Setting up a new regional team or rapidly scaling up local HR operations presents a multitude of challenges.

In Asia, with all its nuances around language, customs and people relationships, those challenges can become even more complex.

When it comes to hiring staff quickly, and across different levels, you'll need to become intimately familiar with the country's labour laws. Broadly speaking, each country has its own rules around:

  • Hiring locals
  • Employment contracts, fixed term agreements and probation periods
  • Compensation (wages, overtime, bonuses, profit-sharing)
  • Personal income tax (social security/ social insurance contributions, other social funds)
  • Part time and temporary work
  • Caps on work hours and overtime pay
  • Vacation/public holidays
  • Health/safety insurance and benefits
  • Firings/severance pay

DID YOU KNOW?

Here a couple of fun (and not so fun) facts around domestic labour laws that could trip up your plans to expand your HR operations in Asia quickly:

Singapore
It is compulsory for any Singapore company with over 25 staff to post vacancies for roles under US$8,500/month (S$12,000) on a National Jobs Bank. This is part of the government’s overall effort to strengthen the Singaporean core in the workforce. Non-compliance could see employers barred from making work pass applications.

Indonesia
Many Indonesian companies are still heavily influenced by the “sungkan” culture, which means non-confrontational communication and actions due to respect for others. Practically, what this means is that even poor performers cannot be reproved or fired openly.

India
Most state laws in India restrict women from working at night. Specific approval must be obtained beforehand, and includes the employer providing door-to-door transport home. New maternity benefits also increases paid time off for new mums from 3 months to 6.5 months. India also has strict labour protection laws — any company with over 100 staff must obtain government approval before firing people.

China
The Labour Mediation Provisions act in China requires all medium and large-sized enterprises to set up and fund an internal mediation committee for labour disputes . Failure to do so, and frequent individual or labour complaints, will see the business placed on a national blacklist.

Australia

Under the Fair Work Act of 2009, industrial action or labour strikes are allowed and can take several forms. Employees may go on strike (refuse to attend or perform work) or impose work bans (refuse to perform all normal duties). In response, employers may lock out their employees by closing the doors or gates of a work place. 


So unless you have a strong, reliable partner with intimate knowledge around local labour laws, all this can be complex to manage. This applies whether you’re hiring a team of 10 or 100. Whether you're a start-up, SME or large multinational, plan, plan, plan. Do your research to avoid getting caught off guard by local customs, culture or laws.

At PageGroup, we have a track record of success around volume hiring across multiple industries in the Asia Pacific region. We have a ready pool of candidates, a strong regional network, effective but simple account management and a deep understanding of clients' unique working culture and hiring needs.

We can tailor make a solution to suit your hiring needs. Come talk to us for a free consultation.

Summary

Setting up a new regional team or rapidly scaling up local HR operations presents a multitude of challenges. In Asia, with all its nuances around language, customs and people relationships, those challenges can become even more complex. Whether you're a start-up, SME or large multinational, plan, plan, plan. Do your research to avoid getting caught off guard by local customs, culture or laws.
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