Human Resource Regulations: Working Hours and Minimum Salary

Responsible Entities

Country The entity responsible for managing human resources in the country Name Link
Saudi Arabia Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development in Saudi Arabia hrsd.gov.sa
UAE Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) www.mohe.gov.ae
Sweden Swedish Public Employment Service (SPES) www2.arnes.se
Germany La Direction de l’Animation de la Recherche, des Etudes et des Statistiques www.arcep.fr
France The Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur f√ľr Arbeit) www.arbeitsagentur.de
Netherlands Employee Insurance Agency www.uwv.nl
Russia Federal Service for Labour and Employment www.trud.gov.ru
United Kingdom Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) www.gov.uk
Republic of Ireland The Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS) www.bls.gov
United States of America Department of Social Protection (DSP) www.welfare.ie
Canada Employment and Social Development Canada www.hrsdc.gc.ca
Mexico Public Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare www.stps.gob.mx
Brazil Ministry of Labour and Employment portal.mte.gov.br
Japan Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare www.mhlw.go.jp
South Korea Ministry of Employment and Labour www.moel.go.kr
China State Administration of Experts Affairs www.safea.gov.cn
India Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT). www.dot.gov.in
Singapore Ministry of Manpower and Ministry of Social and Family Development www.mom.gov.sg
South Africa South Africa Labour Department www.gov.za
Australia Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) www.apsc.gov.au

An Overview of Human Resource Systems and Laws in these 20 Countries

Over the ages, the concept of HR law and regulations has evolved, and human resource management practices have evolved with it. Each country has established a ministry, or a special entity concerned with managing human resources (Davidescu et al., 2020, 82). The objectives, strategies, and powers of each party differ according to what is stipulated by the law of each country. This is in addition to the different regulations and legislation that each ministry brings.

Each ministry or entity has a system of work and workers based on many factors, including the demographic and geography of the country, as well as the history of that country. For example, countries with low demographic statics wouldn’t force companies to have a high percentage of citizens and low foreign employees. According to Davidescu et al. (2020) the opposite is true, for instance, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia requires that the proportion of Saudi employees by 40% of the overall number of workers in the organization.

Working Hours

Introduction

Working hours according to Ragmoun and Alwehabie (2020) can be conceptualized as the period between the beginning and the end of an activity. For example, 8 am to 6 pm is considered as 9 hours. Working hours are stopped by lunch break or by notifying the employer about it. Today, all countries have different working hour policies because there is no international regulation on this topic yet, but they have a major common thing: they aim to provide employees with benefits from their labour without violating citizens’ rights resulting from those labour contracts.

Saudi Arabia

In Saudi Arabia, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs determines working hours for private sectors through royal decree (Davidescu et al., 2020). Saudi Arabia has set the maximum working hours per day which is 8 hours (including overtime) and 48 hours per week.

UAE

The federal administration of UAE has enacted a four and half operational days in every week. In this regard, workers are required to work for eight hours from Monday all the way to Thursday while on Friday they are expected to operate for four hours.

Sweden

The maximum number of hours an employee works per day is set by the law in Sweden which is 8 hours by default and 12 hours during night time. If the worker wants to exceed the set minimum hours per week, then he needs to receive an explicit agreement from his employer before starting working longer hours (Davidescu et al., 2020). The worker receives compensation for working overtime in cash or with additional paid time leave.

Germany

The German labour law, called the Working Hours Act (Arbeitszeitgesetz), defines that employees must not exceed eight hours daily which translates to 48 hours per week. Overtime is allowed under certain conditions such as emergencies, unusual difficulties at work or urgent requests from customers (Ragmoun and Alwehabie, 2020). If an employee works overtime, the employer must pay him/her time and a half or one and a half times their regular hourly salary.

France

The maximum number of ordinary working hours set by the law in France is 10 hours per day and 48 hours per week. In case there is an urgent need for extra services during events such as sports games, exhibitions and fairs outside the company premises, workers may be asked by their employers to stay late (Zaugg et al. 2019). Employers are also obliged to pay their employees double rates for extra service rendered.

Netherlands

Employers in the Netherlands are not allowed to make their employees work more than 48 hours per week, with an exception of temporary or seasonal jobs. During summer time, employers are allowed to ask their workers to work up to 60 hours a week (Syed, 2020, 214). During winter they can ask their workers to work up at most 55 hours per week.

Russia

The working hours in Russia are regulated by Labour Code of the Russian Federation. Employees must go behold a minimum of 40 hours every week, with an exception of overtime work where they can work up to 360 hours a year. If employees are required to work overtime, their employers must pay them for it. Overtime starts from 6 hours or 11 consecutive hours at least one day off for every six days worked consecutively.

United Kingdom

In the UK, workers are entitled to a paid minimum vacation of 28 working days per year. If an employee works for 5 days a week, then he/she must receive at least 2 Saturdays off every month (Canteleand Zardini, 2018, 166). The maximum number of hours employees work per day is 8 hours and 48 hours per week.

Republic of Ireland

The maximum number of ordinary operational time is set to be 8 hours every day, which implies 40 hours in every week. Extra work must not exceed 2 hours every day or 10 extra working day in a row (Canteleand Zardini, 2018, 166). The weekly rest period is 24 consecutive hours beginning from the start of one’s last daily or weekly working period. A worker may choose to have two different rest periods if they are separated by at least 11 consecutive hours.

United States of America

The US labour law specifies maximum working hours is 40 per week. At least 24 hours of rest must pass between each working period. If overtime work is required, employees are entitled to receive compensation or payment by an extra hour (Canteleand Zardini, 2018). This should be done for each hour of overtime worked in accordance with federal and state laws.

Canada

In Canada, the maximum number of working hours for employees is 48 per week. Those who work shifts with changing work hours are entitled to an average of 8 hours of rest each day. During their weekly rest period, employees must not be required to work or be on call, unless they agree in writing (Canteleand Zardini, 2018).The total length of daily working time must not exceed 14 consecutive hours including mealtime. If it is necessary, there can only be two periods between 1 and 5 hours long during which workers are not allowed to leave their workplace.

Mexico

Under the Mexican Federal Labour Law, workers must receive a rest of 12 consecutive hours after working for 6 days in a row. If there is no alternative, they can work only 8 hours on each of those days (Strenitzerov√° et al., 2019, 4591). The concentrated number of hours that an employee is required to be actively involved every day is set to be 8 and 48 hours per week.

Brazil

The Brazilian Federal Constitution guarantees a weekly rest of 36 hours that coincides with the calendar week (Lorincov√° et al., 2019, 3509). The total number of working hours per day cannot exceed 8 hours, but there can be no more than 4 extra hours worked after this is over.

Japan

Japan has a long tradition of working overtime and this is not considered to be a problem. The legal maximum number of hours worked per week is 45 (Strenitzerov√° and Achimsk√Ĺ, 2019, 4591). Employers must pay more for overtime work, but it is still relatively inexpensive compared with European countries. There are also penalties for violating the law.

South Korea

South Korea has a 48-hour work week and overtime is not compulsory. Employers must pay employees double the normal wage for any hours over this limit. It is possible to enter into written agreements with employees allowing for flexibility in working times, but only if they are allowed to take at least 11 days off every month (Ma et al., 2020, 109795). It is also required that workers have one day off per week or two consecutive rest days each week.

China

The working days in China runs from Monday all the way to Friday with each employee have to be active for forty hours spread across the major working days. In this regard, a standard operational day must have a minimum of eight hours.

India

India’s 2017 Labour Code allows workers to work for 9 hours on daily basis and 48 hours in every week. Operational time is expected to go up-to 10 hours in certain establishments that are involved in “hazardous processes” (Hans, 2021, 381). The maximum number of working days in a calendar month is limited to 24. Employees who work more than 6 months with the same employer are entitled to an annual paid leave of at least 15 days. However, the amount to be received increases gradually until they get 30 days after spending 12 consecutive years with the same company.

Singapore

The standard working week in Singapore is 44 hours. Employers are required to provide two days free of work, one of which must be a rest day on Sunday. Working hours are usually determined by the number of employees at an enterprise and have to be reasonable. The maximum daily work time is 10 hours, although there are exceptions for security guards and drivers (Westerman et al., 2020, 100742). If it is necessary to work overtime, firms are required to remunerate their workers 1.5 times more than their usual wage.

South Africa

There are no limits on the maximum number of hours that may be worked per day or per week, except for certain categories of employees such as miners. A typical work schedule has 9 working days per month with 8-hour working days (Lentawa et al., 2021, 153). There are also provisions for meal breaks during work hours.

Australia

Employees in Australia are entitled to a minimum of 10 hours free from work per day. They must also be allowed to take unpaid breaks during their working day (Al-Suraihi et al., 2021, 6). There is no statutory maximum for the number of hours that may be worked, but it is controlled by means of the NES; which provides exceptions and exemptions for particular jobs.

Working times of employees vary depending on the terms and conditions negotiated between employers and workers’ representatives or trade unions. In some cases, they can work up to 48 hours per week with 1 rest day every 2 weeks.

Conclusion

Although none of these countries have a statutory limit on the number of hours that may be worked, there are provisions to ensure that employees work reasonable working hours and do not exceed the daily or weekly maximum set by law. All countries require breaks during working hours and at least one day off per week. Some nations also tend to provide for additional paid leave.

Minimum Salary

Introduction

The term “minimum salary” is one of the most important concepts in employment law. The minimum salary of any job is the lowest amount that may be paid to an employee who works for 40 hours per week. The concept of minimum salaries varies considerably by country and whether they are stated in terms of local currency, local purchasing power parity or another form of reference is also subject to variation.

The concept of minimum salary became important in the 1980s as a reaction to stagflation, which is a period of low economic growth combined with high unemployment and inflation. In the 1970s, it was found internationally that governments needed a way to protect workers from fluctuations in economic conditions (Armstrong and Brown, 2019, 19). As a result, standard wage rates were set in each state with proper consideration of the prevailing economic conditions.

Saudi Arabia

To enhance the income of employees in the country and for the purpose of labour protection the ministry in charge of personnel welfare brought forth a major proposal for employees to receive a minimum of 4000 royals (US $1066.03) every month. However, private entities were allowed room to pay their workers an amount slightly below the stated

UAE

The UAE’s minimum wage is AED 4,000 ($1,100) which went into effect on 1 January 2018 after being signed off by President Khalifa in May 2017. While this sounds good, there are concerns that the increase will lead to job losses in some sectors requiring lower salaries for workers.

Sweden

Sweden has one of the most generous minimum salaries at 23400 SEK (US $ 2484.76) per month. Sweden’s National Wage Council recommends new rates each year based on inflation, productivity growth and the state of the labour market. They are only legally binding for collective bargaining agreements.

Germany

The minimum monthly salary in Germany is EUR 1,531.45 ($ 1728.99) gross for 2018. The amount was set by the German government after a two-year debate that it would be lowered to EUR 1,490 per month from EUR 1,555 previously (Regy and Malini, 2019, 16). This change is part of a larger reform package called ‚ÄúTarifeinheit‚ÄĚ or ‚ÄúCollective Bargaining Unity‚ÄĚ (Regy and Malini, 2019, 17). This aims to align wage agreements between both unions and employers‚Äô associations nationwide instead of having many different rules in place throughout Germany’s various federal.

France

France’s minimum wage was set at ‚ā¨9.88 ($ 11.15) per hour in July 2017 which is around ‚ā¨1,498 gross per month by 2018 rates. Like many other countries the French government chose to adjust this rate up or down depending on inflation levels and movement in purchasing power (Lorincov√° et al., 2019). This rate has proven controversial with some saying that this will lead to increase unemployment among low-skilled workers while others say it will allow for people to have a better life standard.

Netherlands

The Netherlands’ minimum salary is ‚ā¨1,582 ($1785.71) monthly which came into effect on January 1st 2018 after being pushed for by trade unions who wanted an increase from the current amount of ‚ā¨1,555 backdated to 1 October 2017. The idea behind the push was so that workers would have an easier time in coping with the increased costs of living in Dutch cities (Lindsay et al., 2018, 641). In addition, this was done so that employers could not use a loophole in lower salary offers to avoid the cost of collective bargaining agreements.

Russia

Russia’s minimum wages rose by a record 20% in 2018, from 9,489 roubles ($116.76) a month to 11,163 ($137.36). This is the largest increase since Soviet times and aims to compensate for inflation which has risen 15% since last year (Davidescu et al., 2020, 6086). The rate was set on 28 December 2017 by decree of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

This new amount means that Russia’s minimum salary is the highest in Europe. Davidescu contend if you take into account purchasing power instead of just currency rates then minimum wages in Luxembourg and France are higher than Russia. However, these numbers were set before the latest changes in those countries.

United Kingdom

The minimum wage for the United Kingdom is £7.83 ($10.60) per hour which was set on 1 April 2018 by decree of Theresa May after it had been announced at the 2017 budget. The issue of having a minimum wage has always created controversy with opponents saying that this will lead to people losing their jobs because firms cannot afford to pay (Lorincová et al., 2019, 3509). Nevertheless, the supporters claim that this will lead to decreased poverty levels among citizens, increased spending power and an overall better economic condition for British workers.

Republic of Ireland

Minimum wage in Ireland is ‚ā¨9.80 ($11.06) per hour and was set on 1 January 2018 by decree of Leo Varadkar, Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister). Labour unions have been calling for an increase in the minimum wage to match the cost of living and inflation which has risen at a rate of 4% (Regy and Malini, 2019, 19). Opponents say that this will lead to people being laid off or forced to take part-time work instead of full-time jobs.

United States of America

The States‚Äô wage was improved to $7.25 per hour back in 2009 by a decree of Barack Obama which has since then been changed by Donald Trump in 2017. The president signed an executive order to set the amount at $7.25 for private sector employees (Canteleand Zardini, 2018, 167). However, workers who were covered under a collective bargaining agreement were exempted alongside others employed in certain types of jobs, such as fast-food restaurants that don’t sell alcohol (Lorincova et al., 2018, 3687). This new change means that it would become $7.25 for all sectors and any worker not receiving this amount would be due backpay from their employer if they were not paid enough previously.

Canada

According to Dongho (2016), the minimum wage in Canada is $11.25 per hour which was set on 1 July 2018 by decree of Justin Trudeau after it had been announced at the 2017 budget. The reason why this new amount was chosen after a series of long debates and votes in parliament, is because that is what Canadians felt they deserved to get paid. The government chose that number as a result for their vote (Cantele and Zardini, 2018, 167). These numbers are still debated among economists because some say that this level will lead to decreased work hours. Others say it will increase spending power throughout the country and make people happier with their lives.

Mexico

Mexico‚Äôs freshly voted President Andres proclaimed a 22% hike to the country’s minimum wage on 1 January 2019, but with an initial lower increase of 10%. This is being done because inflation was 20.4% in 2018 and he wants to gradually raise it over the course of three years instead of all at once (Strenitzerov√° et al., 2019, 4591). Currently, the minimum wage in Mexico stands at US$ 8.06 per hour.

Brazil

The value of the Brazilian real has been dropping since May 2018. Their minimum wage was 449 Reals in July 2018 which is around $US120 per month (Lorincov√° et al., 2019, 3509). This number was set by decree of Michel Temer, president at the time, after they had opted to freeze it for two years after being so high during 2012-2014.

Japan

In Japan, they have a minimum amount of pay called ikkyŇę which is ¬•782 ($ 6.79) for an hour and was set in 2016 by decree of Shinzo Abe. The minimum wage in Japan has been a topic recently discussed with opponents saying it would lead to people losing their jobs (Strenitzerov√° and Achimsk√Ĺ, 2019, 4591). This is because firms cannot afford to pay them while supporters say that this will lead to decreased poverty levels among citizens, increased spending power, and an overall better economic condition for Japanese workers.

South Korea

The minimum wage in South Korea was set at 6,030 won per hour. The amount is close to $5.10 for workers aged over 20 years old and with an increase of 60 won or about 3% from 2017 (Ma et al., 2020, 109795). This has been the first increase since 2015 when a 5% rise was made after being frozen for four straight years so this shows a clear sign of hope for their economy.

China

Minimum wage in China has gone up to $318 per month since 2018 after an increase of 14% was announced by decree of Xí Jìnpíng, vice chairman of the State Council. This is the highest it’s been in 18 years and not only did they raise wages but they also reduced overtime fees for workers which means that their new minimum wage comes with a lot more benefits than before.

India

The minimum wage in India is INR 18,000 ($241.15) per month. This was set by the decree of Narendra Modi but has gone up to Rs.20, 000 for the year 2019 according to new legislation that was put into place in September 2018 (Hans, 2021, 382). According to Hans (2021, 382) the change is attributed to an increase in inflation that ranked 6.55% last year and was the highest since 2014 when it averaged 7.35%.

Singapore

Delmas (2013) argues in Singapore, the minimum wage is $5.90 and was set in 2016 by decree of Lee Hsien Loong after they had voted for this number on 21 November 2015. New legislation that came into effect on 1 January 2019 increased that amount to $6 (Westerman et al., 2020, 100742). This also raised rates for foreign domestic workers and those who work at cleaning companies which means there was a 40-cent increase across the board.

South Africa

The minimum wage in South Africa is ZAR45 ($ 2.97) per hour which was set by decree of Jacob Zuma on 1 January 2018. This has caused quite the debate because small businesses are struggling to pay their employees (Lentawa et al., 2021, 154). The worst part occurred when the pressure to pay came at the tune of about R12, 500 per month according to Business Tech.

Australia

The minimum wage in Australia is $18.93 per hour and was set on 1 July 2014 by decree of Kevin Rudd who also made a new legislation called the National Employment Standards that requires all employers to give all category of employees 10 days sick leave and up to 12 months of unpaid parental leave annually (Al-Suraihi et al., 2021, 7). This change has been met with opposition from business groups who say it will just cause them to lose money and put people out of work but supporters say this will keep unemployment levels low as well as make citizens happier

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