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Asia Legislation Alert Bulletin

In recent months, governments all over the world have made legislative changes that impact payroll and HR to help organisations support their employees during the COVID-19 global pandemic.

This page outlines the updates for Asia region. The full Asia Legislation Alert Bulletin can be downloaded at the bottom of the page

Commercial use of this document is not allowed unless approved in writing by Ascender. Read Disclaimer

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20/04/2020

China

China Extends Holidays for Workers Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

Impact: For employers’ general guidance

Summary: On 26 January 2020, the Chinese State Council extended the Spring Festival holidays (Chinese New Year) for employees up to 2 February 2020. This is issued to contain the outbreak of the 2019 novel coronavirus, now officially named as COVID-19.

The Spring Festival holidays are originally scheduled to run from 24 to 30 January.

Primary Source: http://english.www.gov.cn/policies/policywatch/202001/27/content_WS5e2ea828c6d019625c60400f.html

More China Alerts

  • Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security on Proper Handling Labour Relations on Prevention and Control of COVID-19
  • China Announced Tax Measures to help on the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Policies and Measures for the Steady and Healthy Development of Shanghai’s Full Support for the Prevention and Control of Epidemic Support Service Enterprises

Download full Asia Legislation Alert Bulletin

20/04/2020

Hong Kong

The 2020-2021 Budget

Impact: For employers’ general guidance

Summary: Hong Kong Financial Secretary delivered the 2020-2021 Budget on 26 February 2020. Below are some highlights:

  • Salaries tax and tax under personal assessment for the year of assessment 2019/20 will be reduced by 100 percent, subject to a ceiling of HK$20,000, and will be reflected in the final tax payable for the year of assessment 2019/20.
  • Rates in respect of residential properties for four quarters of 2020-21 will be waived, subject to a ceiling of HK$1,500 per quarter for each rateable property.
  • Extra allowance will be provided to eligible social security recipients, equal to one month of the standard rate Comprehensive Social Security Assistance payments, Old Age Allowance, Old Age Living Allowance or Disability Allowance. Similar arrangements will apply to recipients of the Work Incentive Transport Subsidy.
  • $10,000 cash payout to Hong Kong permanent residents aged 18 or above
  • Low-interest loan (up to $2 million) with a 100% government guarantee for enterprises, which will be open for application for 6 months.

Primary Source: https://www.budget.gov.hk/2020/eng/speech.html

More Hong Kong Alerts

  • Hong Kong Government reaches out to help businesses stay afloat amidst Covid-19
  • Tax Payment Deadline Extension

Download full Asia Legislation Alert Bulletin

20/04/2020

India

Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY) Amnesty Scheme

 Impact: For employers’ general guidance

 Summary: The Central Government has launched the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY) on 26 March 2020 to help poor fight the battle against Corona Virus.

As part of the PMGKY package, with a view to prevent disruption in the employment of low wage earning EPF members and support EPF covered establishments employing up to one hundred employees, the Central Government proposes to grant relief in form of credit of EPF & EPS contributions (24% of wages) for three months in UANs of contributory EPF members, earning monthly wage of less than Rs.15000/-, who are already employed in EPF covered establishments/factories employing up to one hundred employees with 90% or more of such employees earning monthly wage of less than Rs.15000/-.

Primary Source: https://www.epfindia.gov.in/site_docs/PDFs/Updates/PR_PMGKY.pdf

More India Alerts

  • Government to Pay EPFO Contribution
  • EPFO puts in place Online Mechanism to credit EPF and EPS Accounts of Subscribers
  • Extension of Time or Filing of Returns on Account of COVID-19
  • CBDT issues orders u/s 119 of IT Act,1961 to mitigate hardships to taxpayers arising out of compliance of TDS/TCS provisions
  • Lockdown Measures for containment of COVID-19 pandemic in the country to continue to remain in force up to May 3, 2020

Download full Asia Legislation Alert Bulletin

20/04/2020

Indonesia

New Fiscal Incentives in Relation to COVID-19

Impact: For employers’ general guidance

Summary: Finance Minister of Indonesia announced that the government waives income tax for manufacturing workers. The government will shoulder 100% of Income Tax Article 21 employees’ income for six months (from April to September this year), up to IDR 200 million for employees in certain manufacturing industries.

In addition, there are also other fiscal incentives that will be granted to corporate taxpayers in certain industries.

Primary Source: PT ASA Indonesia

More Indonesia Alerts

  • How to Claim BPJAMSOSTEK Through ‘Stall Asik’ while Working at Home

Download full Asia Legislation Alert Bulletin

20/04/2020

Japan

Extension of Filing and Payment Deadline of Taxes

Impact: For employers’ general guidance

Summary: National Tax Agency Japan announced that filing and payment deadline of individual income tax, will be extended to 16 April 2020.

Primary Source: https://www.nta.go.jp/taxes/shiraberu/kansensho/pdf/faq.pdf 

More Japan Alerts

  • Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry support measures

Download full Asia Legislation Alert Bulletin

20/04/2020

Malaysia

One-off Cash Assistance for Employees in the Private Sector

Impact: For employers’ general guidance

Summary: Malaysia government, through its Prime Minister has announced a one-off cash assistance with an allocation of RM10 billion (Bantuan Prihatin Nasional). For the first time, this will also be channeled to the M40 group. This includes the employees in the private sector, FELDA settlers, farmers, fishermen, small traders and those categorized in the M40 group and below.

The payments include:

  • First: RM1,600 to nearly 4 million households earning less than RM4,000 a month. Payment of RM1,000 will be made in April 2020 and the remaining in May
  • Second: RM1,000 to nearly 1.1 million households earning between RM4,000 and RM8,000 a month with RM500 paid in April 2020 while the balance in May 2020.
  • Third: RM800 to 3 million single individuals aged 21 and above, earning less than RM2,000 a month. Payment of RM500 will be made in April 2020 and the remaining RM300 in May
  • Fourth: RM500 to 400,000 single individuals aged 21 years and above, earning between RM2,000 and RM4,000 per month. The payment of RM250 will be made in April 2020 while the balance in May

In the meantime, the remaining cash transfer under the current Bantuan Sara Hidup (BSH) programme totaling RM3.2 billion will be paid out in July 2020.

Primary Source: https://www.pmo.gov.my/2020/03/speech-text-prihatin-esp/

More Malaysia Alerts

  • Employment Retention Program (ERP) for employees who received unpaid leave notice
  • Wage Subsidy Programme
  • Extension of Movement Control Order
  • Further Extension of EPF April 2020 Contribution Payment Date
  • Income Tax Filing Extension
  • Deadline for filing of the Monthly Tax Deduction and Payment Details (PCB) / CP38 Extension
  • Exemption of Human Resources Development Levy Payment for Industries Affected by COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Suspension of PTPTN Loan Refund Due to COVID-19

Download full Asia Legislation Alert Bulletin

20/04/2020

Philippines

Luzon-wide Lockdown Extended Until April 30

Impact: Employers must comply

Summary: President Rodrigo Duterte extended the “enhanced community quarantine” (ECQ) for the entire Luzon until 30 April 2020. The quarantine was originally set to 12 April 2020.

The movement of people will continue to be severely restricted under the extended quarantine, with most only allowed to leave their homes for essential trips such as to buy food or medicine and those who are working for essential services.

A memorandum was released on 7 April 2020.

 Primary Source:  https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/downloads/2020/04apr/20200407-MEMORANDUM-FROM-ES-RRD.pdf

More Philippines Alerts

  • SSS Moratorium and Extensions on Loan Payments and Contributions
  • Deferment of Payment of Holiday Pay for April 2020 Holidays
  • Non-inclusion of One-month Enhanced Community Quarantine Period on the Six-month Probationary Period
  • Payment of PhilHealth contributions during the Enhanced Community Quarantine
  • Tax Incentives for Donations related to COVID-19 response
  • Philhealth releases COVID-19 Package Rates starting 15 April
  • SEC Issues Guidelines on Filing Companies’ General Information Sheet
  • SEC Issues Guidelines on Filing of Reports and other Documents during the Enhanced Community Quarantine
  • Small Business Wage Subsidy (SBWS) Program
  • Department of Labour and Employment COVID-19 Guide for Employers and Employees
  • Revised BIR Deadlines
  • BIR RMC 38-2020 – Extension of Deadline of Availment of Tax Amnesty on Delinquencies
  • Revenue Regulation 10-2020- Extension of Statutory Deadlines and Timeliness for the Filing and Submission of Document and the Payment of Taxes
  • Home Development Mutual Fund offers three-month moratorium on all loans
  • How to Apply for Pag-IBIG Multi-Purpose or Calamity Loan Online
  • Extension of Periods in Filing Sickness Notification and Sickness Benefit Claims of Members and Employers

Download full Asia Legislation Alert Bulletin

20/04/2020

Saudi Arabia

Government Implements Measures to Mitigate the Impact of COVID on Private Sector

Impact:  For employers’ general guidance

Summary: The government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is moving decisively to address the unprecedented effects and consequences of the coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic crisis, and is taking immediate measures to ensure the safety of its citizens and residents, and to address its fiscal, financial and economic impact, the Minister of Finance, Acting Minister of Economy and Planning,, stated that the government has taken precautionary and strong measures to protect citizens and residents in the Kingdom. These initiatives include:

  • Exemption from expat levy for those whose Iqama has expired from now until 30 June 2020, by extending their Iqama for a period of three months without charge.
  • Enabling employers to refund the fees of issued work visas that were not used during the ban on entry and exit, even if they were stamped in the passport, or extend them for a period of three months without charge.
  • Enabling employers to extend exit and re-entry visas that were not used during the ban on entry and exit from the Kingdom for a period of three months without charge.
  • Enable business owners, for a period of three months, to postpone the payment of VAT, excise tax, income tax, and the submission of Zakat declarations and the payment of obligations due therefrom.
  • Postpone the collection of customs duties on imports for a period of thirty days against the submission of a bank guarantee, for the next three months and setting the necessary criteria for extending the postponement period for the most affected activities as needed.
  • Postpone the payment of some government services fees and municipal fees due on private sector for a period of three months (period to be extended for the most affected activities as needed).
  • Authorize the Minister of Finance to approve lending and other forms of financing as well as exemption from payment of fees and returns on loans granted until the end of 2020.

Primary Source: https://www.spa.gov.sa/viewfullstory.php?lang=en&newsid=2049654#2049654

Download full Asia Legislation Alert Bulletin

15/04/2020

Singapore

New Requirements for Work Pass Holders Entering or Returning to Singapore with Travel History to Mainland China

Impact:  For employers’ general guidance

Summary: The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) implemented new requirements for work pass holders entering or returning to Singapore with travel history to mainland China within the last 14 days as per a MOM Press Release on 7 February.

Starting 8 February 2020, all work pass holders, regardless of their nationality, is required to obtain MOM’s approval prior to their travel if they have a travel history to mainland China within the last 14 days. This requirement applies to:

  • Existing work pass holders currently out of Singapore; and
  • In-Principle Approval (IPA) holders who have yet to enter Singapore.

 Upon arrival to Singapore, they will be required to take a mandatory 14-day leave of absence.

Primary Source: https://www.mom.gov.sg/newsroom/press-releases/2020/0207-new-requirements-for-employers-with-wph-returning-from-china

More Singapore Alerts

  • Update advisory on managing excess manpower and responsible retrenchment in view of COVID-19
  • Singapore Budget 2020
  • Job Support Scheme (JSS)
  • Advisory on Salary and Leave Arrangements During Circuit Breaker
  • Employment Pass (EP) Online

Download full Asia Legislation Alert Bulletin

20/04/2020

South Korea

Government Announces Emergency Relief Payment

Impact:  For employers’ general guidance

Summary: The government decided to offer emergency relief payments of 9.1 trillion won to households in the bottom 70 percent income bracket at the 3rd Emergency Economic Council Meeting held on March 30.  The government will also expand social security contribution reliefs given to those hit hard by the COVID-19 outbreak.  The summary of relief plans is as follows:

  • Emergency relief payment: Korean households in the bottom 70 percent income bracket will receive the government’s emergency relief payments of up to 1.0 million won.
  • Social security contribution reliefs: The government will expand the social security contribution reliefs as it will offer 3-month payment deferrals and 30 percent contribution cuts.  The deferrals and cuts will be applied to contributions for March and on:
  • National HealthCare contributions
  • National Pension contributions
  • Unemployment insurance contributions
  • Industrial accident compensation insurance contributions

Primary Source: http://english.moef.go.kr/pc/selectTbPressCenterDtl.do?boardCd=N0001&seq=4869

Download full Asia Legislation Alert Bulletin

20/04/2020

Taiwan

Taiwan to allow tax payment delays for 1 year due to COVID-19 pandemic

Impact:  For employers’ general guidance

Summary: Ministry of Finance released an administrative order which allows taxpayers who suffer from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to postpone their tax payments for up to one year or pay their taxes by instalments for up to three years.

Primary Source: https://www.mof.gov.tw/singlehtml/384fb3077bb349ea973e7fc6f13b6974?cntId=3f079639bf5841e6901141ed9bc681ab

More Taiwan Alerts

  • Extension of 2019 Annual Income Tax Settlement Declaration and Payment
  • Personal Relief Measures to Help People Overcome Difficulties

Download full Asia Legislation Alert Bulletin

20/04/2020

Thailand

Deadline of 2019 Income Tax Return Filing

Impact:  For employers’ general guidance

Summary: The Thai Revenue Department on 28 Feb, announced a deadline extension for taxpayers filing their 2019 income tax returns online. The deadline is extended to 20 June from 31 March and 8 April due to the current pandemic. The announcement includes:

  • a three-month instalment option for tax payments; and
  • penalties for noncompliance with the instalment conditions.

Primary Source: https://www.rd.go.th/publish/fileadmin/user_upload/kormor/newlaw/mfvexpandpit2562.pdf

More Thailand Alerts

  • The Revenue Department has issued tax measures to help alleviate those who are affected by the spread of COVID-19
  • COVID-19 Relief Measures – Ministerial Regulation No. 361 on Withholding Tax Reduction
  • Social Security Fund Measures in Thailand

Download full Asia Legislation Alert Bulletin

20/04/2020

UAE

Human Resources and Emiratisation Launches the National Program to Support the Stability of Labour Market in the Private

Impact:  For employers’ general guidance

Summary: The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation has launched a “national program to support the stability of the labour market in the private sector” to ensure the continuity of performance of business in the private sector in light of a series of preventive measures and precautionary measures taken at the state level within the federal and local government work system to confront the “emerging corona virus” and limit its spread. The measures are:

  • Supporting citizen stability
  • Lifting restrictions
  • Most Affected Facilities
  • Precautionary measures
  • A guide to working remotely

Detail of each measure can be read at the below link.

Primary Source: https://www.mohre.gov.ae/ar/media-centre/news/30/3/2020/mohre-launches-the-national-program-to-support-the-stability-of-the-labor-market-in-the-private-sector.aspx

More UAE Alerts

  • Procedures to Enable a Foreign Worker to Leave the Country and Return to the Home Country

Download full Asia Legislation Alert Bulletin

20/04/2020

Vietnam

Suspension of Social Insurance Premium Payment for Businesses

Impact:  For employers’ general guidance

Summary: The Social Insurance authority of Hanoi City, Vietnam stated that in case the Covid-19 pandemic has not yet been relieved by the end of June 2020, if the enterprise has requested it, the social insurance authority of Ho Chi Minh City will coordinate with the Department of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs and the Department of Finance to report to the People’s Committee of Ha Noi City. Internal to Vietnam Social Insurance to consider and resolve the temporary suspension of contribution to the retirement and survivorship fund till December 2020.

Primary Source: https://baohiemxahoi.gov.vn/tintuc/Pages/linh-vuc-bao-hiem-xa-hoi.aspx?CateID=168&ItemID=14628

More Vietnam Alerts

  • Government measures to support people and businesses facing difficulties caused by Covid-19 pandemic

Download full Asia Legislation Alert Bulletin

Disclaimer

This interim legislative update consolidates legislations, government guidelines, and policies that various countries in Asia have enacted or implemented to help individuals affected by the global pandemic. Governments across Asia have stepped in to help employees through income support, suspension or extension of some statutory payment obligations, and other financial and non-financial assistance.

Although some of the references may provide comprehensive detail of the economic relief offered by the government agencies, not all updates related to COVID-19, however, are included in this bulletin. For instance, details of the economic relief offered to companies and specific industries affected by the pandemic may have been excluded in the updates contained in this bulletin. Updates such as health guidelines and protocols and border and travel restrictions implemented across the countries were also excluded.

This Legislative Update is for general information purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice. You are responsible for obtaining your own legal advice on the contents of this Legislative Update and the application of any legislative changes that may impact upon you or your business. Ascender will not be liable for any damage or loss related to the accuracy, completeness or timeliness of the contents of this Legislative Update and you agree that you solely assume the risk and liability of any actions you take in reliance upon the information contained in this Legislative Update.

Commercial use of this document is not allowed unless approved in writing by Ascender.


 

Download full Asia Legislation Alert Bulletin