LABOUR LAWS

Interesting employee laws around the world

Interesting employee laws around the world

In  some parts of the world, a perfect work-life balance is a matter of labour law. In France, employees do not have to respond to work emails after works hours or on weekends. In Germany, employers cannot contact their employees after work hours.

Swedes get paid leave to celebrate their wedding or their 50th birthday, and also to get a medical check-up. Hungarians are given e-vouchers to spend time and money on leisure activities and hotels. In the United Kingdom, a few companies allow employees to take a “Botox leave” to fix their faces.

Recently, a UK court ruled that travelling to work “is work”, and these hours have to be included in work schedules. This is especially for sales representatives or other professionals who spend most of their days travelling or on the road.

Here's a look at some other countries that have employee-friendly laws:

Bulgaria: 410 days of paid maternal leave
Bulgaria and Sweden are the kindest to parents-to-be. Mothers can take up to 410 days of paid leave at 90% of salary in Bulgaria, while Swedes get 420 days at 80% salary. Out of this, mothers have to compulsorily take 45 days before the birth of the child. The maternity leave in these countries are the highest in the world—Canada and Denmark come close, with 52 weeks. To add to this, Bulgarian parents have an additional year of paid parental leave at basic salary. The father or grandparents are eligible to take these leave in place of the mother, too.

Brazil: Up to 41 days of paid vacation
Vacation laws vary around the world. On one hand, countries like the United States have no particular law that mandates paid vacation time. But, in places like Australia, federal law mandates that employees get 28 days of paid vacation time. Other countries with nearly 30 to 35 days of paid vacation include most European nations and New Zealand, while Brazilians get a total of 41 days. Divided throughout the year, this means you can take three days off every month in Brazil.

France: Take leave to start a business
In the years following recession and economic turbulence, many French entrepreneurs decided to close down their own ventures and take up a regular paying job. To encourage entrepreneurship, employees who had been with a company for at least two years were allowed to take 12 unpaid months off to start their own business. And they would get their job back, too, in case things didn't work out.

Japan: Keeping fit
During annual medical examinations for Japanese employees, waistline measurements are important. According to a 2008 law, employees (between 40 and 75) whose waistlines exceed a certain limit are given counselling and diet recommendations. It was introduced to encourage healthier metabolism and avoid health risks from being overweight. Employees who didn't reduce their weight would have to pay more to a national health care programme aimed at senior citizens.

Portugal: 15 days off to care for family
Besides getting 150 days off as maternity leave, 20 as paternity leave and and an additional parental leave of three months per parent, Portuguese employment law also extends to taking care of the sick. For children who are sick or chronically ill, parents can take up to 30 days off a year. To care for a close relative who is sick, employees can take 15 unpaid days off.  

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The Week

Topics : #lifestyle

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