Unique Employment Laws Around the World

Submitted by shp on Fri, 01/17/2020 - 14:31

Have you ever wondered what rights employees have in other parts of the world? While you can't learn everything about foreign employment law here, take a look at some of the more unique regulations from nations across the globe!


Before diving into the laws themselves, let's make a quick detour to look at one cultural practice in Japan that may sound particularly appealing. Japanese workplaces often allow employees to take naps at their desks, and in fact view these breaks as a sign of hard work. Want to move your practice to Japan now? You should practice sleeping while sitting upright, because often times that's the most acceptable way to indulge in these power naps.

Staying in Japan for some of its actual laws, Japanese workers have surprisingly strict regulations for their physical appearance. A national law requires employers to measure the waistlines of its workers and send the employees to special diet classes if their waistlines are larger than the accepted size. Anyone with a waist size larger than 33.5 inches for men or 35.4 inches for women is in violation of the "Metabo Law."

In one Japanese city it is illegal for any public servant to have a beard. In 2010 the city of Isesaki passed a law barring any of its male employees from sporting facial hair, on the grounds that it made the city's residents uncomfortable.


A federal regulation in India requires manufacturing companies with more than 100 employees to consult with the government prior to terminating a worker. Don't worry though, firing an employee in any other sector only requires you to send an official notice to the government beforehand.


In Belgium, employees who have worked for a specified length of time are allowed to request a 'career break.' In many cases this break permits an employee to work reduced hours for a few months, but sometimes can be even more freeing. In the public sector, workers may be eligible to step away from their work for up to six years. Even better, workers receive an allowance from the government during this break and are eligible to return to their same job once the break ends.


Extended breaks are common practice for European nations, with Bulgaria boasting the most generous maternity leave benefits in the world. Bulgarian employees are eligible for more than 55 weeks maternity leave, with 46 of those weeks being paid. Even the worst paid maternity leave in Europe is a far cry from the benefits in the United States, as Sweden still offers 12 weeks of paid leave.


If Europe isn’t your cup of tea but you’d still like to take advantage of these foreign laws, you may want to consider moving to the Philippines. The Philippines have a Presidential decree requiring private companies to provide a 13th Month Pay to their employees. This pay is equal to 1/12th of an employee’s yearly salary, and failure to make this payment results in legal action from the Filipino government.

You could spend all day learning about labor laws across the globe, but don’t forget about potential employment cases in the United States. eGen now supplies leads for employment law, so contact us today if you’re looking to increase your caseload!