South Korea: Government promulgates law to hold company management and officials responsible for workplace accidents
27 January, 2022: To check the rising number of accidents at workplace, Asia’s fourth largest economy has promulgated the Serious Disasters Punishment Act, 2022. The act has provisions to hold company management and its top brass liable for the accident and impose fines to the tune of 1 billion won ($85,000) and imprisonment up to 1 year.
Nigeria: Industrial Court holds termination of agricultural institute workers illegal, orders compensation
25 January, 2022: The 3-year long legal battle of temporary workers employed by the state run agricultural institute has yielded in favour of the workers. The Benin Division of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria has held the retrenchment of 90 workers employed on probation by the state Agricultural Institute illegal and ordered compensation of Naira 4 million. The court has further added that the compensation must be paid within 90 days, a failure to do so would attract an interest of 10 percent per annum.
Belgium: Government issues memo institutionalising Right to Disconnect
22 January, 2022: An exponential rise in remote work due to COVID-19 triggered work from home has led to increased unpaid overtime work causing burnout and exhaustion among workers. To curb the menace Belgian government has issued a memo entitling workers the Right to Disconnect after working hours. The memo to employers states that management must ensure that workers are not contacted outside normal working hours in exception and unforeseen circumstances and where action is required that cannot wait until the next working period. It further dictates that no worker should be reprimanded or disadvantaged for choosing not to respond to their boss after working hours.
Ghana: National Labour Commission holds teacher’s strike illegal, orders teachers to resume work
15 January, 2022: The National Labour Commission (NLC) of Ghana has held the strike of University Teachers and staff which commenced on 10 January, 2022 unlawful and ordered them to resume work with immediate effect. The NLC found that teachers did not follow due process prescribed in the Act 651, Settlement of Industrial Disputes.
Pakistan: Anti-Harassment act amended to include informal workers, students
15 January, 2022: The National Assembly passed the Protection against Harassment of Women at the Workplace (Amendment) Bill, 2022 on 14 January,, 2022 by the Ministry of Human Rights. The amendments strengthen the existing legislation which came into effect in 2010 by expanding the definition of workplaces to encompass both formal and informal workplaces, bringing it closer to the definition set out in the 2019 International Labour Organization (ILO) Violence and Harassment Convention (C190). The new law also expands the definition of harassment to include discrimination on the basis of gender, which may or may not be sexual in nature and extends the protections against harassment and violence to students, a category excluded by the previous law.