Regulation of working time and wages

Se Aprueba el Ajuste de Salarios Mínimos Generales y Profesionales del Área Geográfica B

Por Mónica Schiaffino y Rogelio Alanis Robles

El 23 de noviembre del 2012, el Consejo de Representantes de la Comisión Nacional de los Salarios Mínimos ("CONASAMI") aprobó una iniciativa para ajustar los salarios mínimos generales y profesionales vigentes del área geográfica "B", a partir del próximo 27 de noviembre del 2012, a fin de nivelarlos con los del área geográfica "A", significando un aumento del 2.9%. La iniciativa había sido sometida por la Secretaría del Trabajo y Previsión Social el pasado 20 de noviembre, siendo votada y aprobada por la CONASAMI tres días después.

El ajuste de 2.9% en el salario mínimo que percibirán los trabajadores que pertenecían a la actual área geográfica "B" aumentará el salario mínimo en $53.50 pesos al mes. Debido al aumento que tendrá efecto a partir del próximo 27 de noviembre, el salario mínimo general diario para las áreas geográficas "A" y "B" será de $62.33 pesos. Los salarios mínimos actuales para las áreas geográficas "A", "B" y "C" se pueden encontrar en el siguiente vínculo: Tabla Salarios Mínimos - CONASAMI.

Es importante señalar que este ajuste es independiente del aumento al salario mínimo que habrá de definirse en el mes de diciembre de este año para el periodo del año 2013.

Adjustment to the General and Professional Minimum Wage for Geographic Zone "B" Has Been Approved

By Mónica Schiaffino and Rogelio Alanis Robles

On November 23, 2012, the Board of Representatives of the National Minimum Wage Review Committee ("Consejo de Representantes de la Comisión Nacional de los Salarios Mínimos" or "CONASAMI") approved an initiative (in Spanish) to adjust the general and professional minimum wage for geographic zone "B" employees by 2.9%, in order to equalize it to that of geographic zone "A." This increase will be effective as of November 27, 2012. The initiative, which had been submitted by the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare on November 20, was voted on by CONASAMI within three days.

The 2.9% adjustment in the minimum wage that geographic zone "B" employees will receive will raise the minimum wage by $53.50 Mexican pesos (approximately $4.11 USD) per month. Given this increase, which will come into effect on November 27, the daily general minimum wage for both geographic zones "A" and "B" will be of $62.33 Mexican pesos (about $4.80 USD). The current minimum wage for geographic zones A, B, and C may be found in the following link: Tabla Salarios Mínimos - CONASAMI.

It is important to note that this adjustment is independent from the minimum wage increase to be determined in December for the 2013 calendar year.

Fight Against the Gender Wage Gap: Measures to Be Taken Within the Company

The Act of 22 April 2012 aimed at fighting against the gender wage gap, published in the Belgian Official Gazette on 28 August, introduces several new requirements with practical implications for companies.

In all companies that must file annual accounts, wage data contained in the annual social report will from now on have to be broken down by workers' gender.

Moreover, in all companies normally employing more than 50 workers, an analysis to determine if the company has a neutral remuneration policy with respect to gender will have to be undertaken every two years. An analysis report, including the wage data broken down by gender, should be provided to the members of the Works Council (WC) or Committee for Prevention and Protection at Work (CPPW) with the annual information. On this basis, the WC (or CPPW) will assess the need to establish an action plan.

Finally, within the same companies, the employer may appoint, on the proposal of the WC (or CPPW), a mediator charged with (i) assisting in the implementation of those new measures and in the drafting of the action plan, if any, and/or (ii) hearing those workers who claim to be victims of unequal treatment in order to find an informal solution with management. A Royal Decree will specify the powers of and skills required from the mediator, as well as its ethical rules.

Action points

  • Break down wage data by gender in the next annual social report.
  • Within companies with more than 50 workers, establish an analysis report concerning the structure of worker's remuneration every two years.

The New Hungarian Labour Code Enters into Force

By Boglárka Kricskovics-Béli of CLV Partners (the Hungary member of Ius Laboris)

ChangesII.jpgThe new Hungarian Labour Code promises a fundamental overhaul of that country's labour law. Intended to improve competitiveness and increase employment in the face of the current economic crisis, the revised Labour Code introduces new forms of employment, and significantly changes employment rules from hiring to termination.

The new Code recognizes atypical or flexible forms of employment, and expressly allows employees to work for different employers in the same position simultaneously.

Different salaries may be paid to employees of the same employer who work in different regions.

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Minimum Salary Raise

Poland's minimum salary for work in 2012 has been fixed at 1,500 PLN (previously 1,384 PLN). It indicates the lowest permitted amount of remuneration which a worker employed on a full-time basis may receive in every month of work. Besides the base salary, bonuses, allowances etc. are also counted against the mandatory minimum salary, but only in the month in which they are paid. Thus, high bonuses paid every several months will count only towards the minimum in the month of payment. They will not compensate for lower salaries paid in other months.

Employee Available by Telephone Within an Hour's Drive to Work Is on Call

According to the judgment of the Supreme Court of 9 December 2011 (II PK 115/11) an employee obligated to remain available by telephone and to appear at work within an hour from receiving a call is "on call." Being on call must not interfere with the employee's right to rest. This is the case even if the employer does not indicate any specific place for the employee to stay at while on call - it is sufficient that the employer specifies the time within which the employee should reach work when called. In consequence, when obligating an employee to be available by telephone, one should remember not to breach the periods of rest guaranteed to employees by the Labour Code - in principle 11 hours daily and 35 hours weekly.

Construction Worker's Place of Work May Be Defined Broadly

Construction sites operated by the employer in a given area (even all of Poland) may be indicated in the employment agreement as a construction worker's place of work. Each time, the actual work place will be the construction site to which the employee is currently assigned. It will change automatically with assignment to the next construction site. If the employee happens to travel from the current construction site to another site, he is considered "on business trip" outside of his place of work and therefore is entitled to business travel benefits. This view has been presented by the Supreme Court in the resolution of 9 December 2011 (II PZP 3/11).

Tags: Travel

Employment Implications of Greece's New IMF Loan Agreement

By Alexia Stratou of Kremalis-Law Firm (the Greece member of Ius Laboris)

There are huge changes in store for Greece's working population. On February 12, the Greek Parliament approved a loan agreement with the International Monetary Fund that will reduce the national minimum wages and alter any future national collective employment agreements.

According to the new Law 4046/2012, the current minimum wages set by the National General Collective Agreement will be reduced by 22%. For workers under 25, the minimum wage will be slashed by 32% without any restrictive conditions. All automatic wage increases, including increases based on seniority, are also suspended under the agreement.

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Major Employment Law Shake-up Unveiled

By Richard Lister

Changes SignII.jpgThe UK Government has announced wide-ranging plans for what it claims to be "the most radical reform to the employment law system for decades". The proposals were set out by the Secretary of State for Business, Dr Vince Cable, in a speech to the EEF manufacturers' organization. Some of the measures had been previously floated but others were novel, including:

  • amending the UK's whistleblowing legislation so that complaints by employees about a breach of their own employment contract will no longer constitute a protected disclosure;
  • seeking views on introducing compensated no-fault dismissals for "micro employers" with fewer than ten employees;
  • simplifying and "slimming down" the processes required to carry out a fair dismissal, including potentially working with the conciliation service Acas to change their Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures;
  • consolidating the myriad regulations relating to the national minimum wage; and
  • streamlining the current regulatory regime for the recruitment sector.
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Employment Newsnotes (Issue 51, Summer 2011)

SurveillanceSign.jpg Employment Newsnotes (PDF) is an occasional publication by Lewis Silkin covering recent UK employment law developments in an accessible, succinct and entertaining way. The latest issue includes articles on:

  • Dangers for employers in relying on surveillance film in disciplinary proceedings
  • Controlling employees' use of social media in the workplace
  • How employers should go about implementing a pay cut lawfully
  • The Government's proposal to introduce financial penalties for employers losing Employment Tribunal claims
  • The latest cases concerning employees claiming discrimination on grounds of their 'philosophical belief'
  • Interns - are they entitled to be paid the national minimum wage?
  • The potential sanctions for businesses employing people who are working in the UK illegally
  • The prospects of former News of the World staff being able to claim stigma damages