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They make you do WHAT? 6 Peculiar Employments Laws Across the Globe...

Posted by: Jeanett Abbotson
21/07/17

When you apply for almost all jobs in the United Kingdom and many other countries in 2017, you will find that the employer will state very clearly their commitment to inclusion and equality. Ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, beliefs, disability - whatever your association with these categories, your application will be reviewed fairly and you will not be discriminated against based on any of the above factors.

In some parts of the world, job-seekers and employees are treated with less liberty, with some rather peculiar employment laws trying to restrict body size and gender, as well as trying to regulate the completion of chores in the household! 

Here are six of the more curious employment laws around the world. 

1. The 2008 "Metabo Law". 

In Japan, the Metabo Law was introduced to try to reduce obesity and the number of overweight citizens in Japan. Employees aged 40 - 74 are examined thoroughly by medical experts each year, under obligations placed upon businesses and local government to ensure that male waistlines do not exceed 33.5 inches, and 35.4 inches for women. A weight-loss program including dieting classes is prescribed if an employee exceeds the maximum weight and does not shed it within three months. Japanese government sought to reduce "metabo" (a now prominent synonym for Metabolic Syndrome) by 10% by 2012, and 25% by 2015. Companies were at risk of paying penalties to contribute to a national healthcare program for the elderly if they failed to meet the drop rates. If you're 39 years old in Japan and have a large waistline, now is the time to start jogging! 

2. Chores chores chores in Spain. 

Husbands in Spain are "legally obligated" to undertake at least 50% of the household chores, as well as showing evidence of assisting with both childcare and care for elderly relatives. But in the last few years, a draft law in Spain has been attempting to regulate the chore-behaviour of children too! "Co-responsibility in caring for the home and performing household tasks regardless of gender and according to age"; while the bill also states that children must legally demonstrate respect for parents and teachers... no penalties or sanctions are mentioned. My advice to Spanish children: keep your room tidy and help with the dish-washing! 

3. Thirteen month yearly salary...? 

Various terms of law or contract employment across the globe present citizens of certain countries with the opportunity to find a thirteenth monthly payslip in their bank account for the year. In Argentina and Uruguay, this thirteenth salary is split in half and paid first at the end of June, and then mid-December, right in time to sort out Christmas. Armenia, Mexico, and Costa Rica treat this thirteenth month of salary as a yearly bonus and hand over the goods in December. Sign me up! 

4. Break? What break?

Did you know that The United States of America (the Land of the Free) is actually devoid of laws that enforce employers to provide employees with holiday (vacation) time, paid sick leave, or lunch breaks! Of course, the majority of employers are more than willing to fit suitable breaks, leave, and holiday into an employee's contract... meanwhile, a little south of the USA into Brazil, all labourers are guaranteed an entire month of holiday.

5. You want to name them what?

This one isn't an employment law, but since I'm Danish I thought I'd throw it in. Denmark has rather strict naming guidelines, and if you want to name your child something that isn't on the 7,000 or so name list, you are required by law to begin a form-filling request. Many celebrities would likely struggle to name their children in Denmark, given their preference for creative names. Names such as Apple, North, and Pluto are not on the list. You can, however, name your baby daughter Aloha, and your son Awesome. He'd best live up to it, though! 

6. Even the UK has its strange restrictions...

Taxi drivers in the United Kingdom are legally required by law to regulate their passengers for small pox or the plague. Corpses are also forbidden from travelling in cabs. While nobody wants to contract the plague, I suspect that Uber is unlikely to add a "Do You Have Smallpox or the Plague?" closed question feature to their travel app any time soon. I don't know about you, but I've never been asked by my taxi driver about having the plague... but it would certainly beat the age-old "have you been busy?" conversation starter.

Do you know of any other peculiar employment laws around the world? Leave a comment below!

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