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Snapshot of 2020 benefit and employment developments in Asia Pacific

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Beyond Data

September 2, 2020

Get ahead of the local changes to benefits and employment practices in your market this year.

2020 has been an extremely challenging year for employers. Many have had to make unexpected adjustments to their benefit programs and workforce plans, in addition to overseeing and implementing the usual regulatory changes.

This summary provides a snapshot of just some of the local market developments taking place throughout 2020. To stay on top of the various updates, you may be interested to find out more from our 2020 Benefits Profile and Employment Terms and Conditions Report.

Australia

Risk benefit coverage within DC superannuation funds changed from an opt-out basis to an opt-in basis for new members under age 25 and members with account balance under AUD 6,000 as of April 1, 2020.

From January 1, 2020, salary sacrificed super contributions no longer reduce the minimum employer Superannuation Guarantee or ordinary time earnings on which minimum employer SG contributions are based.

Bangladesh

The prior tax exemption on end-of-service gratuity and pension fund payments is restricted to only those payments which are made from government-approved gratuity and pension funds, respectively with effect from July 1, 2020.

Cambodia

Effective January 1, 2020, the minimum monthly wage for the ‘garment, textile and shoes’ manufacturing sector increased from USD 182 to USD 190 for full-time workers and from USD 177 to USD 185 for probationary workers.

China

As of January 1, 2020, employees from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan are required to participate in the local social security system on the same basis as mainland residents.

Hong Kong

The OECD's Automatic Exchange of Information reporting standard was adopted for Mandatory Provident Fund and Occupational Retirement Schemes Ordinance schemes effective on January 1, 2020.

Macau

The Labor Relations Law has been amended to extend the minimum paid maternity leave period to 70 days for children born on or after May 26, 2020 and to introduce a five working day paternity leave for the first time.

A minimum wage for all employees in the private sector has been introduced for the first time in Macau.

A minimum wage for all employees in the private sector has been introduced for the first time, effective November 1, 2020.

India

The 2020/21 budget proposes that employer contributions exceeding INR 750,000 for an employee would be considered a taxable perquisite and be subject to personal income tax. If approved, the cap would take effect from April 1, 2021.

The Transgender Persons Act took effect on January 10, 2020. The Act prohibits discrimination against the transgendered in employment or recruitment.

Indonesia

Effective January 1, 2020, the monthly covered earnings limit for the national health care system increased to IDR 12 million. Employers are now required to pay 4% and employees 1.0%.

Malaysia

A new minimum wage rate of MYR 1, 200 per month was established for employment in 56 specified city and municipal council areas effective February 1, 2020.

New Zealand

Amendments to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Act extended paid 'primary-carer leave' to 26 weeks effective July 1, 2020.

Philippines

New Department of Labor and Employment guidelines, effective March 4, 2020, require employers to implement policies and programs to protect and support workers with mental health issues.

In the Philippines, new guidelines require employers to implement policies and programs to protect and support workers with mental health issues.

Singapore

The Work Injury Compensation Act was amended (effective January 1, 2020) to increase compensation and medical expense limits, and to raise salary thresholds for mandatory coverage of non-manual workers.

Effective January 1, 2020 the cap on the number of S-Pass holders who may be employed in the services sector decreased from 15% to 13% of the total workforce; and will decrease further to 10% from January 1, 2021.

South Korea

Effective January 1, 2020, all national public holidays have become statutory entitlements for firms with 300 or more workers. The same will apply to firms with between five and 299 workers from 2021 to 2022.

In October 2019, the duration of employer-paid paternity leave increased to 10 days for the birth of a child.

Enhanced flexibility in family care leave provisions became effective January 1, 2020, including up to 10 days of unpaid family care leave and an expansion of eligibility.

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Thailand

On May 27, 2020, the Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) came into force. Employers are required to obtain consent to collect personal data, and to protect the data collected. Individuals have the right to control and manage how their personal data is collected and used.

As of January 1, 2020, the minimum wages that vary across regions and a number of skilled professions, have been increased.

Vietnam

The new Labor Code will replace the prior version in its entirety from January 1, 2021. Changes include amendments to employment contracts, working hours, termination, unions and discrimination.

Foreign workers will have to be enrolled in social security for retirement and death benefits from January 2022.

The social security normal retirement age (for both male and female employees) will begin a phased increase from January 2021 for individuals born in or after 1966.


It’s important to be aware of the statutory employment changes in your markets and respond quickly. Willis Towers Watson’s 2020 Benefits Profile and Employment Terms and Conditions Report can help. Please contact us for further details.

You may also be interested in our latest report on Severance Policies and Practices in Asia Pacific.