Insights Update — November 2023

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Atlas Team

Atlas helps innovative companies like yours to expand, onboard, manage and pay international teams in 160+ countries.

Published: 23 Nov 2023

Global employment updates

Singapore - Educational qualification verification for EP applications:

As of September 1st 2023, employers were required by the Ministry of Manpower ("MOM") of Singapore to verify educational qualifications submitted to the MOM in support of an Employment Pass ("EP") application. The MOM is expanding this requirement to all EP applications when qualifications are indicated to receive points under COMPASS (Singapore’s point-based framework) to ensure that the qualifications declared are valid. 

Employers filing new EP applications after September 1, 2023, will be required to validate their candidates' diploma-level and higher qualifications. Renewals must be submitted by September 1st, 2024. Verification can be done through specific background screening businesses that will be published on the MOM's website. Alternatively, the MOM will accept verification proof received from internet portals of governments or educational institutions in other countries. The MOM is investigating the viability of alternative verification methods such as digital certificates.

Implications for Employers: Employers should be aware of the process for validating educational credentials for EP applications.

New York – Benefits eligibility:

Effective November 13th, 2023, the New York Labour Law will expand employers’ obligation to provide notice of unemployment benefits eligibility. Currently, employers in New York are required to notify, in writing, any employee whose employment has been terminated of the exact date of termination, and when their employee benefits under the employer plan will end.

The new law will broaden this duty, requiring employers to provide written notice of the right to file for unemployment benefits to any employee undergoing: a permanent or indefinite separation from employment, a reduction in hours, a temporary separation or any other interruption of continued employment that results in total or partial unemployment.

The notice must be provided on a form furnished or approved by the Department of Labor no more than five working days after the termination or reduction in hours occurs. Employers should be sure to check with their benefits administrator, payroll provider, or Professional Employer Organisation, such as ADP, Trinet or Paycheck, to ensure employees are receiving notices in compliance with the amended law.

California Employment Update – Diversity data:

California has become the first state to require venture capital companies to report diversity data from portfolio company founders as soon as March 1st, 2025. The new law intends to increase transparency regarding the diversity of founding teams receiving venture funds from covered entities in California.

Information on gender identity, race, ethnicity, disability status, sexual orientation, veteran status, and California residency must be collected by a standardized survey provided to founding team members. This data will then be reported to the California Civil Rights Division (CRD) which, in turn, will make this information publicly accessible on its website. Failure to comply with the reporting requirements can lead to penalties imposed by the CRD.

California Governor Gavin Newsom stated that the intention of this law is to “advance equity and provide for greater economic empowerment of historically underrepresented communities.”

UK - Neonatal leave and pay:

Parents will soon receive 12 weeks of paid leave when their baby requires neonatal care in addition to existing parental leave entitlements. This will come into force in April 2025. The aim of this is to allow parents to have time to spend with their baby while they are receiving medical care, without that eating into their maternity and paternity leave.

The definition of neonatal care is yet to be specified but the general requirement is for the baby to receive seven days of medical or palliative care within the first 28 days of birth. The length of neonatal leave will be dependent on how long the baby spends in hospital, with parents entitled to up to 12 weeks of neonatal leave and a minimum entitlement of one week.

Current Affairs – Employment challenges for people with learning difficulties:

The UK Equality Act 2010 legally protects people from discrimination in the workplace and in wider society. It places a requirement on public services to anticipate and prevent discrimination against people with disabilities, which includes people with a learning disability, autism or both. Earlier this year, in March, the UK’s Department for Work and Pensions designed a new review to boost the employment prospects of autistic people.

The review asks businesses, employment organisations, specialist support groups and people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to help identify the barriers to securing and retaining work and progressing with their careers.

Earlier this month, 26-year-old Tomos Churchill, a man with cerebral palsy said he felt like he has a purpose after securing a permanent job through Engage to Change, a project for people with learning disabilities. He noted, "I just wanted somebody to take me for me, not look at my disabilities." (BBC)

Engage to Change has worked with 800 employers to help young people who have a learning difficulty, learning disability and/or ASD to develop skills in paid placements. Brent Bennett, his support counsellor said: "I saw straight away that Tom had a very good work ethic, and he wanted to work…so we looked at the process of investing in him and gave him opportunities in terms of equipment and training."

Implications for Employers: The UK government wants to work with employers to help more autistic people to become employed. People with autism have particularly low employment rates – with fewer than three in 10 in work – but the review is aiming to change that.