Should commercial surrogacy be legalised?
The Straits Times | 17-Jan-2018
Does Singapore condone commercial surrogacy? This question is in the limelight with a court judgment on a Singaporean doctor's bid to adopt a boy he fathered through a commercial surrogacy arrangement in the United States.

Will 2018 Be The Year Of Labour Law Reforms? First Of The Four Promised Codes May Seek Parliament Nod This Budget Session
Swarajya | 15-Jan-2018
A major complaint by businesses of all sizes in India has been that country needs to overhaul its labour laws - at the moment dozens of labour law codes are operational making implementation more difficult and incentivising corruption. In fact, so numerous and Byzantine are the existing codes that even getting an accurate count of these codes sometimes yields different results.

Singapore High Court rules widow can claim work injury compensation
HRD Singapore (blog) | 11-Jan-2018
Dependents of an employee who died in a workplace accident can claim work injury compensation even without first being appointed executors or administrators of his estate, Singapore’s high court ruled.

J&K to have uniform labour law, says Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu
The Indian Express | 09-Jan-2018
Jammu and Kashmir will soon become the first state in the country to have a uniform labour law, state Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu said on Monday, adding that the PDP-BJP government may bring a Bill in this regard in both Houses of the state legislature during the current Budget session.

Teachers’ union to register on January 15
Myanmar Times | 08-Jan-2018
The Basic Education Worker Union Committee, formed on March 2017, will officially register a Basic Education Worker Union on January 15.

India: Happy New Year! New Labour Law For India's Commercial Cities Mumbai And Pune
Mondaq News Alerts | 04-Jan-2018
Maharashtra Shops and Establishments (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, 2017 has been made effective from December 19, 2017. As a result, the erstwhile Maharashtra Shops and Establishments Act, 1948 stands repealed.

Electronics manufacturing needs a policy push
Livemint | 03-Jan-2018
A growing middle class, rising disposable incomes, declining prices of electronics and a number of government initiatives have led to a fast-growing market for electronics and hardware products. However, India’s weak manufacturing base has not been able to respond to this increasing demand, leading to a growing trade deficit.

Union claims casino labour abuse
Khmer Times | 02-Jan-2018
The Collective Union of Movement of Workers has sent a letter to the Ministry of Labour seeking intervention over abusive working conditions for staffers at a casino in Banteay Meanchey province’s Poipet town.

Mill worker deaths fuels employment concerns in India garment sector
Reuters | 27-Dec-2017
CHENNAI, India (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The death of a 21-year-old woman working in a garment factory in south India has reignited concerns among rights campaigners over the working conditions of low-paid textile workers in the multi-billion dollar industry.

U.S. tax law may spur cuts by other nations, fuelling trade tensions
TODAYonline | 26-Dec-2017
WASHINGTON D.C. — To President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans, the overhaul of the tax code that became law Friday (Dec 22) will make the United States a better place to do business.

Proposed law to ban insulting monarchy prompts free speech fears
The Phnom Penh Post | 21-Dec-2017
Minister of Interior Sar Kheng held a meeting with other top ministry officials yesterday to discuss introducing a legal amendment banning insults to the King, similar to so-called “lèse-majesté” laws in Thailand, which critics have characterised as a cudgel to suppress dissent.

Episode 10: Education crisis in Shan State
Frontier Myanmar | 20-Dec-2017
This week we hear about the growing education problem for the Pa'O people of Shan State, where children are forced to leave their villages in search of better schooling in Yangon and elsewhere in Myanmar. Listen on Soundcloud or YouTube below.

Tenaganita hopeful for domestic workers bill to be tabled next year
Free Malaysia Today | 19-Dec-2017
PETALING JAYA: Human rights organisation Tenaganita today expressed hope that a domestic workers bill it helped draft can be pushed into Parliament next year.

A tale of two conferences: exploring the politics of global child labour policies
Open Democracy | 14-Dec-2017
In the fall of 2017 both authors attended two international conferences concerning working children (La Paz, Bolivia) and child labour (Buenos Aires, Argentina). In the following report they reflect on the two events, providing insights into the different positions, underpinnings and politics in global policymaking on child labour.

New Zealand Labour government set to introduce law banning foreign homebuyers
Reuters UK | 13-Dec-2017
WELLINGTON (Reuters) - New Zealand’s housing minister said on Wednesday the new government would introduce a law banning foreigners, including students and temporary workers, from buying existing homes into the country’s Parliament the following day.

Australia fights to boost domestic shipping
Ship Technology | 12-Dec-2017
Australian unions have launched a new campaign ‘to save Australian shipping’, at a time when the number of Aussie-flagged vessels continues to decline and jobs are being offshored. Abi Millar looks at the threats to Australian maritime labour and ask what the campaign aims to achieve.

Landmark discrimination decision handed down in China
HRD Singapore (blog) | 08-Dec-2017
A Beijing woman has won a landmark discrimination case after she was dismissed by her employer because she was pregnant.

Stepping up to the plate
HRD Singapore (blog) | 14-Dec-2017
HR jobs will not be spared from digital disruption and it’s time for HR professionals to get serious about staying relevant and upping their own skills. The IHRP Certification Framework provides the way forward

Two hosts charged over illegal home sharing: Airbnb laws in various cities
The Straits Times | 06-Dec-2017
SINGAPORE - Two men were charged on Tuesday (Dec 5) over their roles in providing unauthorised short-term stays to tenants.

China’s people moved by the markets rather than party diktats
Financial Times | 30-Nov-2017
Planned economies attempt to control not only the “commanding heights” of industry but also the movement of their people. The transformation of China’s economy into the powerhouse it is today came about only after Chinese were allowed to leave subsistence farms for factories and cities.

Fiji Mediation Services received a total of 1220 employment grievances
Fijivillage | 27-Nov-2017
The Fiji Mediation Services has received a total of 1220 employment grievances cases from January to October this year compared to 839 in 2016.

Singapore committed to women's rights and equality: MSF [The Straits Times] (press release) | 24-Nov-2017
Singapore remains committed to the protection of women's rights, and is continuing to take steps to promote gender equality.

UN committee issues recommendations to tackle discrimination against women in Singapore
The Straits Times | 23-Nov-2017
SINGAPORE - A United Nations committee has repeated its recommendation that Singapore include in its Constitution or laws a definition and prohibition of all forms of discrimination against women.

45,500 undocumented migrant workers return
Eleven Myanmar | 22-Nov-2017
After the enactment of new labour laws, Myanmar migrant workers who don’t have the correct documents to work in Thailand and Malaysia are returning to Myanmar in large numbers. By November 19, the number reached 45,570.

Govt okays draft labour laws
The Daily Star | 22-Nov-2017
The government today finalised the drafts on the amendments to the Labour Act, 2006 and the Export-Processing Zones (EPZ) Labour Act, 2016, incorporating the provision that the Workers Welfare Association will act as trade union.

Qatar to simplify residency procedures of expat workers
Economic Times | 21-Nov-2017
Qatar has made the residency procedures easier for expatriate workers by allowing them to complete the procedures at their home countries, a media report said.

India as one thriving economic zone
Times of India (blog) | 20-Nov-2017
The government has given the go-ahead to the first of several mega coastal economic zones mooted by former Niti Aayog vice chairman Arvind Panagariya, at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port in Maharashtra. The Shenzen Economic Zone and its cousins are testimony to the efficacy of industrial clusters in fostering growth and exports. But India also has to learn from the failed experiment with special economic zones. Enclave-specific administrative procedures and special labour laws fall foul of both India’s political economy and the law. There really is no alternative to the hard grind of reforming laws and simplifying procedure across the board, to make the entire country one thriving economic zone. The goods and services tax is a significant step towards this goal.

11 myths against foreign law firm entry countered (as presented at INBA-Ministry liberalisation conference)
Legally India | 17-Nov-2017
On Saturday, 11 November, the Indian National Bar Association (INBA) had held the “Bar Leadership Summit on Reforms in the Indian Legal Sector” conference to discuss the future and liberalisation of the legal profession, and to bring together leaders of the bar and the government.

Domestic helpers union stages rally outside Philippine consulate in Hong Kong over labour ban
South China Morning Post | 15-Nov-2017
On the third day of a three-week suspension of the overseas employment certificate by the Philippine government, an estimated 15,000 outbound Filipino workers who are seeking employment worldwide are now stuck in limbo, jobless and in debt.

Sena ministers to take on BJP, oppose labour law change
Times of India | 14-Nov-2017
MUMBAI: As the BJP-led government moves towards reforming a key labour law to make factory closures and sackings easier, it will have to contend with opposition from its alliance partner Shiv Sena.

MOM letter serves as evidence of worker's pay
The Straits Times | 10-Nov-2017
A High Court judge has ruled that a migrant worker should be paid the basic salary stated in the in-principle approval (IPA) letter he got before coming to Singapore.

US official calls state of Rohingya refugee camps ‘shocking’
Malaysiakini | 09-Nov-2017
The acting US Assistant Secretary of State for population, refugees, and migration Simon Henshaw, just returned after a weeklong visit to Myanmar - US officials still refer to Myanmar by its old moniker “Burma” - and Bangladesh, and said that the conditions at the refugee camps in Bangladesh for the Rohingya refugees from Myanmar were “shocking.” Read more at

Caning ordered over illegal labour importation
HRD Singapore (blog) | 08-Nov-2017
A company director has become the first person to be sentenced with caning for offences committed under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act after he obtained over 100 fraudulent work passes and profited as a result.

More tax incentives sought to help elderly with employment
Bangkok Post | 07-Nov-2017
Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak has instructed the Fiscal Policy Office (FPO) to consider additional tax incentives as a means to support senior citizens' employment and businesses as Thailand.

It’s a national shame that bonded labour still exists in India
Hindustan Times | 06-Nov-2017
Last week, 25 bonded labourers, including children, were rescued from farmlands in Rajasthan’s Baran district. The rescued workers said they were lured from Madhya Pradesh with loans between Rs 500 to Rs 20,000 and the promise of work. But they were made to work on the fields without pay. Bonded and forced labour - where a person is made to work through the use of violence or intimidation or more subtle means such as accumulated debt - are some of the oldest forms of slavery in the world. According to the 2016 Global Slavery Index, India has the most slaves in the world. There are an estimated 46 million people enslaved worldwide with more than 18 million of them in India, the survey added.

Company director, 35, allegedly collected more than $64,000 of kickbacks from foreign workers
The Straits Times | 02-Nov-2017
SINGAPORE - A company director has been charged over the collection of more than $64,000 in kickbacks from 21 foreign workers as a condition for their employment with the company.

Draft foreigner laws reincarnated as DICA announcement
Myanmar Times | 01-Nov-2017
ELEMENTS of the draft foreigner laws are back, in another form, to haunt businesses and investors. The government’s newly expanded requirements on hiring foreign employees have been criticised as “burdensome and disruptive” and “another incarnation” of the draft foreigner laws which were submitted to the legislature in February. A leading legal expert has described the changes as “a possibly good intention” which “has gotten lost in a bureaucratic regulatory nightmare without any sunshine ability to improve the draft regulations”.

Labour’s first act is to ban foreign buyers
Newsroom | 31-Oct-2017
The new Government's first act was to announce plans for a ban on foreigners buying existing housing by early next year. Bernard Hickey reports on what it means for the housing market and New Zealand's trade deals.

Labour law reforms to improve female participation: Harsha
Daily Mirror | 30-Oct-2017
Sri Lanka’s labour laws and policies will be amended to enhance female labour force participation in the economy, according to National Policies and Economic Affairs Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva.

“Singapore companies need to be on the faster side of change”
HRD Singapore (blog) | 27-Oct-2017
The CEO of a leading educational institute says Singapore firms can’t afford to fall behind when it comes to tech advancements and robotic innovation.

20-something Singapore bankers now far too frightened to move firms
eFinancialCareers | 26-Oct-2017
If you’re an experienced private banker in Singapore with a bountiful book of loyal clients, you may well be contemplating changing employers in the near future. With so many private banks in the Republic looking for senior RMs who can generate immediate revenue, finding a rival firm that offers you a better package and platform could be comparatively straightforward.

Help migrant workers stand up for their own safety
The Straits Times | 25-Oct-2017
Singapore has set itself the target of significantly reducing its workplace accident rate. The fatality rate alone last year was 1.9 in every 100,000 workers. Last month, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced the target of reducing that to fewer than one in every 100,000 workers within 10 years.

Progress review of SEZs in Myanmar demanded
The Nation | 24-Oct-2017
AS MYANMAR pushes for attracting more foreign direct investment through its three special economic zones, civil society organisations have reiterated their recommendation to review and monitor the progress of the SEZs.

PM’s son meets with workers in Thailand
The Phnom Penh Post | 23-Oct-2017
The premier’s eldest son, Hun Manet, met with migrant workers in Thailand on Friday, a day after a group of them demonstrated to complain of a cumbersome and expensive process getting the papers needed to work legally.

CNBC Transcript: Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister of Singapore
AsiaOne | 20-Oct-2017
ollowing is the transcript of CNBC's interview with Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong. The full interview will be broadcast on CNBC Conversation on Saturday, Oct 21, 2017, 6.30pm (SG/HK Time).

Kiwi Tumbles After Labour Party Wins Support to Form Government
Bloomberg | 19-Oct-2017
New Zealand’s dollar dropped the most in five months after the opposition Labour Party won the support of smaller players to form a new government, raising questions over policy direction for the central bank and on immigration.

Workers urge speedy passage of labour law
Bangkok Post | 17-Oct-2017
The government is being urged to help speed up the passage of a draft amendment to the labour protection law amid concerns it might face opposition from National Legislative Assembly (NLA) members with business links.

SMEs, Bahrain, and the law
CPI Financial | 16-Oct-2017
It is incredibly easy to establish a company in Bahrain–even an onshore company, and the process just keeps getting easier, according to Brian Howard, Partner at Bahraini law firm Trowers and Hamlins. This ease of registration can largely be attributed to SIJILAT, Bahrain’s online registration portal.

How the British suppressed the labour movement in Malaya
Aliran Monthly | 13-Oct-2017
In the second of a three-part series, Charles Hector examines how the British moved to weaken the blossoming Malayan labour movement.

Soft skills and hard measures the future for Singapore’s HR professionals
HRM Asia | 12-Oct-2017
The rapid change in the lives of business leaders, particularly for those responsible for organisations’ human resources, rages unabated. At a pace, we have seen emerging technologies, computerisation and automation that have reshaped the Singapore workforce.