Strange Employment Laws From Around the World



China’s job creation scheme

China’s communist government is responsible for many things, and not all of them are so bad, really! In an attempt to combat unemployment amongst those who would otherwise struggle to find work, the country has established a job creation scheme that has generated some very interesting positions. On a working trip to China in 2011, one of the contractors we provide payroll services to reported visiting a remote mountainous region where elderly ladies were paid to sweep fallen leaves from roads used by perhaps a dozen vehicles every day. Bizarre, but true!


America’s crossed legs

Have you ever been bursting for the toilet at work but were reluctant to ask the boss for a bathroom break? Amazingly, the United States’ Department of Labour has no law guaranteeing employees’ rights to frequent bathroom breaks. In theory at least, a particularly sadistic boss could deny workers access to the bathroom at work, and be well within their rights to do so. Doesn’t sound particularly fair or compliant that, does it? Thankfully, few employers would ever be quite so heartless.


Portugal’s termination period

Portugal is a bit of a haven for contractors thanks to a peculiar wrinkle in employment law, meaning that employers cannot legally fire their staff. Employers aren’t allowed to include a termination period in their employees’ contracts, meaning that in order to let someone go, they need to offer an enormous redundancy package and hope that the employee in question will accept their resignation without a fuss! As a result, many Portuguese companies only offer fixed-term contracts and take on part-time contractors rather than full-time workers.


Saudi Arabia and cosmetics

As you’ll be no doubt aware, there are countless things that women are restricted from doing in Saudi Arabia. Since 2012, however, there is now an employment law preventing men from working in shops exclusively selling women’s clothing or cosmetics. The law came about after the country’s women, tired of having to buy undergarments and cosmetics from men, began to boycott the nation’s shops. Now it’s illegal for men to be employed in such stores!

Courtesy of CXC Global


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