Human Resources & Payroll

Thailand Introduces New Four-Year Smart Visas for Investors

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By Dezan Shira & Associates
Editor: Vasundhara Rastogi

Foreign entrepreneurs investing in new businesses, and highly skilled professionals or executives can now apply for a new 4-year ‘Smart Visa’ to live and work in Thailand. The application for the smart visa will begin from February 1, 2018. However, individuals interested in applying must note that the visa application is only open to foreigners working or investing in the ten S-curve targeted industries. These industries include next-generation automotive, smart electronics, medical and wellness tourism, ‘food for the future’, agriculture and biotechnology, automation and robotics, aviation and logistics, biochemicals and eco-friendly petrochemicals, digital businesses, and medical hubs.

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The Guide to Employment Permits for Foreign Workers in Singapore

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By Dezan Shira & Associates
Editor: Vasundhara Rastogi

ASB- Singapore Employment Permits (002)

For expatriate workers and their employers in Singapore, understanding the process to obtain a valid employment permit is vital. The Singapore government’s Ministry of Manpower (MoM) issues a wide range of work passes and permits to expatriates planning to work in Singapore. Each of these employment permits is designed for a specific purpose and differs across various categories of employees, based on their professional skills and monthly salaries.

Some of the most common employment permits issued by the government of Singapore are discussed below:

Employment Pass

The Employment Pass (EP) is issued to expatriates employed as foreign managers, executives, and skilled professionals in Singapore, for an initial period of 2 years; thereafter, the pass can be renewed for up to three years at a time. The EP is generally issued to individuals with a job offer that includes a minimum monthly salary of SG$3,600. More experienced candidates are required to be offered a higher salary to qualify for the same. However, according to a recent announcement made by the MoM, the monthly salary criteria for EP applicants will be raised to SG$6,000 with effect from January 1, 2018.

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Philippine Labor Contracts: What You Need to Know

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By Dezan Shira & Associates
Editor: Vasundhara Rastogi

The Labor Code of the Philippines is the general labor law that regulates the relationship between the employee and the employer, and all employment-related matters in the country. The law applies to all Philippines’ enterprises and joint ventures, as well as to all employment relationships between Filipino nationals and foreign enterprises in the country.

There are several other special laws specifying statutory minimum employment benefits and standards that an employer must legally comply with. These include the Social Security Law, the National Health Insurance Act, the Sexual Harassment Law, and the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act among others.

The Philippines’ Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is the principal government agency responsible for enforcing employment laws in the country. DOLE monitors and administers companies’ compliance with labor standards, and addresses labor-related issues through the office of the secretary of labor and employment, or through its regional offices.

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Thai Labor Contracts: What You Need to Know

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By Dezan Shira & Associates
Editor: Vasundhara Rastogi

ASB- Thai Labour Contracts (002)

In Thailand, the employee-employer relationship is governed by a series of laws and regulations, the chief one being the Thai Labor Protection Act B.E.2541 (LPA) and the Thai Civil and Commercial Code (TCCC).  Other laws include the Labor Relations Act, the Social Security Act, the Act establishing the labor court and labor court procedure, the State Enterprise Labor Relations Act, the Workmen’s Compensation Act, and the Foreign Employment Act. These laws cover all areas related to employment such as working hours, holidays and leave, notice, overtime, sick pay, and severance, and are applicable to both Thai and foreign employees. The Ministry of Labor (MOL) is the primary authority responsible for setting and enforcing minimum employment standards in the country.

Thailand does not mandate a written agreement between the employer and an employee. However, it does impose strict labor regulations with regards to working terms and conditions. In practice, therefore, it is advisable for employers to set out written terms and conditions of employment to avoid legal disputes or liability with regards to remuneration.  

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Malaysia Foreign Knowledge Worker Projections for 2018

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By Dezan Shira & Associates
Editor: Vasundhara Rastogi

The Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) on December 8, 2017 began accepting requests for foreign knowledge worker (FKW) projections. In Malaysia, companies registered with the MDEC must seek FKW projection approval in advance before applying for visa application (new or renewal) for their foreign employees.

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Payroll Outsourcing in Singapore: Allowing Companies to Focus on Regional Expansion in ASEAN

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By Dezan Shira & Associates

Although managing payroll in Singapore is a relatively less complex process than elsewhere in ASEAN, it is not without its inherent challenges given the city-state’s constantly evolving regulatory environment. While Singapore-based companies may find it challenging to keep track of the country’s changing social security, tax, and regulatory norms when computing payroll for its employees, those with operations in the wider ASEAN region are likely to find the task even more daunting.

When a company operates in multiple countries, its internal HR teams often struggle to stay updated with changing payroll regulations. Indeed, payroll regulations in emerging markets can change quickly and without proper notification. HR staff doing payroll without up-to-date information may, inadvertently, lead to issues of non-compliance. Non-compliance, even accidental, can invite unwanted scrutiny from authorities, heavy fines, and may negatively impact the morale of employees adversely affected. 

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The Guide to Employment Permits for Foreign Workers in Brunei

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By Dezan Shira & Associates
Editor: Vasundhara Rastogi

ASB- Brunei Employment Permits (002)

Brunei is among the most popular destinations for foreigners looking for career opportunities in ASEAN. Over the years, the country has emerged as a wealthy economy fueled by the largest oilfields in Southeast Asia. With a growing economy and English as its business language, the number of foreigners looking to work in Brunei has increased significantly.

In this article, we provide you with a brief explanation of the procedures and documents required for obtaining an employment permit in the country.

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Singapore as a Payroll Processing Center for Companies in ASEAN

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By Dezan Shira & Associates

Editor: Bradley Dunseith

Located in the heart of South East Asia, Singapore is an attractive destination for centralizing payroll processing and wider regional HR functions for companies either entering ASEAN markets, or expanding their current operations. Singapore is well connected with all ASEAN member states and offers digital and communication infrastructure at global standards.

The high volume of regional headquarters already operating in Singapore makes the city-state an even more attractive destination for centralizing payroll.  Additionally, Singapore’s unique history makes the city-state well equipped to maneuver the cultural worlds of South East Asia, Europe, and North America – an important skill when collecting information from offices in Asia and communicating the information to regional and overseas headquarters.

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Thailand Launches New Online Service for Work Permits and Visas

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By Dezan Shira & Associates
Editor: Vasundhara Rastogi

Thailand’s Board of Investment (BOI) has launched a new online visa service for BOI-registered companies in order to ease the visa application process. Under the new system, authorities will issue an electronic work permit to the applicants instead of the work permit booklet currently in use. A Single Window System will allow BOI-registered companies to apply for visas, work permits or renewals online.

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The Guide to Employment Permits for Foreign Workers in Laos

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By Dezan Shira & Associates
Editor: Vasundhara Rastogi

Laos, officially Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), issues several types of work visas to foreigners planning to work in the country, based on the type of employment and projects assumed by them. Some of these are given below:

  • Expert Visa (E-B2) – for foreign workers employed in international organizations or non-government organizations;
  • Investor Visa (NI-B2) – for foreign nationals investing in an enterprise registered in Laos; and
  • Labor Visa (LA-B2) – for foreign nationals working in Laos on a fixed employment contract.

In this article, we briefly discuss the two business visas types – NI-B2 and LA-B2 – , and the rules and procedures for expatriates planning to work in Laos.

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