Singapore Increases Qualifying Salaries for Foreign Employees

  • Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower has increased the minimum qualifying salaries needed for foreign workers to receive the Employment Pass (EP) and S Pass permits.
  • The ministry has also increased the qualifying salary for foreign workers in the financial sector – the first time the ministry has set a sector-specific qualifying salary.
  • These measures were initiated to encourage businesses to employ local workers.
  • Businesses must advertise new job positions on the MyCareersFuture.sg website for a period of 28 days to make them known to local job seekers.

On August 27, 2020, Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MoM) has increased the minimum qualifying salaries for foreign workers to receive the Employment Pass (EP) and S Pass work permits.



Companies are resuming their expansion plans

Semyon Cherkasov, Director, CT Executive Search

How did the corona-induced state regulations affect your clients’ businesses in Russia? Which operational adjustments were common?

Most manufacturing companies had to face similar issues all around Russia. They have to follow the rules of Rospotrebnadzor (Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing) and other organizations regarding the security restrictions.

Practically all companies shifted their organization to remote work conditions. For most businesses, this called for significant efforts, especially with regards to IT and other critical infrastructure. The employees had to quickly adapt to a new way of collaboration, management and staff alike. 



That was tough!

Jens Palmen, Managing Director, Schattdecor Russia

How did the state and government’s measures to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus affect Schattdecor‘s business operations in Russia?

The restrictions have of course had a massive impact on Schattdecor. The plants had to be closed, and home office workplaces had to be set up for all office workers. In total, our production stood still for about two weeks.

Unfortunately, despite all our efforts, we did not manage to be classified as a systemically important company – like all of our competitors and 99% of the furniture industry. Only a good number of our wood-based material customers were recognized as systemically relevant and were able to continue production, provided that this made sense at all in view of the demand situation.



What are India’s Latest Guidelines on International Travel?

  • New rules for passengers traveling to India in effect from August 8.
  • Transport air bubbles currently in place with US, France, Germany, UK, UAE, and Qatar; agreement with Maldives has come into effect.
  • Suspension of Indian international air flight operations extended till August 31, 2020.
  • As of August 18, India is negotiating with 13 more countries to establish air travel arrangements.
  • Foreign nationals holding J-1 and J-1X visas are now permitted to enter India.
  • New standard operating protocol announced August 22 for non-scheduled commercial flights under the repatriation scheme, Vande Bharat Mission, and Air Transport Bubble Agreements.



Vietnam’s Entry Procedures for Foreign Employees amid the Pandemic

  • Vietnam suspended the entry of all foreign visitors from March 22 and subsequently suspended all international flights.
  • However, it has been allowing diplomats, officials, foreign investors, experts, skilled workers, and students to enter the country with special entry permits.
  • All travelers, however, will be subject to a 14-day quarantine at a centralized government facility or a designated hotel.
  • We recommend employers use a reputable professional firm to deal with the intricacies and administrative procedures of securing entry of their foreign employees.

Vietnam’s government, however, has allowed diplomats, officials, business experts, managers, highly skilled workers, and students to come to Vietnam provided they meet the necessary requirements.



The future of Africa’s independent automotive aftermarkets

africon recently presented at Messe Frankfurt Middle East: Automechanika Dubai’s webinar titled “Africa’s independent aftermarket (IAM) – a look at the current situation and future potential”.

In a webinar poll, they asked the 237 attendees from 65 countries if the African automotive aftermarkets will play an important role for their business in a post-COVID future. In total, more than 70% of the participants “strongly agreed” or “agreed”. 



Beijing Tightens Social Insurance Filing Services by Third-Party HR Agency

  • Beijing has released a new regulation restricting third-party HR agencies from filing social insurance in Beijing for employees of non-Beijing resident companies.
  • Companies that have employees based in Beijing but do not have a registered entity or branch in the capital and entrust a third-party agency to file social security for their Beijing-based staff need to find alternative solutions as soon as possible before the end of the grace period granted by the government – in late September.
  • Companies must take the regulation seriously to avoid incompliance and the adverse consequences so caused, such as being blacklisted, fined by the government, or being sued by affected employees, etc.

Effective from July 5, 2020, all labor dispatch companies and HR service companies (hereafter referred to as ‘HR agencies’) registered in Beijing are required to report part of the employees’ labor contract information when registering new employees with the Beijing Social Security Bureau for the administration of social insurance, according to the Notice Concerning Several Issues on Participation of Labor Dispatch companies and HR Service Companies in Social Insurance Scheme issued by the Beijing Social Security Fund Management Center on June 30, 2020.



Press Release: Focus on Africa - A Look At Business Opportunities, Growing Markets And How To Find The Right Talent

On 30 July, 2020 CT Executive Search and africon GmbH held a joint online event dedicated to doing business in Africa.

Marc Zander, Managing Partner, and CEO, africon GmbH spoke about the current business opportunities and the overall investment climate in view of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

Christian Tegethoff, Managing Director, CT Executive Search talked about recruiting the right talent in Africa. Mr. Tegethoff addressed important issues such as:

  • Africa’s distinct labour markets.
  • How European companies fill their executive roles.



Restarting business in Russia

MIGRATION LAW At the present time, foreigners are only able to enter the country from abroad in particular cases (for example, if they have residence). Highly qualified specialists may enter if, at the employer’s request, they were entered on the list of the corresponding ministry. It’s still not at all easy to enter the country, but the first flights are already underway.

An important exception is what is known as an “installation visa”. Foreigners may enter the country, regardless of the industrial sector, in order to configure or provide technical servicing of equipment, etc. To so do, an application must be submitted to the corresponding ministry, following a complex procedure. A foreign specialist may enter the country on a visa received from a Russian consulate abroad.



May an employee refuse to come back to the office after working from home?

Poland: Employees refuse to come back to the office after working from home. What can employers do?

The anti-COVID-law in Poland allows employers to send employees home, temporarily working from home during the epidemic, even if employees have no teleworking agreement in place. Many firms used this opportunity to ensure burden-free operation during the epidemic. But after most of the COVID restrictions were already lifted, many employees still decline invitations to come back to the office.



Focus on Africa: Filling in Key Positions in Africa

Christian Tegethoff, Managing Director, CT Executive Search

Topics covered include:

  • HR Markets in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Characteristics of most African HR markets.
  • Executive Search in Africa.
  • Talent search: Expat, Local, or Repatriate?
  • How to enter the African markets.



Lithuanian Supreme Court rules on dismissal by employer

For the first time since the introduction of Article 59 of the Labour Code, the Supreme Court is dealing with this type of dismissal.

Termination of an employment contract at the employer's initiative under Article 59 of the Labour Code (DK) – one of the grounds for dismissal of an employee provided for by the DK ‒ was introduced in 2017 when a new DK entered into force.

So far, cases involving workers made redundant on this basis have only been heard in the lower courts. Now, for the first time, the Supreme Court, Lithuania’s highest instance, has dealt with the conditions for this type of employment contract termination at the initiative of the employer.



Focus on Africa – A look at business opportunities, growing markets and how to find the right talent

Marc-Peter Zander, CEO & Partner, africon GmbH

Issues covered include:

  • How to approach African markets.
  • Market entry during COVID-19
  • How to become active or grow in Africa.
  • How to find your target market.
  • Is there need for a cultural adaptation to business?



Capital Investment is Moderate

Dr. Reinhard Kohleick, Managing Director, Quadriga Capital Russia

Did the companies you worked with over the years resort to external advice? What experiences have you had?

Yes, we have resorted to external expertise on various occasions – especially if something did not work out or new topics were approached.

Working with an external consultant is always recommended if the required knowledge is not available in-house. When it comes to the perception of deficits, there are definitely differences between Russian and German companies.



Market Optimization With Freelance Experts

Christian Tegethoff, Managing Director, CT Executive Search

Is there a demand for our products in India, Russia or Central Asia? How big is the local market, what certifications are necessary, how is the competition structured? What are the needs of local customers? Which sales model should be chosen: export via importers, a representative office for setting up and maintaining a dealer network or direct sales through a local subsidiary? How can maintenance and service for technical products be ensured?

When entering new markets, many questions arise for companies - the decisions made in the beginning can have long-term consequences.

When entering the market, it is important to consider which financial and organizational investments can be expected to generate which income. Many medium-sized companies choose to minimize risk and thus choose a step-by-step approach: first sales through importers, then the establishment of a representative office, and finally opening a subsidiary in the target country.



Online Event: Focus on Africa - A look at business opportunities, growing markets and how to find the right talent

A joint event organised by CT Executive Search and africon GmbH

Date: Thursday, 30 July, 2020

Time: 2pm (14:00) CET

Speakers and topics:

Christian Tegethoff, Managing Director, CT Executive Search - Filling key positions in Africa.

  • Africa: a diverse continent with distinct labour markets.
  • Expat or local: How do European companies fill their executive roles?
  • Executive search in and for Africa.
  • Current development on selected HR markets.

Marc Zander, Managing Partner and CEO, africon GmbH – Business opportunities in Africa.

Registration: Register here for the event. Once registration is complete, a link to join the conference will be sent to the email address included in the registration form.


India Extends Key Tax Deadlines Again for Businesses in 2020 due to COVID-19

Deadline for filing FY 2019-20 income tax return, issuing Form 16

The government announced in May that the deadline for filing income tax returns (ITR) for the financial year (FY) 2019-20 would be pushed from July 31, 2020 and October 31, 2020 to November 30, 2020.

For employers, the deadline to issue Form 16 (the TDS certificate for salaried employees) has been extended to August 15, 2020. The government had previously extended this deadline (via an ordinance issued on March 31) from June 15, 2020 to June 30, 2020.



Business Recovery in ASEAN After COVID-19 – Latest Issue of ASEAN Briefing Magazine

In this issue:

  • Government Measures to Counter COVID-19 Impact in ASEAN
  • Legal Provisions to Manage HR and Employment Concerns
  • New Investment Opportunities in ASEAN

In this issue of the ASEAN Briefing magazine, we begin by introducing the different incentives and measures issued by ASEAN’s largest economies from March to June 2020 to mitigate the economic impact of the virus. We then analyze the HR and employment issues faced by businesses during the pandemic. Finally, we focus on the investment opportunities in ASEAN in the post COVID-19 era.



Poland: May an employee refuse to come back to the office after working from home?

The anti-COVID-law stipulates no maximum deadline as to how long the home office order may stay in force. This means that the employer is entitled to decide unilaterally on this issue in the scope of its general authority to issue orders and directives to employees. Should an employee refuse to obey, the employer is even entitled to terminate the employment on the ground of violation of a direct employer’s order. However, this kind of misconduct should not be treated as a very serious offence, as far as the employee carries out their working duties properly. Indeed, termination on that basis could be difficult to defend in the labour court.



Recruiting in China After COVID-19: HR Planning and Talent Acquisition for SMEs

COVID-19 has caused great disruptions to China’s economic activities. Industries, such as catering, tourism, film and television, and retail, have been hit badly due to the pandemic outbreak. Many enterprises, especially small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), have had to suspend new hiring or even downsize staff to cut labor costs and survive financial difficulties.

That said, now is also a great time to reconsider the firm’s human resources (HR) planning and recruitment arrangement. Here is why.

Firstly, SMEs can evaluate and adjust their business development plan, dissolve unnecessary business units, and set up new lines of business that meet the new market needs.



Romania’s Image Has Improved

Interview with Sorina Faier Managing Partner Elite Searchers, Bucharest, and Christian Tegethoff Managing Director, CT Executive Search

How has the corona pandemic affected your business?

What sort of mandates are you currently working on in Romania? Unfortunately, the pandemic also had a major impact on the Romanian labour market, especially in the executive segment.

In certain sectors, there is still uninterrupted demand – these include the IT, food, retail, consumer goods, and online trading sectors. On the other hand, it particularly affected the automotive industry, the transport and logistics sector, and of course tourism and hotels, restaurants, and catering (HoReCa).



Christian Tegethoff Talks About The Challenges In The HR Sector Post-COVID-19 At The Online Webinar Organised by The Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber Of Commerce In Russia

On June 25, 2020 Christian Tegethoff, Managing Director, CT Executive Search spoke at the online event organized by the Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce in Russia (CCBLR) titled, Decoding COVID-19 HR Challenges.

Mr. Tegethoff addressed several burning issues, such as:

  • How did COVID-19 affect the HR sectors in Russia, Germany, and Eastern Europe (CEE/SEE)?
  • What measures were taken by the governments and companies operating in these regions to retain employees and curb unemployment rates?

Present at the event were business owners, Heads of Belgian-Luxembourg Chambers of Commerce in Asia and the CIS, the Russian Ambassador to Luxembourg, and top executives of Belgian, Luxembourg and Russian companies with business operations in these regions.



German Companies Benefit From The Size of the Market

Sebastian Metz, Executive Board Member of the German-Romanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Bucharest

What measures has Romania taken to respond to the coronavirus pandemic?

What medium and long-term effects do you expect for the country? Romania reacted quickly and took early measures to prevent the spread of the pandemic. Schools and kindergartens were closed in mid-March, when the state of emergency was declared. Other measures to prevent and control infections have been introduced, such as the requirement to wear a mask in public transport and in closed rooms.

To support the business environment, the Romanian government has also taken measures to mitigate the long-term economic consequences. These include bank guarantees for SMEs and micro-enterprises, deferrals of loan repayments, deferrals for rent and ancillary costs, changes in the payment deadlines for debts to the state budget, granting free working days for parents, tax support measures and 75% of the (technical) unemployment benefits borne by the state.



Legal Framework In Romania

Cristiana Stalfort, Managing Partner, STALFORT. Legal.Tax.Audit.

As the second largest country in Eastern Europe, Romania with its approximately 23 million inhabitants is an interesting place for foreign investors. As a result of the corona crisis, it should become even more attractive as a nearshoring location.

When entering the Romanian market, foreign companies should first conduct extensive research into the geographic and economic environment in which the Romanian subsidiary is supposed to operate. Certain aspects such as infrastructure and geographical location, nearby university cities (for research, development and IT activities) or available labour in the area (for production activities) can be decisive.



Marcus Honkanen to support CT Executive Search as Senior Advisor

We are pleased to welcome Marcus Honkanen as a Senior Advisor to our team. We are thus strengthening the long-term cooperation with Nordic Minds, which is headed by Mr. Honkanen as Managing Partner. The international executive search firm has offices in Germany and Scandinavia.

Marcus advises and supports his clients in the recruitment of management positions in the Central and Northern European markets, as well as conducting pan-European searches for top-tier executive positions.