Argentina: Threshold for making advance corporate tax payments increased from ARS 500 to ARS 2,500 for fiscal year 2023 and onwards
Argentine Government through General Resolution 5211/2022 dated June 24, 2022, increased the threshold required for making advance corporate income tax payments from ARS 500 to ARS 2,500. From fiscal year 2023, any company having income above the minimum threshold needs to make advance corporate income tax payments.
The companies will need to make corporate advance tax payments if meeting the revised threshold from fiscal year 2023.
Argentina: Minimum and maximum basis for employee social security contributions increased to ARS 14,601.14 and ARS 474,530.27 respectively from September 1, 2022
With effect from September 1, 2022, the minimum basis for employee social security contributions is increased to a monthly salary of ARS 14,601.14 from ARS 12,638.40 and maximum basis is increased to a monthly salary of ARS 474,530.27 from ARS 410,742.03. These bases are used for computation of employees’ portion of social security contributions.
Employers will need to consider the revised bases for calculating employee’s social security contributions.
Argentina: Monthly minimum wage to increase in 3 phases from September 1, 2022
In accordance with Resolution 11/2022 dated August 24, 2022, the monthly minimum wage in Argentina will be increased in 3 phases during the year 2022, which are as follows:
- From September 1, 2022 – ARS 51,200 (previously ARS 47,850 till August 31, 2022)
- From October 1, 2022 – ARS 54,550
- From November 1, 2022 – ARS 57,900
The monthly minimum wage applies to workers/ employees covered under Labour Contract Regime.
Australia: With effect from July 1, 2022, superannuation guarantee contributions rate increased from 10% to 10.5% and minimum earnings threshold of AUD 450 removed
With effect from July 1, 2022, the Australian Government has increased the superannuation guarantee contributions rate from 10% to 10.5%. This rate will increase gradually by 0.5% annually, till it reaches 12% by the year 2025. Further, the eligibility criteria (minimum monthly wage of AUD 450 of the employee) for the employer to make the super contribution has also been removed.
The “Superannuation guarantee contribution or Super” is the mandatory social security contribution by the employer, which is calculated on salaries (as defined) of the employees.
- Employers should make changes with respect to increased superannuation contribution rate in their payroll calculations for the year 2022-23 and consider the gradual increase in rate in the upcoming years.
- Additionally, the employers will have to make super contributions for all those employees who are above 18 years of age, regardless of their earnings.
Australia: ‘Respect at Work’ bill introduced, which provides stringent legal provisions against sexual harassment and discrimination at workplace and outlines new employer obligations
The Anti-Discrimination and Human Rights Legislation Amendment (Respect at Work) Bill 2022 (the Bill) was introduced in the House of Representatives on September 27, 2022. The Bill, which is yet to be passed, plans to implement 7 legislative recommendations out of the 55 recommendations of the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Respect at Work Report. The Bill imposes obligation on the employers to take reasonable efforts to eliminate the workplace sexual harassment and discrimination on grounds of sex.
The bill is now referred to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee, which will come up with a report of recommendations by November 3, 2022.
The employers will have to comply with the changes once the bill is passed.
Bulgaria: Effective from January 1, 2023, the annual turnover threshold for VAT registration will increase from BGN 50,000 to BGN 100,000
The Bulgarian National Assembly vide decree no. 191, has raised the annual turnover threshold for VAT registration from BGN 50,000 to BGN 100,000 from January 1, 2023, onwards. However, this increase is subject to approval by the European Union Council.
Bulgaria: Changes in the Bulgarian Labor Code are effective from August 1, 2022
Bulgaria implemented European Union Directive on employment working conditions through the Law on Amendment and Supplementation of the Labor Code with effect from August 5, 2022. The key amendments are as follows:
- Employers shall notify employees in writing of any changes to their employment contract no later than the effective date of the changes. Earlier, employer can do so within 1 month from the date on which the amendment took place.
- The principal employer cannot place a general prohibition in the employment contract restricting the employee from working for another employer, except to protect trade secrets or to prevent a conflict of interest.
- The employee has a right to request the employer in writing for the amendments in his/her employment relationship from a fixed-term employment contract to an indefinite contract or from part-time to full-time only after the expiration of their trial period, if any. However, if the employer doesn’t agree to the request, then he is required to notify the employee in writing within a period of 1 month.
- The probation period for fixed-term employment contracts of less than 1 year is restricted to 1 month.
- Subject to certain exceptions, the father of a child (up to the age of 8) is entitled to paternity leave of 2 months and notification is required to be provided to the employer at least 10 working days in advance. Father is entitled to statutory pay for such leave.
- Employers to provide information to employees related to the:
- Employment contract terms and conditions, as well as termination terms.
- Training programs provided by employers for skills improvisation.
Employers should take note of the amended provisions and make suitable changes to their human resource policies, employment contracts and leave policies.
Canada: Bill C-19, ‘the Budget Implementation Act, 2022’ mandates reporting of details of individuals with significant control (“ISC”) to authorities
Canadian Budget Implementation Act, 2022 (Bill C-19) enacted on June 23, 2022, made amendments to Canada Business Corporations Act (“CBCA”). It has introduced some important changes to the requirement of maintaining a register of individuals with significant control (“ISC”) in line with Canada’s commitment to increasing corporate ownership transparency. The changes are not yet in force and will be effective at a later date, which will be announced.
Prior to the Bill C-19, all the private corporations were required to prepare, maintain, and regularly update the ISC register. Certain corporations were exempted from the requirement.
The main difference in legislative scheme before and after the amendments as per Bill C-19 is that the corporate owners were only required to maintain an ISC Register. But now, corporations are required to report beneficial ownership information to the Director appointed under the CBCA on an annual basis and/ or within 15 days of any changes recorded in its ISC Register.
The manner and format in which the reporting should be done is yet to be notified.
The private corporations will have to abide by the reporting requirements once same will be effective.
Canada: Key changes of Quebec’s new privacy requirements come into force from September 22, 2022
In September 2021, Quebec enacted Bill No 64 – an ‘Act to modernize legislative provisions concerning protection of personal information’ which introduced changes to the ‘Quebec Privacy Act’. The following provisions of the Bill No. 64 are effective from September 22, 2022:
- The organisations are required to appoint/designate a Privacy Officer and are required to publish contact details of such officer on their website.
- The confidentiality incident is an incident involving breach of confidentiality by access, use or communication of personal information without authorization. The organizations need to notify/ report any ‘confidentiality incident’ posing a serious risk/injury, to the Quebec Privacy Regulator Commission d’accès à l’information (“CAI”), and to the affected individual, if any, by this incident. Further, the businesses are also required to maintain records/register of all the confidentiality incidents for a period of 5 years from the date of becoming aware of the incident.
- The Bill 64 introduced changes to ‘Québec’s Information Technology Act’ in respect of disclosure requirements related to the use of biometric databases. Currently, the organizations are required to notify the CAI of the creation of a database of biometric characteristics and obtain the specific consent of individuals for the collection of their biometric data. As per the changes, the organizations also need to notify the CAI of any use of ‘biometric systems’ for the verification or confirmation of identity, even if no biometric data is stored in a database. Further, the organizations need to notify the CAI of the creation of any biometric data bank within 60 days before it is put into service.
- Two exceptions are provided for prior consent requirement of personal data from the data subjects, viz. where:
- personal data involved is used for completing a commercial transaction of a company and there is a written agreement to the effect that the data is used only for purpose of completing the transaction
- personal data is used for research or statistical purpose.
The companies can be subject to administrative penalties of up to CAD 10 million or 2% of worldwide turnover of the preceding year in case of single offence and penalties up to CAD 25 million or 4% of worldwide turnover of the preceding year for series of offences.
Businesses (Quebec resident companies as well as companies outside Quebec processing personal data of Quebec residents) must adhere to the measures introduced by the Bill 64 to ensure privacy and protection of personal data.
British Columbia increases the annual maximum wage rate from CAD 108,400 to CAD 112,800 effective from January 1, 2023
With effect from January 1, 2023, British Columbia increased the annual maximum wage rate from CAD 108,400 to CAD 112,800.
The maximum wage rate is the rate used to compute compensation amount payable to the injured worker or worker’s dependants under Workers Compensation Act.
Chile: Overseas investments to be reported to Chilean Tax Authority
In accordance with Law No. 21.453 dated June 30, 2022, business entities resident or domiciled in Chile must report any overseas investment made during the previous year by June 30 every year to the Chilean tax authority (Servicio de Impostors Internos – SII). The details to be reported include the following:
- the amount and nature of investment;
- the country or destination of investment;
- If the investments are in shares or rights in any company’s capital, the participation percentage in the capital associated with shares or rights.
Fines apply for incorrect or incomplete submission of the information to Chilean Tax Authority.
The companies making overseas investment need to duly report the details of investment to the Chilean tax authority (“SII”).
Chile: Monthly minimum wage increased to CLP 400,000 from CLP 380,000 with effect from August 1, 2022
With effect from August 1, 2022, monthly minimum wage for workers aged between 18-65 is increased to CLP 400,000 from CLP 380,000.
Effective from August 1, 2022, the Croatian Government has introduced paid paternity leave, under Maternity and Parental Support Act
Pursuant to the European Union directive No 2019/1158 on work-life balance for parents, the Croatian government effective from August 1, 2022, introduced amendments to the Maternity and Parental Support Act. The amendment entitles fathers to 10 working days of paternity leave in the case of 1 child, or 15 working days in the case of twins, or more children.
This leave can be taken at any time till the child turns 6 months, provided that the right to paternity leave is non-transferable. Further, a father can avail of his paternity leave in parallel with the mother’s maternity leave.
Employers need to update their leave policies in view of the newly introduced paternity leave provisions.
Czech Republic increases meal allowances, compensation for work trips with effect from August 20, 2022
The Czech Government pursuant to Decree No. 237/2022 has increased the basic subsistence rate/ compensation given to employees for work trips with effect from August 20, 2022.
The revised rates are as follows:
|Length of business trip||Until August 19, 2022||From August 20, 2022|
|For business trip of 5-12 hours,||CZK 91 to CZK 108||CZK 120 to CZK 142|
|For business trip of 12-18 hours,||CZK 138 to CZK 167||CZK 181 to CZK 219|
|Where the business trip lasts more than 18 hours.||CZK 217 to CZK 259||CZK 284 to CZK 340|
The amount of tax-exempt cash meal allowance provided to employees is increased from CZK 82.60. to CZK 99.40. The cash meal allowances up to the set limit is not chargeable to tax and social security contribution is not calculated on it for the employee.
Employers in the Czech Republic need to take note of the changes and adjust their employee policies accordingly.
Czech Republic amends Beneficial Owners Registration Act (UBO Act), with effect from October 1, 2022
Effective October 1, 2022, Czech Republic has amended the law on registration of ultimate beneficial owners in line with the Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive of the European Union, mainly to extend the scope UBO definition.
As per the new definition, an individual will be treated as ‘having significant control’ over a corporation if such individual directly or indirectly –
• has 25% or more share in the corporation or a share in the voting rights.
- is entitled to a share in profit, other equity funds, or the liquidation balance of more than 25%.
- has ability to exercise decisive influence in the decisions of the ‘corporation’, or in any other corporations which (individually or collectively) hold a share of more than 25% in the erstwhile corporation; or
- otherwise exercises decisive influence in the corporation through other means.
Before the amendment, the UBO was defined as any individual who exerted ultimate control over the entity or who was an ultimate beneficiary of the entity.
The amendment defines the UBO as any individual who ultimately owns or controls a legal entity.
This existing companies will have 6 months from the effective date of the amendment i.e., by April 1, 2023, to comply with the new requirements.
Failure to comply with the requirements of the Amended Law will attract penalty of up to CZK 500,000 and other consequences.
Companies should take note of the new requirements and record their beneficial owners correctly as per the new regime.
Denmark: Family care leave introduced from August 2, 2022
- Changes to family care leave
Effective from August 2, 2022, an amendment to the Act on Employees’ Entitlement to Absence from Work for Special Family Reasons entitles employees to take additional 5 days leave each year in order to provide personal care or support to a family member or household member who requires extensive care or assistance due to a critical medical condition. However, for the period from August 2, 2022, to December 31, 2022, the number of leaves available is reduced to 2 days.
- Changes to maternity and paternity Leave
Effective from January 1, 2023, parents who have triplets or more children at the same birth will be entitled to additional 26 weeks of leave within first 18 months of the birth. Further from January 1, 2024, single parents and legal parents will be allowed to transfer their leave respectively to a close family member or a social parent as applicable.
Employers must take note of the above changes and make necessary changes in their employment and payroll policies
Denmark: Pay Limit Scheme requirements reduced from annual income of DKK 448,000 to DKK 375,000
Effective from December 1, 2022, salaries at or above DKK 375,000 (current pay limit DKK 448,000) per year will qualify for the Pay Limit scheme. Through the Pay Limit Scheme, Denmark issues work permits to foreigners who are offered high-paying positions. As long as the yearly income criteria is met, there is no education requirement, and the scheme applies across all sectors. The above change is temporary and will be effective for 3 years. However, it will end if unemployment level rises to 3.75% or number of foreigners employed through the scheme reaches 15,000.
Employers need to take into consideration the above-mentioned measures while recruiting the foreign nationals.
France increases minimum wage effective from August 1, 2022
Effective from August 1, 2022, the minimum hourly wage in France is increased to EUR 11.07 (previously EUR 10.85). Due to the aforesaid increase, the minimum monthly salary (gross) stands increased to EUR 1,678.95 (previously EUR 1,645.58).
France: Covid sick leave without a waiting day extended until December 31, 2022
The Social Security Financing Law for 2022 published in the Official Journal of December 24, 2021, extended the allowance for employees on ‘work stoppage due to Covid’ without a waiting day until December 31, 2022.
The Act states that in the event of a work stoppage caused by Covid, employees who have Covid symptoms or are tested positive for the virus, or who are parents of a child who is tested positive, and who are unable to telework are entitled to receive the supplementary allowance in addition to the daily sick allowance starting on the first day of sick leave.
Employer should take note of the above extension and align their human resource policies accordingly.
France: Penalties amount notified in case of failing to issue E-Invoice
The French Official Gazette published Law No. 2022-1157 revising the Finance Law 2022, whereby the French government has now fixed the penalty for failure to issue an electronic invoice which will be become mandatory in a phased wise manner from July 1, 2024. The penalty will be EUR 15 per unissued e-invoice, capped at EUR 15,000 per annum.
Companies need to ensure that e-invoices are issued within a stipulated time in order to avoid penal consequences.
Germany: EU Directive on transparent and foreseeable working conditions transposed into German law, amendments applicable with effect from August 1, 2022
German Federal Parliament (Bundestag) has recently passed a law which aims to implement EU Working Conditions Directive 2019/1152 effective from August 1, 2022. The changed law would expand the scope of the employer’s obligation to provide documented working conditions.
(Please refer our July 2022 newsletter for more details.)
Germany: Online/ digital formation of limited liability companies possible from August 1, 2022
The German Federal Parliament (Bundestag) in June 2021 passed the ‘Act on the Implementation of the Digitisation Directive’ (‘DiRUG’) whereby it is possible to form a limited liability companies and make certain commercial registry applications digitally i.e., by notarial online procedure, with effect from August 1, 2022.
The existing process requiring physical presence of founding members before the Notary is replaced by online process using video communication system established by Federal Chamber of Notaries.
With the introduction of online registration and notarization, the formation and registration process for limited liability companies will be simple and easy.
Hong Kong’s Companies Registry revises 26 forms and introduces new Form AD for the correction of typographical errors in registered information
The new inspection regime was introduced on August 23, 2021, under the Hong Kong Companies Ordinance (Cap. 622), which provides additional protection to the personal information of company directors and other officers which is disclosed on the Companies Registry (Registry). The law provides for the phased implementation of:
- Use of correspondence addresses instead of usual residential addresses (“URAs”) for directors and
- Use of partial numbers Instead of full Identification Numbers (“IDN” s) of directors and other officers.
In the phase 2, which has begun on October 24, 2022, URAs and full IDNS will be replaced by correspondence addresses and partial IDNs on the Index of Directors on Company Register available on the Registry. Documents containing protected information filed for registration under phase 2 will not be provided for public inspection, except on application by “specified persons” as mentioned under the new regime. Specified persons include data subjects, persons authorized by data subjects, members of company, liquidators, a public officer and so on.
To facilitate the proper implementation of phase 2, the Registry, vide its circular no. 1/2022, dated June 24, 2022, has revised the 26 specified forms. The forms which have been revised include NAR1 (Annual Return), ND2A (Notice of Change of Company Secretary and Director), ND2B (Notice of Change in Particulars of Company Secretary and Director), ND4 (Notice of Resignation of Company Secretary and Director), Form No. NAMA4 (Notice of appointment of directors of the amalgamated company), etc. The revised forms facilitate the reporting of correspondence addresses of directors and partial IDNS of directors and other officers that were not provided in the earlier versions of forms. From the commencement date, the Registry will only accept the revised format of specified forms.
The Registry, further vide its circular no. 6/2022, dated September 16, 2022, changed its approach for the rectification of typographical or clerical errors contained in company documents already registered with the Registry. From the commencement date of phase 2, a company will be required to file a newly introduced administrative form, Form AD (rectification of typographical or clerical errors in a registered document), to the Registry, to correct any typographical errors. Earlier, for correction one had to deliver the amended document (highlighting the rectification details) to the Registry.
From October 24, 2022, onwards, companies are required to use revised forms for various company law submissions. Companies are also required to file the newly introduced form AD if there is any clerical error in the registered information.
Hungary: Changes to Transfer Pricing Requirements
The Hungarian Budget was passed by the Parliament on July 19, 2022 and promulgated into law vide Official Gazette published on July 27, 2022. The important amendments are as follows:
The taxpayer needs to provide transfer pricing information as a part of annual Corporate Income Tax (“CIT”) return to be filed for the year 2022 and subsequent years. The detailed rules regarding this new obligation will be published in due course.
- Where the taxpayer uses comparable based on search of databases or other sources which can be verified by authorities for determination of arm’s length price, the law now mandates the use of interquartile range. If the consideration for transaction with the affiliate entity is within the range, no transfer pricing adjustment can be made. However, if the consideration is outside such range the adjustment is required to be made using median as an arm’s length price. However, if taxpayer proves that the value other than the median within the range is more appropriate as a consideration for transaction, then it can be used instead of median. These changes are effective from the tax year beginning in 2022.
- Penalty will be increased from HUF 2 million to HUF 5 million for violation of TP documentation requirements. Further in case of repeated incidences of offense, the penalty can go up to HUF 10 million. New penalty regime will apply from the tax year beginning after the amendment’s entry into force.
Companies having transactions with affiliates should take note of additional transfer pricing information to be given with CIT return and changes in the method of determination of arm’s length price.
Effective from October 1, 2022, India lowers the turnover threshold for e-invoicing applicability from INR 200 million to INR 100 million
Indian Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (“CBIC”) vide notification no. 17/2022 dated August 1, 2022, has lowered the aggregate turnover threshold for applicability of e-invoicing provisions under the Goods and Services Tax (“GST”) for all Business-to-Business (“B2B”) supplies, from INR 200 million to INR 100 million.
E-invoicing (B2B) was introduced in India in a phased manner from October 1, 2020, onwards for all registered businesses (other than those located in Special Economic Zone (“SEZ”), banking companies, financial institutions, certain travel agencies, etc.) whose aggregate turnover exceeds the specified threshold in any financial year starting from 2017-18.
The aggregate turnover threshold for applicability of e-invoicing was revised as under:
|Sr. No.||Effective dates for E-Invoicing||Turnover threshold|
|1||October 1, 2020||5 billion|
|2||January 1, 2021||1 billion|
|3||April 1, 2021||500 million|
|4||April 1, 2022||200 million|
|5||October 1, 2022||100 million|
However, businesses with aggregate turnover less than the threshold are exempted from the mandatory requirement of issuing e-invoices and can voluntarily opt-in to issue electronic invoices.
The term ‘aggregate turnover’ includes all taxable supplies (excluding inward supplies on which tax is payable on ‘reverse charge’ basis), exempt supplies, export of goods/ services as well as interstate supplies made under the same Permanent Account Number but excludes central/state/ union territory GST or cess.
GST-registered entities whose turnover exceeds INR 100 million (in the financial year 2017-18 or onwards) are required to comply with e-invoicing provisions w.e.f. October 1, 2022. SEZ units have been exempted from e-invoicing requirements, however, e-invoicing provisions are applicable to export transactions and to SEZ developers.
India: CBIC clarifies no GST applicable on employee perquisites
The Indian Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (“CBIC”), vide circular no. 172/04/2022-GST dated July 6, 2022, clarified that services rendered by an employee to the employer in the course of employment are not considered as supply of services under schedule III of the CGST (Central Goods and Services Tax) Act, and hence no GST shall be levied on services rendered by employees. Consequently, any perquisites provided by the employer to its employees in exchange for services rendered under the employment contract, such as canteen facilities, health insurance, transportation, etc., will not be subject to GST.
India withdraws “Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019′, intends to have more comprehensive law
In 2019, the Government of India proposed the “Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019″. This bill was aimed at governing the processing of personal data by the government, companies incorporated in India and foreign companies dealing with personal data of individuals in India. It also aimed to provide for the protection of personal data of individuals and to establish a “Data Protection Authority.” However, it was withdrawn on August 3, 2022, with an intention to introduce a more comprehensive bill in future.
Indian Tax Administration mandates non-resident taxpayers to furnish information electronically to avail Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements benefits
As per Indian Income Tax Act, 1961, non-residents (“NR”) taxpayers who wish to avail benefits under a Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (‘DTAA’) are required to obtain a Tax Residency Certificate (‘TRC’) from the government of the country in which they are resident. Further, NR taxpayers are also required to furnish a self-declaration in form 10F where TRC does not contain certain details required under income-tax law. However, it was not mandatory to furnish Form 10F electronically.
However, effective July 16, 2022, NR taxpayers are mandatorily required to file Form 10F electronically through the income tax portal for the financial year 2021-22 onwards.
A taxpayer cannot register on the income-tax portal without having a permanent account number (PAN). Since the electronic filing of Form 10F is mandatory, NR taxpayers would have to obtain a PAN and file Form 10F electronically so as to obtain the DTAA benefit.
India: Companies Act, 2013 amendments
- Small Company definition amended from September 15, 2022
Indian Ministry of Corporate Affairs, vide notification dated September 15, 2022, amended the definition of a small company by raising the paid-up capital and turnover limit of “small company” as follows:
|Small company criteria||Before September 15, 2022||From September 15, 2022, onwards|
|Paid-Up Capital||20 million||40 million|
|Turnover||200 million||400 million|
Companies are required to check if they meet conditions prescribed to qualify as small companies in order to avail benefits applicable to small companies such as minimum number of board meetings required being 2 as against general requirement of 4 board meetings, no requirement to prepare cash flow statement, etc.
- Effective from August 18, 2022, provisions for physical verification of registered office introduced
Pursuant to Section 12 of the Companies Act, 2013, every incorporated company within 30 days of its incorporation is required to have a physical registered office for acknowledging and receiving all communications and notices. However, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (“MCA”) came across a significant number of cases where the registered offices of the companies are not situated at the addresses, they have furnished in their filings on the MCA portal.
Therefore, the MCA has introduced a new rule 25B “Physical Verification of the Registered Office of the Company” in the Companies (Incorporation) Rules, 2014 vide notification dated August 18, 2022. The key provisions of the new Rule are as follows: –
- When the registrar has reasons to believe that the company is not carrying on any business or operations, he can physically verify the company’s registered office in the presence of two independent witnesses from the locality where the registered office is located, or he can seek the assistance of the police if necessary.
- For the purposes of physical verification, the registrar is required to carry the documents filed by the company on the MCA Portal supporting the registered office address to check its authenticity and is also required to take pictures of the registered office.
- The registrar, based on the physical verification, is required to prepare the report of physical verification under the provided format.
Further, if the registrar has reason to believe that the registered office of the company is unable to receive and acknowledge all notices and correspondence, the registrar shall notify all directors of the company of his intention to remove the company’s name from the Register of companies and request that they send their representative with the relevant documents, if any, within 30 days.
MCA has also made consequential amendments to Form STK-1 (Removal of Names of Companies from the Registrar of Companies), Form STK-5 and Form STK-5A (Public Notices) by adding a clause that the following companies are not carrying on any business or operations, as revealed after the physical verification carried out.
Companies are required to comply with the registered office provisions to avoid the consequences of the winding up of company.
- Companies (CSR Policy) Amendment Rules, 2022
Provisions of Corporate Social Responsibility
Every company, including its holding or subsidiary, and every foreign company with a branch office or project office in India is required to meet corporate social responsibility obligations if it satisfies 1 of the following criteria
- Has a net worth of INR 5,000 million or more, or
- Has a turnover of INR 10,000 million or more, or
- A net profit of INR 50 million or more in the immediately preceding financial year
Such company is required to constitute a CSR committee which is responsible for formulating the CSR policy and recommend the amount to be spent on CSR activities.
The Ministry of Corporate Affairs (“MCA”), vide notification dated September 20, 2022, amended the Companies (Corporate Social Responsibility Policy) Rules, through Companies (Corporate Social Responsibility Policy) Amendment Rules, 2022, effective from the same date as follows: –
Highlights of the Amendment Rules:
- Formation of CSR committee for unspent amount
- Companies are mandatorily required to establish a CSR committee to monitor “Unspent Corporate Social Responsibility Account”. This amendment also removed the exemption provided to companies for not forming the CSR committee if the amount to be spent by the company does not exceed INR 5 million.
- Change in expenditure for Impact Assessment
- Every company whose average CSR obligation is INR 100 million or more in the immediately preceding 3 financial years is required to do the impact assessment in respect of projects having outlay of INR 10 million or more. Such impact assessment reports shall be annexed to the annual report on CSR. A company doing impact assessment can book expenditure of not more than 2% (earlier it was up to 5%) of the total CSR expenditure for that particular financial year or INR 50 million, whichever is higher (earlier it was whichever was less).
- Change in the format of annual report on CSR activities
- The requirement to mention the CSR amount spent in the financial year on the projects (ongoing and others) in the annual report has been done away with.
- Further, company can undertake the CSR activities either through itself or can appoint other registered entity to work on its behalf (CSR implementing agencies). The amendment has expanded types of entities which can work as CSR implementing agencies.
Companies to which CSR provisions are applicable are required to comply with the latest amendment rules.
Amendments to Employee Stock Option Plan (“ESOP”) reporting under Foreign Exchange Management Act
The Ministry of Finance (Department of Economic Affairs), vide its notification dated August 22, 2022, has notified the Foreign Exchange Management (Overseas Investment) Regulations, 2022 (herein referred to as “the Regulations”). One of the amendments introduced under this regulation is regarding reporting of overseas investment, including ESOP, under “Regulation 10”. The highlights of the provisions are as follows: –
- If a person resident in India (other than a resident individual) makes any overseas portfolio investment (“OPI”) or transfers such OPI by way of sale, then reporting of such investment is required to be made within 60 days from the end of the half year, i.e., March or September in which such a transfer or investment is made. If OPI is made through the acquisition of shares under an ESOP, then the filing of form OPI with the Reserve Bank of India (“RBI”) through the authorised dealer (“AD”) is required to be made by the office or branch of an overseas entity in India, or a subsidiary of an overseas entity in India, or the Indian entity in which the overseas entity has direct or indirect equity holding where the resident individual is an employee or director.
- ESOP related details are required to be reported in the following form:
|Return Name||Return Description||Frequency|
|Department Concerned||Reporting Entity required to submit the return|
|Form OPI||Return on portfolio investment by Indian companies/ Resident individuals by way of ESOP/ employee benefit schemes/ mutual funds/ alternative investment funds/ venture capital funds||Half- yearly||within 60 days from the end of the half-year in which such investment or transfer is made as of September or March-end:||Foreign Exchange Department (“FED”)||Person resident in India|
Earlier, the above-mentioned Indian entities were required to report overseas investment in shares under ESOP through an annual return “Statement of shares allotted to Indian employees/directors under ESOP” through the AD. However, no deadline for submitting the yearly return was specified.
However, now in case of delay in reporting, a person resident in India responsible for submitting the evidence or any filing relating to overseas investment may make such submission or filing along with late submission fee.
Entities should note change in reporting requirement for ESOP and file form OPI for ESOP reporting for the half year ending September 30, 2022, by November 30, 2022.
Indonesia passes Personal Data Protection law
Indonesia’s Personal Data Protection (“PDP”) bill was passed by the House of Representatives on September 20, 2022, which enacted as law on October 17, 2022, after receipt of assent from the Indonesian President.
Highlights of the Personal Data Protection Law (“PDPL”)
- This PDPL applies to individuals, legal entities, public agencies, and international organizations that are involved in controlling or processing personal data in or outside Indonesia but have a legal impact in Indonesia. The PDPL recognizes data subjects’ rights, such as the right to be informed, the right to withdraw consent, the right to clarify how personal data will be used, and so on.
- The concept of explicit consent introduced.
- The PDPL introduced the concept of explicit consent, where a data processor or data controller requires an explicit consent of a data subject to process their personal data. However, exemptions are provided in cases of contractual or legal obligations or vital interests of data subjects or public interest.
- Appointment of Data Protection Officer
There are a few cases when the appointment of a data protection officer is mandatory when data controllers or processors are processing personal data as follows: –
- Processing personal data for public service purposes;
- When the nature, scope, and/or objective of the controller’s main activities require systematic and orderly monitoring of large-scale personal data;
- When processing includes specific personal data or criminal records.
The PDPL bill allows outsourcing of data protection officer role.
- Data Protection Authority
- Currently, the Ministry of Communication and Informatics is the supervising authority. However, it is proposed under the Bill to establish specific data protection authority.
- Data transfer
- While transferring data outside Indonesia, data controller must ensure that the receiving country should have equivalent or higher level of data protection. However, this requirement will not apply in certain circumstances like transfer with explicit consent of data subject, data controller can ensure binding and sufficient protection of personal data.
- Mandatory notifications for data breaches
- Within 3 days of any data breach, the data controller is required to notify the data subject, as well as the data protection authority, of the breach.
- There are two types of sanctions defined under the PDPL: administrative sanctions and criminal sanctions. For administrative sanctions, the maximum fine is 2% of the concerned person’s annual income or revenue, and for criminal sanctions, the monetary fine is IDR 4-6 billion and or imprisonment of 4-6 years depending upon the crime.
PDPL provides transitional period of 2 years to all relevant persons for adjusting their practices to be compliant with the provisions of PDPL.
Companies should examine applicability of PDPL provisions to their operations and adjust their data processing policies in order to be compliant with PDPL provision within the time limit allowed.
Ireland: Parental leave extended from 5 weeks to 7 weeks, with effect from July 2, 2022
Under Republic of Labor Law, parental leave is increased from 5 weeks to 7 weeks effective from July 2, 2022.
The parental leave is for employees with a child not more than 2 years old or for employees who have undertaken an adoption in last 2 years. The leave may be taken at once or in parts at different times.
Employers need to assess and revise their leave policy, employment contracts as per the amended regulations.
Ireland’s Budget 2023
The Ministry of Finance in Ireland announced the Budget 2023 on September 27, 2022, and Finance Bill was published on October 20, 2022.
The key highlights of Budget 2023 are as under:
- Corporate tax measures:
The corporate tax rate remains unchanged at 12.5%.
- Personal income tax measures:
- The personal income tax rates remain unchanged at 20% (standard rate) and 40% (higher rate), however income slabs are revised effective from January 1, 2023, as given below:
|Category/ Status||Tax Rate||Income Slabs for 2022 (EUR)||Income Slabs for 2023 (EUR)|
|40%||36,801 and above||40,001 and above|
|Married (single earner)||20%||0-45800||0-49,000|
|40%||45,801 and above||49,001 and above|
- Effective from January 1, 2023, an increase in the employee and personal tax credits from EUR 1,700 to EUR 1,775. Personal tax credit is applicable to all individuals who are single, separated, divorced or a former civil partner. Employee tax credit applies to all salaried employees.
- Social Security measures:
An increase of EUR 1,625 to the 2% rate band ceiling of Universal social charge (USC) from EUR 1,295 to EUR 22,920, effective from January 1, 2023.The USC is a part of the mandatory social security contribution in Ireland.
- VAT measures:
VAT rate is reduced from 9% to 0% on newspapers and all its digital editions with effect from January 1, 2023.
Businesses should take note of the budget changes and comply with them accordingly.
Israel updates thresholds for invoicing and VAT reporting
On June 30, 2022, the Israel Tax Authority published several updates related to VAT reporting and invoicing. The changes are described below.
- Threshold for demanding an invoice from seller is NIS 321.
- Periodic reports need to be submitted to bank if Input tax excess is less than NIS 19,222.
- Fine of NIS 223 for each 2 weeks of delayed submission of relevant reports.
- Minimum penalty of NIS 334 for improper record keeping.
Companies should take note of new thresholds and ensure compliance to avoid penal consequences.
Israel: Parliament approves amendments to Tax Ordinance and Transfer Pricing Regulation to be effective from July 5, 2022
The Israeli Parliament enacted the amendments to the Israeli Tax Ordinance (the “Ordinance”) and the Israeli transfer pricing regulations (the “Regulations”) to introduce 3-tiered transfer pricing documentation requirement under BEPS:
- Country By Country Reporting (“CBCR”): The CBCR shall be applicable to MNE groups with consolidated revenue of ILS 3.4 billion or more.
- Submission of TP Documentation Study (local file): The timelines to submit the transfer documentation has been revised to 30 days from 60 days upon request by Tax authority. The entity needs to also provide the additional details such as Group / Company structure, details of senior officials with their location details, a list of competitors, description of the main service agreements, etc.
- Submission of Master File: The Master File requirement threshold is consolidated turnover in excess of ILS 150 million and it would apply to the Israeli parent or Israeli entity which is part of MNE Group is not subject to Master file submission requirement in parent entity’s jurisdiction.
Master File and CBCR requirements are relevant for the year 2022 documentation which needs to be prepared in 2023. For determining applicability of turnover thresholds for the year 2022 documentation, one needs to look at turnover of 2021.
Companies subject to transfer pricing provisions should assess the new requirement and prepare their systems to meet compliance requirement.
Italy: Implementation of EU Working Conditions Directive with effect from August 13, 2022
The Italian Government by Legislative Decree no. 104/2022 dated July 27, 2022, transposed into Law, some provisions of ‘EU Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions Directive (2019/1152)’. The changes will take effect from August 13, 2022.
The changes include:
- The employers are required to notify the employees in writing about certain basic employment terms (viz. employer name, start date, work location, job profile, working hours, remuneration, details of social security contributions, leaves and holidays, probation period, notice period, etc.) within a week from the employment start date.
- In case of any modifications in the employment contract terms, the employer needs to immediately notify changes to the employee.
- For existing employees, the employer needs to provide the basic employment terms within 60 days of the request made by the employee.
- For indefinite employment contracts, the probation period cannot exceed 6 months, whereas for fixed term contracts, the probation period should be proportionate to the duration of the contract.
- The employee can take up parallel/ another employment with other employer outside the working hours established with the current employer. However, the employer can put restrictions for non-compete, protection of confidentiality of business information, etc.
- The employer needs to provide information pertaining to the use of automated decision-making or automated monitoring systems to employees related to recruitment, assignment or termination of the employment or the assignment of tasks to the employees.
Non-compliance with the provisions of this Directive may lead to fine ranging from EUR 250 to EUR 1,500.
The employers will need to review and modify the employment contracts/ employee policies in accordance with the changes.
Italy: Changes introduced in parental leave provisions
In Italy, Legislative decree No. 105/2022 dated June 30, 2022, made changes in parental leaves effective from August 13, 2022.
Key changes are:
- Compulsory paid paternity leave of 10 days (previously 1 day, which was to be availed within 5 months from child’s birth) is granted to working fathers/adoptive fathers which can be availed within 2 months prior to child’s birth and up to 5 months post the child’s birth.
- The parental leave provisions are revised, same can be availed up to 12th year from the child’s birth/adoption (previously up to 6th year of child’s birth/adoption). Each parent is eligible for a leave of 3 months that is non-transferrable. Parental leave is compensated by an allowance from the Social Security Administration – Istituto Nazionale Previdenza Sociale (“INPS”) equal to 30% of the employee’s salary.
- Both parents are also entitled, as an alternative, to an additional compensated leave for a total duration of 3 months with allowance of 30% of the salary paid by INPS.
Employers will need to update their leave policy in accordance with the amended provisions.
Japan: Increase in Prefectures’ Minimum Wages
The Japanese Government has increased the minimum hourly wages in various prefectures. The increase in the minimum hourly wages usually takes effect in the month of October every year. Revised minimum hourly wages range from JPY 853 to JPY 1072 in various prefectures. The minimum hourly wages in Tokyo increased from 1,041 yen to 1,072 yen effective from October 1, 2022.
Lithuania: Amendments to the Lithuanian Labor code affecting employment policies, with effect from August 1, 2022
The Lithuanian Government has introduced amendments to the Labor Code with effect from August 1, 2022, which include work options provided to employees to maintain a healthy work-life balance, protection of employee rights, new leave policies, etc.
The key provisions are as follows:
- Employer must inform the employees at the start of work of all the required information related to employment viz. probation period, working time, overtime payment, name of the social security institution and related coverage, training, etc.
- Where the employee is posted abroad or is sent for a business trip for more than 28 days period, he must be informed about the salary which he will receive in the foreign country, daily allowances, and other expenses entitlement, etc.
- The probation period cannot exceed 3 months and for the fixed-term employment contract, it must be proportionate to the duration of the contract.
- Information related to labour relations required to be provided to a foreign employee, must be in dual language viz. Lithuanian and any other foreign language as required by the employee.
- The employees need to provide at least 20 working days’ notice without giving any reasons for termination of employment, and the employer may reduce the notice period.
- The employer must comply with the request made by an employee to flexible work timings, part-time or remote working in certain cases viz. for taking care of a child, a pregnant woman, etc.
- The employer is prohibited from discrimination against employees (based on citizenship, beliefs and attitudes, age, gender, etc.) and dismissal of employees at the will.
- The provisions related to protection and prevention of harassment at the workplace will come into force from November 1, 2022, which will be applicable to companies that have, on an average more than 50 employees. Such companies will be required to prepare and adopt a violence and harassment prevention policy to prevent harassment at workplace.
- Effective from January 1, 2023, provisions related to parental/ paternity leave will come into force.
The amendment clarifies that paternity leave must be taken before parental leave. Further, each parent can avail the non-transferable 2-months parental leave for taking care of the child either at once or in parts, rotating with the other parent. However, both parents cannot avail this leave at the same time.
Employers will have to make the necessary changes to their employment policies, employment contracts and employee handbook as per the amendments in the Labour code.
Malaysia: Budget 2023 – Highlights
The Malaysian Finance Minister presented the budget for the year 2023 in the Parliament on October 7, 2022. The key highlights of the budget are as follows:
The tax proposals listed below are applicable for the year of assessment (“YA”) 2023 unless specified otherwise.
- For Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (“MSMEs”) * a reduced corporate income tax rate of 15% (previously 17%) is proposed for the first chargeable income of RM 100,000. The tax rate applicable to MSME are proposed to be as follows:
|For Year of Assessment 2022||For Year of Assessment 2023|
|Annual Taxable Income(In RM)||Income Tax Rate||Annual Taxable Income(In RM)||Income Tax Rate|
|Up to 600,000||17%||Up to 100,000||15%|
|100,001 to 600,000||17%|
|Above 600,000||24%||Above 600,000||24%|
* Companies with paid-up capital of up to RM2.5 million and limited liability partnerships with a capital contribution of up to RM2.5 million are classified as MSME provided their annual gross income from business does not exceed RM50 million.
- The definition of “plant” (fixed assets) in Schedule 3 of the Income Tax Act, 1967, will be expanded by including intangible assets like software, etc. However, the effective date for this measure is yet to be announced.
- Companies renting non-commercial motor vehicles will be provided a tax deduction of up to RM 300,000 per vehicle (previously it was RM 100,000 for vehicles that cost less than RM 150,000).
- E-invoicing will be introduced in a phased manner in Malaysia starting from 2023.
- The income tax exemption for angel investors on their investments will be extended till December 31, 2026.
- Companies that undertake research and development (R&D) for promoted products and develop intellectual property (IP) in Malaysia will be provided an income tax exemption of 100% for a period of up to 13 years (previously it was 10 years).
- Budget also announces various other incentives for hotel industry, tourism industry, companies undertaking carbon capture and storage, export of private healthcare services, etc.
- Effective YA 2024, the taxpayers are required to remit taxes via electronic transfer.
- There are changes proposed to the individual income tax rates in the budget 2023 as follows: –
|For Year of Assessment 2022||For Year of Assessment 2023|
|Annual Taxable Income(In RM)||Income Tax Rate||Annual Taxable Income(In RM)||Income Tax Rate|
|5,001 to 20,000||1%||5,001 to 20,000||1%|
|20,001 to 35,000||3%||20,001 to 35,000||3%|
|35,001 to 50,000||8%||35,001 to 50,000||8%|
|50,001 to 70,000||13%||50,001 to 70,000||11%|
|70,001 to 100,000||21%||70,001 to 100,000||19%|
|100,001 to 250,000||24%||100,001 to 250,000||24%|
|250,0001 to 400,000||24.5%||250,0001 to 600,000||25%|
|400,001 to 600,000||25%||250,0001 to 600,000||25%|
|600,001 to 1,000,000||26%||600,001 to 1,000,000||26%|
|1,000,001 to 2,000,000||28%||1,000,001 to 2,000,000||28%|
|2,00,000 above||30%||2,00,000 above||30%|
- Medical treatment expenses to include dental treatment and specified lab tests from YA 2023 for the tax relief of RM 1,000 (for self, spouse and child);
- Tax relief of RM 3,000 for childcare centres has been extended for another year, until YA 2024.
- The tax exemption for women returning to work after at least a 2-year break extended to December 2027. Earlier it was available up to December 2023.
- Job seekers who find employment outside their state of residence are entitled to a mobility allowance of RM 500 to RM 1,000;
- Skim Simpanan Pendidikan Nasional (“SSPN”) (National Education Savings Scheme) tax relief of up to RM 8,000 has been extended for another 2 years until YA 2024.
- Employees’ voluntary EPF contributions increased from RM 60,000 to RM 100,000 per year;
- Tribunal on sexual harassment to be set up in 2023
Companies should examine applicability of reduced corporate tax rates and other incentives and take advantage of them wherever applicable. Employers should take note of changes in personal tax rates and adjust their payroll processes.
Malaysia increases maximum monthly salary ceiling under Employees’ Social Security Act and the Employment Insurance System for eligibility of benefits
Effective September 1, 2022, the Employees’ Social Security Act 1969 (‘SOCSO Act’) and the Employment Insurance System Act 2017 (‘EIS Act’) have been amended by the Employees’ Social Security (Amendment) Act 2022 and the Employment Insurance System (Amendment) Act 2022, respectively.
SOCSO provides social security protection to employees in the private sector in the event of workplace injuries, emergencies, occupational sickness. Whereas EIS provides cash allowances and other benefits for up to 6 months in the case of loss of employment. The amendment increases the maximum monthly salary ceiling for eligibility to the above benefits from RM 4,000 to RM 5,000.
Employers should take note of increase in monthly salary ceilings for SOSCO and ESI contributions.
Malaysia – Employment Act to apply to all employees
The Malaysian government, by an order dated August 12, 2022, amended the applicability of the Employment Act 1955 (“EA”). Effective from September 1, 2022, the EA is applicable to all employees, irrespective of their salaries.
Earlier, the applicability of EA was restricted to employees earning less than RM 2,000 per month or employees working as domestic servants, manual laborers and their supervisors, regardless of their salary.
However, there are few provisions of EA that will not apply to employees earning more than RM 4,000 per month, such as overtime for work on rest days, public holidays or overtime for working beyond work hours, shift work allowances, termination, layoff, and retirement benefits.
Further, the Employment (Amendment) Act 2022 (“the Amendment Act”), which made significant amendments to the Employment Act 1955 (“the Principal Act”), was effective from September 1, 2022, but now its applicability has been deferred to January 1, 2023. The significant amendments include increase in maternity leave, provision of paternity leave, reduction in maximum working hours, etc.
- Employers should review the applicability of EA, 1955 considering that it is now applicable to all employees and make necessary changes to employment contract and policies.
- Employers should also note deferment of the Employment (Amendment) Act 2022 from September 1, 2022, to January 1, 2023.
Effective from September 1, 2022, Morocco’s minimum wage raised to MAD 2,970.00 (per month)
On September 1, 2022, the government of Morocco increased the minimum wages for the private and service sector by 5% to MAD 2,970.00 (per month) or MAD 15.55 (per hour) from MAD 2,828.72 (per month) or MAD 14.81 (per hour).
Netherlands: Work from Home will be made a legal right
The legislation making work from home a legal right was passed on July 5, 2022, by the lower House of Dutch Parliament. The implementation of this law requires the approval of the Dutch Senate. If passed by the Dutch Senate, the Netherlands will become one of the first countries to legalize working from home. According to the law, employers must consider an employee’s request for telework if their profession permits it. Employers need to give adequate reasons for refusing request for work from home.
Employers in the Netherlands need to keep an eye on approval of the legislation by Dutch Senate and modify the employment policies to accommodate the same once implemented.
Netherlands: Tax Plan for 2023 presented to lower house
On September 20, 2022, Netherlands Tax Plan for the year 2023 was presented before the Lower House having several measures relating to income tax, corporation tax, employee share option taxation. Most of the proposals will be effective from January 1, 2023. The key changes are summarized below:
- Personal Income Tax rates for Box 1 income which include employment income and certain other types of income (rates for persons below state pension age):
|Brackets||Tax rates||Brackets||Tax rates|
|Up to EUR 37,149||36.93%*||Up to EUR 35,472||37.07%*|
|EUR 37,149 – EUR 73,031||36.93%||EUR 35,472 – EUR 69,398||37.07%|
|Above EUR 73,031||49.50%||Above EUR 69,398||49.50%|
* Includes national insurance contribution
- Corporate Income Tax:
|Basic Rate||19.0% (Up to EUR 200,000)||15.0% (Up to EUR 395,000)|
|Top Rate||25.8% (Above EUR 200,000)||25.8% (Above EUR 395,000)|
- Tax Credits for Employed person: Certain tax credits are provided which reduce the tax and national insurance liability of a person. The credits are calculated using specified formula. Tax Plan for the year 2023 proposes revision in various elements used in the formula as under:
|Maximum general tax credit (below pension age)||EUR 3,070||EUR 2,888|
|General Tax Credit – End of First Bracket||EUR 22,660||EUR 21,317|
|Percentage of general tax credit (below state pension age)||6.095%||6.007%|
|Maximum Employed Person’s Tax Credit||EUR 5,052||EUR 4,260|
|Dismantling point||EUR 37,626||EUR 36,649|
|Percentage employed person’s tax credit||6.51%||5.86%|
- Income dependent combination credit: It is proposed to phase out income dependent combination credit which is available to or single parents or least-earning partners who combine work and care for young children. The phase out will happen over a period of time. Parents with children born after January 1, 2025, will not be eligible to claim this credit.
- 30% Ruling: This is the tax benefit which is given to the highly skilled foreign employees hired from abroad and who have come to work in Netherlands. This allows the employee to enjoy 30% tax free salary. The amendment restricts the tax-free salary to 30% of ‘public sector pay cap’ which is EUR 216,000 for 2022. However, the amount of the said limit is expected to be higher in 2024 when the capping measure would be effective.
- Increase in general property transfer tax rate: The general property transfer tax rate will increase from 8% to 10.4%. This rate is applicable to acquisition of properties other than residential properties used by acquirer for primary residence.
- Tax Free Travel Allowance: The tax-free travel allowance will increase from EUR 0.19 per kilometre to EUR 0.21 starting from January 1, 2023, and to EUR 0.22 from January 1, 2024.
- Work From Home Allowance: In response to COVID-19, an allowance was introduced in 2022 to cover the extra expenses associated with working remotely. The allowance is proposed to be increased from EUR 2 to EUR 2.13 per day in 2023.
- Work-related costs scheme (werkkostenregeling, WKR): This scheme allowed employer to spend a portion of taxable wages on benefits in kind, allowances and provisions for employees without incurring any tax liability. Currently, the discretionary margin is 1.7% up to wage bill of EUR 400,000 and 1.18% of the excess of wage bill over EUR 400,000. It is proposed to increase the base discretionary margin (up to wage bill of EUR 400,000) from 1.7% to 1.92%.
- Employee Stock Options Gains: With effect from January 1, 2023, employee would have an option to choose the taxable event for stock options which can be exercise of options or date on which shares become tradable.
Companies should take note of increase in corporate tax rates and change in tax brackets. Employers need to adjust payroll and human resource policies in light of changes to personal tax rates and exemptions.
Netherlands: Increased Minimum Wage
The Dutch government has approved increase in minimum wages effective from July 1, 2022. Revised minimum wages are as under:
|Particulars||Effective from July 1, 2022 (“EUR”)||Effective from January 1, 2022 (“EUR”)|
Further, as announced by the Dutch Government, the minimum wages will now be fixed on hourly basis instead of monthly basis. Effective from January 1, 2024, the minimum wages will be fixed on hourly basis regardless of number of hours worked by the employee in a week or month. The minimum wages shall be increased to EUR 12.40 per hour (currently EUR 11.26 for employees working 36 hours a week) effective from January 1, 2023.
Netherlands: Transparent and Predictable Employment Conditions Act enters into force on August 1, 2022
Employers in the Netherlands must adhere to the requirements of the Act on Transparent and Predictable Employment Conditions (Wet Transparante en voorspelbare arbeidsvoorwaarden). The Act implements the EU Directive on Transparent and Predictable Employment Conditions and is effective from August 1, 2022. By establishing a more open and predictable working environment, the act seeks to enhance working conditions. The key changes are summarised here.
- Request for Predictable working conditions:
The employee has a right to request for predictable working conditions e.g., on call or zero hour contract. The employer must respond to the employee’s written request within a month giving reasons; otherwise, the request is deemed to be accepted.
- Ancillary Activity Clause:
The employee’s ability to provide supplementary services (e.g., restriction on competitive activities) cannot be limited by the Employer without giving just reasons. Any such restrictive condition in an employment contract without just reasons will be deemed to be invalid.
- Cost Free Training:
Employers must make available, free of charge, any additional training provided by law or collective bargaining agreement. Time spent in such training shall be considered working hours and training shall be conducted during working hours.
- Right to Information:
The employer is obliged to provide the employee with information on the duration and conditions of the probationary period, salary components, place of work and insurance data within 1 week of starting work in writing or electronically. For existing contracts, the employee may request additional information be included, which the employer must provide within 1 month of his application.
Employers should review their employment documentation to ensure the compliance with the new requirements. Employer would need to prepare documentation as per new requirements for any employment initiated on or after August 1, 2022. In case of employment relationship existing prior to August 1, 2022, the revised written information must be delivered within the stipulated time.
Regulations on teleworking/ remote working amended in Peru
The New Telework Law is introduced vide Law No 31572 published on September 11, 2022, replacing the earlier Law No 30036 for regulating remote working/ teleworking in Peru. The law establishes detailed provisions on remote working for employees.
Main features of the new Law are as under:
- Defines ‘Teleworking’ as mode of work, wherein by use of digital and communication platforms/technologies, the work can be carried out by employees and physical presence at workplace is not necessary;
- The details of teleworking/remote working arrangement to be included in the employment contract;
- Employer to notify the total number of teleworkers to the Ministry of Labour and Employment Promotion through electronic means;
- Employer to provide all the tools/equipment, internet access services necessary to the employee for teleworking/ remote working;
- Respecting the right of digital disconnection of the employee;
- Evaluating and identifying health and safety risks associated with teleworking;
- Ensuring digital security of the employee during teleworking.
The employers need to comply with/ make changes in their telework/ remote work regime as per the provisions of the new Law within 60 calendar days (i.e., November 10, 2022) from the publication of the law (i.e. September 11, 2022).
The employers need to comply with the provisions of the new Law and modify policies/ contracts accordingly.
Philippines: Deadlines for annual reporting of data privacy security incidents announced; Administrative fines to be effective from August 27, 2022
As defined under the Implementing Rules and Regulations (“IRR”) of the Data Privacy Act (“DPA”) (also known as the Data Privacy Act of 2012), “Security incident” refers to an event that affects the protection of personal data or may affect the availability, integrity, and confidentiality of personal information. This includes the breach of personal data when proper security measures are not in place.
As per DPA, all personal data controllers (“PDCs”) and personal data processors (“PDPs”) must submit an Annual Security Incident Report (“ASIR”) to the National Privacy Commission of the Philippines (“NPC”).
NPC on its official website announced that the ASIRs for the years 2018 to 2021 are due on October 31, 2022, while the annual report for the year 2022 can be filed between January 1, 2023, to March 31, 2023. ASIRs can only be submitted through the NPC’s Data Breach Notification Management System (“DBNMS”).
ASIRs shall include the summarized details of:
- A number of security incidents and their types such as hardware failure, theft, fraud error etc., came across during a particular year.
- Number of personal data breaches during a particular year and compliance of obligation relating to breach notification (mandatory and voluntary notification).
The NPC, vide Circular No. 2022-01 dated August 8, 2022, issued guidelines for administrative fines to be imposed on PDCs or PDPs for violating the provisions of the DPA of the Philippines.
- Effective from August 27, 2022, administrative fines are applicable to PDCs or PDPs for violating the provisions of the DPA.
- Fines are classified as “grave infractions” and “major infractions”. The NPC has the authority to levy fines ranging from 0.5% to 3% and 0.25% to 2% of the annual gross income of PDC and PDP, respectively, for grave violations and major violations.
- However, the total fine for single or multiple violations of DPA provisions shall not exceed PHP 5 million.
Companies processing or controlling personal information are required to prepare and submit their ASIRs (for the years 2018-2021) by October 31, 2022, and for year 2022 between January 2023 and March 2023, giving information regarding security incidents during the said period. Companies should ensure compliance with DPA provisions to avoid levy of administrative fines.
Philippines: Temporary work-from-home arrangement for certain sectors extended till December 31, 2022
The Fiscal Incentives Review Board (“FIRB”), vide resolution No. 026-2022 dated September 14, 2022, granted an extension to 70-30 work-from-home (“WFH”) arrangements till December 31, 2022. Thus, for entities registered with Philippine Economic Zone Authority (“PEZA”)- Information Technology (“IT”)-Business Process Management (“BPM”), at least 70% of the workforce should report at the work premises while the remaining 30% of the workforce are allowed to WFH until December 31, 2022. The originally granted WFH extension expired on September 13, 2022.
Poland to increase monthly minimum wages in the year 2023
In Poland, monthly minimum wages will be increased in the year 2023 as follows:
|Effective from||Monthly Minimum Wages (PLN)||Hourly Minimum Wage Rate (PLN)|
|Until December 31, 2022||3,010||19.60|
|January 1, 2023||3,490||22.80|
|July 1, 2023||3,600||23.50|
Employers in Poland need to take note of increase in Labor cost in the year 2023 and adjust their payroll policies accordingly.
Russia relaxes conditions for “ultra-low tax regime” applicable to the qualifying Information Technology (“IT”) companies
Russia relaxes conditions for the “ultra-low tax regime” for Information Technology (“IT”) companies. The amendments to the regime are provided via Federal Law No. 321-FZ and Federal Law No. 323-FZ.
This regime was introduced with effect from January 1, 2021. The regime is applicable to qualifying Russian IT and technology companies (as defined), if they meet certain criteria relating to the structure of income, number of employees and others.
(For detailed information on the ultra-low tax regime introduced on January 1, 2021, you may refer to our Newsletter November 2020)
The amendments are effective from July 14, 2022, and include:
- The condition of minimum number of employees for availing the benefits under the regime stands cancelled.
- The condition of having income from qualifying activities at minimum 90% of the total income of the organization is now reduced to 70% of its total revenue. Further, the list of activities taken into consideration for calculation of share of core revenue is expanded.
IT companies should take a note of relaxed conditions for availing the benefits under the regime.
Russia: Amendments to Law on Personal Data (Law No. 152-FZ “On Personal Data”) effective from September 1, 2022
The Russian Government has published the amendments to Law on Personal Data (Law No. 152-FZ On Personal Data) which are effective from September 1, 2022. The key amendments are as under:
- In case of any illegal transfer of personal data affecting data subject rights, the data controllers will be obliged to notify Roskomnadzor (The Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media) ‘within 24 hours’ from the time of incident. Further an internal investigation needs to be conducted and again a notification to Roskomnadzor is required to be sent within 72 hours post the result of internal investigation.
- The act will also apply foreign entities which process personal data of Russian citizens (data subjects) through consent or agreement.
- The consent which is required from the subject of personal data must be specific and unambiguous.
- The amendments related to cross-border data transfers will come into force later from March 1, 2023, which include certain requirements for the controllers, viz. to notify the Roskomnadzor prior to carrying the cross-border data transfers, to conduct prior assessments/review of data protection adequacy standards for the intended data transfer to the third countries (countries with inadequate data protection standards as notified by the Roskomnadzor), etc.
In case of failure to comply with the requirements under the Law, the company will be subject to fines up to RUB 6 million.
Organizations should ensure that their data protection policies are updated in accordance with the amended regulations.
Singapore: No more mandatory notification by employers of the wage cut measures to Ministry of Manpower (“MOM”) with effect from August 1, 2022
Ministry of Manpower (“MOM”) has removed the notification requirement which required local employers to notify MOM about cost-saving measures carried out, affecting their employees’ monthly salary.
Employers with average number of employees of 10 or more were earlier obliged to notify Ministry of Manpower if any cost saving measures were undertaken by them reducing the employees’ salaries. This mandate was introduced during the COVID pandemic in March 2020.
Organizations will no longer need to report any cost saving measures carried out to the Ministry of Manpower.
Singapore: New amendment to Country-by-Country (“CbC”) reporting notification requirement
On August 11, 2022, the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (“IRAS”) published an amendment to Country-by-Country (“CbC”) reporting rules. The amendment is effective for financial years beginning on or after January 1, 2022.
The amendment mandates a company to self-assess their CbC reporting obligation and notify the same to the IRAS within 3 months after the financial year end, if reporting is required. So, the IRAS will not be issuing letters to qualifying taxpayers notifying about their obligation to file CbC reports in Singapore.
Companies which are required to file CBC reports, must file the reports within 12 months from the end of the financial year.
The reporting thresholds and other requirements under the law remain unchanged.
Companies meeting the qualifying criteria are required to comply with the amended CbC reporting requirements for financial year commencing on or after January 1, 2022.
Serbia increases the minimum wage from RSD 201.22 per hour to RSD 230.00 per hour, with effect from January 1, 2023
The Serbian Government increases the national minimum wages for the year 2023 with effect from January 1, 2023, from RSD 201.22 per hour to RSD 230.00 per hour. Accordingly, the average minimum wage will be increased from RSD 35,000, per month to RSD 40,020 per month.
Employers should consider increase in the labor cost while taking decisions related to payroll.
Slovakia: Fathers to get 2 weeks paid leave after childbirth regardless of maternity benefit received by the mother, with effect from November 1, 2022
The National Council of the Slovak Republic approved amendments to Act No. 311/2001 Coll. Labour Code, on October 4, 2022.
The amendments provide 2 weeks (14 days) of paid paternity leave to the fathers, within a period of 6 weeks from the child’s birth, regardless of the receipt of maternity benefits or parental allowance by the child’s mother.
The amendments will be effective from November 1, 2022.
Employers will need to update their leave policy in view of amended provisions.
Slovakia increases the net minimum wage from EUR 646 to EUR 700 with effect from January 1, 2023
The Slovakian Government via Official Gazette Notices Nos. 300/2022 and 301/2022, dated August 27, 2022, increased the monthly and hourly minimum wages for the year 2023 with effect from January 1, 2023, from EUR 646 per month to EUR 700 per month and from EUR 3.713 per hour to EUR 4.023 per hour, respectively, for a working period of 40 hours per week.
Employers must consider the revised minimum wages and align their payroll processes.
South Africa: Tax Agency Updates 2022 Interest Rate Tables
The South African Tax Agency has published the updated interest rates on July 18, 2022. The updated rates effective from September 1, 2022, are as under:
- Outstanding Taxes and Specified Tax Refunds – Increased to 8.25% from 7.75%
- Provisional Tax Overpayments – Increased to 4.25% from 3.75%.
From July 1, 2022, South Korea revises maximum and minimum salary ceilings for contributions to national pension
From July 1, 2022, the maximum and minimum salary ceilings, which are the basis for calculating the national pension premium, are adjusted as follows:
|Salary ceiling for the contribution to the national pension||Before July 1, 2022 (KRW)||July 1, 2022, onwards (KRW)|
|Maximum monthly salary ceiling||5,240,000||5,530,000|
|Minimum monthly salary ceiling||330,000||350,000|
Both, employer, and the employee are required to contribute 9% of the employee’s monthly salary (4.5% each) towards national pension scheme, subject to the maximum and minimum salary ceilings.
Employers should take note of revised maximum and minimum salary ceilings and adjust the payroll processing accordingly.
Law No 15/2022 introduces right to equality and non-discrimination at workplace
The Spain Government published Law No 15/2022 dated July 13, 2022, ‘Comprehensive Law on the equal treatment and non-discrimination’ which came into effect from July 14, 2022.
The law aims to prevent and eradicate any form of direct or indirect discrimination among employees at the workplace on the grounds of birth, race, ethnicity, sex, religion, conviction or opinion, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender, disease, language, socio-economic status and any other personal health condition.
The law prohibits discrimination in the following matters:
- Selection/recruitment criteria of employees;
- Promotions or remuneration matters;
- Working hours and working conditions;
- Termination related matters such as suspension/dismissal of employee.
Employers will be subject to disciplinary actions in case of discrimination at workplace.
Employers are required to take proactive and remedial steps for preventing all forms of discrimination at the workplace.
Spain: B2B e-Invoicing will become mandatory from 2024
In Spain, e-invoicing is mandatory for Business-to-Government (“B2G”) transactions since 2015.
Business to business (“B2B”) e-invoicing will become mandatory for all companies gradually over a period of 2 years, as follows:
- From 2024 onwards – For companies having annual turnover exceeding EUR 8 million
- From 2026 – For all other companies.
The businesses will need to modify their invoicing/ accounting systems to comply with the new e-invoicing regime.
Spain: Budget proposals for 2023 include reduction in corporate income tax rate with effect from January 1, 2023
Spanish Government has finalized the draft budget for 2023 (“Budget 2023”), which includes several measures. Once the Budget is approved by the parliament and enacted, it will be effective from January 1, 2023.
The key tax proposals are as follows:
- Reduction in the corporate tax rate from 25% to 23% for companies having net turnover below EUR 1 million in the previous tax year.
- Introduction of new tax ‘solidarity tax’ on net wealth exceeding EUR 3 million.
The companies need to keep a close watch on the budgetary steps.
Switzerland: Revised Federal Act on Data Protection 1992 (Revised FADP) to enter into force on September 1, 2023
Switzerland passed Revised Federal Act on Data Protection 1992 (‘the Revised FADP’) which will be effective from September 1, 2023. The new Act improves the processing of personal data and grants Swiss citizens new rights. The businesses will have a period of 1 year to comply with the requirements of the new Act.
Salient features of the Act are as under:
- Definition of sensitive personal data extended to include genetic and bio-metric data;
- The Act covers data of only natural persons, and not of legal persons;
- The principles of privacy by design and privacy by default are introduced;
- Right of data portability introduced for the data subjects;
- Requirement to provide information extended to all personal data and not merely sensitive data, with prior notification of the concerned person;
- Data privacy impact assessments to be conducted in cases of high risk to the privacy or fundamental rights of data subjects;
- Companies mandatorily need to keep register of processing activities;
- Notifying data security breaches timely to the authorities viz. Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner;
- The Profiling (i.e., automated processing of personal data) concept is introduced in the Law.
The companies need to be aware of the changes made by the revised Act and take necessary steps to comply with the requirements.
Taiwan revises the maximum insured amount for universal health insurance (part of social security contribution) to TWD 219,500 effective from July 1, 2022
The Taiwan’s Ministry of Health and Welfare (“MOHW”) has revised the grading table used as a basis for calculation of National Health Insurance (“NHI”) premium. The total number of ‘income tiers’ have been increased from 46 to 51. Consequently, the upper most limit of salary (maximum base salary) on which the contribution is calculated has been raised from TWD 182,000 to TWD 219,500 with effect from July 1, 2022.
The NHI is a part of the mandatory social security contributions made by employer and employees in Taiwan.
New salary bracket and the maximum base salary (effective July 1, 2022)
|(Amounts in TWD)|
|Income differential bracket||Income tiers||Salary Basis (Amount on which Premiums Calculated)||Actual Monthly Salary (Minimum basis)||Actual Monthly Salary (Maximum basis)|
|Brackets 1-9 remain unchanged|
|Bracket 10: NTD 7,500(New bracket from 1 July 2022)||47||189,500.00||182,001.00||189,500.00|
Employers need to take into consideration the change in contribution basis while payroll processing.
Thailand enacts subordinate regulations under Personal Data Protection Act
The Personal Data Protection Commission (“PDPC”) of Thailand issued the following subordinate regulations for implementing the Personal Data Protection Act (“PDPA”), on June 20, 2022.
- Rules for preparation and maintenance of records of processing activities by the data processors (will be in effect from December 17, 2022): Section 40 (3) of the PDPA imposes an obligation on the data processor to prepare and maintain personal data records in compliance with the PDPC specified standards. The following records are required to be maintained under the new Rules –
- Details of the data processor, local representative of the data processor (if any), data protection officer (if any), data controller as per whose instructions the data processor processed data;
- Categories of data processing activities, including a list of personal information and processing objectives;
- Details of persons or entities who get access to personal data in the case of a cross-border transfer;
- Details of implemented security measures.
- Notification for the data controller to setup minimum security measures (effective from June 21, 2022): Section 37 of the PDPA requires the data controller to setup appropriate security standards to prevent the unauthorized access of personal information. The following are the minimum security measures for data security under the notification –
- Security measures must be implemented for all types of personal data, whether physical, electronic, or otherwise;
- Security measures shall include necessary organizational, technical, and physical measures based on nature, objective and potential damages associated with such processing;
- The data controller must identify the associated risks relating to important information, take measures for its prevention and monitor risks and data breach incidents as required.
- Measures must ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and accessibility of personal data; etc.
- Exemption from record-keeping obligations of data controllers who are small and medium enterprises (“SMEs”) (effective from June 21, 2022): Under Section 39 of the PDPA, SMEs (data controllers) are exempted from the requirement of preparing and maintaining the records of personal data processing activities except in a few cases. This notification prescribes the data controllers who are categorized as SMEs as follows –
- SMEs for the service sector is defined as follows:
|Type of Business||Small Business||Medium- Sized business|
|Employees||Annual RevenueIn THB||Employees||Annual RevenueIn THB|
|Service||30 or less||THB 50 million||31 to 100||50 million to 300 million|
- Community enterprises, social enterprises, cooperatives, federations of cooperatives or farmers associations, foundations, associations, religious organizations, or non-profit organizations under their respective laws;
- Family businesses or other businesses of similar nature.
- Rules to consider while imposing administrative penalties by the expert committee (effective from June 21, 2022)
- While determining the administrative fines, an expert committee appointed under PDPA is required to consider certain factors like offence committed wilfully or out of negligence, size of business, the severity of offence, value of damages, record of administrative fines already enforced on the offender. Further, the offences are divided into two categories: non-serious offences and serious offences.
Companies working as data processors or controllers are required to comply with all the newly introduced subordinate regulations under the PDPA. Companies should study relevant regulations and takes necessary measures to comply with them.
Thailand minimum wage raised from October 1, 2022
Effective from October 1, 2022, the Thai government has increased the average minimum wage (“AMW”) of each province by 5%, whereby minimum wages stand raised to THB 328–354 per day from earlier level of THB 313–336 per day. Accordingly, the provinces of Chon Buri, Phuket, and Rayong now have the highest minimum wage of THB 354 per day, while Nan, Narathiwat, Pattani, Udon Thani, and Yala have the lowest minimum wage of THB 328 per day. Bangkok now has minimum wage of THB 353 per day.
Employers in Thailand need to take note of the new minimum wage standard and align their payroll accordingly.
UK Increasing Late Payment and Repayment Interest Rates
UK HM Revenue & Customs (“HMRC”) have recently announced the revised interest rates to be applied on late payment and repayment as under:
|Particulars||Effective Date||Rate of Interest|
|interest rate for late payment of income tax, corporation tax NI contributions, stamp duty etc.||October 11, 2022||4.75%|
|Repayment Interest rate for the above||October 11, 2022||1.25%|
|Corporate Tax quarterly instalment payments||October 3, 2022||3.25%|
|Overpayment of quarterly instalment and on early payments of Corporation Tax not due by instalments||October 3, 2022||2%|
The Companies need to pay their taxes in time to avoid the interest liability.
UK: VAT Flat Rate Scheme
The UK Government has introduced the VAT Flat Rate Scheme (“FRS”) to simplify the way a business accounts for VAT in order to reduce the administrative burden. Under this scheme, the flat VAT rate is applicable, however, the business is not eligible to reclaim VAT on purchases. The entity may apply to HMRC for joining the scheme subject to fulfilment of the eligibility criteria mentioned below:
- Entity must be a VAT registered business
- Expecting the VAT turnover of GBP 150,000 or less (excluding the VAT) in coming 12 months
The flat VAT rate can be determined based on the business activity. The entity is entitled to get 1% discount in its first year as a business registered for VAT.
All the eligible businesses in UK can avail the benefit under the VAT Flat Rate Scheme to do away the administrative burden.
UK Chancellor reverses several proposals from Action Plan: Full autumn fiscal statement on November 17
The Former Chancellor of the Exchequer of UK, Mr. Kwasi Kwarteng presented the Growth Plan 2022 (“the Plan”) before UK Parliament on September 23, 2022, with several proposals to reduce tax and energy cost burden for businesses and individuals. However, these proposals were not well-received by the market and public which finally resulted in resignation of UK’s Prime Minister as well the Chancellor of Exchequer. Mr. Rishi Sunak was appointed as new Prime Minister and Mr. Jeremy Hunt took over as new Chancellor. The New Chancellor then announced withdrawal of some proposals in the month of October 2022. The Chancellor will present autumn fiscal statement on November 17, 2022, which is expected to lay down the UK’s medium term fiscal plan to put public spending on a sustainable footing, get debt falling and restore stability.
The following are the key measures announced in the Plan as modified by subsequent reversal announcement by new Chancellor Mr. Hunt.
Measures relevant for individuals and employers:
- National Insurance Contribution
Effective November 6, 2022, National Insurance Contribution (“NIC”) will be reduced by 1.25% for both employee and employer. Further National Health and Social Care levy of 1.25% which was to be effective from April 1, 2023, has been repealed.
Thus, NIC will be as under:
|Timeline||Rates for Employer||Main rates for Employee (below Upper Earnings Limit)||Additional rate for Employee) (above Upper Earnings Limit|
|Prior to November 6, 2022||15.05%||13.25%||3.25%|
|Effective from November 6, 2022||13.80%||12%||2%|
- The Action Plan proposals of reduction in basic income tax rate and abolition of additional tax rate were withdrawn subsequently. Further, proposal to reduce dividend tax rate by 1.25% was also withdrawn subsequently.
- Earlier, a support package to reduce energy cost burden on households was announced whereby it was proposed that the Energy Price Guarantee (“EPG”) will cap the unit price of gas and electricity for consumers in such a way that an average household will not pay more than GBP 2,500 p.a. for 2 years period starting from October 2022. However, subsequently the Chancellor announced that EPG and Energy Relief Scheme will be continued till April 2023. Further a Treasury-led review will be launched to consider how to support households and businesses with energy bills after April 2023.
- The Plan also announces increase in threshold, up to which the Stamp Duty Land tax (“SDLT”) is not payable on residential properties, from GBP 125,000 to GBP 250,000, effective from September 23, 2022. The Plan also announced certain additional measures for the first-time home buyers.
Measures relevant for business:
- The Action Plan has announced a proposal to repeal of 2017 and 2021 reform relating to ‘off-payroll working rules’ (known as IR-35 Reforms) effective from April 6, 2023. However, this proposal was subsequently withdrawn by the Chancellor in October 2022.
- The Chancellor announced that as planned earlier, the headline corporate tax rate will increase to 25% for companies earning more than GBP 250,000 from April 2023. However, small profits rate of Corporation Tax will be maintained whereby smaller or less profitable businesses will not pay the full 25% rate and businesses having profits less than GBP 50,000 will continue to pay Corporation Tax at 19% from April 2023.
- There were more announcements in the Action Plan to make the Annual Investment allowance of GBP 1 million a permanent measure though earlier it was a temporary measure applicable till March 2023. No further announcement was made subsequently for this proposal.
- There was a proposal to provide a temporary scheme for 6 months for the benefit of businesses and non-domestic energy users by providing discounts over wholesale gas and electricity prices. The Scheme will be initially effective from October 2022 to March 2023 and will be reviewed to decide on similar support after March 2023.
- The other announcements in the Plan included proposal for new investment zones across UK, deregulatory package for finance sector, etc. No further announcements were made regarding these proposals.
The Companies should take note of planned increase in corporate tax rate from April 2023. Employers should adjust their payroll processes to capture changes in NICs. Companies should keep track of Full fiscal statement which is planned to be presented on November 17, 2022.
Vietnam issued a Decree 53/2022/ND-CP dated 15 August 2022 (‘Decree 53’), which provides guidance on certain articles in Cybersecurity Law 2018 (‘Law’), effective from October 1, 2022. The Decree 53 explains provisions of Article 26 of the Law, which covers (i) the localization of certain data in Vietnam and (ii) the type of information that must not be uploaded in cyberspace.
Key provisions of Decree 53 are as follows:
Data localization requirements
- The provisions apply to domestic companies and foreign enterprises established in Vietnam providing services on a telecommunications network, the internet, and value-added services in cyberspace in Vietnam.
- Foreign enterprises are defined as “companies established under laws outside Vietnam providing services in certain specified sectors (regulated services) in Vietnam on a cross-border basis.” Further, branches of foreign enterprises and existing representative offices are not subject to the requirement of localization.
- The regulated services include services provided in sectors – viz. telecom services, storage and sharing of data in cyberspace, domain names services, e-commerce, online payment services, payment intermediaries, cyberspace transport connectivity service, social networks and social media, online video gaming services and managing or operating other cyberspace information in various forms such as emails, messages, phone calls, video calls, or online chat.
- The provisions apply to only certain data (regulated data) that must be localized. The Decree defines certain terms viz. personal data, service users etc. The regulated data includes:
- Personal Data of service users in Vietnam;
- User-generated data in Vietnam (i.e., service user account names, time of service use, credit card information, email address, network address (IP) of most recent login/logout, registered phone number for the account or data); and
- Relationship data of service users in Vietnam with foreign and domestic entities doing business in Vietnam (i.e., businesses and groups with whom service users connect and/or interact).
- The companies covered under the provisions must start storing regulated data in Vietnam from October 1, 2022, and have a continued obligation to save the regulated data in Vietnam.
Illegal information takedown
- The Decree 53 provides that illegal content includes content that infringes on the national security, involves insults or slander, violates economic management order or content that fabricates, distorts facts, history, traditions and customs, social ethics and public health, and content that incites others to commit crimes, etc.
- Any of the cybersecurity task forces/ authorities in Vietnam may (i) issue a takedown request to remove content from the cyberspace to the covered entities and (ii) check to determine if such entities have complied with the said request.
The entities/ businesses covered by the Law and Decree 53 are required to identify their regulated data and plan to localize it by October 1, 2022.
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