10 Crazy Labour Laws That Make You Grateful


Labour Laws are put in place to keep both the employee and the employer safe. However, these ten labour laws from countries around the world have taken strange to another level.

1. You could be forbidden from going to the bathroom in the US

Did you know that the United States’ Department of Labour has no law guaranteeing employees’ rights to frequent bathroom breaks? So, employers can – technically – prohibit you from going to the bathroom too often.

2. You can’t fire an employee in Portugal

There is no termination period in the country’s employment law. You need to offer a decent resignation package, beg them to leave and – hope – the employees don’t make a fuss about it.

3. Employees hired by Germany’s Labour Ministry can only work 9 – 5

Germany’s labour ministry bans its managers from contacting staff outside work hours, except under “exceptional circumstances” which was understood to be emergencies. The reasoning was that employees should protect themselves against “self-exploitation”.

4. Wear a funny hat in New Zealand and lose at least 10% of your pay

In New Zealand, wearing a funny hat can be interpreted as breaking the uniform code and may result in a 10% pay cut.

5. In Japan, employers are required to measure the waistline of employees!

The so-called Metabo Law was introduced to reduce the number of overweight citizens in Japan. The limits are 33.5 inches for men and 35.4 inches for women. If the employee’s waistline exceeds this he or she is required to go to dieting classes if they do not lose the necessary weight in three months.

6. In China, women are prohibited from performing jobs that government deems “physically demanding”

These jobs include mining, logging timber, and high-altitude work that involves carrying anything 44 pounds or more.

7. The Municipality of Iseskai, Japan, requires its male employees to shave their beards

In 2010, local government banned its employees from exhibiting any form of facial hair, after the public allegedly complained about beards being “unpleasant”.

8. No guys in Women’s-Only stores in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia prevents men from working in shops selling women’s clothing or cosmetics. The reason? Women don’t feel comfortable buying those products from men.

9. In India, companies with more than 100 employees cannot fire people without government permission

The exception to this rule is if the employee was found guilty of criminal misconduct. The law is rooted in the period when the British ruled the region and has largely been left unchanged.

10. Women in Madagascar are prohibited from working at night except in “family” establishments

Prohibited workplaces include charities and religious establishments.

Labour laws infographic


Michale SpicerMichael Spicer is a Director of The Website Group, a UK based Digital Agency specialising in pay monthly business web design, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Social Media Marketing. The Website Group have designed this infographic for their client, Legacy Citizenship.