21 March 2018
The weird and wonderful work rules abroad

Here in the UK, there is general work etiquette that we all must adhere to from not coming to work in your pyjamas (unless it’s for charity) to not shouting blaspheme at the top of your lungs at 10am in the middle of the office. Other examples include not playing Tetris on your smart device during an important meeting with management and not browsing social media during office hours unless you are the social media manager of course. Each company adopts different rules, but as human beings, we use our common sense to figure out what we can and can’t get away with.

With this in mind, we thought we would take a look at other countries to see if they have any weird and wonderful rules. If you are looking to relocate, then you might want to read up on the facts just in case you decide to wear a crazy hat and start waving your finger. This will all make sense once you have read the below:

  1. In New Zealand, you could lose up to 10% pay for wearing a ‘funny’ hat

We thought Kiwi’s were laid back, but apparently not when it comes to head attire. If you wear one to work, it can be considered as breaking uniform policy and could result in a pay cut!

  1. Japanese employers must measure the waistlines of everyone aged 40-75

The ‘Metabo Law’ was introduced in Japan to tackle obesity. The law has a waistline limit (33.5 inches for men and 35.4 inches for women) for all employees aged 40 – 75!

We understand that health and wellbeing is being introduced into the work environment but measuring your employee’s waist line regularly to reduce obesity seems a bit excessive and intrusive. If you have found to have gained a few pounds over the festive period, you are made to attend diet classes.

  1. It’s illegal to work overtime if you work for Germany’s labour ministry

We think this should be introduced everywhere! Managers are also banned from contacting staff outside of working hours.

  1. Companies in India who employ over 100 members of staff need permission to fire someone from the Government

This law dates back to when Britain ruled. This rule can be broken if the reason for the firing is due to misconduct.

  1. If you work in Belgium, you have the right to travel

All employees are legally entitled to a year-long career break with a guarantee of a job on your return. And to top it off, they receive full pay for the whole duration! I think its time to move to Belgium!

  1. Nap time is thing in Japan

You may not be allowed a pillow at your desk, but you can have forty winks during the day. It’s a sign that you are working hard – apparently. Not that you had a late one the night before.

  1. At Walt Disneyworld, you cannot point with one finger

Why I hear you ask? Pointing with one finger can be seen as offensive in some countries so employees are asked to point with two or use the whole hand if necessary. They also can’t say ‘I don’t know’ but are encouraged to come up with helpful responses when asked.


So, where in the world would you prefer to work? Our hearts are set on Japan, once we get the summer beach bodies in order.

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