6 May 2019 - MONDAY

OFFICIAL VENUE: Ballroom 3, Level 3, Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel

08:30 AM


08:50 AM


Grant Spooner
Managing Director, Employment Law Lead APAC, Accenture

09:00 AM


2019 Leading Employment Law Issues

  1. Emerging trends in labour-related issues
  2. Best practice strategies and policy guidelines for employer defence and risk management


Grant Spooner
Managing Director, Employment Law Lead APAC, Accenture


Johanna Johnson
Employment Counsel, Facebook

Abha Joshi
Employee Relations APAC, Autodesk

Maria Crabb
Director of Employee and Labour Relations
Johnson & Johnson

Andrew Henville
Head of Employment, Incentives and Pensions Legal, APAC,

09:30 AM


Singapore Outlook: Employment Act Changes and What Do They Mean to The Employers

Patrick Tay
Member of Parliament and Assistant Secretary- General, National Trades Union Congress (NTUC)

Interactive Q&A: What Employers Can Prepare Moving Forward

In this session, Mr. Vernon Voon, Partner, RHTLaw Taylor Wessing will be posing interactive questions to Mr. Patrick Tay on how employers can comply with the new amendments and guidelines to the Employment Act and stay abreast of best practices in the changing Singapore labour law landscape.

Vernon Voon
Partner & Co-Head of Employee Practice, RHTLaw Taylor Wessing

Patrick Tay
Member of Parliament and Assistant Secretary- General, National Trades Union Congress (NTUC)

10:10 AM


Vietnam Landscape

With Vietnam emerging as Asia’s next tech and business hub, it is imperative to understand the legal aspects of the labour landscape of Vietnam. In 2018, the country introduced several changes to its labour legislation to better protect employees.

This session will provide the audience with a better understanding of the local labor laws, and the topical employment pitfalls that the employers should be aware of:

1. Overview of the Vietnamese workforce: How to optimise productivity
2. Legislative updates: acquire a critical understanding of the proposed amendments to the Labour Code
– The compulsory expanded insurance scheme: how companies can adeptly manage budgetary
3. Implementing employment due diligence during the M&A transactions
– Effectively managing employment transfers between legal entities
4. Employment terminations: Beware of the heightened criminal liability for unlawful dismissals
5. Avoid common labour pitfalls: managing topical white-collar employment issues

Benjamin Yap
Senior Partner,
RHTLaw Taylor Wessing Vietnam

Bui Thi Giang Huong
Senior Associate,
RHTLaw Taylor Wessing Vietnam

10:50 AM


11:10 AM


Improving Mental Wellbeing in the Workplace: Legal and Non-Legal Perspectives

Poor mental health is becoming a potential workforce epidemic that can significantly affect workplace wellness and productivity, a matter companies cannot afford to ignore. According to the World Economic Forum, the cost to the global economy of all mental health problems can rise to $16 trillion by 2030.

This session will shed light on the legal and non-legal boundaries of employer obligations when handling employees with mental health issues. Timely HR interventions can significantly improve workplace wellbeing and ensure sustainable productivity.

1. What are the companies’ legal obligations, and risks when handling the case?
– Overview of Australia legislation on this matter
– Managing the case of mental harassment and abusive behaviours
2. Progressive internal policies to assist in stress reduction, burnout and build a mentally healthy workplace
3. Combating the social stigma on mental health conditions to build a safe work space


Maria Crabb
Director of Employee and Labour Relations
Johnson & Johnson

Gina Carlon-Tozer
MindFit at Work

Stephen Trew
Managing Partner,
Holding Redlich

Wendy Wand Chua-Sullivan

11:40 AM


Spotlight on the People's Republic of China

  1. Legislative updates: the upcoming proposed amendments
  2. The new social insurance blacklist: consequences and how to avoid heavy penalties
  3. Understanding the labour dispatch structure in China to prevent violation
  4. Handling employment termination, and employee transfers to curb the risks of labour disputes
  5. Conducting an HR audit for early identification of emerging problems to avoid costly litigation

Vera Zeng
Grandall Law Firm

12:20 PM


01:10 PM


Focus on the Philippines

Under the new government, Philippine legislators have given increased protection to its workforce via pro-labour bills. The two prominent bills are the “end-of-contract” Act to prohibit labour-only contracting practices, and the new “Telecommuting Act” to legalise flexible remote working arrangements. The upcoming proposed measures include expanding maternity leave, mandating extra pay and an increased minimum wage.

With at least 3,377 companies being affected, foreign companies operating in the Philippines are having a tough time to manage the increased risk of labour strikes, and mandatory obligations towards its employees, which ultimately affect workforce planning and expansion plans.

This session will outline the upcoming changes, and how companies can confidently manage potential situations to ensure uninterrupted operations.

1. “Security of “Tenure” and “End of Endo Act” (2018):
– How employers can navigate effectively with labour contract matters
– Legal versus illegal labor contracting
2. Understand the government directions to effectively plan for the upcoming changes
3. The new “Telecommuting Act”: issues to consider when allowing “work-from-home” arrangements
4. Managing poor performance with appropriate disciplinary remedies to optimise productivity

Franchette M. Acosta
Senior Partner,
V&A Law

01:50 PM


HR Essential Skills on Employment Transfer Matters to Successfully Navigate Organisational Restructuring

Organisational restructuring has become a more common path for companies in recent times. The process brings with them fundamental changes for employees, through a redundancy, change of employer, or change of job scope. It is a process that can truly test even the most adaptable HR leader. This session will equip you with sound legal knowledge to ensure seamless employment transfers and smoother transitioning and operations.

1. Key employee-related concerns in the organisational restructuring
2. What to watch out before the change
3. Key principles for navigating to a successful employment transfer process
4. Stakeholders engagement
5. Communicate & manage the change
6. Retaining key employees and fortifying re-engagement activities
7. Harnessing change management tools to navigate the complexities
8. Critical success factors to ensure good employee experience


Alan Chen
HR Lead, HR Business Development, Strategic Sourcing, M&A Consultant, APMEA, IBM


Nikhil Dhawan
Regional Human Resources Lead, South East Asia Emerging Markets, Indo-China, Dell EMC

Sandeep Chanana
HR BP, HR Transformation,

02:20 PM


India Insights

  1. An overview of workforce dynamics in India – what are the “must-knows” for foreign companies? 
  2. Key proposed reforms and what to expect in 2019 
  3. Four revised Codes including Code of Wage, and Code on Industrial Relations, Social Security and Welfare and Occupational Working Conditions 
  4. How do these changes will impact company policies? 
  5. Taking full preparations for these changes 
  6. Expatriates and secondment arrangements for non-Indian employees 
  7. Downsizing, reduction in force and employment termination in India – law and practice 
  8. Recent case studies: employment disputes, and sexual harassment case

Vikram Shroff
Head, HR Laws (Employment & Labor)
Nishith Desai Associates

03:00 PM


03:20 PM


Thailand Perspectives

In late 2018, the new proposed amendments to the Labour Protection Act were approved by principal National Legislative Assembly, and to be enacted as law in early 2019.

Employers, therefore, should carefully take note of the changes regarding their obligations to employees to ensure that the appropriate internal policies and systems are in place.

The audience can expect to gain relevant tips and guidance to get fully equipped for the changes.

1. Getting prepared for the new Labour Protection Act and the direct impact on employers
2. Obtaining mandated consent from employees in the change of employer
3. Managing the newly-imposed interest on the employers’ late payments
4. Preparing for a lawful termination process to avoid costly disputes
5. Strengthening HR legal knowledge and negotiation skills to handle labour cases

Chanakarn Boonyasith
Siam City Law Offices Limited

Nuttaros Tangprasitti
Siam City Law Offices Limited

04:00 PM


Indonesian Insights

The Indonesian Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has issued a new regulation on the employment of foreign workers. The new regulation on the Utilization of Foreign Workers (MOMR 10/2018) introduces several changes and provisions that will be of interest to employers in Indonesia.

1. Grappling with the complex statutory Compensation and Benefits terms in Indonesia
– Understand the complex leave systems
– Wage payment, Overtime issues and Work hours matters
2. Utilization of Foreign Workers (2018): impact on work permit and visa requirements
3. Managing complex termination, and redundancy process in Indonesia
– Best practices to expedite the process and avoid costly litigation
4. Updates on latest labour disputes cases in court

Syahdan Zainoel Aziz
SSEK Legal Consultants

Rusmaini Lenggogeni
SSEK Legal Consultants

04:40 PM



Audience will be divided into 4 groups. Each group will be given 4 consultation slots of 15 minutes each with the region’s leading Employment Lawyers to clarify labour law concerns in the various jurisdictions.

05:30 PM


“This has been a really interesting day, with relevant focus. Many of the sessions have been very relevant & provided a good insight into the implications of employment law practices & immigration regulations. The regional perspectives have been particularly relevant for me”
Regional HR Business Partner​
"Very relevant topics, Thanks!"
APAC HR Director