Archives

Landmark Same Sex Visa Application Judgment in Hong Kong

On 25 September 2017, the Hong Kong Court of Appeal passed down a unanimous judgment in the case of QT v. Director of Immigration to allow QT to obtain a dependent visa through her same-sex partner who works in Hong Kong. The spousal visa in question previously was granted by the Immigration Department only to heterosexual couples, … Continue Reading

First director sent to prison after MPF contributions default in Hong Kong

As Hong Kong employers are well aware, the Mandatory Provident Fund Scheme Ordinance provides that any employer that, without reasonable excuse, fails to make a timely payment of mandatory contributions commits an offence and could be fined up to HKD 450,000. Culpable bosses could also face up to four years’ imprisonment. The Mandatory Provident Fund … Continue Reading

Working from home not enough to support independent contractor relationship

The scrutiny by the Australian Courts of independent contractor relationships continues with the recent case of Putland -v- Royans Wagga Pty Limited. The Federal Court found in August this year that a husband and wife who provided home-based clerical work exclusively to one company were its employees rather than independent contractors. Royans Wagga’s business involved … Continue Reading

The Japanese layoff that didn’t “fly”

As I wrote in this space last year, layoffs for economic circumstances exist under Japanese law, but are exceedingly difficult to achieve without constituting wrongful dismissal. One major international airline is learning this the hard way. Three years ago, the airline terminated three Japan-based employees in connection with the closing of its call center in … Continue Reading

The form labor agreement that’s making headlines in Japan

Last week, Japanese newspapers reported that a national medical research center in the suburbs of Osaka had entered into a so-called “36 agreement” with its doctors and nurses in 2012, allowing these employees to work up to 300 hours of overtime per month and up to 2,070 hours of overtime per year. (To be clear, … Continue Reading

Webinar: Key Labour and Employment Issues Affecting Employers in Australia

Squire Patton Boggs presents a webinar focussing on key labour and employment issues affecting Australian employers and overseas employers with Australian operations. On 27 September 2017 at 9.00 a.m. BST (UK) (10.00 a.m. CEST, 4.00 p.m. AWST, 6.00 p.m. AEST), Anna Elliott and Bruno Di Girolami will discuss: Business Immigration – An update on recent … Continue Reading

Unclear and present danger – incorrect use of “Independent Contractor” arrangements may have expensive consequences

The ever-vexed question of whether a worker is an employee or independent contractor has once again come before the Australian courts. The recent decision of Balemian v Mobilia Manufacturing Pty Ltd & Anor provides a reminder to employers of the potential financial ramifications of getting this wrong.… Continue Reading

In the post – FWC delivers mixed messages on dismissal for social media indiscretions

Following recent differing decisions of the Fair Work Commission (FWC) it seems that Australian employers must still tread a fine and uncertain line in determining whether employee misconduct on social media is a valid reason for dismissal. In the recent case of Stephen Campbell v Qube Ports Pty Ltd t/a Qube Ports & Bulk in … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Affirms TRO – Stay of Travel Ban Executive Order Remains in Place

On February 9, 2017 a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit unanimously upheld a Federal District Court judge’s decision (TRO) to temporarily block the President’s Executive Order (EO) entitled Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States. Our previous update regarding the TRO, the current state … Continue Reading

Updates on Impact of Travel Ban Executive Order: One Week and Counting

Significant confusion has arisen in the week since President Trump issued his Executive Order (EO) entitled Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States on January 27, 2017. Our previous summary can be found here. Following a frenetic week at U.S. ports of entry and international airports and increased litigation in several … Continue Reading

UPDATED – Additional Executive Order Issued with Immediate Impact on Travel to the United States

On Friday January 27, 2017, the president issued an Executive Order (EO) entitled, Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States. The EO has yet to be posted on the White House website but the text can be found here. The purpose of this Executive Order, as stated, is to “protect our … Continue Reading

He’s making a list, he’s checking it twice… the year’s best misconduct cases

As the Festive Season reaches its peak Down Under, we have taken a look back at the more ‘interesting’ cases of 2016 to help Santa prepare his Naughty or Nice List for Australian employers: First to be considered for Santa’s list is a labourer who, in the midst of a heated discussion, somewhat unchantably called … Continue Reading

Procedural leak sinks employer’s reliance on workplace drug tests

Although drug and alcohol testing is generally recognised in Australia as forming part of an employer’s armoury for managing its health and safety obligations, a recent Fair Work Commission decision has provided a salutary reminder that employers in Australia which fail to follow best practice when conducting such tests risk being on the wrong end … Continue Reading

Two Timing Employee Caught in the Act – Uber Unfortunate!

An employee of West Australian Newspapers Limited (WAN) who moonlighted for Uber was caught in the act when, one Saturday night, he picked up a WAN manager. Despite being well and truly busted, the employee (who worked night shifts as WAN’s newspaper machinist) denied having any affiliation with Uber, saying that his wife had the … Continue Reading

Mean manager mistreats minion – employer left to pay the cost

A recent decision of the Queensland Court of Appeal (QCA) has set the record straight in finding that an aged care provider was vicariously liable for the belittling and aggressive conduct of its manager, and awarding the worker $435,583.98 in damages for a psychiatric injury. Ms Eaton started work as an administrative assistant for an … Continue Reading

“Ladies’ Night” promotions in Hong Kong – good business or unlawful discrimination?

The hospitality industry is no stranger to the rules prohibiting discrimination in accommodations. The average restaurant or hotel operator is fully aware that he cannot deny goods, facilities or services to a customer on the basis of gender. What appears to be less well known is that, at least in Hong Kong, the same business … Continue Reading

Tokyo District Court rules that “US-style” dismissal is invalid

Article 16 of the Japanese Labour Contracts Act provides that “If a termination lacks objectively reasonable grounds and is not considered to be appropriate in general social terms, it is treated as an abuse of rights and is invalid”.  Obviously the terms “objectively reasonable grounds” and “appropriate in general social terms” are ambiguous but here … Continue Reading

Webinar: Employment Law Worldview Webinar Series – Australia, China and Japan

Squire Patton Boggs presents a series of webinars focusing on the key labour and employment issues in countries throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and the United States. Given in English by our local labour and employment law experts, each 60-minute webinar comprises a 50-minute presentation covering key “hot topics” in the featured jurisdiction, … Continue Reading
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