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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

Remedies

Angola

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.

Argentina

Discrimination

Compensation is available as a remedy for discrimination or harassment. In the event of a complaint based on harassment, the employee may file a claim requesting the payment of the statutory severance payment applicable to dismissals without cause and an additional amount for the pain and/or emotional distress caused by the harassment.

Employers are liable for the acts of their employees. Therefore, the employer and the harasser are jointly and severally liable for the payment of any compensation granted to the victim.

Unfair dismissal

Employees may challenge a dismissal without cause within 2 years of the dismissal and seek payment of statutory severance, plus interest and court fees. The complaint must be filed before the labor courts.

Failure to inform & consult

Not applicable for terminations as there are no consultation obligations.

Australia

Discrimination

If an employee thinks they have been subject to "adverse action," including dismissal, because of a protected attribute, they may make a claim for a remedy under the Fair Work Act. Remedies include compensation and reinstatement; there is no cap on the amount of compensation that can be awarded. A civil penalty may also be ordered.

Compensatory remedies for discrimination may also be sought under federal or state anti-discrimination legislation. Damages for economic loss and general damages for hurt and suffering may be ordered.

Unfair dismissal

If the Commission decides that the employee has been unfairly dismissed, it may order the reinstatement of the dismissed employee (with or without back pay) or, if that is not practicable, the payment of compensation up to a maximum of 6 months' remuneration, or AUD76,800, whichever is less.

Failure to inform & consult

An employer who breaches a consultation obligation under an applicable Modern Award or enterprise agreement may incur a penalty and be liable to pay compensation.

Austria

Discrimination

Compensation based on the claimant's financial loss and injury to feelings as well as recommendation that the employer takes action.

Unfair dismissal

Claim for reinstatement of the employment agreement. Alternatively, compensation based on the claimant's financial loss as a result of the employer having failed to give proper notice.

Failure to inform & consult

Nullity of termination if information of work council or an authority is required.

Bahrain

Discrimination

An employer's termination shall be deemed automatically unfair if it is based on the employee's sex, race, religion, belief, social status or family responsibilities and, in the case of female employees, on pregnancy, childbirth or nursing an infant. The employee is entitled to compensation as detailed in the “Arbitrary dismissal” section.

Arbitrary dismissal

The employee is entitled to compensation equivalent to 3 days' wages for each month of service and no less than 1.5 month's wages up to a maximum of 18 months' wages.

Failure to inform & consult

Not applicable.

Belgium

Discrimination

Uncapped compensation, based on the claimant's financial loss or lump sum indemnity equal to 6 months' remuneration.

Flagrant and unreasonable dismissal

If the employer cannot motivate the dismissal of the employee on grounds related to the employee's work ability, their behavior at work or the employer's business necessities, and if a normal and reasonable employer would not have dismissed the employee in the case at hand, the dismissal will be considered flagrant and unreasonable. The employee will be entitled to an additional indemnity equal to between 3 and 17 weeks' remuneration.

Failure to inform & consult

Re-employment of the employees in case of a collective dismissal (ie, mass layoff). Compensation for moral damages.

Brazil

Discrimination

Indemnification based on the claimant's damages in case of a labor lawsuit, plus a recommendation that the employer takes action.

The law establishes parameters that must be observed by the judges when rendering a decision. The maximum indemnity amount cannot exceed 50 times the amount paid by the social security system benefits to the worker – the cap is BRL276,565. However, recent case law has fixed amounts above this limit as certain labor judges consider the limit for moral indemnifications unconstitutional.

Unfair dismissal

Severance in case of termination without cause in which the employee is not protected by job tenure is set out in law. In case of termination without cause, employees protected by job tenure can trigger damages and reinstatement.

Failure to inform & consult

As a rule, there is no obligation to inform and consult the union about terminations, unless so required by a collective bargaining agreement. In such cases, failure to inform triggers the consequences set out in the collective bargaining agreement.

Failure to inform and consult in mass terminations may trigger reinstatement orders and financial consequences.

Canada

Discrimination 

In most jurisdictions, general damages for breach of the legislation, injury to dignity or mental distress may be awarded in discrimination cases in addition to lost wages and compensation for the loss of employment. Damage awards in this regard are increasing as many jurisdictions have removed legislative caps on the amounts which can be awarded. Additionally, human rights tribunals or commissions have the power to order reinstatement and other non-monetary remedies.

Unfair dismissal

As noted above, only certain employees in the federal jurisdiction and employees who have met certain service requirements in Quebec and Nova Scotia have this right. Damage awards may vary widely based on individual circumstances. Reinstatement is possible.

Failure to inform & consult

Not applicable for this jurisdiction.

Chile

Discrimination

Employees can file a lawsuit against the company in order to look for the cessation of the discrimination conduct and also for compensation of damages. The procedure requires from the employee to submit evidence, and in such event, the company will have to demonstrate that the disputed decision is legitimate and if applicable, that the decision was the alternative that impaired the employee’s rights the least, and that the decision is reasonable.

Unfair dismissal

An employee could file a claim alleging wrongful dismissal before a labor court. If the employer fails to prove that the termination was based on a reason allowed by statute and precisely outlined in the termination notice, the court will require the employer to pay additional compensation to the employee in addition to severance pay (which ranges from 30 percent to 100 percent of the severance compensation, depending on the reason for dismissal).

Failure to inform & consult

Not applicable for this jurisdiction.

China

Discrimination

Correction, apology, moral damages, compensation for direct losses.

Unfair dismissal

The Court or Labor Tribunal may make an order for reinstatement or double statutory severance pay.

Failure to inform & consult

May be deemed as illegal dismissal.

Colombia

Discrimination

No specific sanctions are in place.

Unfair dismissal

Employees are entitled to receive an indemnification in addition to the final wages. Such indemnification is calculated as follows:

  • For employees on indefinite employment agreements earning less than 10 minimum legal monthly wages (in 2021, COP9,085,260), the compensation is 30 days of salary for the 1st year of service and 20 days of salary for each additional year of service (proportional to the fraction of a year).
  • For employees on indefinite employment agreements earning 10 minimum legal wages or more, the compensation is 20 days of salary for the 1st year of service and 15 days of salary for each additional year of service (proportional to the fraction of a year).
  • For employees under fixed-term employment agreements, the labor indemnification is the equivalent to the pending payments between the effective date of termination and the date of termination agreed under the agreement.
  • For employees who entered into agreements for the duration of a project, the severance is the estimated salary owed to the employee until the project concludes. However, in no case may it be less than 15 days of salary.

Failure to inform & consult

Not applicable under Colombian law.

Czech Republic

Discrimination

Right to request that the discriminatory conduct is halted, that its consequences are removed and the right to appropriate compensation, including uncapped monetary compensation. The amount of compensation is assessed in respect to the seriousness of the damage caused and the particular circumstances of the case.

Unfair dismissal

Right to bring an action to challenge the validity of such a dismissal; a statutory time limit of 2 months applies. If upheld by court, the employee remains employed with the company and is entitled to salary compensation for a specified time period. The salary compensation may be capped to 6 times the average monthly wage by the court with view of particular circumstances of the case.

Failure to inform & consult

The State Labor Inspection Office may impose a penalty on the employer, up to CZK200,000, for failure to inform or consult.

Denmark

Discrimination

If the employer is held liable for discrimination or harassment, the employee is entitled to compensation from the employer or potential employer. The compensation is not equivalent to the employee's loss; its characteristic is more of a penalty.

In some cases, the employee is entitled to re-instatement. However, it is very rare that the courts award re-instatement. The most common remedy in discrimination and harassment cases is financial compensation.

If discrimination is related to recruitment, the compensation ranges from DKK10,000 to DKK25,000. In the event of termination of employment on discriminatory grounds, the compensation ranges from 3 to 12 months' salary depending on the severity of the discrimination and the employee's seniority.

Unfair dismissal

A salaried employee who is unfairly dismissed, and who has been employed for at least 1 year at the time of dismissal, may be entitled to severance pay. The maximum amount payable is 50 percent of the salary in the statutory notice period. However, if the employee is over the age of 30, the potential severance pay is increased to an amount equal to 3 months' salary. If the employee has been employed for at least 10 years, the severance pay may be increased to a maximum of 4 months' salary. The amount payable is further increased to 6 months' salary if the employee has been employed for at least 15 years. The level of the severance can be settled between the parties or set by the Danish courts.

Failure to inform & consult

Mass layoffs

Non-compliance with the provisions of the Danish Act on Collective Redundancies may lead to a fine on the employer and payment of compensation of between 30 days' and 8 weeks' salary to the employees made redundant, if they do not receive pay during a notice period of equivalent duration.

Different compensation, penalties, penal sanctions and consequences may be provided for by collective agreement.

Transfer of undertakings

Failure to comply with any of the information and consultation requirements may result in the offending employer being subject to a fine or penalty under an applicable collective agreement.

However, if the employer can prove that special circumstances applied, which means that it was not reasonably practical to comply with these requirements and that the employer took such steps to comply as were possible in the circumstances, the employer may avoid a fine or penalty. Sanctions for non-compliance with the requirements of a collective agreement may include a penalty in the order of DKK100,000 to 500,000 or higher.

Finland

Discrimination

Should the employer fail to comply with provisions on gender equality, the employer may be ordered to pay an indemnity to the affected employee, the amount of which is reset every 3 years. Since 2018, the minimum amount of the indemnity has been EUR3,620, and in connection with recruitment, the maximum amount is EUR18,130. In the event the employer fails to comply with the Non-Discrimination Act, which covers grounds other than gender-based discrimination, the employer may be ordered to pay an indemnity to the affected employee, the maximum amount of which is not restricted in the Act. The affected employee may also claim compensation for loss of income.

Unfair dismissal

Compensation varies between 0 and 24 months' salary in case of redundancies and between 3 and 24 months' salary in case of termination due to reasons relating to the individual employee. The court cannot enforce a reinstatement.

Failure to inform & consult

The sanction for not following the required consultation process in connection with redundancies is a fixed indemnity amounting to maximum of EUR35,590 (which applies for 3 years from  2019) per each terminated employee regardless of whether the termination is unlawful. The sanction for breaching informing obligations in connection with the transfer of an undertaking is a fine, set as part of a criminal process.

France

Discrimination

Any measure taken on discriminatory grounds would be held null and void and entail criminal sanctions (up to 3 years' imprisonment, a fine of up to EUR45,000 for the company's legal representative and EUR225,000 for the company as a legal entity), in addition to potential damages for the harm sustained.

Unfair dismissal

Dismissal without "real and serious" cause: The court may order the employee’s reinstatement in their former position; if either party disagrees, the employee will be awarded damages pursuant to the Macron scale provided in article L. 1235-3 of the Labor Code.

The Macron orders set a mandatory scale of minimum and maximum damages to be granted in case of unfair dismissal, from which courts cannot depart. The minimum and maximum amounts depend on the company's headcount and on the length of service of the employee. The Macron orders also make it possible for the court to consider the dismissal indemnity paid to the employee (as the case may be) to determine the amount of damages to be granted, should the dismissal be considered unfair.

Note that this framework does not apply where the dismissal is null and void. In such cases, the employee may either be reinstated or obtain an indemnity which cannot be less than 6 months' salary.

Additional claims are often raised by dismissed employees along with unfair dismissal, which will be taken into consideration for compensation purposes.

Failure to inform & consult

Offense of obstruction, which entails criminal liability (a fine of up to EUR7,500 for the company's legal representative and EUR37,500 for the company as a legal entity).

Germany

Discrimination

Injunction to continue or repeat discriminating actions. Compensation is capped at 3 times an employee’s monthly salary if discrimination is related to the recruitment process. Uncapped compensation in all other cases, based on the claimant's financial loss and injury to feelings. German courts tend to award limited compensation; awards of EUR30,000 have been observed, but they are an extreme exception.

Unfair dismissal

Reinstatement. Therefore, most cases are settled.

Failure to inform & consult

The works council may bring legal action, which can result in administrative fines of up to EUR10,000 if the employer fails to inform and consult with the works council regarding certain matters.

Hong Kong, SAR

Discrimination

Uncapped compensation, which may include the claimant's financial loss; injury-to-feelings compensation of between EUR900 (around HKD8,500) and EUR45,000 (around HKD430,000), based on the latest Vento guidelines in the UK as of the date of this publication, which set out the guidelines used by tribunals to decide how much they should award for injuries to feelings; and, in some instances, exemplary damages.

Unlawful and/or unreasonable dismissal

There is no unfair dismissal regime in Hong Kong. The EO provides a statutory right to remedies which differ depending on the circumstances in which the unlawful dismissal and/or unreasonable dismissal took place.

For unreasonable dismissal, or unreasonable and unlawful dismissal, an employee may claim reinstatement, re-engagement or terminal payments.

In particular, the Labour Tribunal may order compulsory reinstatement or re-engagement of an employment, without securing consent of the employer, if the employee was unreasonably and unlawfully dismissed and it considers that the making of such an order is appropriate and reasonably practicable. If the employer does not reinstate or re-engage the employee as required by the order, the employer shall pay to the employee a further sum, amounting to 3 times the employee’s average monthly wages and subject to a ceiling of HKD72,500. The employer commits an offense if they willfully and without reasonable excuse fail to pay the further sum. For unreasonable and unlawful dismissal, where no order for reinstatement or re-engagement has been made, the court or Labour Tribunal may also make an award of compensation, up to HKD150,000, to the employee if the Labour Tribunal considers it just and appropriate.

Failure to inform & consult

There are no information or consultation requirements.

Hungary

Discrimination

The Equal Treatment Authority is entitled to decide if there has been a violation of law, may prohibit the violating behavior and may impose a fine on the employer, the maximum amount of which is HUF6 million by law.

Individual lawsuits may also be brought, where the court is entitled to award compensation for pecuniary and non-pecuniary damages.

Unfair dismissal

Where the court decides that a termination is unlawful, the employer must pay the employee compensation for damages. Lost salary forms part of the damages, subject to a maximum of 12 months' absence fee. Any amount earned by the employee during the period after the termination must be deducted.

Reinstatement is also possible, but in specific cases only, if the breach is considered serious (eg, a violation of termination protection).

Failure to inform and consult

In case of failure to inform and consult in connection with a mass layoff or the transfer of a business, the action taken may be considered unlawful, thus carrying a risk of invalidity or a legal dispute. Labor authorities may additionally impose sanctions, including a labor fine.

India

Discrimination

Complaints against unfair labor practices under IDA on grounds of discrimination may be filed by a workman or a trade union before the labor courts. Damages for wrongful dismissal will be assessed in accordance with what the employee would have received if the contract had been properly terminated on its terms.

Complaints of sexual harassment under the POSH Act may be filed by the victim with the internal complaints committee (if against another employee) or the local complaints committee (if against the employer). The victim of sexual harassment may directly file a complaint with the police station having jurisdiction or under the Indian Penal Code before the criminal courts.

Complaints for discrimination on the basis of a person's disability must be raised with the head of the establishment who should take immediate action in accordance with the provisions of the RPWD Act. The RPWD Act provides for a complaint to be raised with the Chief Commissioner or State Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities.

Complaints of discrimination on the basis of gender of a transgender person may be made to the complaint officer who will enquire into the same within the timelines prescribed under the TPR Act and Rules.

Unfair dismissal

Complaints of unfair dismissal are filed before the labor courts or tribunals. The courts may grant an employee reinstatement with full back wages with continuity in service, reinstatement without back wages, only back wages without reinstatement or only monetary compensation and consequential benefits.

Failure to inform & consult

The IDA stipulates that an employer who proposes to effect any change in its conditions of service including wages, compensatory and other allowances, hours of work, or any rationalization, standardization or improvement.

of plant or technique which is likely to lead to retrenchment of workmen may not effect such a change without giving those workmen likely to be affected 21 days' notice. In some states, the period of notice required is longer and no notice is required where the change is effected in pursuance of a settlement or award. Notice of change is required only where the change in the terms of service is to the detriment of the workman. Any failure on the part of the employer to adhere to this notice process will render any such change void.

As stated above, recent amendments to the MBA and ECA require employers to inform their employees of the benefits available to them thereunder in writing at the time of their appointment. Further, the POSH Act requires that employers provide/organize training, workshops and awareness programs for their employees to make them aware of the provisions of the POSH Act. Employers are also required under the RPWD Act to notify an equal opportunity policy with the contents (as mentioned above). Additionally, under the TPR Act and related rules, employers are required to publish an equal opportunity policy and display such policy on the company website and in absence of a website, at conspicuous places in the premises.

Indonesia

Discrimination

The employee is entitled to reinstatement, if applicable, or severance pay, ordinary service pay and ordinary compensation. The Manpower Law does not expressly recognize other damages such as loss of reputation and mental suffering, but these may be recognized if a separate, civil action is raised.

Unfair dismissal

Reinstatement or termination benefit, such as compensation, which includes back pay.

Failure to inform & consult

Employees are entitled to voice their concerns, but no remedial action will be taken.

Ireland

Discrimination

The Workplace Relations Commission may order re-engagement, re-instatement or award compensation of up to 2 years' remuneration.

Unfair dismissal

The Workplace Relations Commission may order re-engagement, re-instatement or award compensation of up to 2 years' remuneration. Claimant is under a duty to mitigate loss.

For a transfer-related dismissal, compensation is not limited to financial loss and may be punitive.

In whistleblowing dismissals, compensation may be up to 5 years' remuneration.

Failure to inform and consult

In theory, in the context of a mass redundancy, failure to inform and consult may amount to a criminal offense, but prosecution is rare. In the context of a business transfer, such failure can result in up to 4 weeks' pay per complaining employee.

Israel

Discrimination

Uncapped compensation, based on the claimant's financial loss. Punitive compensation of up to ILS 120,000 without demonstrating damages. Reinstatement or reengagement is possible but rare.

Unfair dismissal

Uncapped compensation, usually between 1-24 salaries, depending on circumstances. Reinstatement or reengagement is possible but rare.

Failure to inform & consult

In most circumstances employees are not entitled to information and consultation rights, and these rights will generally only apply to organized workers. Accordingly, awarded damages for failure to inform & consult are rare.

Italy

Discrimination

Re-instatement or, alternatively, at the employee's discretion, compensation for damages of 15 months' pay. Additional compensation equal to salary lost from dismissal to re-instatement with a minimum of 5 months' pay.

Unfair dismissal

If the company employs up to 15 employees in the same business unit and 60 employees total, the employer may be ordered to rehire the employee or, at its choice, pay compensation for damages, ranging from 2.5 to 6 months' salary.

If the company employs more than 15 employees in the same business unit and 60 employees in total, sanctions are more serious and may result in compensation from 12 to 24 months' pay or, in other cases, forced.

Re-instatement of the employee in the job (or, alternatively, the employee may choose to receive 15 months' compensation), plus compensation for damages up to 12 months' pay. Those provisions apply to employees employed before March 7, 2015.

Under legislation which applies to employees hired from March 7, 2015, in a company that employs more than 15 employees, newly hired employees who are unlawfully dismissed are entitled to compensation for damages of a minimum of 6 months' and a maximum of 36 months' salary. For companies with up to 15 employees, the penalties range from a minimum of 3 up to a maximum of 6 months' salary.

The employer must re-instate an employee in the event of a discriminatory, void or oral termination (or, alternatively, the employee may choose to receive 15 months' compensation) and must also pay damages of an amount equal to salary from the date of dismissal to the date of re-instatement. Re-instatement (plus compensation for damages of up to 12 months’ salary) is also provided for in the event of a dismissal for cause or justified subjective reason when it transpires that the alleged unlawful behavior did not occur.

Failure to inform & consult

Failure to follow the collective dismissal procedure leads to compensation of 12 to 24 months' pay. If the breach relates to the social criteria chosen for selecting which employees to dismiss, then re-instatement (or, alternatively, at the employee's discretion, compensation for damages of 15 months' pay) plus additional compensation of up to 12 months' pay.

Employees hired from March 7, 2015 who are unlawfully dismissed are entitled to compensation for damages of a minimum of 6 months' and a maximum of 36 months' salary.

Re-instatement (or, alternatively, 15 months' compensation) is provided for in the event the termination is solely communicated orally, with the additional payment of compensation for damages for a minimum of 5 months.

Japan

Discrimination

Discriminatory treatment in salary, working hours and other working conditions against employees based on nationality, creed or social status, or discriminatory treatment against female workers related to salary, shall be punished by imprisonment of not more than 6 months or by a fine of not more than JPY300,000. However, other than that, there is no special enforcement procedure.

Null and void dismissal

If an employee's dismissal is held by a court to be null and void, the employee could obtain the following remedies: re-instatement* and/or award compensation. Once the dismissal is held to be null and void, the employee has the right to have unpaid wages for the period from the dismissal to re-instatement plus statutory interest.

*An employee cannot enforce re-instatement unless his/her employer admits liability, but the employer must continue to pay any unpaid amount until re-instatement occurs.

Unfair labor practice

A labor union may, within 1 year following the occurrence (or discontinuance) of an unfair labor practice, file a complaint against an employer for such unfair labor practice by seeking a remedial order from the local Labor Commission. This is an administrative procedure, but it is a quasi-judicial process.

Kenya

Discrimination

There is no specific remedy capped on account of discrimination. The employee may, however, sue for damages.

Unfair dismissal

If an employee's contract is terminated, per statute, they are entitled to the following remedies:

  • The wages that the employee would have earned had they been given the period of notice due under statute or the contract of service.
  • Where dismissal terminates the contract before the completion of any service on which the employee's wages became due, the proportion of the wage due for the period of time for which the employee has worked, and any other loss consequent upon the dismissal and arising between the date of dismissal and the date of expiry of the period of notice referred to in paragraph (a) which the employee would have been entitled to by virtue of the contract.
  • The equivalent of a number of months' wages or salary not exceeding 12 months based on the gross monthly wage or salary of the employee at the time of dismissal.
  • Reinstating the employee and treating them in all respects as if their employment.
  • They were employee was employed prior to their dismissal, or other reasonably suitable work, at the same

Failure to inform & consult

Would generally fall within a claim of unfair termination, and any of the above remedies would be awarded by the court.

Kuwait

Discrimination

Not applicable.

Arbitrary dismissal

There is no cap on the award for arbitrary dismissal; however, awards higher than 3 months' pay are uncommon in most cases.

Failure to inform & consult

Not applicable.

Luxembourg

Discrimination

There are 2 types of discrimination remedies:

  • Remedies stipulated by the Labor Code, which entitle the affected employee to uncapped compensation, based on their financial loss and moral damage and
  • Remedies stipulated by the Penal Code, which provide for imprisonment of the person who has discriminated for up to a minimum of 8 days and a maximum of 2 years and/or a fine of between EUR251 and EUR25,000.

Unfair dismissal

In case of dismissal with notice, the employee is entitled to compensation for moral damages and financial damages. In case of a dismissal for gross misconduct which is deemed unfair, the employee is entitled to a pay in lieu of notice and a severance pay in addition to the compensation for moral and financial damages.

Failure to inform & consult

Criminal sanctions if the employer does not inform/consult or negotiate with the employees' representatives when required. Prosecution is rare.

Malaysia

Discrimination

No specific remedies.

Unfair dismissal

Reinstatement or, more commonly, compensation in lieu of reinstatement. Potential exposure of the employer to pay up to 24 months' back wages and compensation in lieu of reinstatement calculated at one month's wages per year of service.

Failure to inform & consult

No specific remedies.

Mexico

Discrimination

No specific sanctions are in place.

Unfair dismissal

The employer must pay the severance payment plus the claimant's unpaid wages from the day they were unfairly dismissed until 1 year thereafter, plus a monthly increase of 2 percent of the claimant's total amount awarded as well as any proven unpaid benefit (eg, overtime, bonuses and commissions), plus 20 days' integrated salary for each year of service rendered (this amount is only applicable in case the employee demands their reinstatement and the employer rejects it).

Failure to inform & consult

Not applicable under Mexican law.

Morocco

Discrimination

Damages based on the claimant's financial losses and moral damage.

Unfair dismissal

Indemnification for dismissal is calculated on the basis of the employee's seniority:

  • 96 hours per year of work for the first 5 years of seniority
  • 144 hours per year of work for each year between 6 and 10 years of seniority
  • 196 hours per year of work for each year between 11 and 15 years of seniority
  • 240 hours per year of work for each year after 20 years of seniority

Damages equal to 1.5 months per year of seniority.

Pay in lieu of notice, equal to the remuneration the employee would have received if they had remained at their position during the notice period, if notice was not given.

Note: (1), (2) and (3) are cumulative.

Failure to inform & consult

In case of automatic transfer of employees in the context of an acquisition, if the employees' representatives are not informed, employees may refuse to be transferred and may be considered as having been unfairly dismissed. See consequences of unfair dismissal.

Mozambique

Discrimination

No precedents. There are penalties, but these penalties would normally be applied by the labor inspectorate in case of a labor audit. As a general rule, fines vary between 5 and 10 times the minimum wage and, in some occasions, may be applied per employee.

Unfair dismissal

If the court declares that dismissal was unfair, the employee shall be re-instated and shall be entitled to receive an amount equal to the remuneration payable between the date of the termination and the date of effective re-instatement, subject to a maximum of 6 months. Any amounts received by the employee as severance at the time of dismissal shall be deducted. If re-instatement is not possible, the employer is required to pay severance corresponding to 45 days per year of service.

Failure to inform & consult

May result in the disciplinary process or termination of contract being deemed unlawful for lack of compliance with mandatory rules.

Myanmar

Discrimination

The employer shall not discriminate or fail to honor the employment rights equally on the grounds of the employee being a member of a labor organization, nationality, religion, race, sex and age. The employees shall be entitled to the prescribed minimum wage without discrimination on grounds of gender.

Unfair dismissal

An employer is not permitted to terminate an employee who did not breach existing laws, work rules or their employment contract.

In the case of an individual dispute, a worker who claims unfair termination may present a claim to the WCC for internal resolution. The claim shall be negotiated and settled by the WCC within 5 days from the receipt day of the claim. If not successful, a worker may submit a complaint to the Township Conciliation Body and if the worker is not satisfied with the outcome, he/she may file a claim with a competent court for unfair dismissal. In the case of a collective dispute, if the workers are not satisfied with the decision of Township Conciliation Body, they may submit a complaint to the Arbitration Body, then the Arbitration Council. The Arbitration Council must form a Tribunal to settle the case .The Tribunal will make a final decision. If the Arbitration Council or Tribunal finds the termination to be unfair, it has the power to:

  • Order the re-instatement of the employee and treat the employee in all respects as if the employment had not been terminated
  • Order the re-engagement of the employee in work comparable to that in which the employee was employed prior to his/her dismissal, or other reasonably suitable work, at the same wage
  • Order the employer to pay compensation to the worker

Failure to inform & consult

Per the standard employment contract, mass redundancies shall be carried out in coordination with the workplace union, or if none exists in the workplace, then with the Workplace Coordination Committee through its representative.Breach of the standard contract can result in fines or imprisonment. 

Netherlands

Discrimination

Compensation depends on damages.

Unfair dismissal

An employee may obtain a court order to be reinstated or can demand an additional ''fair compensation'' on top of the statutory transition payment.

Failure to inform & consult

Works councils may litigate certain decisions of the company – that is, they may file an appeal with the Enterprise Chamber and request revocation of the company's decision.

New Zealand

Discrimination

If employees believe they have been subjected to discrimination, they may apply for a remedy under either the Employment Relations Act 2000 or the Human Rights Act 1993. Potential sanctions include compensation, declarations, orders and recommendations.

Unfair dismissal

If the Employment Relations Authority determines an employee has been unjustifiably (unfairly) dismissed, the employee may be awarded lost remuneration, compensation and/or reinstatement.  If requested by the employee, reinstatement will be the first course of action considered by the Employment Relations Authority.

Failure to  inform and consult

An employer who does not consult with an employee in circumstances where the employer's decision may ''adversely affect'' the employee's employment may be liable to an unjustified dismissal or disadvantage claim in the Employment Relations Authority.

Nigeria

Discrimination

Discrimination is prohibited by law in respect of gender, religion, age, political affinity and ethnic/tribal group. There is no cap on the damages; it depends on the claim of the plaintiff.

Employees may institute a discrimination action in court. Typically, an award of general damages will be made if the claim is successful.

Unfair dismissal

This usually occurs where the employee feels that the dismissal was not in accordance with the provisions of the contract of employment. This is subject to the claim made by the claimant and judgment awarded by the court. There is no stipulated cap.

Constructive dismissal

Constructive dismissal occurs when an employer breaches a fundamental term of an employment contract, makes a unilateral change to the employment contract without notice to or consent of the employee or creates a hostile environment, which causes the employee to resign. Once one of the elements outlined above is successfully established, the claimant may be entitled to damages and compensation for loss of employment.

Failure to inform & consult

The courts have held that failure to notify the trade union does not invalidate the redundancy. The right conferred on trade unions is merely a right to be informed, and no sanction is provided for failure by employers to do so.

Norway

Discrimination

Right to compensation that the court deems reasonable in view of the circumstances. Compensation for financial loss.

Unfair dismissal

The court must rule the dismissal invalid unless this is clearly unreasonable. Right to be re-instated and/or right to compensation. The compensation is not capped.

Failure to inform & consult

Failure to inform and consult will often lead to a finding that the dismissal was unfair.

Oman

Discrimination

Not applicable.

Arbitrary dismissal

For arbitrary dismissal claims, the courts may order reinstatement (although this is uncommon in practice) or compensation of no less than 3 months' pay.

Failure to inform & consult

Not applicable.

Peru

Discrimination

In case of a dismissal for discrimination, the employee is entitled to claim re-instatement to the company.

In the case of salary discrimination, the employee is entitled to sue for official confirmation of equality with their coworker.

Please see the discrimination section.

Unfair dismissal

In case of unfair dismissal, the employee may claim for re-instatement or for an indemnity. Employees who were classified as managers or “trusted personnel” since the commencement of their employment are not entitled to claim for re-instatement.

Failure to inform and consult

Not applicable for terminations as there are no consultation obligations.

Philippines

Discrimination

A complaint for violation on the prohibition against discrimination against prohibited by may be filed before the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) for damages and/or the Courts for penal sanctions.

Unfair dismissal

An employee may lodge a formal complaint before the NLRC on any claim for illegal dismissal specifically alleging and substantiating that the dismissal lacked any cause for termination or did not comply with due process as provided by the Labor Code.

Failure to inform & consult

In reference to employee termination proceedings, failure to comply with procedural due process of notice and hearing allows an employee to lodge a complaint for damages. If termination is deemed illegal because it was not based on just or authorized cause, the remedy is re-instatement with back pay.

Poland

Discrimination

An employee or a candidate may claim compensation of at least the statutory minimum wage.

Unfair dismissal

In case of unlawful or unjustified termination with or without notice, an employee may claim re-instatement to work on the previous conditions or compensation in the limited amount specified in the statutory regulations.

In case of re-instatement, an employee may also claim remuneration for the period of being out of work in the limited amount specified by the Polish law. In case of unjustified termination without notice served by the employee due to the employer's fault, an employer may claim compensation in limited amount specified by law. In the case of the re-instatement of protected employees (ie, employees who will reach retirement age in not more than 4 years, pregnant employees, employees on maternity leave or trade union activists), they are entitled to compensation for the entire period of being out of work.

Failure to inform & consult

Failure to inform or consult a works council or a trade union where such notification or consultation are required by law (eg, transfer of undertaking) is subject to criminal sanctions (fine or restriction of liberty).

Portugal

Discrimination

Remedies include declaration of nullity of the company's decision and compensation.

In addition, companies may face a fine, its amount depending on the size of the company, to be imposed by the labor authority, subject to appeal before the labor courts.

Unfair dismissal

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

In case of unfair dismissal, irrespective of the cause, the employee is entitled to:

  • Payment of back wages (from the dismissal until the date of the court decision) and
  • At the employee's option, reinstatement or payment of severance compensation (varying from 15 days to 45 days of base salary per year of service).

Failure to inform & consult

Failure to comply with information and consultation duties in case of dismissal leads to invalidity of the dismissal.

Failure to comply with other information and consultation duties may subject the employer to a fine, its amount depending on the size of the company, to be imposed by the labor authority.

Qatar

Discrimination

Not applicable.

Arbitrary dismissal

The court can award the employee compensation and/or in very rare instances, reinstatement. There is no cap on the level of compensation a court can award but typically this would be 2 -3 months of an employee's wage; however, this is dealt with on a case by case basis. Where a court orders reinstatement, it can also award compensation for the wages lost during the period the employee was prevented from working.

Failure to inform & consult

Not applicable.

Romania

Discrimination

Uncapped compensation, based on the claimant's financial and moral loss, as proven in court. In addition, administrative and criminal liabilities may also be triggered for the employer.

Unfair dismissal

Failure to comply with dismissal requirements can lead to the court:

  • Annulling the dismissal decision
  • Ordering re-instatement, if requested by the employee
  • Ordering payment of salary rights between the dismissal and the court decision which the employee would have benefited from if not unlawfully dismissed
  • Ordering payment of damages (including moral damages), if proven by the employee
  • Ordering payment of trial expenses incurred by the employee, such as legal assistance expenses

Depending on the factual circumstances, other claims – such as discrimination or criminal complaints – cannot be excluded.

Failure to inform & consult

Uncapped compensation, based on the claimant's financial and moral loss, as proven in court. This also exposes the employer to administrative fines up to approximately EUR10,000.

Russia

Discrimination

Compensation for moral damage is legally uncapped. However, Russian courts tend not to accept claims for damages exceeding a certain maximum.

Unfair dismissal

Reinstatement of employment and compensation for lost salary, plus accrued interest and compensation for moral damage (see above).

Failure to inform & consult

Violations of labor law, including for a failure to inform and consult, could generally result in a fine from between RUB30,000 and RUB50,000 for the company (RUB 50,000 to RUB 70,000 for repeated failure), and from between RUB1,000 and RUB5,000 for the company's officials (from RUB10,000 to RUB20,000 or disqualification for repeated failure).

Reinstatement of an employee is possible.

Saudi Arabia

Discrimination

There is now a prohibition against discrimination on the basis of gender, age, disability, or any form of discrimination during recruitment or the employment period. The penalty for discrimination in the recruitment process – and during employment – is SAR20,000 per violation.

Unfair dismissal

If the contract is terminated for an invalid reason, the employee shall be entitled to indemnity as stated above. An employee may no longer ask to be re-instated.

Failure to inform & consult

Not applicable for this jurisdiction.

Singapore

Discrimination

Where it may be argued that there has been a breach of the employer's implied duties of mutual trust and confidence because of discrimination, the employee may potentially allege constructive dismissal and claim for breach of contract under common law, with damages as the most common remedy.

Unfair dismissal

Employers and employees with salary- and dismissal-related claims should first register their claims at the Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management (TADM), which provides advisory and mediation services before claims may be heard at the Employment Claims Tribunals (ECT). Claims that cannot be resolved through mediation are issued with a claim referral certificate and referred to the ECT. The types of claims that may be heard by the ECT include:

  • Statutory salary-related claims from all employees covered by the EA, RRA and CDCSA. This includes claims for unpaid salary, overtime pay, salary in lieu of notice, employment assistance payment and maternity benefits
  • Contractual salary-related claims by all EA Employees – for example, payment of allowances, bonuses, commissions, salary in lieu of notice and retrenchment benefits, provided that these are expressed in monetary terms in the contract, and
  • Wrongful dismissal claims from all employees covered by the EA and CDCSA, including “constructive dismissal” allegations.

The ECT may also hear claims for salary in lieu of notice for all employers. These claims must be filed within the specified time period.

The claims limit is SGD30,000 per case for cases which go through mediation (whether through the Tripartite Mediation Framework) or mediation assisted by unions recognized by the IRA with union involvement, compared to SGD20,000 for all other claims.

Failure to inform & consult

There is generally no obligation on an employer to inform and/or consult the employee on matters related to their employment. This usually only arises in a business transfer situation as mentioned above.

 

In a business transfer situation, if the transferor fails to discharge their obligations under the EA to inform and consult EA Employees prior to the transfer, the employee may refer the matter to the Commissioner of Labor for adjudication, and the Commissioner is empowered to:

  • Delay or prohibit the transfer of the employee concerned and
  • Order the transfer of the employee on such terms as the Commissioner considers just.

Slovak Republic

Discrimination

Where the principle of equal treatment with respect to access to employment is violated by an employer, the affected individual will be entitled to reasonable financial compensation.

If reasonable financial compensation is not sufficient, especially where the violation of the principle of equal treatment has considerably impaired the dignity, social status or social functioning of the injured party, the injured party may also seek compensation for non-pecuniary damage. The amount of any compensation for non-pecuniary damage is determined by the court, after considering the severity of the damage caused and the circumstances in which it occurred.

Unfair dismissal

If an employer invalidly terminates the employment and the employee informs the employer that they want to continue in employment with the employer, the employee's employment shall not terminate until a court decides that the employer cannot be equitably requested to continue to employ the employee or a court decides that the termination of employment was valid. The employee is entitled to wage compensation, amounting to their average earnings, from the date the employee requested continued employment with the employer to the date either when the employer allows the employee back to work or on which a court decides on the termination of employment. Wage compensation may be awarded for a maximum of 36 months.

Failure to inform & consult

Failure to consult or obtain approval of the employee representatives to a termination of employment may result in the termination being held to be invalid by the court. In such a case, the employer must provide the employee with compensation, amounting to their average earnings, from the date the employee requested continued employment to the date either when the employer allows the employee back to work or on which a court decides on the termination of employment. Wage compensation may be awarded for a maximum of 36 months.

South Africa

Discrimination and sexual harassment

An employer may be held vicariously liable for the acts of its employees. In order to defend a claim, the employer must show that they were either not made aware of the conduct or took all reasonable steps once they became aware. If the employer becomes aware of discriminatory conduct, the employer is required to immediately investigate and take steps to eliminate the discriminatory conduct.

Unfair discrimination claims must first be referred to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) or a Bargaining Council with jurisdiction for conciliation. If conciliation fails, the claim is referred to the Labour Court for adjudication or for arbitration at the CCMA or Bargaining Council in limited circumstances (ie, sexual harassment cases, with the parties' consent, or if the complainant earned below the BCEA threshold). Strict time limits apply – usually 6 months from the cause of action arising.

Remedies include compensation and damages (uncapped).

Unfair dismissal and unfair labor practices

The majority of disputes must be referred to the CCMA or Bargaining Council with jurisdiction for conciliation. If conciliation fails, the nature of the dispute determines whether the dispute must be referred to adjudication at the Labour Court or arbitration at the CCMA or Bargaining Council. Strict time limits apply.

The primary remedy for a substantively unfair dismissal is re-instatement. Where the employee does not seek re-instatement or re-instatement is not practicable or the dismissal is only procedurally unfair, then compensation, limited to a maximum of 12 months' remuneration, may be ordered. This increases to 24 months' remuneration for an automatically unfair dismissal.

Failure to inform & consult

A failure to consult may constitute the basis of a finding of procedural unfairness in an operational requirements dismissal. Where only procedural unfairness is found, the re-instatement remedy is not available. For large-scale retrenchments, if an employer does not comply with a fair procedure, which includes engaging in consultations, the Labour Court may be approached for orders including compelling the employer to comply with a fair procedure or interdicting the employer from dismissing before a fair procedure is complied with.

South Korea

Discrimination

Employees may bring a claim before the National Human Rights Commission with a possible remedy of recommendation for, for example, cease of discriminatory activities and/or damage compensation.

Unfair dismissal

An employee may bring a claim before the relevant Regional Labor Relations Commission (RLRC) with a possible remedy of re-instatement with back pay. Where the employee does not wish to be re-instated, a lump sum may be provided to the employee. Employees dismissed without cause may also initiate civil proceedings in the District Court.

Failure to inform & consult

In certain circumstances, the employer's action may be deemed null and void in the absence of required consultation. Action for breach of contract may be possible, but damages should be substantiated. Failure to obtain comments concerning the rules of employment may subject the employer to a criminal fine up to KRW5 million.

Spain

Discrimination

Remedies include declaration of nullity of the company's decision, order to immediately stop the discriminatory practice, damages compensation and/or reinstatement of the employee to their position prior to the violation of the fundamental right. In addition, companies may face a fine ranging between EUR6,251 and EUR187,515, to be imposed by the Labor Inspector. Fines are subject to appeal, firstly before higher administrative bodies and subsequently before the labor courts.

Unfair dismissal

In case of null and void redundancy or disciplinary dismissal (eg, due to breach of fundamental rights or due to discrimination): automatic reinstatement plus payment of back wages; in some cases, additional damages compensation.

In the case of unfair redundancy or disciplinary dismissal, the employer must choose between:

  • Reinstatement plus payment of back wages or
  • Payment of a severance compensation, as follows:
    • From the hire date until February 11, 2012: 45 days of salary per year of service capped at 42 monthly installments, plus
    • From February 12, 2012 to the termination date: 33 days of salary per year of service capped at 24 monthly installments.

In principle, the total severance cannot exceed compensation for 720 days of work, except that the employee is entitled to a higher severance by application of the 45-day rate, in which case compensation is capped at 42 monthly installments.

Employee representatives who are unfairly terminated will have the right to choose between payment or reinstatement.

Failure to inform & consult

Failure to inform the employee representatives of individual redundancy will lead to the declaration of unfairness of the termination.

Failure to comply with information and consultation duties in a collective dismissal will lead to the declaration that the terminations are void and a fine ranging from EUR6,251 to EUR187,515. If the rights of the trade union are violated, an additional uncapped compensation may be imposed (normally between EUR3,000 and EUR6,000).

Failure to inform or entrust in the start of TUPE will result in a fine ranging from EUR651 to EUR6,251 and, in exceptional circumstances, the declaration that the transfer of employees is void.

Sweden

Discrimination

Any individual or legal entity that violates prohibitions against discrimination and retaliation, or fails to fulfill obligations to investigate and take measures against harassment, may be ordered to pay compensation to the individual who has been affected by the breach.

Employees may challenge a dismissal due to redundancy or due to personal reasons. If the termination is found unjust and deemed invalid, the employee is entitled to reinstatement, compensation for loss of income and damages for other losses suffered and the infringement of the employee's rights. If the employer refuses to comply with a court's judgment regarding reinstatement, the employer is additionally liable for damages equal to a number of monthly salaries ranging from 16 to 32. If the employee does not ask for reinstatement, they will be entitled to economic damages to cover lost salary, capped at a maximum of 32 monthly salaries. In addition to economic damages, the employee will be entitled to general damages.

The employee is, by the Swedish whistleblower law (Act on special protection for workers against retaliation for whistleblowing concerning serious irregularities (2016:749)), protected against reprisals due to the employee reporting serious irregularities in the employer’s activities.

Failure to inform & consult

Liability for damages to trade unions. Damages seldom exceed SEK150,000 per breach.

Switzerland

Discrimination

  • Gender discrimination at hiring: up to 3 month's salary
  • Sexual harassment: up to 6 months' pay based on the Swiss average salary
  • Moral sufferance: generally no more than CHF25,000

Unfair dismissal

Maximum penalty of an amount equivalent to 6 months' salary (rarely more than 4 months). Unfair dismissal decided in retaliation against a gender claim may lead to reinstatement in the company, though this is rarely invoked.

Failure to inform & consult

Mass redundancies hold 2 possible consequences:

  1. The employment agreements are not considered terminated as long as the Cantonal Labor Authority has not been notified of the results of the consultation, or
  2. The dismissal is considered unfair, giving right to compensation capped to 2 months' salary.

Transfer of business undertakings: general remedies (ie, reimbursement of damages).

Mergers: possibility to block the merger.

Taiwan, Republic of China

Discrimination

Penalties range from TWD300,000 to TWD1.5 million. Severance and pay in lieu of notice may also be required in dismissal cases.

Unfair dismissal

Employees are usually entitled to severance and pay in lieu of notice. In unfair dismissal cases regarding pregnancy, miscarriage or occupational injury, penalties range between TWD90,000 and TWD450,000. Employees who make a demand for reinstatement may seek award of back pay from the time of termination to the time of reinstatement, and that period may include litigation and appeals.

Failure to inform & consult

While consultation is required for a mass layoff, there is no requirement to consult the employees in case of individual redundancies unless a mass layoff is involved. Failure to inform would result in the employer being required to pay statutory severance as well as penalty in lieu of notice. Penalties range from TW$100,000 to TWD500,000.

Thailand

Discrimination

The employer violating discrimination provisions contained in the LPA is subjected to criminal penalty of a fine of not more than THB20,000.

Unfair dismissal

Unfair termination or unfair dismissal is where termination of employment is without cause or without reasonable or necessary cause. In the case of unfair dismissal, an employee may file a case against the employer claiming that their termination is unfair.

If the termination is considered an unfair dismissal, the Labor Court may order:

  • Re-instatement, where the employee is re-employed to the same position
  • Re-engagement, where the employee is re-employed to a position at least the same level as the one they previously held or
  • Financial compensation.

Failure to inform & consult

No statutory requirement.

Tunisia

Discrimination

Employers can be fined TND 24 to 60 for discriminating on grounds of sex and fines are doubled for repeat offenses.

Unfair dismissal

Employees terminated for an abusive reason can sue for damages in the Labor Court (Conseil de Prud’hommes). In addition to the notice period, the end of service severance and any other outstanding allowances, employees can claim damages which vary from one month’s salary to two month’s salary for every month the employee has worked at the company up to the equivalent of three years’ salary. Employees who were terminated for a serious reason, but where the termination did not follow proper procedure, can receive damages also, between one and four months’ salary. Damages in a fixed-term contract are fixed to a salary amount equal to the remaining duration of the contract.

Failure to inform & consult

The Consultative Commission does not have co-determination rights as the employer can choose not to take its advice. A failure to inform and consult the Commission in appropriate circumstances would deem a dismissal to be abusive for non-compliance with legal and contractual procedures.

Turkey

Discrimination

Compensation of up to 4 months' wages plus other claims, such as unpaid wages, bonuses or other social allowances of which the employee has been deprived due to discriminatory acts of an employer.

Unfair dismissal

If the employee benefits from job security provisions and the court re-instates the employee back to work, provided the employer re-instates the employee in accordance with the court's decision, the employer shall make payment of up to 4 months of the employee’s total wages and other entitlements. If the employer does not re-instate the employee within 1 month, it shall:

  • Make payment of up to 4 months of the employee’s total wages and other entitlements
  • Pay re-instatement compensation of not less than 4 months of the employee’s wages and not more than 8 months' wages

In the calculation of the re-instatement compensation, only the basic wage of the employee shall be taken into consideration.

Failure to inform & consult

Subject to administrative fines.

Uganda

Discrimination

Uncapped compensation; damages are at the court's discretion.

Unfair dismissal

Before the labor office: Basic compensatory order of 4 weeks’ wages; an additional compensatory order, based on claimant's length of service; reasonable expectations; opportunities available to secure comparable employment (minimum of 4 weeks' wages and maximum of 3 months' wages) plus compensation for breach of due process (1 month's wages) plus severance (negotiable). Reinstatement or reengagement is possible but rare.

Damages in the industrial court are awardable at the court's discretion.

Failure to inform & consult

Failure to inform representatives of a labor union (if any) that represents employees in the organization of impending collective terminations at least 4 weeks before the first terminations, or failure to notify the Commissioner for Labor of the collective terminations, is an offense punishable by a fine not exceeding 24 currency points. Each currency point is UGX20,000.

Ukraine

Discrimination

There are no special remedies for employees in case of discrimination, but employees may bring claims for compensation for moral and material damages. Employment discrimination may be classified as labor law violations subject to fines.

Unfair dismissal

Re-instatement on the previous terms and conditions and compensation for lost salary plus compensation for moral and material damage may be awarded in case of unfair dismissal. Moreover, company officers may face administrative and criminal liability.

Failure to inform & consult

Failure to inform and consult with trade unions if required may be deemed a violation of dismissal procedures, and re-instatement may be ordered by a reviewing court.

United Arab Emirates

Employee non-solicits

Potential penalties for breach of anti-discrimination provisions under the new law are imprisonment for a minimum of 5 years and/or a fine of a minimum of AED500,000 and a maximum of AED1 million.

Arbitrary dismissal

The maximum award is 3 months' pay (to include salary and benefits/allowances).

Failure to inform & consult

Not applicable for this jurisdiction.

United Kingdom

Discrimination

Uncapped compensation, based on the claimant's financial loss plus injury-to-feelings compensation of between GBP600 and 33,000.

It is additionally possible to claim a declaration of rights or a recommendation, aimed at reducing the impact of discrimination.

Unfair dismissal

Basic award, based on claimant's age and length of service (currently capped at GBP16,140) plus compensation based on the claimant's financial loss (currently capped at GBP88,519) or 52 weeks' pay – whichever is lower). The cap is expected to increase in April 2021. In exceptional cases (eg, whistleblowing dismissals), compensation is uncapped.

Reinstatement or reengagement is possible but rare.

As of April 5, 2014, it is possible for the tribunal to award a payment for "aggravating features" of between GBP100 and GBP5,000. This is paid to the government. In April 2019, the maximum level of penalty that tribunals may impose for aggravated breaches rose to GBP20,000.

Failure to inform & consult

Redundancy: up to 90 days' gross pay. TUPE: up to 13 weeks' gross pay.

United States

Discrimination

Damages for discrimination vary depending on statute and jurisdiction. Federal caps exist for certain claims. Other claims, including most state law claims, allow for unlimited compensatory damages, including front pay, back pay, emotional distress and attorneys' fees. Many claims allow for the recovery of punitive damages.

Unfair dismissal

Because almost all states follow the at-will employment doctrine, claims for unfair dismissal are generally disfavored, unless it constitutes a discriminatory or retaliatory dismissal or a termination in violation of public policy.

Failure to inform & consult

Similarly, because almost all states follow the at-will employment doctrine, a claim for failure to inform and consult generally does not exist, unless it constitutes a discriminatory or retaliatory dismissal, or a dismissal covered by the WARN Act or its state equivalent.

Venezuela

Discrimination

Employees may claim termination of employment on the grounds of discrimination (as a justified cause for termination) before the labor courts. If discrimination is proved, the employer must pay twice the amount of severance payments the employee is entitled to.

Employees may also seek the restitution of a work condition affected by the discriminatory practice or the abolition of a discriminatory measure, through a claim filed before the labor authorities against the employer.

Employers are also subject to civil liability and may respond for both material and immaterial damages caused to the employee.

Unfair dismissal

Employees who have been terminated without lawful grounds may either file a claim for re-instatement before the Labor Courts or Labor Ministry or claim payment of an indemnity of twice the amount of the severance payments that the employee would be ordinarily be entitled to upon employment termination with the Labor Courts.

Vietnam

Discrimination

Employers are subject to a fine of between VND5 million (approximately USD217.24) and VND10 million (approximately USD434.48) for an exact discrimination on the basis of gender, skin color, social class, marital status, belief, religion, HIV infection or impairment which occurs in the course of recruitment, employment and worker management.

Unfair dismissal

The employer may face a penalty of up to 3 years’ imprisonment on a case-by-case basis if the act of illegally laying off an employee results in serious consequences.

The employer must take the employee back to work under their labor contract and must pay wages, social insurance and health insurance for the period during which the employee did not work, plus at least 2 months' wages in accordance with the labor contract.

If the employer does not wish to re-employ and has the employee's consent, then, in addition to the compensation prescribed above and the severance allowance, the 2 parties may agree upon an additional amount of compensation of at least 2 months' wages in order to terminate the labor contract.

If the role that an individual employee held no longer exists, and the employee wishes to continue to work, then, in addition to the compensation mentioned, the 2 parties must negotiate an amendment or supplement to the labor contract.

Failure to inform & consult

An employer may be subject to a fine of between VND10 million (approximately USD440) and VND40 million (approximately USD1,766) for the following:

  • Rejecting a trade union's request for discussion or negotiation or
  • Refusing to reach a written agreement with the executive board of internal trade union or superior trade union when unilaterally terminating employment contracts, re-assigning workers or laying off workers who are part-time union representatives.