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Germany: Parliament Passes Law on Minimum Wage

(Aug. 8, 2014) On July 3, 2014, the Bundestag (German parliament) approved by a large majority legislation introducing a minimum wage in Germany and ending a decade-long debate in the country on the subject. Starting in 2015, Germany will for the first time have a minimum wage, to be set at €8.50 (about US$11.40) per […]

Japan: 16th National Holiday Added

(July 15, 2014) Japan’s National Holiday Act was amended on May 30, 2014. (Act No. 43 of 2014; text of the current Act & the amendment, effective in 2016 [both in Japanese], available at E-GOV.GO.JP.) The amendment designates August 11 as “Mountain Day.” “Sea Day,” the third Monday of July, is already a national holiday. […]

Court of Justice of the European Union: Pregnant Women Retain Their Work Status

(June 30, 2014) On June 19, 2014, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) held that a pregnant woman who was a French citizen working in the United Kingdom was entitled to income support after she discontinued her job in the United Kingdom. The woman, who had worked in the UK for a number of years, […]

Ukraine: New “Pregnancy Tax” Introduced for Women and Their Employers

(Aug. 2, 2013) On July 1, 2013, a set of amendments to Ukrainian laws on retirement and other social benefits entered into legal force. (Law of Ukraine on Introduction of Amendments to Some Laws of Ukraine Regarding Awarding and Indexation of Pension [in Ukrainian], No. 231-VII [hereinafter Law No. 231-VII] (May 14, 2013),Verkhovna Rada [Ukraine’s […]

Japan: Reduction of Pension Payment

(Feb. 1, 2013) During 2012, the Diet (Japan’s parliament) enacted many acts related to comprehensive social security and tax reforms. (Bills Submitted to the Diet in Relation to Comprehensive Social Security and Tax Reforms [in Japanese], Cabinet Secretariat website (last visited Jan. 25, 2013).) The most recent amendment to the National Pension Law was enacted […]

Netherlands: Rising Retirement Age

(May 22, 2012) It was reported on May 18, 2012, that, based on the 2012 budget agreement called the Spring Accord, reached three weeks ago by a coalition of five Dutch political parties, the retirement age in the Netherlands will rise by one-month increases in 2013 and 2014. This will be followed by two-month increases […]

Netherlands: Pensionable Age Extended

(May 13, 2011) The Council of Ministers of the Netherlands adopted a proposal on April 29, 2011, to raise the official retirement age to 66 in 2020; at present it is 65. It is estimated that the move would save the government about €700 million (about US$1 billion). Under an informal accord reached between employers […]

Malawi: New Pension Scheme Introduced

(Mar. 9, 2011) On March 1, 2011, the 193-member unicameral Malawi Parliament adopted Pension Bill No. 14 of 2010, which seeks to establish a mandatory pension system. (Dickson Kashoti & Suzgo Khunga, House Passes Pension Bill, BNL TIMES (Mar. 2, 2011).) The bill will now be sent to the President for his assent. (Id.) The […]

Sri Lanka: Proposed Changes to Retirement Fund Rules

(Feb. 14, 2011) Sri Lanka's Minister of Labor, Gamini Lokuge, submitted a draft of the Employees' Provident Fund (Amendment) Act to the legislature. The amendment would make changes to allow Fund participants to withdraw 30% of the assets they have in the Fund if needed for either medical treatment or to build a house. The […]

Denmark: Retirement Age Raised

(Feb. 3, 2011) On January 25, 2011, Denmark's Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen announced a plan to reform the country's early retirement program. The move has two goals: to help the economy and to prevent labor shortages. Economists have praised the plan but advise that it is not sufficient on its own to save the […]