Upcoming Regulatory Changes to Impact APAC Payroll, Data Protection

APAC is a hotbed for HR and Payroll regulatory changes in the coming year. Here are some new laws coming into effect in early 2016 that impact companies with operations or planned expansion in the region.

Japan: My Number Law takes effect from January 1, 2016

Passed in 2013, the My Number system is a resident record system that will be used to streamline social security, taxation and disaster response. Employers will be required to collect and manage the numbers for employees, including part-time workers in order to withhold taxes. The “identification numbers” are similar to the social security numbers in the US but have broader implications as they are expected to eventually link important personal information like medical records, bank accounts and disaster relief benefits, etc.

Companies must ensure strictest data protection and security controls with regards management of their employees’ “identification numbers”. Any breach or leak in the identity numbers and data could lead to legal penalty, including up to four years imprisonment or a ¥2 million fine. A thorough review of processes and management of employee data is recommended.

Singapore: Written Key Employment Terms (KETs), itemized pay slips are required from April 1, 2016

Under the Singapore Employment Act (EA) (amended on August 17, 2015), employers in Singapore are required to provided itemized pay slips for all their employees at least once a month with the salary payment, or within three days of the salary payment.

Written KETs are also required. These are applicable to employees hired on or after April 1 2016 and who are employed for 14 days or more continuously. Employers must also maintain detailed employment records of all employees. Failure to comply will result in administrative penalties. 

Local authorities have provided guidelines stating that KETs should include information such as the job title, main duties and responsibilities, working arrangements (hours, rest days), salary information, medical benefits, etc.

The information shared in this article provides guidance not advice. Please connect with us for more details with regards these developments or any issues related to your foreign operations.

Our HR and payroll specialists provide 24/7 support to our clients, keeping them informed and compliant with:

  • Employee Rights and Benefits – annual leave, paid public holidays
  • Taxation related to salary, overtime, allowances, bonuses, gifts and severance pay
  • Expatriate Income Tax (can vary significantly depending on the source of income, duration of stay)
  • Double tax agreements
  • Social Security, Statutory and Non-Statutory benefits (pension, medical insurance, unemployment insurance, maternity insurance, occupational injury insurance. In some countries like China, insurances can vary by city)
  • Reporting frequency and requirements
  • ..and more

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