This Week in Payroll: January 28, 2022
In the everchanging landscape of international business, it's important to keep informed on upcoming changes and forecasts to payroll worldwide. This week, we focus in on payroll news in Kuwait surrounding Expat work visa renewal, Hong Kong's COVID Restrictions causing tension on citizens and Expats, and Ireland's focus on addressing a lack of support for Domestic Violence survivors in the workplace.
Decision to reissue work visas to Expats over 60
Tuesday concluded debate among Kuwaiti Officials in decisions to renew work visas for Expats over age 60. For KD250 ($826), Expatriates 60 years or older who hold a lower education degree or have completed high school will be eligible to purchase a work permit. The new visa will be valid for one year, with room for revisions to reflect changes in the labor market.
The reason for this debate spurred from the suspension of all visas during the Covid-19 pandemic. Kuwait has aimed to reduce the percentage of the workforce that is made up of foreign labor to help open jobs to national workers. In the suspension of such visas, banks and foreign exchange offices were barred from processing transfers without valid ID cards. In the event that the decision was unfavorable, expats over age 60 without university degrees would not be able to access their personal banking accounts or send money to family outside of Kuwait.
Hong Kong Payroll
Strict COVID Restrictions push Expats to leave Hong Kong
The city of Hong Kong has only had 13,000 COVID cases out of their 7.4 million population – not as a result of some kind of miracle, but out of Hong Kong’s strict alignment with Beijing’s “zero-COVID” policy. Over the last two years, the rules and restrictions have only grown tighter, and the infections are still coming through. A firm140 new infections were reported on Sunday
Life as an expat has become challenging and leaves the reliability of expat workers in question. Around 44% of US expatriates interviewed by the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong have chimed in with strong desire to leave the country within 2022.
These numbers bring concern with the ability to fill jobs left open once foreign workers and citizens alike take their exit.
Statutory entitlement bill to survivors of Domestic Violence
Tuesday brought forth the topic of Domestic Violence Leave in a bill presented to the Equality Committee. In this Bill, DV survivors would receive statutory entitlement of up to10 days paid leave. The legislation was developed after deep consultations with people within the domestic violence sector, including survivors to protect employees recovering from the events of domestic violence and protecting their careers and physical and emotional health.
While there is still work to be done, The Work-Life Balance Bill is under review and hopeful citizens of Ireland see this bill as being essential to empowering DV victims to leave their abusive situations. Within this bill are proposals to protect flexible work for employees, paid leave to assume caretaker roles, and more.
Hong Kong Payroll
https://www.reuters.com/markets/europe/hong-kongs-financial-sector-faces-talent-crunch-expats-head-exit-2022-01-23/ https://www.bbc.com/news/business-60049348 https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/21/world/asia/hong-kongs-zero-covid-policy-hurts-its-service-sector-and-other-asia-virus-news.html
Work-Life Balance: https://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/flexible-work-to-become-a-reality-for-irish-employees-in-2022-1241722.html