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  • Legal system, currency, language

    Constitutional. The official currency is the Kwanza (AOA). The official language is Portuguese.

  • Corporate presence requirements & payroll set-up

    A foreign entity may engage employees in Angola with proper payroll registrations, subject to business, corporate and tax considerations. The employer is responsible for withholding from an employee's pay, and delivering to the tax authority, income tax and contributions to Angolan social security. The level of income tax is defined by the government and varies in line with the employee's salary.

  • Pre-hire checks

    Required

    Immigration compliance and pre-hire medical examinations.

    Permissible

    Reference and education checks are permissible.

  • Immigration

    Criminal and medical checks must be issued by competent authorities, a criminal record must be issued by the home country and a medical certificate must be issued by a doctor in the employee’s home country.

    The visa/work permit requirements for overseas nationals to work in Angola are having a recognized travel document valid for the Angolan territory for at least 6 months, being of legal age, not being included in the national list of undesirable persons prohibited from entering into the national territory, not constituting a danger to public order or to social security interests, complying with all health regulations established by the Ministry of Health for entry into the national territory, having an employment contract or promissory employment contract, having a certificate of professional and educational qualifications and curriculum vitae, and obtaining a positive opinion of the competent Ministry.

  • Hiring options

    Employee

    Indefinite-term contract (which is the rule), fixed-term or open-term (ie, a term contract whose termination date has not yet been defined, but that will be terminated as soon as the underlying need for contracting is no longer verified – for example, as a contract to cover absence), part-time contract, telework contract and contract under service commission regime – a particular type of contract for high-level employees which provides flexibility for termination and is not common. The parties may execute an employment contract for a fixed term or open term, which must be done in writing.  Part-time, fixed-term and open-term employees may not be discriminated against due to their status.

    Independent contractor

    Independent contractors may be engaged directly by the company or via a personal services company. Engagement may be subject to misclassification exposure. The factors that tend to indicate an individual is an employee (rather than, for example, a self-employed independent contractor) are the existence of a work schedule, the scheduling of vacation, the worker’s legal subordination to the company, the company’s authority, direction and disciplinary powers, control of punctuality and attendance over the individual, integration into the structure of the company and use of work tools belonging to the company, among others.

    In the event of misclassification, the relationship may be converted into an employment relationship on a permanent basis, and the employer may be liable to pay a fine for non-compliance.

    Agency worker

    Agency workers may only be engaged to fulfill a temporary need for work. The agency work contract duration depends on the underlying reason for hiring and does not typically exceed 12 months. Agency workers have the right to equal treatment to employees in relation to pay and other regular benefits.

  • Employment contracts & policies

    Employment contracts

    Written employment contracts are common but not mandatory, except for fixed-term, part-time, telework and service commission regime contracts as well as contracts with foreign employees and underage employees. Employment contracts cannot contain conditions that are less favorable to employees than mandatory employment legislation.

    Probationary periods

    Permissible.

    Employment contracts for an unlimited period of time may be subject to a probation period corresponding to the first 60 days of performance of work; the parties may, by written agreement, reduce or waive this period.

    The parties may extend the probation period, in writing, to up to 4 months in case of employees who perform highly technical, complex work that is difficult to evaluate, and to up to 6 months in case of employees who perform management duties.

    In an employment contract for a limited period of time, the parties may set forth a probation period in writing, and its duration cannot exceed 15 days in case of non-qualified employees, or 30 days in case of qualified employees. Angolan law does not define qualified and non-qualified, but the common practice is that qualified employees correspond to positions that involve technical complexity, a high degree of responsibility or special qualifications as well as those carrying out functions of trust.

    Policies

    Employers with more than 50 employees must, in order to organize the work and labor discipline, draft and approve employee handbooks, guidelines, instructions, service orders and work rules defining rules for the technical organization of work, performance of work and work discipline, delegation of powers, employee job descriptions, safety, hygiene and health protection of work, performance indicators, a remuneration system, working hours for the several sections of the company or work center, control of entrances and exits and circulation within the premises of the company, and surveillance and control of production.

    Employers with 50 or fewer employees may, but are not required to, implement employee handbooks on the matters described above.

    Third-party approval

    Whenever the employee’s handbook or any other rules and regulations establish rules on performance and discipline, remuneration systems, work performance or safety, hygiene and health protection at work, the employer must forward such regulations for information and registration purposes to the General Labor Inspectorate.

  • Language requirements

    Portuguese. Nevertheless, employment contracts and other documents may be drafted in a bilingual template.

  • Minimum employment rights

    Employees entitled to minimum employment rights

    All employees are entitled to minimum employment rights.

    Working hours

    Maximum daily and weekly working hours are 8 hours per day and 44 hours per week. Overtime pay is required for hours worked in excess of these limits. These limits are inapplicable to employees who perform direction and leadership duties, duties of inspection, or provide direct support to the employer. In case the employee usually performs their work outside the company's premises, an exemption regime may also be agreed upon by the parties, in which case those limits shall not apply. Typically, employees under the exemption regime are entitled to an exemption bonus.

    Overtime

    Overtime may occur with an extraordinary increase in workload, to prevent serious damage or if due to majeure force. It is subject to the following maximum limits: (a) 2 hours per day, (b) 40 hours per month and (c) 200 hours per year.

    Overtime must be compensated with additional payment (ie, an increase of hourly rates) up to 30 hours per month: 50 percent. 30 percent, 20 percent and 10 percent depending on whether it is a large, medium, small or micro company dependent on number of employees and turnover. A company which is a subsidiary or branch of a company with headquarters abroad always qualifies as a large company. Overtime that exceeds that limit is paid for each hour at an additional 75 percent, 45 percent, 20 percent and 10 percent depending on whether it is a large, medium, small or micro company.

    Wages

    The minimum wage is established by Presidential Decree. It is set out as a general minimum wage, but there is also a minimum wage for trade and extractive industry groups, transport services and manufacturing groups and agriculture groups. Under the Decree currently in force, the general minimum wage is AOA21,454.10. The following sector-specific minimum wages also apply:

    • Trade and extractive industry groups: AOA32,181.15
    • Transport services and manufacturing groups: AOA26,817.63 and
    • Agriculture groups: AOA21,454.10.

    Vacation

    Minimum 22 working days per year, plus 12 public national holidays.

    Sick leave & pay

    Employees are entitled to take off as much time as they need for sick leave. For large and medium companies: In case of incapacity to work due to illness or common accident, pay is required in the amount corresponding to 100 percent of the base salary for a period of 2 months. For as long as the employee is not entitled to protection in case of illness or common accident from the social security authorities, the employer must pay to the employee 50 percent of salary from the 3rd to the 12th month.

    In case of small and micro companies: The employee is paid, in case of illness or common accident, the amount of 50 percent of the base salary within 90 days, after which the contract is terminated by expiration if the condition of illness remains.

    Maternity/parental leave & pay

    A pregnant employee is entitled to a paid maternity leave of 3 months. The amount of the maternity allowance is equal to the average of the 2 best monthly salaries from the 6 months preceding the commencement of the maternity leave. The maternity allowance is paid directly by the employer to the employee and, subsequently, the Social Security services reimburse the employer in full. Fathers are not entitled to any leave on the birth of a child; it is only considered as a justifiable reason for absence from work for 1 day.

  • Discrimination

    Discrimination based on the following protected characteristics is prohibited: race, color, gender, ethnic origin, marital status, origin or social rank, religious beliefs, political opinion, union affiliation and language.

  • Benefits & pensions

    Both employer and employee must pay contributions to social security in Angola to cover various employee benefits (eg, maternity leave payment and retirement pension). The employer must withhold the contribution due by the employee and deliver both contributions (ie, employer and employee) to social security every month.

    Current general rates are 3 percent of the gross wage for the employee and 8 percent for the employer.

    Employees with a minimum contributory period (ie, 35 years) qualify for a retirement pension at age 60 or in cases of total incapacity.

    Employers have no legal obligation to provide complementary or supplementary social benefits in addition to the social coverage provided for by the social public scheme. However, some companies – mostly large companies or multinational companies who have their own schemes worldwide – set up and provide private complementary health and pension schemes to their employees.

  • Data privacy

    The Data Privacy Law No. 22/11, June 17 governs Angolan data privacy and determines, in general terms, how to collect, use, disclose, store and give access to "personal information."

    There is no specific regulation on employee data privacy.

  • Rules in transactions/business transfers

    Provided that the same business activity is maintained, the new employer takes the position of the former employer in the employment contracts and takes their position in respect of the rights and obligations arising from the employment relationships. This is the case even if the employment contract is terminated before the transfer. The new employer takes their position as the employer of such former employees in respect of due and non-paid credits. All credits, rights and obligations of the employer arising from the execution and implementation of the employment contract, its violation or termination are subject to a statute of limitations of 1 year starting on the day following the day of termination of the contract. Employees keep the same seniority and acquired rights which they had in the service of their former employer.

    The new employer undertakes the obligations of the former employer limited to those incurred during the 12 months prior to the modification, provided that, up to 22 business days prior to the modification, the new mployer gives notice to the employees that they must claim their credits up to the 2nd business day prior to the date scheduled for such modification. Within 22 business days following the modification of employer, the employees have the right to terminate the employment contract with prior notice, but this does not confer any right to compensation.

  • Employee representation

    Employee representative bodies are permissible but not mandatory.

    Trade unions are not common in Angola.

    In order to carry out their duties, trade union representatives are entitled to 4 paid hours a month but must notify the employer in advance of the date and number of days they require for the exercise of trade union functions. Employers are obliged to provide a suitable place for workers' meetings whenever this is requested by the union representatives. Special protections against dismissal are granted to employees who perform, or have performed, duties as union representatives, either as leaders or delegates, or members of the employees’ representative body performing union-related activities.

  • Termination

    Grounds

    Unilateral termination by the employer: dismissal based on objective grounds (ie, redundancy reasons); disciplinary dismissal with just cause (ie, based on serious breach of the employee's duties).

    Termination without cause (with notice): only for employees hired under an employment contract of service commission regime (a particular type of contract for high-level employees which provides flexibility for termination but is not common).

    Other termination causes: mutual agreement, termination by the employee (ie, termination with notice or constructive dismissal with just cause), expiration (ie, fixed-term and open-term contracts or retirement).

    Employees subject to termination laws

    All employees.

    Restricted or prohibited terminations

    Special protection against dismissal is granted to employees who perform, or have performed, duties as union representatives, either as leaders or delegates, or members of the employees’ representative body performing activities; women covered by the regime of maternity protection; war veterans as per the definition provided by the applicable law; employees under the legal age; employees with a reduced work capacity or with a disability degree equal or higher than 20 percent.

    As a general rule, a copy of the notice served on the employee must be forwarded to General Labor Inspectorate.

    Third-party approval for termination/termination documents

    Except in respect of protected employees, third-party approval is not required to terminate an employment.

    Mass layoff rules

    If economic, technological or structural circumstances occur, which may be clearly demonstrated and which involve an internal reorganization or conversion, or the reduction or the shutting down of activities, which makes it necessary to eliminate or significantly change job positions, the employer may terminate the employment contracts of the employees who perform such job positions.

    Collective dismissal rules are triggered if the dismissal involves at least 20 employees.

    Information to the General Labour Inspectorate is required. However, there is no need to obtain approval for termination.

    The General Labor Inspectorate may undertake the diligence deemed necessary for clarification of the situation and, in case of a collective dismissal, during the period in which the evaluation of the General Labor Inspectorate occurs, the employer may promote a meeting with the representative body or with the committee appointed for the purpose of exchange of information and clarification and may forward the conclusions of the meetings to the General Labor Inspectorate.

    Notice

    For individual dismissals based on objective grounds (up to 20 employees): the employer must forward, at least 30 days in advance, prior notice of dismissal to the employee or employees who occupy the job positions to be extinguished or transformed.

    For collective dismissal: the prior notice is 60 days.

    Notice periods in case of term contract: 15 business days if its duration is equal to or higher than 3 months.

    Statutory right to pay in lieu of notice or garden leave

    Payment in lieu of notice is permitted (and required if the notice period is not honored).

    Garden leave is allowed during the notice period.

    Severance

    Fair dismissal based on objective grounds (redundancy/collective dismissal):

    • Large companies: compensation corresponds to 1 base salary for each year of effective service up to the limit of 5 and an additional 50 percent of the base salary multiplied by the number of years of service that exceed such limit
    • Medium companies: compensation corresponds to 1 base salary for each year of effective service up to the limit of 3 and an additional 40 percent of the base salary multiplied by the number of years of service which exceed such limit
    • Small companies: compensation corresponds to 2 base salary and an additional 30 percent of the base salary multiplied by the number of years of service which exceed the limit of 2 years
    • Micro companies: compensation corresponds to 2 base salary and an additional 20 percent of the base salary multiplied by the number of years of service which exceed the limit of 2 years

       

      Fair disciplinary dismissal: no severance.

      Higher severance payments may be agreed and are usual as a way to avoid litigation.

  • Post-termination restraints

    A clause of the employment contract which restricts the activity of the employee for a period of time, which may not exceed 3 years from the termination of the contract, is lawful if the following conditions are met: (a) such clause is included, in writing, in the employment contract, or in its addendum; (b) the activity performed may cause real damage to the employer and may be considered as unfair competition; (c) the employee is paid a salary during the period of restriction of work: the corresponding amount will be included in the contract or its addendum, and it must be taken into account, in its calculation, the fact that the employer may have incurred in significant expenses in the professional training of the employee.

    A clause which requires an employee who benefits from professional improvement or higher level education at the expense of the employer to remain at the service of the same employer for a certain period of time, provided that such period does not exceed 1 year, in case of training of professional improvement and up to 3 years in case of courses of high level education, is also lawful if established in writing. In this case, the employee may release themselves from remaining at the employer’s service by repaying to the employer the amount of the expenses incurred by the employer, in proportion to the remaining time until the term of the agreed period. The employer that hires the employee within the period of restriction of activity in the company is jointly liable for the damages caused by the employee or for the amount not returned by the employee.

  • Waivers

    In principle, statutory rights cannot be waived and any waiver of such rights will be null and void.

  • Remedies

    Discrimination

    Fine corresponding to 5 to 10 times the average salary paid by the company.

    Unfair Dismissal

    The employee may challenge the validity of the dismissal before the labor courts.

    If the relevant court declares the dismissal to be unlawful, by final judgment, the employer must immediately re-instate the employee in the same job position and benefiting from the same previous conditions, or, alternatively, shall indemnify the employee (compensation is different depending on whether it is a large, medium, small or micro company and the cause of dismissal).

    In addition to re-instatement or the compensation, the employee is entitled to the base salaries they would have received if they had continued to perform work, until the date on which the employee finds a new job or up to the date of final judgment, whichever comes first, with a maximum limit of 6 months of base salary for large companies, 4 months to medium companies and 2 months for small and micro companies.

    Failure to inform and consult

    Not applicable.

  • Criminal sanctions

    Typically, non-compliance with employment laws leads to administrative proceedings which may lead to the payment of fines. If such non-compliance is based on violation of rights that deserve protection under criminal law, it may also lead to this type of judicial proceedings.

  • Key contacts

Employment contracts & policies

Angola

Employment contracts

Written employment contracts are common but not mandatory, except for fixed-term, part-time, telework and service commission regime contracts as well as contracts with foreign employees and underage employees. Employment contracts cannot contain conditions that are less favorable to employees than mandatory employment legislation.

Probationary periods

Permissible.

Employment contracts for an unlimited period of time may be subject to a probation period corresponding to the first 60 days of performance of work; the parties may, by written agreement, reduce or waive this period.

The parties may extend the probation period, in writing, to up to 4 months in case of employees who perform highly technical, complex work that is difficult to evaluate, and to up to 6 months in case of employees who perform management duties.

In an employment contract for a limited period of time, the parties may set forth a probation period in writing, and its duration cannot exceed 15 days in case of non-qualified employees, or 30 days in case of qualified employees. Angolan law does not define qualified and non-qualified, but the common practice is that qualified employees correspond to positions that involve technical complexity, a high degree of responsibility or special qualifications as well as those carrying out functions of trust.

Policies

Employers with more than 50 employees must, in order to organize the work and labor discipline, draft and approve employee handbooks, guidelines, instructions, service orders and work rules defining rules for the technical organization of work, performance of work and work discipline, delegation of powers, employee job descriptions, safety, hygiene and health protection of work, performance indicators, a remuneration system, working hours for the several sections of the company or work center, control of entrances and exits and circulation within the premises of the company, and surveillance and control of production.

Employers with 50 or fewer employees may, but are not required to, implement employee handbooks on the matters described above.

Third-party approval

Whenever the employee’s handbook or any other rules and regulations establish rules on performance and discipline, remuneration systems, work performance or safety, hygiene and health protection at work, the employer must forward such regulations for information and registration purposes to the General Labor Inspectorate.

Argentina

Employment contracts

There is no general legal requirement to execute employment contracts in a specific form – meaning that they can, for example, be in writing or made orally, unless a specific law or collective convention applies and indicates otherwise.

Notwithstanding, employers are advised to enter into a written employment contract.

Probationary periods

The maximum permitted duration of a probationary period is 3 months. After the end of the 3 month period, the employee will turn into an indefinite term employee.

Policies

The law does not require employers to have specific policies in place. Notwithstanding, there are some policies that are strongly recommended to prevent potential conflict, such as bonus policies.

Third-party approval

Third-party approval is not required for employment contracts or any policies.

Australia

Employment contracts

A contract may be oral, but written contracts are strongly recommended. Additionally, all new employees must be given a Fair Work Information Statement containing key terms as soon as possible after the commencement of employment.  Some employees whose work is covered by modern awards – industrial-legislation-based instruments that set minimum pay and conditions – may require a document in writing (eg, a contract or letter of offer) that specifies the modern award that covers them and their classification.

Probationary periods

Permissible. No statutory limit, but 3 to 6 months is common.

Policies

Generally not mandatory, but some policies – especially regarding anti-discrimination and harassment, bullying and occupational health and safety – are strongly encouraged by laws and regulations. Certain corporations may be required by law to have a whistleblower policy in place.

Third-party approval

No requirement to lodge employment contract or policies with or get approval from any third party.

Austria

Employment contracts

Employment contracts are not required per se, but employees must be provided in writing with certain minimum terms defined by Austrian labor law. Accordingly, contracts are common. 

Probationary periods

Permissible for the first month of employment, in general.

Policies

No mandatory policies.

Third-party approval

No requirement to lodge employment contract or policies with or get approval from any third party.

Bahrain

Employment contracts

Unlike some other GCC countries, Bahrain does not require the signing of a government contract. However, the contract entered into between the employer and the employee must be registered with the LMRA in order to obtain the employee's work permit and residence visa. Under the Labor Law, the contract should be in Arabic, but in practice, where contracts are drafted in another language, an Arabic-translated version may be attached to fulfill this requirement.

Probationary periods

Generally, a duration of 3 months is allowed, although this may be increased up to a maximum of 6 months in respect of certain occupations.

Policies

Employees should be provided with any relevant staff handbook and the employer's policies, if applicable, on commencement of employment. The Labor Law specifies that company policies and internal regulations must be openly displayed to employees.

Third-party approval

The employment contract must be registered with the LMRA to obtain the employee's work permit and residence visa. Strictly speaking, any contractual changes should be notified to the LMRA and amended on the filed employment contract copy.

Belgium

Employment contracts

Specific requirements for written employment contracts with regard to specific clauses (eg, trial period, non-compete and notice) and specific contracts (eg, fixed-term, part-time and working-from-home arrangements).

Probationary periods

It is no longer permissible to insert a trial period into an employment contract, except in an employment contract for students, temporary work or interim agency work.

Policies

Work regulations containing applicable work schedules, an overview of disciplinary measures, a grievance procedure and a policy on alcohol and drug abuse, as well as a written health and safety policy (eg, a global prevention plan, yearly action plan, dynamic risk prevention system and risk analysis), are mandatory.

Third-party approval

No requirement to lodge employment contract with, or get approval from, any third party. A copy of the work regulations and their annexes, as well as any modification of the work regulations and/or their annexes, must be sent to the Social Information and Investigation Service.

Brazil

Employment contracts

A written agreement is not legally required, but is common. Basic terms and conditions of employment are recorded in the employee's booklet (Carteira de Trabalho e Previdência Social or CTPS) and in other mandatory documents upon hiring.

The eSocial system allows the company to electronically perform all procedures related to hiring.  The Digital Employee’s Booklet now replaces the physical employee’s booklet (CTPS) so that, at the time of hiring, the employee only needs to inform the employer of their Individual Taxpayers' Registry number.

Probationary periods

Permissible. Statutory limit of 90 days.

Policies

Written employment health and safety policies such as an Occupational Health Medical Control Program (PCMSO) and an Environmental Risk Prevention Program (PPRA) are legally required.

Third-party approval

The employment relationship with foreign employees must be submitted for the Secretary of Labor's approval.

Canada

Employment contracts

Written employment contracts are recommended but are not required by law. 

Probationary periods

In most jurisdictions, a probationary period of up to 3 months is permitted. During the probationary period, an employer may be able to terminate an employee without being required to provide statutory notice of termination or pay in lieu. Employees terminated during a probationary period may still allege discrimination in the course of employment or upon termination and recover damages if the employer is found to have discriminated against the employee. In addition, absent a clear contractual limit on an employee's right to notice of termination during the probationary period, an employee may still have a claim for notice of termination or pay in lieu of notice at common law.

Policies

Most jurisdictions require a written health and safety policy with certain contents based on the number of employees and/or the scope of the employer's operations. Various jurisdictions require specific training for employees on health and safety standards. Several jurisdictions require workplace violence, workplace harassment, workplace sexual harassment and/or anti-bullying policies. In Ontario, specific accessibility policies are required.

Accessibility policies apply not only to employees but also to interactions with the public and other third parties. Privacy policies are also required, and, in a number of jurisdictions, the privacy policy must address the protection of employee personal information.

Harassment and anti-discrimination policies are highly recommended. In many jurisdictions, employers are required to have workplace harassment and violence prevention policies.

A number of jurisdictions require the posting of information on basic employment laws and health and safety standards.

Third-party approval

Generally, there is no requirement to file employment contracts or policies or have them approved; however, in Ontario, regular compliance filings are required of most employers under accessibility legislation.

Chile

Employment contracts

As a general rule, employment contracts must be made in writing. If the employer does not provide written terms of employment within 15 days of the employee's start date, the law will presume the conditions alleged by the employee valid.

Individual labor contracts must contain certain provisions, including the position of the employee and description of the work to be rendered; the place of work; the remuneration to be paid by the employer; and the term of payment of the compensation, which cannot exceed monthly periods.

Although offer letters are valid in Chile, the execution by the employee does not exempt the company from providing an employment agreement with the minimum statutory provisions.

Probationary periods

Chilean law does not have regulations in relation to probationary periods. Instead, it is market practice for companies to use fixed-term employment agreements as de facto probationary periods. If an employee's performance during the initial fixed term is satisfactory to the employer, the employer will renew the employment contract with the employee.

If, for any reason, the employee gains legal dismissal protection during the fixed term de facto probationary period, the company may not terminate the employment agreement without prior authorization of a court of law (see Restricted or Prohibited Terminations).  

Policies

Companies with 10 or more employees must implement internal rules (Reglamento Interno de la Empresa).

The internal rules must cover the following mandatory issues:

  • Hiring and termination of employment
  • Rest periods and leaves
  • Different remunerations paid by the company
  • Rules regarding payment of remuneration
  • Duties and prohibitions for the employees
  • Rules regarding the executive staff that will handle the worker's questions and complaints
  • Rules regarding different issues in relation to the age and sex of the employees, and the rules regarding adjustments that the company may need to perform for disabled employees
  • Rules regarding compliance with social security obligations, military service and Chilean ID rules on hygiene and safety in the company
  • Penalties in case of infringement of the internal rules procedure to impose such penalties
  • Rules regarding sexual harassment and
  • Rules regarding equal remuneration between men and women.

Additionally, companies may incorporate other policies as part of the internal rules of the company.

Third-party approval

There are no regulations regarding third-party approval. However, the Labor Directorate may review the internal rules at the request of any employee or union and may request changes if it decides that any provision may be illegal.

China

Employment contracts

A written contract in Chinese is required. If a contract is in a foreign language, a translation into Mandarin is highly recommended, and the risk of not translating the contract may be significant.

Probationary periods

PRC labor laws only allow a maximum probation period of 1 month for contracts less than 1 year, 2 months for contracts longer than 1 year but less than 3 years, and 6 months for contracts of 3 years or longer.

Policies

The absence of a disciplinary policy may make a termination based on misconduct difficult. Where an employer formulates, amends or decides rules or important events concerning issues that are directly related to the interests of the employees, such rules or important events shall be discussed at the meeting of employees' representatives or the general meeting of all employees. The employer shall also put forward proposals and opinions to the employees and negotiate with the trade union or the employees' representatives on an equal basis to reach agreements on these rules or events. In addition, the employer shall make an announcement regarding the rules and important events that are directly related to the interests of the employees or inform the employees of these rules or events.

Third-party approval

No requirement to lodge employment contract or policies with or get approval from any third party, but the employer must go through a consultation process with relevant representatives to implement and vary employment policies.

Colombia

Employment contracts

Written employment agreements are only mandatory for fixed-term agreements or employment agreements for the duration of a project but are generally recommended.

Probationary periods

Employees hired under an indefinite employment agreement may be subject to a probationary period of up to 2 months. Employees hired under a fixed-term employment agreement may be subject to a probationary period of up to 1/5 of the fixed term agreed upon up to 2 months.

Policies

Depending on the number of employees, internal working regulations, data protection and health and safety policies are mandatory. Internal regulations (Reglamento Interno de Trabajo or RIT) are mandatory under Article 105 of Colombian Labor Code for employers with more than 5 permanent employees in commercial business, more than 10 employees in industrial companies or more than 20 employees in agricultural, forestry or cattle companies. Health and safety regulations (Reglamento de Seguridad y Salud en el Trabajo) are mandatory under article 349 of Colombian Labor Code for employers with more than 10 permanent employees. An occupational health and safety management system (Sistema de Gestión de Seguridad y Salud en el Trabajo) and labor harassment and data privacy policies are mandatory. Additional corporate policies are permitted.

Third-party approval

No approvals are required, save that Ministry of Labor authorization of the employment relationship is required if the employee is 15 to 17 years old.

Czech Republic

Requirements

Obligatory written employment contract. It must include:

  • Type of work
  • Place of performance of work and
  • Date of commencement of work.

Certain additional information must be provided to the employee in writing within 1 month from commencement of employment if not included in the employment contract.

Probationary

Permissible; maximum 3 months for regular employees and maximum 6 months for so-called managerial employees. Cannot be renewed and cannot be longer than 1/2 of the duration of a fixed-term employment. Must be agreed to in writing.

Policies

There is no mandatory policy which must be issued by the employer. An employer may issue internal policies to provide employees with rights and benefits above the mandatory provision of the Labor Code. Internal policies must be in writing. A work code is a special type of internal policy to specify the obligations of employees.

Third-party approval

Labor Union consent is required with issuance or modification of the work code.

Denmark

Employment contracts

Employees working more than 8 hours per week and employed for more than 1 month are entitled to receive a written statement of employment terms (ie, employment contract) containing all material terms and conditions of the employment, which must be issued within 1 month of the date of commencement of the employment. However, it is recommended that an employment contract is issued to all employees.

Probationary periods

Permissible and fairly common; however, no longer than 3 months for salaried employees.

Policies

Many businesses have an employee manual or similar document containing internal guidelines and rules on health, safety and other relevant areas. Such policies are generally not mandatory. However, it is mandatory to have a non-smoking policy and a policy on e-cigarettes.

Third-party approval

Not required for employment contracts or policies.

Finland

Employment contracts

An employment contract may be oral, written or in an electronic form. The terms are defined by the actual relationship between the employer and the employee. As a minimum, the principal terms of employment stipulated in the Employment Contracts Act must be provided in writing. Employment terms may also be established through practice between the employer and the employee.

Probationary periods

Probationary periods are permitted. The employer must agree on the probationary period with the employee. As of January 1, 2017, the maximum duration of such a period is 6 months, and it may be extended in accordance with certain limitations if the employee is on sick leave or on family leave during the probationary period.

CBAs may provide for a shorter period. In fixed-term contracts, the probationary period may be half the contract period, but in any event, no more than 6 months.

Policies

The employer is required to maintain a mandatory equality policy including pay survey and a non-discrimination policy if there are more than 30 employees employed regularly. The equality policy must include a "pay survey" with details of the employment of women and men in different jobs and a classification of jobs performed by women and men, the pay for those jobs and the differences in pay. The policy must be updated every second year and kept at the employees' disposal. In addition, the Act on Co-operation within Undertakings requires that the employer has certain plans, such as a training plan, as stipulated in the Act.

Third-party approval

No requirements for third-party approval for employment contracts or policies, except for employees under the age of 15.

France

Employment contracts

Written employment agreements are highly recommended.

Certain types of employment contracts must be established in writing (eg, fixed-term, agency and part-time employment contracts).

Probationary periods

Legal probationary periods for indefinite term employment contracts are 2 months for blue-collar employees and standard employees; 3 months for supervisors and technicians; and 4 months for management-level employees. Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs) may provide for differentiating terms.

Such probationary periods are renewable once for 2, 3 and 4 months, respectively, if a CBA and the employment contract expressly provide for it.

Policies

Since January 1, 2020, internal rules (Règlement intérieur) are mandatory in companies or establishments with at least 50 employees.

Third-party approval

Implementation of the internal rules is subject to consultation of staff representatives (if any); submission to the labor inspector and the clerk's office of the labor court in the jurisdiction of the company or establishment; and communication to employees by any means.

Germany

Employment contracts

Written employment agreements are common but not mandatory, except in the case of fixed-term contracts. A written statement of the core working conditions must be provided by the employer within 1 month of commencement of employment.

Probationary periods

Permissible, subject to proportionality, for a term of up to 6 months. Statutory dismissal protection will start after 6 months only.

Policies

No mandatory policy requirements. If a works council exists, works agreements will largely replace policies. Without a works council, policies are common, but they are subject to standard contract term provisions, which means they cannot be changed unilaterally to the detriment of the workforce.

Third-party approval

No requirement to lodge employment contract or policies with or receive approval from any third party.

However, if established, the works council has the right to object to the employment in certain cases.

Hong Kong, SAR

Employment contracts

A prospective employee must be provided certain information (ie, wages and wage period, any end-of-year payment and length of notice) prior to commencing employment. An employment contract in writing is not required, but it is common practice to have a written contract signed by both parties.

Probationary periods

Permissible. No statutory limit, but 3 to 6 months is common. Regardless of what the employment contract states, either party can terminate the employment contract without notice or payment in lieu during the first month of the probationary period.

Policies

No mandatory policies, although it is common for employers to implement company policies for its employees, such as an anti-discrimination policy.

Third-party approval

No requirement to lodge employment contracts or policies with or obtain approval from any third-party.

Hungary

Employment contracts

Employment contracts must be entered into in writing, and the employee’s base salary and position are mandatory elements. It is also recommended that contracts specify the place of work. The employer and the employee may agree on further terms in the employment contract.

Probationary periods

Permissible and commonly used. The statutory limit is 3 months, which may be extended up to 6 months by collective agreement.

Policies

An employee must be informed in writing within 15 days from the start of employment of, among other information, daily working hours, other components of remuneration, the date of payment of salary, the duration of paid holiday and detailed duties of the employee (ie, the job description).

An employer is permitted to set rules in relation to other subjects in its own internal policies if these are properly communicated to staff.

Third-party approval

Approval from a third party is usually not required to enter into an employment contract. In special cases (eg, for non-EU citizens), specific permits may be required.

India

Employment contracts

Currently, there is no requirement for a formal written contract of employment, although employers generally enter into written employment agreements. Some state-specific S&E Acts require employers to record certain terms of employment such as wages, designation and workhours.  The OSH Code has a statutory requirement for the employers to issue appointment letters to every employee on their appointment in the establishment, with such information and in such form as may be prescribed by the appropriate government. Recent amendments to the Employees Compensation Act and the Maternity Benefit Act require employers to inform employees (in writing) of the benefits available to them thereunder.

In 2017, the government also ratified the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act. The act requires all employers to notify an equal opportunity policy which includes details of posts that persons with disabilities may apply for, amenities that are provided to disabled persons to allow them to carry out their work functions and the manner of selection for employment for persons with disabilities.

Further, in 2020, the government notified the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Rules (TPR Rules) to implement the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act, 2019 (TPR Act). The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Rules, 2020 require the employers to publish an equal opportunity policy for transgender persons which inter alia includes details of infrastructural facilities, measures put in for safety and security and amenities to be provided to the transgender persons.

The Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act applies to employees classified as ''workmen'' and regulates the terms of the contract to ensure uniformity and protection for that class of employee. In the event of any change in certain conditions of service of workmen (such as wages and working hours) which is prejudicial to them, the employer is required to give 21 days' notice (or more, depending on the state where the workmen are located) before implementing the change. Under the IR Code, the threshold for the requirement to formulate standing orders by industrial establishments has been increased. The IR Code, when in force, will replace the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946. The Government of India is also working with industry bodies to ensure that more relevant and industry-specific standing orders are put in place.

A collective agreement is an understanding between trade unions, who represent the interest of the workmen, and employers. Under IDA, it is unfair for a recognized trade union or the employer to refuse to bargain collectively in good faith with the other party.

Probationary periods

The duration of any trial or probationary period is determined by the contract of employment or the model standing orders. Typically, a trial or probation period is 3 months but may be extended by the employer if they are not satisfied with the progress of the employee.

It is usually easier to terminate the service of a probationer as they do not enjoy all the statutory protection from retrenchment accorded to workmen.

Policies

Policies are optional and may be amended without employee consent, if drafted appropriately. However, for workmen employees, certain terms and conditions of service may only be modified after giving 21 days' notice. In addition to employment contracts, an employer usually has various policies that govern its employees' various rights and obligations – for example, leave policies.

Third-party approval

No approvals are required for entering into contracts with employees, with the exception of the Standing Orders, which must be certified by the labor department. The IR Code provides that, where an employer adopts the model standing orders prepared by the government, the same shall be deemed to be certified for the purposes of the IR Code.

Indonesia

Employment contracts

Fixed-term agreements (ie, those for definite-term employees) must be made in writing and registered with the local Manpower office within 7 days of the signing. Indefinite-term employment agreements may be made either orally or in writing. Both must contain certain required provisions.

Probationary periods

Any employment relationship that includes a probationary period must be documented in writing, and the probationary period cannot be longer than a single period of 3 months. A fixed-term employment contract cannot contain a probationary period; otherwise, the probationary period will be null and void.

Policies

No mandatory policies, but the following clauses and policies are recommended: gifts and favor policies for compliance with anti-bribery rules; policies on conflicts of interest with external parties; policies on electronic communications, email and internet abuse and software copyright; policies on code of conduct; policies on data privacy and changes in personal data; clauses in contemplation of natural disaster; clauses related to political activities; clauses related to rotation and relocation (mutasi); clauses related to demotion; clauses related to suspension without termination; and clauses related to personal leave.

Third-party approval

Subject to the Employment Contracts section, there is generally no requirement to lodge employment contracts or policies with, or receive approval from, any third party. However, company regulations, similar to an employee handbook, and collective labor agreements (if there is a labor union) are filed with and approved by the authorities. Company regulations are valid once they are approved by the authorities, while collective labor agreements come into force based on the date agreed by an employer and labor union(s).

Ireland

Employment contracts

Within 5 days of commencement of employment, an employer must provide the employee with a written statement of core terms of employment. Other minimum terms must be given within 2 months of commencement of employment.

Probationary periods

Permissible. No statutory limit, but 3 to 6 months is common.

Policies

A written health and safety policy, disciplinary and bullying and harassment policies and procedures are mandatory. Grievance and IT-related policies are common and recommended.

Third-party approval

There is no third-party approval requirement in Ireland.

Israel

Employment contracts

Common best practices. Within 30 days of commencement of employment, employees must be provided with a notice listing certain employment conditions (as well as written updates with respect to changes in employment terms).

Probationary periods

Permissible, generally relating to shortened prior notice periods only. No statutory limit, but up to 3 months is common practice.

Policies

Common best practices. In most cases, prevention of sexual harassment policy is mandatory. In addition, a computer use policy is required if the employer intends to monitor the employee computer use. In companies in the high-tech sector, employee handbooks are common.

Third-party approval

No requirement to lodge employment contract or policies with or get approval from any third-party.

Italy

Employment contracts

Written employment agreements are required according to national collective bargaining agreements. Certain clauses are not valid if they are not put in writing (eg, probationary clauses or non-compete covenants).

Probationary periods

Permissible, with statutory limits, depending on the category and level of the employee. The maximum duration is 6 months for executives (dirigenti).

Policies

Permissible but not mandatory.

Third-party approval

No requirement to lodge employment contract or policies with, or get approval from, any third party.

Japan

Employment contracts

No requirement to have a written employment contract, but the employer must provide the employee with certain terms and conditions of employment in writing. If the employer has work rules in place, the work rules may address many of the provisions that must be covered in the writing to be provided to the employee.

Probationary periods

Permissible. No statutory limit, but 3 to 6 months common. An unreasonably long probationary period could be invalid, and 12 months is the upper permissible period in many cases. Terminations are very difficult in Japan, and this is true even during the probation period.

Policies

Employers with 10 or more employees in a workplace are required to create work rules and file them with the Labor Standards Inspection Office. Most of the terms and conditions of employment are stipulated in the employer's work rules. The work rules constitute part of the employment contract and must stipulate certain terms and conditions of employment, including wages, working hours and breaks, holidays, termination of employment, disciplinary action and other general matters that apply at the workplace. The working conditions stipulated in work rules are a minimum standard which cannot be diminished by an employment agreement.

Third-party approval

Before filing, the work rules must be submitted to a representative of the majority of employees – or a labor union which represents the majority of employees if one exists – for comments. While employee comments do not need to be accepted by the employer (ie, approval is not required), the comments must be considered in good faith. See above regarding the filing with the Labor Standards Inspection Bureau.

Kenya

Employment contracts

Common best practice. The contract may be oral or written. Any contract for more than 3 months or requiring a task to be performed in an aggregate period exceeding 3 months from the commencement of employment must be provided with certain minimum terms in writing. A written contract must be presented to an employee within 2 months of employment.

Probationary periods

The initial probationary period cannot be more than 6 months but may be extended for an additional period of not more than 6 months, with the employee’s consent. A probationary contract must be in writing and state that it is for a probationary period.

Policies

Mandatory employment or human resources policy, disciplinary and grievance policy, sexual harassment policy and safety and health policy. Policies must be referenced in the contract of employment for enforceability.

Third-party approval

There is no requirement to lodge an employment contract or policies with or receive approval from any third party. The only exceptions are for foreign contracts and employment contracts for seafarers. A foreign contract of service involves the performance of a service outside Kenya by a Kenyan citizen. This type of contract must be in the prescribed form and attested by a labor officer. Before a labor officer can attest a foreign contract, the following conditions must be met:

  • The employee has consented without inducement or coercion

  • The contract is in the prescribed form
  • The terms and conditions are in accordance with the Employment Act 2007
  • The employee is medically fit; and
  • The employee is not employed by another employer during the term of the foreign contract.

With respect to the employment of seafarers, their employment contracts must be approved by the Kenya Maritime Authority.

Kuwait

Employment contracts

Non-Kuwaiti national employees are required to sign a government employment contract to obtain their work permit and residence visa. This contract is in English and Arabic. Kuwaiti and GCC national employees are not required to sign a standard form of contract, but their regular employment contract with their employer may be required to be submitted to the PAM for review.

Probationary periods

Permissible. Maximum duration of 100 working days.

Policies

There are no mandatory policies. Employees should be provided with any relevant staff handbook and the employer's policies, if applicable, on commencement of employment.

Third-party approval

The government employment contract must be lodged with PAM to obtain the employee's work permit and residence visa. Strictly speaking, any contractual changes should be notified to PAM and amended on the filed standard employment contract copy.

Luxembourg

Employment contracts

A written contract is required and must be entered into for each employee no later than the date an employee commences work. Employment contracts must provide for certain mandatory particulars, listed by the Labor Code.

Probationary periods

Probationary periods are, in principle, set between 2 weeks and 6 months with 2 exceptions:

  • The probationary period cannot be longer than 3 months if the employee's level of professional or vocational training is below the Technical and Professional Aptitude Certificate for Technical Education (CATP), and
  • The probationary period may be up to 12 months when the gross monthly salary provided for in the employment contract is greater than or equal to EUR4,474.31 gross at index 834.

Policies

No specific policy is mandatory.

Third-party approval

No requirement to lodge employment contract or policies with or get approval from any third-party, except for young employees under the age of 18.

Malaysia

Employment contracts

The Employment Act 1955 (EA) sets out mandatory terms and conditions of employment for employees within the scope of the EA (EA Employees). EA Employees are generally those who earn up to RM 2,000 per month or are engaged in manual labor.

Employment contracts are usually documented in writing, but verbal contracts are valid. For EA Employees, the EA requires contracts of service for a fixed term exceeding 1 month, or for the performance of a specified piece of work where the time reasonably required for the completion of the work exceeds or may exceed 1 month, to be in writing. Additionally, the EA requires every written contract of service to include a clause setting out the manner in which the contract may be terminated by either party. The format and content of employment contracts for EA Employees are not regulated.

Probationary periods

Probationary periods are not regulated, and it is common for probationary periods of 1-6 months to be imposed. However, probationers are generally entitled to similar security of tenure as full-time permanent employees, and the non-confirmation of employment during or at the end of the probationary period must be with just cause.

Policies

No mandatory policy requirements. Depending on the nature of the employer's business, recommended policies include health and safety, whistleblowing, or detailed grievance or harassment reporting policies.

Third-party approval

No requirement to lodge employment contract or policies with or get approval from any third party.

Mexico

Employment contracts

A written employment agreement must be executed.

Probationary periods

Employees hired pursuant to an indefinite employment agreement or a fixed-term agreement of at least 180 days may be hired subject to a probationary period of up to 30 days, extendable by up to 180 days if the employee is hired as an executive, manager or director or fills an administrative position.

Policies

Depending on the number of employees, written training and productivity policies (ie, policies addressing training and productivity or professional development plans) as well as health and safety policies are mandatory and must be reviewed annually. An internal work policy may be issued in order to cover the general rules to be followed within the company and expected conduct at the workplace.

Third-party approval

Labor board approval of the employment relationship is required if the employee is 15 to 18 years old, or if the employment agreement is executed under Mexican law, but the activities are performed abroad.

Morocco

Employment contracts

Written contracts are not mandatory, except in certain situations (eg, agency workers).

Probationary periods

Depending on the position of the employee and the type of contract (indefinite or fixed), the probationary period ranges from 1 day to 3 months.

Policies

Internal regulations that provide general mandatory provisions applicable within the company are mandatory for all companies with more than 10 employees.

Third-party approval

A labor inspector's approval of internal regulations is required.

Mozambique

Employment contracts

Employer and employee are required to conclude written employment contracts, and the Labor Law establishes mandatory clauses that must be included in the contract. Individual employment contracts must be in writing, be dated and signed by both parties, and must contain the following clauses:

  • Identification of the employer and the employee

  • Professional category, tasks or activities agreed upon

  • Workplace

  • Duration of the contract and conditions for its renewal

  • Amount, form and frequency of remuneration

  • Date of commencement of execution of the employment contract

  • The term and the justification for the form of contract, in the case of fixed-term contracts, and

  • Date of signature of the contract and, in the case of a fixed-term contract for a certain period, its termination date.

A copy of a signed employment contract between the parties must be filed in the individual employee's file, together with other documents upon hiring.

Probationary periods

Permissible. Indefinite employment contracts are subject to a maximum of:

  • 90 days for all employees and
  • 180 days for medium- and high-level professional employees and employees in positions of management and direction

For fixed–term contracts, probation shall not exceed:

  • 90 days for contracts for periods longer than 1 year
  • 30 days for contracts for periods between 6 months and 1 year
  • 15 days for contracts up to 6 months and
  • 15 days for uncertain period contracts which are expected to last for 90 days or more.

Policies

Employers with more than 10 employees (ie, medium- and large-sized companies) are required to have an internal regulation which contains rules on the organization and discipline of work, employee social support frameworks, the use of the company's premises and equipment, and those relating to cultural, sporting and recreational activities.

Third-party approval

Internal regulation must be preceded by consultation with the employer's trade union committee or, in the absence thereof, with the relevant union as well as approval of the relevant labor department.

Myanmar

An employer must enter into a written employment contract with an employee within 30 days of employment. Generally, the employer must use the standard employment contract issued by the Government.  

An employment contract must include the following information:

  • Type of employment
  • Probation period
  • Wages/salary
  • Location of the employment
  • Term of contract
  • Working hours
  • Day off/public holidays and leave
  • Working overtime
  • Meals during working hours
  • Accommodation and uniform
  • Medical treatment
  • Arrangement for transportation and travelling
  • Regulations to be followed by the employees
  • Training courses
  • Resignation and dismissal
  • Termination
  • Responsibilities of the employer
  • Responsibilities of employees
  • Terminating and making new employment contract with mutual consent between the parties
  • Dispute resolution
  • Amending and supplementing terms and conditions of contract
  • Obligations of the employer and employee

Probationary periods

The probationary period of a standard employment contract is usually 3 months, though this term is not required by legislation. Wages of not less than 75 percent of the basic salary for the work performed during the probationary period must be paid.

Policies

Per the standard employment contract, employers must set out minor and major offences in an appendix to the employment contract for an employee's information. Employers are also recommended to adopt internal regulations which accord with the law, though the law provides no specific guidance on preparation of internal regulations. Generally, internal work rules and regulations mentioned in the employment contract will need to be submitted to the Township Labor Office (TLO) for approval. 

Third-party approval

The employer must send a copy of the employment agreement to the TLO where the company is located for registration and must obtain the approval of the TLO. Because the employment agreement must be entered into within 30 days of the employment commencement, the TLO approval should be factored into this timeframe, eg, by obtaining the TLO's pre-approval of the contract prior to the parties' execution. Companies with fewer than 5 employees do not need to submit employment contracts for registration, but should still use the standard template.

Netherlands

Employment contracts

Common best practice, but in any case, the following must form part of the employment contract:

  • Parties' names
  • Work location
  • Job/position
  • Start date
  • Duration of the employment
  • Holiday entitlement
  • Notice periods
  • Salary
  • Working hours and
  • Pension entitlement.

Further required content will depend on the requirements of any applicable collective employment agreement.

Probationary periods

Probationary periods are permissible. The maximum statutory probationary period for indefinite-term contracts and fixed-term contracts for 2 years or more is 2 months.

It is not permissible to include a probationary period in a fixed-term employment contract of 6 months or less. It is not possible to deviate from this via a collective labor agreement (CLA).

In case of a fixed-term contract of more than 6 months and less than 2 years, a probationary period of 1 month is allowed. Under a CLA, it is possible to extend the probationary period to a maximum of 2 months.

Policies

Optional.

Third-party approval

No requirement to lodge employment contract or policies with or get approval from any third party.

New Zealand

Employment contracts

An employment agreement must be in writing and must contain certain minimum terms such as the names of the parties, a description of the work to be performed, the agreed hours that the employee will work, the wage rate or salary payable and how it will be paid, how employment relationship problems will be resolved, that personal grievances must be raised within 90 days, an employment protection provision, a statement that the employee will get (at least) time-and-a-half payment for working on a public holiday and any other matters agreed on, such as trial periods, probationary arrangements, availability provisions or the nature of the employment if the employment is fixed-term, among others.

Probationary periods

A trial period is permissible for a period of 90 days at the start of a new employee's employment, but only for employers with fewer than 20 employees.

Otherwise, employers may include probationary periods in their employment agreements. However, during a probationary period, the employer must still undertake a fair process before dismissing an employee.

Policies

Not mandatory, but some policies – especially regarding anti-discrimination and harassment, bullying and health and safety – are recommended.

Third-party approval

No requirement to lodge employment contracts or policies with or get approval from a third party.

Nigeria

Employment contracts

For manual and clerical workers, the employer is required to provide the employee with a written employment contract no later than 3 months after commencement of employment.

In practice, most employers issue the employment contract before commencement of the employment. For other employees, employment agreements are not legally required but in practice are commonly used.

Probationary periods

Permissible. No statutory provision, but the common practice is between 3 and 6 months.

Policies

There are no mandatory policy requirements. Policies are permissible and form part of the employment contract if referenced or expressly incorporated therein.

Third-party approval

No requirement to file employment contracts or policies with, or get approval from, any third party. However, collective agreements are to be registered with the Ministry of Labor.

Norway

Employment contracts

Written employment contract required. Several minimum requirements apply to the content of an employment contract.

Probationary periods

Permissible. Statutory limit of 6 months.

Policies

Staff rules are required for industrial, commercial and office undertakings that employ more than 10 employees.

Third-party approval

All employees must be registered with the State Register of Employers and Employees (EE-register).

Oman

Employment contracts

Expatriate employees are required to sign a government employment contract to obtain their work permit and residence visa. This contract is in English and Arabic.

Probationary periods

Permissible. Maximum duration of 3 months.

Policies

Employers with more than 15 employees are required to have internal regulations which must be pre-approved by the Ministry of Manpower. These regulations cover, for example, working hours, leave and termination. Further, employees should be provided with any relevant staff handbook and the employer's policies, if applicable, on commencement of employment.

Third-party approval

The government employment contract must be lodged with the Ministry of Manpower or relevant free zone authority to obtain the employee's work permit and residence visa. Strictly speaking, any contractual changes should be notified to the Ministry of Manpower and amended on the filed standard employment contract copy.

Peru

Employment contracts

There are 2 main types of employment contracts: (i) indefinite and (ii) fixed-term:

  1. Indefinite employment contract: There is no legal requirement to execute indefinite employment contracts in writing, but the recommended approach is to sign a written agreement. Under local law, every employment relationship is presumed to be permanent for an indefinite term, unless proven otherwise.
  2. Fixed-term employment contract: Despite the presumption that every employment relationship is permanent for an indefinite term, employees may be hired by means of fixed-term contracts in the following cases: (i) for new activities or services, market necessities or where there is an increase in production or demand; (ii) temporary or force majeure cases (eg, natural disasters or replacement of employees who are out on leave for such reasons as maternity, sabbatical or vacation); (iii) seasonal services (eg, fishing); or (iv) specific services where the fixed-term arrangement is permitted by the local law (eg, an audit of financial statements in a given year). Fixed-term employment contracts must be executed in writing. In some specific cases, fixed-term agreements may be extended for a maximum of 5 years.

It is also possible to hire an employee under a part-time employment contract, which may be indefinite or for a fixed term, if the employee works less than 24 hours per week. This contract must be registered with the Labor Ministry.

Probationary periods

Generally, the maximum permitted duration of a probationary period is 3 months. The probationary period may be extended for up to 6 months for so-called “trusted personnel” (defined below) or when the employee must be trained first. Where an employee is “managerial personnel” (defined below), the probationary period may be extended for up to 1 year.

According to local law, “trusted personnel” means (i) any employee who reports directly to managers or (ii) employees who have access to industrial, commercial or professional secrets and confidential information. “Managerial personnel” means any employee who represents the employer in front of other employees and/or third parties or has managing and control functions.

Protection against arbitrary dismissal applies after the probationary period expires – meaning that companies may terminate the employment contract of a non-probationary employee only when having justified cause and after providing prior written notice pursuant to local law.

Policies

Policies that are mandatory for all companies irrespective of the number of employees are: 

  • Policy on Prevention and Punishment of Sexual Harassment
  • Policy about Health and Safety at Work and
  • Policy about the structure of the job roles and salaries of the company, in order to avoid any salary discrimination between men and women.

For companies with 20 or more employees, employers must implement:

  • Internal Regulations on Health and Safety at Work.

For companies with more than 100 employees, employers must implement:

  • Internal Labor Regulations, which must be approved by the Labor Administrative Authority.

Third-party approval

Part-time employment contracts and home-working (ie, telework) contracts must be registered with the Labor Ministry.

An employment contract with a foreign citizen must also be approved by the Labor Ministry.

Philippines

Employment contracts

Optional. The parties are free to agree to the terms of the employment contracts, provided these are not contrary to law, morals, good customs, public order or public policy.

Probationary periods

The probationary period may not exceed 6 months from the date the employee started working. An employee must be informed of the standards of regularization at the time of engagement. An employee becomes a regular employee upon completion of the 6 months' probationary period if the employee is not terminated from employment due to failing the performance standards before the end of the probationary period.

Policies

A health and safety statement, a disciplinary procedure, data protection policy and an anti-sexual harassment procedure are mandatory. Highly recommended policies include policies on a grievance procedure, non-competition and an IT/electronic communication policy. It is common for employers to issue an employee handbook.

Third-party approval

Except for employment of foreign nationals, no requirement to lodge employment contract or policies with, or get approval from, any third party.

Poland

Employment contracts

An employment contract must be concluded in writing; however, the validity of a contract of employment does not depend on the form.

Where a written form is required, it is possible to use an esignature instead of a wet signature. However, only a so-called "qualified electronic signature" (QES or kwalifikowany podpis elektroniczny) can have the same legal effect as a wet signature.

An employment contract must include basic employment information such as:

  • The parties to the employment contract
  • The type of employment contract
  • The concluding date of the employment contract
  • The conditions of work and pay, including in particular the type of work (ie, job position), the place where work is performed, remuneration, amount of working time and the date when work commences

Provisions of employment contracts cannot be less favorable to an employee than the provisions of the Polish labor law or else they are null and void.

Probationary periods

An employment contract for a probationary period is a separate employment contract which may precede other types of employment contracts. A probationary period cannot be longer than 3 months. The aim of employment under this type of contract is to check the skills and qualifications of the employee and the possibility of employment for a specific type of work. As a rule, the employer may engage an employee for a trial period only once.

Policies

Statutory requirement to adopt workplace and remuneration regulations by employers engaging at least 50 employees not covered by a CBA. If a trade union operates in the workplace, it may request that an employer adopts workplace and/or remuneration regulations, provided that the employer has between 20 and 49 employees. The content of the workplace and remuneration regulations must be agreed with the trade unions (if operating at the entity).

Employers with at least 50 employees on the 1st day of each calendar year (ie, 50 full-time positions or their equivalent) are obliged to create a company social benefits fund to allocate money for financing the employer's social activities and adopt regulations on awarding benefits from this fund. If a trade union operates in a workplace, it may request that employer establish a fund, provided that employer has between 20 and 49 employees.

Third-party approval

No requirement to obtain a third party's approval.

Portugal

Employment contracts

Written employment contracts are common, but not mandatory, except for term contracts, part-time contracts, telework contracts, intermittent work contracts, agency work contracts and contracts under the service commission regime. A written statement of the core working conditions must be provided by the employer within 60 days of commencement of employment. Typically, this information is part of a written employment contract.

The employment contract cannot contain conditions that are less favorable to the employee than mandatory employment legislation and applicable collective bargaining agreements (CBA).

Probationary periods

Permissible.

Maximum duration in case of indefinite-term contract: 240 calendar days for senior top managers; 180 calendar days for other managers, for highly qualified or complex jobs and for jobs of trust; 90 calendar days for other employees.

Maximum duration in case of fixed-term and open-term contracts: 30 days for contracts whose duration is equal to or longer than 6 months, and 15 calendar days otherwise.

Policies

Companies with more than 7 employees must adopt and implement a Code of good conduct for preventing harassment in the workplace.

Although not mandatory, other company policies may be adopted and implemented by the employer. A company policy may take the form of an internal regulation (regulamento interno), in which case it must be posted at the company's premises.

Third-party approval

There is no legal requirement to obtain any third-party approval in respect to any type of employment contract or to a company policy. However, in the event a company policy adopts the form of regulamento interno, previous consultation with the employees' representatives, if any, is mandatory.

 

Qatar

Employment contracts

Non-Qatari national employees are required to sign a standard government employment e-contract to obtain their work permit and residence visa. This contract is in dual language format and contains (as a minimum) Arabic and usually, English.

In light of the basic nature of the standard government e-contract, it is common for more detailed employment contracts to be entered into by the employer and employee.

Probationary periods

Permissible. Maximum duration of 6 months, during which time the employee is entitled to 3 days' notice of termination.

Policies

There are mandatory policies. Employees should ideally be provided with notice of the employer's policies on commencement of employment. The policies should be present in a conspicuous place at the employer's offices (such as the notice board, if any). The employer's policies should be aligned with the Labor Law and approved in advance by the Ministry of Labor. This requirement under the Labor Law is not rigorously enforced and nor actively implemented.

Third-party approval

The government employment e-contract must be lodged with the Labor Department at the Ministry of Labor as part of the employee's work permit and residence visa process. Strictly speaking, any contractual changes should be notified to the Labor Department and amended on the filed government employment e-contract.

Romania

Employment contracts

Execution of an individual employment agreement in writing in Romanian and registration of the agreement with the general registry of employees, which is an electronic registry set up by each employer using the platform made available by the authorities and periodically communicated to the relevant labor authorities.

Probationary periods

Only 1 probationary period may be used per individual employment agreement, with certain exceptions. As a rule, the maximum duration is 90 calendar days for executive-level positions and 120 calendar days for management-level positions. By way of exception, among others, shorter probationary periods are applicable to employees working under a fixed-term agreement and temporary employees, the exact duration depending on the term of their employment and their position.

Policies

Employers are required to implement internal regulations as an employee handbook, in consultation with the relevant employee representative body. The internal regulations must include certain minimum provisions, such as rules on health and safety at work, disciplinary-related rules, a grievance procedure and employee professional evaluation criteria and procedures. Employers may also unilaterally implement other work-related rules, such as dress code or employee-specific obligations, via their internal regulations or as separate internal policies or procedures. As of May 2019, employers are required to implement specific policies on equal treatment and workplace anti-harassment, including (i) an internal policy on zero tolerance of workplace harassment and outlining anti-harassment actions and (ii) an internal policy on the steps which will be taken to facilitate immediate notification to the competent public authorities in the event that the employer is ever notified of a breach of equal treatment legislation.

Third-party approval

As a general rule, there is no requirement to lodge employment policies with or receive approval from any third party. The implementation of internal regulations is only subject to consultation with the relevant employee representative body, and there is no need to reach agreement with them or secure consent.

Russia

Employment contracts

An employment contract must be made in writing and specify the employment commencement day.

Probationary periods

Permissible. 3 months for newly hired employees and 6 months for employees hired for certain executive positions.

Policies

Written internal policies, such as an internal labor regulation and a personal data protection policy, are mandatory. The employer may also adopt other policies, such as a remuneration policy or confidential information protection policy.

Third-party approval

Internal labor regulation must be approved by employees' representatives and trade unions, if any.

Saudi Arabia

Employment contracts

The Labor Law clearly states that the employment contract must be in writing.

From a procedural perspective, employment contracts are required for all non-GCC national employees to obtain their visas. Two copies of the employment contract should be made – 1 copy to be held by each party.

The contract must follow a template issued by the Ministry of Human Resource and Social Development (HRSD or the Ministry) which contains a minimum of the name of the employer and registered address; the name, nationality and address of the employee; identification of the employee (ie, national identity card numbers for nationals or foreign passport numbers for non-nationals); the employee's salary and any allowances; a description of the employee's duties; identification of the place where the work will be performed; the date of appointment and commencement of contract; length of the contract, if applicable; annual leaves and general leaves policy (eg, maternity and compassionate leaves); benefits and resignation rules; termination events (ie, summary and constructive dismissal); governing law and forum (which must be the KSA); and rules pertaining to employee’s conduct, among others.

Both parties may incorporate additional conditions and terms that do not contradict the provisions of the Labor Law.

Probationary periods

A probationary period of up to 90 days may be agreed upon for any new employee. The probationary period may be extended, subject to the employee's written consent, but cannot exceed 180 days. During this probationary period, both parties – unless such option is restricted to 1 of them – may terminate the contract for any or no reason, and the employee has no right to contest the termination or to require the employer to re-instate them, nor any right to end-of-service gratuity (EOSG). The probationary period and its term must be included in the contract. An employee may be made to serve only 1 probationary period for the same job position, unless the parties agree otherwise, where the second probationary period is for a different position or 6 months minimum have passed since the end of the previous employment relationship.

Policies

Under the Labor Law, employers must have in place a set of work regulations, which must be prominently displayed in the workplace. Such regulations must be in Arabic and should generally follow HRSD’s standard form template. The Ministry regulations are extensive and include provisions with respect to various aspects of work, including health and safety as well as disciplinary and grievance procedures.

Employers may include additional provisions in the regulations, provided they are in line with the Labor Law. Any additional provisions must be approved by the Ministry, which can take up to 60 days to approve and must be issued through a licensed attorney.

Third-party approval

No requirement to lodge employment contracts or policies with, or get approval from, any third party other than HRSD.

Singapore

Employment contracts

All employers are required to issue key employment terms (KETs) in writing, as well as itemized payslips, to EA Employees who are hired after April 1, 2016 and who will be employed for a continuous period of 14 days or more. The KETs must include:

  • Full name of employer (employer's trade name if different from full name of the employer)
  • Full name of employee
  • Job title, description of main duties and responsibilities
  • Start date of employment
  • Duration of employment (if the employee is on fixed-term contract)
  • Working arrangements, such as:
    • Daily working hours (eg 8:30am to 6:00pm)
    • Number of working days per week (eg, 6 hours) and
    • Rest days (eg, Saturday)
  • Salary period
  • Basic salary – for hourly, daily or piece-rated workers, employers should also indicate the basic rate of pay (eg, $X per hour, day or piece)
  • Fixed allowances
  • Fixed deductions
  • Overtime payment period (if different from item-7 salary period) and overtime rate of pay
  • Any other salary-related component such as, but not limited to, any bonus or other monetary incentive (if applicable);
  • Types of leave such as, but not limited to, annual leave, outpatient sick leave, hospitalization leave, maternity leave, paternity leave and childcare leave
  • Other medical benefits, such as, but not limited to, insurance, medical benefits and dental benefits
  • Probation period (if applicable) and
  • Notice period for dismissal by employer or termination of employment contract by employee, as the case may be.

KETs should be provided to EA Employees within 14 days from the start of employment and may be in soft or hard copy. Common KETs which are not specific to individual employees, such as leave policy and medical benefits, may be provided within the employee handbook or on the company intranet, so long as the information is easily accessible to workers and are also provided within 14 days. If all required KETs are stated in the written employment contract given to employees, the employer need not issue additional documents. While employees are not required to sign off on KETs, it is in the interest of the employer to obtain acknowledgement from the employees that the KETs have been issued.

Other than as set out above, there are no legal requirements for employers to have employment contracts in writing with employees, and there are no formalities that need to be complied with, although written contracts are recommended. The employment contracts of part-time employees (ie, employees who work for less than 35 hours a week) must specify their hourly basic rate of pay, hourly gross rate of pay (ie, the hourly basic rate plus allowances), number of working hours per day or per week and number of working days per week or per month, among others. KETs should also be issued to part-time employees, so long as they are covered under the EA, employed on or after April 1, 2016 and employed under a contract of service for a continuous period of 2 weeks or longer.

A failure to comply with the KETs requirements will be penalized as a civil breach and attract administrative penalties.

Employee records, with the information as prescribed by the Employment (Employment Records, Key Employment Terms and Pay Slips) Regulations 2016 must be maintained for all EA Employees.

Probationary periods

The EA does not have any clauses specifically pertaining to the appropriate probation period for employees. As a common practice, employees may be asked to serve a probation period of 3 to 6 months.

Policies

EA Employees cannot have terms and conditions worse than those prescribed under the EA. Certain terms may be implied into an employment contract by operation of law or by custom and practice.

Third-party approval

Generally, there is no requirement to lodge employment contracts or policies with, or get approval from, any third party before an employment contract is valid, subject to work pass advertising requirements and approvals.

Slovak Republic

Employment contracts

Employment must be set up via a written employment contract, and the employee must be provided a copy of the employment contract.

The employment contract must set out the material terms agreed between employer and employee, including:

  • The type of work for which the employee is employed and a short description of the work
  • The place of work (ie, municipality, part of the municipality or another designated place)
  • The commencement date of the employment
  • Wage terms, unless agreed in a collective agreement, and
  • Payroll dates, working time, holiday entitlement and the length of notice period.

Probationary periods

A probationary period may be agreed in the employment contract for a maximum of 3 months, or for a maximum of 6 months in the case of senior managers (ie, those with responsibility for the direction of the company or who report directly to such a manager). The probationary period may not be extended.

The probationary period must be agreed in writing. Otherwise, it is invalid.

Policies

An employer may issue internal workplace regulations. These may be subject to a previous agreement with the employee representatives. Otherwise, they may be invalid.

Third-party approval

No requirement to lodge an employment contract with, or get approval from, any third party.

South Africa

Requirements

In general, no formalities are prescribed, although the BCEA requires that a minimum list of written particulars of employment be provided. Compliance need not be in the form of a contract of employment; however, written employment agreements are common. Offers of fixed-term employment for employees earning below the BCEA threshold must be in writing and must contain certain prescribed terms (eg, the reason for use of a fixed-term agreement). Contract comes into existence upon valid acceptance of a valid offer of employment. Consensus with regard to the nature of the services rendered and remuneration is required. On commencement of the employment relationship, the employer is required to provide the employee with information such as the calculation and method of payment. The employee cannot contract out of certain rights contained in the BCEA.

Probationary

Probationary periods are permitted. The duration of the probationary period must be reasonable when regard is had to the period that would be required to determine the employee's suitability for the job, and probation periods of 3 to 6 months are fairly common. An employer may not simply terminate an employee's employment at the end of the probationary period, and is instead required to follow a fair performance management process in terms of which an employee is given reasonable guidance, counseling and training before terminating their employment. Thus, a fair process is required whether or not the employee is on probation, but South African courts have held that the reasons for the dismissal for poor performance may be "less compelling" when an employee is on probation.

Policies

An employer must have a sexual harassment policy as well as a policy dealing with protected disclosures (a whistleblowing policy). In addition, the law provides that all employers must adopt disciplinary rules that establish the standard of conduct required of employees. This generally takes the form of a disciplinary code. Other policies are recommended but not mandatory. Employers are not required to have written health and safety policies unless directed otherwise, but are required to adhere to the requirements contained in the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Third-party approval

None required.

South Korea

Employment contracts

Under the Labor Standards Act (LSA), all employers in Korea must enter into a written agreement with their employees, which details, among other working conditions, wages, working hours and recess periods, weekly paid days off and paid annual leave. Any agreement that does not satisfy the standards prescribed by the LSA and other binding laws relating to working conditions will be void to the extent that it fails to meet those legal requirements.

Probationary periods

No fixed period for probation by statute, though parties may agree to a probationary period. Generally, a period of 3 to 6 months is adopted.

Policies

Rules of employment are required in companies with 10 or more employees in Korea.  Rules of employment must include details on core working terms and conditions per the LSA, such as working hours, wages, retirement, award and discipline, safety and health, and holidays. When establishing the rules of employment, an employer must obtain comments from the union representing the majority of the employees, or, if no such union exists, from a majority of the employees, and then file such comments with the Ministry of Employment and Labor (MOEL) along with the rules of employment written in Korean.

Aside from those previously mentioned, there are no mandatory policies. However, the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) establishes a basic framework of general standards for occupational health and safety, and it requires most workplaces to establish an industrial safety and health committee which is to make regular reports to the government.

Third-party approval

Rules of employment must be filed with the MOEL. Apart from that, no third-party approval is required.

Spain

Employment contracts

Verbal employment contracts are legal in certain cases but are not market practice. In any case, for employment relationships which exceed 4 weeks, certain minimum information must be put in writing, and, in all cases, a summary of the main terms of the contract (copia básica) must be lodged with the Employment Office. For certain types of contracts (eg, seasonal employment agreements), an official template of the employment agreement is also required, provided by the Employment Office.

Mandatory employment legislation and the applicable collective bargaining agreement (CBA) must be honored.

Royal Decree-law 28/2020 on remote work addresses the following key points in relation to employees working remotely:

  • The regulation applies to employees who work from home – or any other remote location of their choice – for at least 30 percent of their statutory hours, computed over a 3-month reference period.
  • Working from home cannot be imposed unilaterally either by the employer or the employee.
  • A written agreement is required between the employer and the employee.

Probationary periods

Permissible. Subject to the limits fixed by the applicable CBA. Where the CBA is silent, the term is 6 months for qualified employees, 2 months for unqualified employees, and 3 months in companies with fewer than 25 employees.

Policies

Not formally required, although it is common practice for major companies and multinational employers to have specific policies in place.

Third-party approval

Apart from the filing of the basic copy of the employment agreement (copia basica) mentioned above, there are no requirements for employment contracts or policies to get approved by any third party. However, if policies include work control systems (eg, policy regarding the use of the IT systems) or professional formation plans, then employees' representatives should be invited to provide a non-binding report.

Sweden

Employment contracts

Within 1 month of the commencement of employment, employees must be provided certain information regarding employment (eg, name of employer, salary, workplace, vacation and type of employment) Issuing written employment agreements is common best practice and is recommended, but it is also possible to conclude an agreement verbally or through action.

Probationary periods

Permissible. Subject to a statutory limit of 6 months.

Policies

In general, there is no requirement to have written policies, but they are commonly used. It is generally advisable for an employer to have certain policies (eg., concerning unilaterally issued benefits and use of work equipment, such as internet access, computers and mobile phones). An employer with at least 10 employees must have a written work environment policy in place and, if 25 or more employees are employed, the employer is required to establish written documentation regarding the active measures that are taken in order to prevent discrimination and promote equality.

Third-party approval

No requirement.

Switzerland

Requirements

The employee should at least receive, within the first month of employment, written indication regarding the names of the parties, the starting date, the position, the salary and possible additional salary elements, and the weekly work duration.

Mandatory legal provisions must be observed, as well as collective labor agreements whose scope has been extended by the state to all employers in a specific industry – which is the case, for instance, in the construction industry, the furniture industry, the hospitality and restaurant sectors, private security services and retail.

Probationary periods

Permissible. Up to 3 months (ie, the statutory limit).

Policies

Industrial companies (ie, factories that manufacture and process goods and enterprises using machines and/or automatic processes) must have a written health and safety policy and, where necessary, a disciplinary measures policy. These are optional for other companies. Expense reimbursement policies are common. Specific grievance policies are highly recommended.

Third-party approval

An industrial company's mandatory health and safety policy must be reviewed by the Cantonal Labor Authority.

Taiwan, Republic of China

Employment contracts

Employment contracts are not mandatory for Taiwanese nationals but are common. Employment contracts are required for foreign employees.

Probationary periods

Permissible, but there are no provisions under the LSA which govern probationary periods. Accordingly, advance notice and severance are required for terminations.

Policies

Work rules containing health, safety and grievance policies are required for organizations with more than 30 employees.

Third-party approval

Foreign worker contracts are required to be submitted to the Ministry of Labor. Work rules must be submitted to the local labor authorities.

Thailand

Employment contracts

There is no requirement under Thai labor laws to have a written employment contract. However, in practice, it is advisable to set out key terms and conditions of employment in writing as those terms shall be considered working conditions.

Probationary periods

Permissible. Normally, probation should not exceed 119 days as an employee who has worked for 120 days or more is entitled to severance pay at the prescribed rate.

Policies

Where the employer employs 10 or more employees, “work rules” are mandatory and must be publicized at the workplace within 15 days starting from the date that the employer employs 10 or more employees. A copy of the work rules must be kept at the workplace, but the work rules may also be provided to employees electronically (eg, emails or intranet). These must be provided in the Thai language and, as a minimum requirement, contain the following information: working days; regular working hours and rest periods; holidays and rules for taking holidays; rules concerning overtime work and work on holidays; date and place of payment of basic pay, overtime pay, holiday pay and holiday overtime pay; leave and rules for taking leave; discipline and punishment; submission of complaints; and termination of employment, severance pay and special severance pay.

In addition, a workplace with 20 or more employees shall have a written working conditions agreement which will form part of the employees' contractual employment terms. This should include as a minimum:

  • Employment or working conditions
  • Working days and hours
  • Wages
  • Welfare
  • Termination of employment
  • Petition procedure for the employee and
  • An amendment or renewal procedure of the working condition agreement.

If it is unclear whether there is a working condition agreement, the work rules shall be treated as the working condition agreement.

Third-party approval

Not required.

Tunisia

Employment contracts

Generally, the law does not require an employment contract to be in writing insofar as it considers that the employment relationship can be evidenced by any means. However, part-time contracts and apprenticeship contracts must be made in writing.

Probationary periods

Probationary periods are allowed in respect of permanent contracts.

They are set by sectoral collective agreements and range from 3 months to one year depending on the professional category to which the employee belongs. They are renewable once for the same period if the employer considers that the probationary period is inconclusive.

Policies

Internal company regulations are not compulsory in Tunisian law, but are a useful document for organizing intra-company relations. The purpose of internal company regulations is to confirm the application to the company of health and safety regulations; to determine the general and permanent rules relating to disciplinary matters as well as the nature and scale of applicable sanctions; and  to set out the procedures rules which apply to disciplinary sanctions. This document is, in principle, communicated to each new employee when they are hired and is subject of a provision in the employment contract.

The employer is required, in accordance with Article 85 of the Labor Code, to post schedules (working hours) at the premises of the company.

Third-party approval

The document which sets out working hours must be previously sent to, and endorsed by, the labor inspectorate with territorial jurisdiction.

Turkey

Employment contracts

In principle, it is not mandatory to execute an employment contract, but it is common practice to do so. In cases where there is no written employment contract, within 2 months of the commencement of employment, the employer must provide the employee with a written document bearing the employer's signature and stating the general and special conditions of employment. However, the following types of employment agreements must be executed in writing in order to be valid and binding:

  • Definite-term employment agreement that will remain in effect for at least 1 year
  • Employment agreement with a probationary period (maximum of 2 months)
  • Employment agreement with a non-compete undertaking
  • Employment agreement signed with foreign individuals Employment agreement for on-call work
  • Employment agreement for teleworking
  • Team employment agreements (concluded between an employer and an employee, who represents a team of various employees)
  • Temporary employment agreements

Probationary periods

According to Turkish Labor Law, the parties may agree on a probationary period of up to 2 months, which can be extended to up to 4 months through collective bargaining agreements. The parties may terminate the employment agreement within the probation period without prior notice, and no compensation liability arises.

Policies

No mandatory policies.

Third-party approval

No requirement to lodge employment contract or policies with or get an approval from any third party.

Uganda

Employment contracts

Written employment agreements are common but not mandatory. Within 12 weeks of commencement of employment, employees must be provided with certain minimum terms in writing. The Employment Act requires that an employee is provided the following written particulars of employment within 12 weeks of commencement:

  • Full name and address of the parties to the contract of service
  • The date on which the employment under the contract began, specifying the date from which the employee's period of continuous service, for the purposes of the Employment Act, shall commence
  • The title of the job that the employee is employed to do
  • The place where the employee's duties are to be performed
  • The wages the employee is entitled to receive, the intervals at which they will be paid and the deductions or other conditions to which they shall be subject
  • The rate of overtime pay applicable to the employee
  • The employee's normal hours of work and the shifts or days of the week on which such work is to be performed
  • The number of days of annual leave to which the employee is entitled
  • The terms or conditions relating to incapacity for work due to sickness or injury, including any provision for sick pay and
  • The length of notice in excess of that provided by the Act required for lawful termination of the contract by the employer or employee.

Probationary periods

Permissible. Statutory limit of 6 months, which may be extended for a further 6 months with the consent of the employee. 3 to 6 months' duration is common.

Policies

A written occupational health and safety policy where the employer has at least 20 workers at a workplace, a sexual harassment policy where the employer has more than 25 employees, and a disciplinary and grievance policy are mandatory. The disciplinary and grievance policy is mandatory for all employers, but form and content may vary according to the size and nature of the organization.

The policies may be referenced in the contract of employment.

Third-party approval

No requirement to lodge employment contracts or policies with, or get approval from, any third party.

Ukraine

Employment contracts

An employment agreement must be made in writing and specify the employee's name and the terms and conditions of employment, including, for example, the position, duties, employment commencement date, place of work, working time, probationary period and wages.

Probationary periods

Generally, probationary periods may not exceed 3 months; however, they may last 6 months in certain circumstances, subject to the applicable trade union's consent. The probationary period must be reflected in the employment agreement.

Policies

Written internal policies, such as an internal labor regulation and labor safety regulation, are mandatory. Employers may adopt other policies and regulations. For global policies to be enforced in Ukraine, employers must incorporate these locally, including having them translated into Ukrainian and approved as outlined below.

Third-party approval

Internal labor regulations must be developed by an employer and a trade union, if any, and further approved by the labor collective – that is, a general meeting of at least 50 percent of the employees.

Employment agreements do not require third-party approval, but changes to employment agreements and/or terminations may require notification and/or approval from the applicable trade union.

United Arab Emirates

Employment contracts

Employers are required to issue an MOHRE standard form offer letter, containing the key terms and conditions of employment, to employees.

Employees are then required to sign an MOHRE government employment contract to obtain their work permit or employee ID card and – in the case of non-UAE/GCC nationals only – residence visa. The MOHRE employment contract is in English and Arabic. Since January 2016, such contracts are based on a new MOHRE standard template. The employment contract must reflect exactly the terms of the offer letter previously provided to the employee. Any changes must be approved by the MOHRE and the employee and must be to the employee's benefit; otherwise, it is unlikely they will be approved.

Probationary periods

Permissible. Maximum duration of 6 months, during which time employment may be terminated without notice.

Policies

There are no mandatory policies. If an employer wants to rely on a disciplinary policy and procedure document onshore, it is technically required to first lodge this with the MOHRE. In practice, however, many employers do not lodge their disciplinary procedures. Employees should be provided with any relevant staff handbook and the employer's policies, if applicable, on commencement of employment.

Third-party approval

For employers registered with MOHRE, the government employment contract must be lodged with MOHRE to obtain the employee's work permit and residence visa. Most free zone authorities additionally have a standard form of contract used to obtain the employee's work permit and residence visa, although some free zones allow employers to submit their own employment contract. As indicated above, changes to the terms of the employment contract for employees operating onshore (ie not in a free zone) require the prior approval of MOHRE and the employee, and such changes must be to the employee's benefit. In practice, both onshore and in the free zones, employers still use their own supplemental contracts in addition to the standard MOHRE and Free-zone standard forms. Employers in a free zone must obtain the approval of the free zone authority to hire new employees.

United Kingdom

Employment contracts

Common best practice. As of April 6, 2020, employers are required to provide detailed information on employment terms to both new employees and workers from day 1 of employment.

Probationary periods

Permissible. No statutory limit, but 3 to 6 months is common.

Policies

A written health and safety policy and disciplinary and grievance policy are mandatory. The latter must be referenced in the contract of employment.

Third-party approval

No requirement to lodge employment contract or policies with, or get approval from, any third party.

United States

Employment contracts

Given the at-will employment concept that exists across the US, most employees do not have any employment agreements, written or otherwise.

However, executives and high-level managers tend to have written employment agreements that address items such as duties, compensation, restrictive covenants and any post-termination severance obligations.

Contracts are not required and, if used, are not required to have any specific terms.

Probationary periods

Permissible, but unnecessary in a typical at-will relationship, unless something about the terms or conditions of employment – such as right to accrue vacation or participate in group health benefits – will change following the expiration of the probationary period.

Policies

Policies vary from state to state. Employers are required to post notices about employee rights under various federal, state and local laws. It is highly recommend to include anti-harassment, discrimination and retaliation policies in an employee handbook which may help in the defense against related claims. Certain government contractors are required to implement affirmative action plans. Most employers have employees sign an acknowledgment of the at-will employment policy.

Third-party approval

If the workforce is represented by a union or other labor organization, changes to policies that affect terms and conditions of employment may need to be submitted to the union or other labor organization for negotiation prior to implementation.

Venezuela

Requirements

No requirement for employers to enter into a written employment contract, but doing so is advisable as the law presumes that the provisions of a verbal agreement are those alleged by the employee.

When putting the agreement in writing, the parties must sign 2 originals: 1 for the employee and 1 for the employer). The contract must include the following information:

  • Employee’s name, nationality, address, domicile, marital status and Venezuelan Identification Number
  • If the employer is a legal entity: corporate name, and the domicile and name of its representative
  • A description of the scope of work and place of work, the start date of the employment relationship and the type of employment contract
  • The length and distribution of daily working hours and the agreed remuneration
  • Reference to collective bargain agreements, if applicable, and
  • The duration of the employment contract.

A copy of the signed employment contract must be provided to the employee. The employer must keep record (ie, book) of the time and date when the employment contract was signed.

Probationary periods

Probationary periods are used by employers to test the suitability of an employee for a job and by the employee to assess working conditions. Probationary periods may only be used for indefinite-term contracts, for a maximum of 1 month. During the probationary period, both the employee and employer may terminate the employment relationship at will.

Policies

Employers may implement internal policies, guidelines and rules. They are contractually binding and must be issued in Spanish. Best practice is to notify employees of such policies and have them sign an acknowledgement of receipt.

All employers must have a health and safety program in place which must be executed in coordination with the entity’s health and safety representatives.

Third-party approval

The health and safety program must be approved by the health and safety authority (INPSASEL).  No additional third-party approvals are needed.

Vietnam

Employment contracts

Employment agreements may be in written or electronic form – or verbal form if the term of employment is less than 1 month. Employment agreements must contain specific provisions in accordance with the Labor Code 2019.

Please note that these provisions were in force under Decree No. 148/2018/ND-CP which were subordinate regulations to the Labor Code 2012. Since the new Labor Code 2019 entered into force on January 1, 2021, it is unclear whether these provisions remain effective. For the sake of security and peace of mind, we recommend incorporating these provisions into the employment contracts.

Probationary periods

Permissible if agreed between the parties. During the probation period, the employer should pay the employee no less than 85 percent of the full-time wage. The probation period must not exceed 180 days in the case of an enterprise manager role pursuant to the Law on Enterprises, and the Law on Management and Use of State Capital Invested in Production and Business in Enterprises, 60 days for work requiring specialized or technical skills and at least college level equivalency, 30 days for work requiring specialized or technical skills and at least vocational high-school level and beyond, or 6 business days for other types of work. An employee working under a definite-term labor contract with a term of less than 1 month may not be subject to a probationary period. Either party may terminate employment during the probationary period without prior notice or payment of severance.

Policies

Enterprises with 10 or more employees must have written regulations. The employer must consult with the relevant collective body regarding written internal labor regulations and register the same with the competent labor authority. Employees must be made aware of the regulations which must also be clearly displayed at the workplace. The regulations must cover:

  • Working hours and rest breaks
  • Rules and codes of conduct
  • Occupational health and safety
  • Prevention of sexual harassment in the workplace and the procedures for dealing with a breach involving an act of sexual harassment in the workplace
  • Protection of assets and confidentiality
  • Cases in which an employee may be temporarily transferred to undertake work different from that specified in their labor contract
  • Disciplinary procedures and penalties
  • Liability for material damage and
  • The person having authority to impose disciplinary penalties.

The relevant collective body is an organization representing the employees at the grassroots level, including the grassroots trade union and employment organization, which form together the Organization Representing the Employees at the Grassroots Level. It is not compulsory to establish a trade union or an employee’s organization at company level, but one can be established upon the voluntary participation of at least 5 employees.

The employer must consult the opinion of the Organization Representing the Employees at the Grassroots Level in case the employer has such an organization about its internal labor regulations.

The new Labor Code 2019 and implementing decree No. 145/2020/ND-CP also provides that the persons having the authority to issue disciplinary sanctions are those who have the authority to enter into employment contracts on behalf of the company as prescribed in Clause 3 Article 18 of the Labor Code 2019 or the persons specified in the company’s internal labor regulations.

Third-party approval

An employer must register its internal regulations with the competent labor authority where the company is located. Each province has a Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs (DOLISA), but there is only one Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA), located in Hanoi. While MOLISA is the higher authority, regulatory interpretations may differ between DOLISAs.