit which is attributable to the Austrian permanent establishment.
China Information unavailable or not applicable
Czech Republic According to an amendment to the Czech Employment Act (effective from July 2021) employers have access to state relief in case of partial unemployment (“Kurzarbeit”) resulting from a serious economic crisis caused by an extraordinary event (f.e. epidemics).

The state relief is provided to private sector employers:
• for each employee in an employment relationship based on a standard employment contract in force for at least 3 months as at the date of applying for state relief, and such an employee is affected by the extraordinary event
• monthly for up to a maximum of 12 months
• as 80% of each affected employee’s salary compensation (in Czech náhrada mzdy) and statutory payments, up to the maximum of 1.5 times the gross average salary in the Czech Republic
• within 8 days from filing a monthly report.
If applying for the support, employers must:
• notify the employees in advance in writing of any obstacle to work on the employer’s part pursuant to the Labour Code and connected with an economic crisis caused by the extraordinary event
• file the request, including all necessary details and documents
• pay the affected employees salary compensation (in Czech náhrada mzdy) of at least 80% of their average salary
• assign work to employees in the extent of 20% to 80% of their usual monthly working hours
• file a monthly report.
England & Wales As a result of Brexit, from 1 January 2021 the same immigration rules apply to non-European and European citizens coming to the UK to live, work and study. The only exception is for Irish citizens who are exempt from any immigration restrictions due to pre-existing Common Travel Area arrangements.
France Information unavailable or not applicable
Germany During Covid-19 employers faced more often remote working requests from employees. There is (currently) no legal entitlement to home office/mobile work in Germany. The employer cannot unilaterally order remote working and employees may not start working from home on their own intitaive. The employee therefore is only allowed to work from home or remotely if this is permitted either under the employment contract, a company agreement or subject to prior approval by the employer. It is important to observe various regulations when working remote, included but not limited to health and safety regulations, working time regulations as well as data protection and privacy regulations.

Moreover, an employee's home office activity in Germany may, under certain conditions (especially if it is not only temporarily due to Covid-19 restrictions), constitute a permanent establishment. This must be finally assessed by a tax advisor.

When the remote working is cross border related, the remote working activity may (even if it is undertaken in the EU, EEA or Sitzerland) - under certain circumstances - lead to a change in the tax and social security status of the employees concerned. The relevant double taxation agreements, time limits and documents such as A1 certificate must be observed and/or obtained.
Hong Kong Information unavailable or not applicable
Hungary Information unavailable or not applicable
Ireland Employers must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety, health and welfare at work of their employees. That responsibility rests with the employer whether or not that work is being done at the employer’s premises or the employee’s home. Employees are under a general statutory duty to take reasonable care to protect their own safety, health and welfare while working from home and that of any other person or people who may be affected by the work they are doing. A number of additional considerations also arise for employers of a fully or partially remote workforce, such as taxation and data privacy.
Italy Information unavailable or not applicable
Netherlands The current Dutch Flexible Working Act regulates the rights of employees with regard to working hours, working time and workplace. If an employee wants to change one of these things, he can submit a request to the employer. This law only deals with the choice of work location to a limited extent. In January 2020, a new legislative proposal has been submitted, which states that the employer must grant an employees' request on the adjustment of the workplace, unless there is a compelling business interest opposing the adjustment, making it more difficult for employers to deny the request.
Poland Due to the Covid pandemic employers are authorised to unilaterally order their employees to work remotely if this is feasible for a given job position and individual. This rule is applicable for the whole period duration of the Covid-19 epidemiological threat or the epidemic period, and also for three months afterwards they are declared over. Another option is concluding an agreement on tele-working based on general rules. Teleworking is the work performed outside the employer’s premises on a regular basis. Employers may also introduce their own internal rules on occasional remote work. There is an upcoming amendment to the Polish Labour Code which will regulate remote work and liquidate telework. We expect it to be proceed in Q4 2021.
Singapore Information unavailable or not applicable
Slovakia Information unavailable or not applicable
Ukraine Remote (home) work was included as a form of labour organization in the most recent labour legislation amendments. Work is performed at the employee's place of residence or another place of his or her choice. There are no special Cross-Border Working clauses in Ukrainian labour and tax regulations yet.
United Arab Emirates Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, remote working in the UAE has become more common. The Ministerial Resolution No. 279 of 2020 that came into effect in March 2020 now expressly recognises the concept of remote working as an option for employees during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation has also issued certain guidelines on working from home, which both employers and employees in the UAE are recommended to follow.
Overview
Austria Information unavailable or not applicable
China Information unavailable or not applicable
Czech Republic Information unavailable or not applicable
England & Wales All UK employers are required to check that UK based employees have appropriate immigration status to work for them in the UK. It is best practice to also check that UK based contractors have the right to work for you. That right to work check must be completed before employment starts. Before Brexit citizens of the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland were able to live and work in the UK without needing any type of visa or immigration permission. The UK left the EU on 31 January 2020 and so that position will change.
France Information unavailable or not applicable
Germany Information unavailable or not applicable
Hong Kong Information unavailable or not applicable
Hungary Information unavailable or not applicable
Ireland Nationals from the European Economic Area ("EEA") (ie, the EU member states plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein), UK and Switzerland may work in Ireland without the need to first obtain approval.

Non-EEA, UK and Swiss nationals require a separate employment / residence permission to spend more than 90 days in Ireland during any 12 month period. Certain non-EEA nationals may qualify for a residence permission on a personal basis (eg, Irish ancestry, being the spouse / partner of a Irish / EEA national or having an Irish citizen child).

Where the individual does not qualify for residence based on personal reasons, they will need to apply for a separate employment permission. This would include securing an employment permit from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (the "DETE") or obtaining permission under the Atypical Working Scheme from the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service ("INIS"). After obtaining an appropriate working permission, some nationalities must then apply for an Irish entry visa at their local Irish embassy before travelling to Ireland.

Non-EEA nationals intending to come to Ireland for 90 days or less may avail of the Atypical Working Scheme ("AWS") permission, which allows them to enter Ireland for short term work. The eligibility requirements for the AWS are typically more relaxed and only require that the individual earns above national minimum wage.

Individuals coming to Ireland for more than 90 days should apply for an appropriate employment permit with the DETE. An employment permit will not, generally, be issued where a consequence of granting the permit would be that more than 50% of the employees in a company would be non-EEA, UK and Swiss nationals. There are three main categories of employment permit, each of which have their own salary thresholds and eligibility requirements:

· Critical Skills Employment Permit: For occupations that are recognised as having a shortage
in respect of qualifications, experience, or skills in Ireland.

· General Employment Permit: For roles where the employer can prove that there is no
suitable EEA national able to fill the role through a labour market needs test.

· Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permit: For employees employed by a foreign entity
related to the Irish entity where their skills are needed in Ireland for short term (up to 5 years) work.
Italy Information unavailable or not applicable
Netherlands Information unavailable or not applicable
Poland Information unavailable or not applicable
Singapore Information unavailable or not applicable
Slovakia Information unavailable or not applicable
Ukraine Information unavailable or not applicable
United Arab Emirates Information unavailable or not applicable