24th June 2021
Of all the many tax and compliance laws that businesses and individuals need to be aware of, there are equally many other different acts of parliament that aren’t quite so relevant. In this article we look at some of the more ‘weird’ and ‘wonderful’ laws that you’ve probably never heard of and which may or may not affect your recruitment business (we’ll let you decide). One thing’s for sure, though, they’re guaranteed to bring a smile to your face.
Careful with your food
We start with the United Kingdom and an interesting piece of legislation concerning one of its more popular protein rich foods. North of the border in Scotland, Section 32 of the 1986 Salmon Act carries a maximum two-year sentence for anyone in England and Wales caught handling or disposing of salmon deemed to be farmed illegally. Very fishy indeed! And if someone knocks on your door requesting to use your toilet, according to Scottish law you must let them in (we’ll leave the toilet humour well alone for this one).
Described as a ‘culinary delicacy sacred to its municipality’, you have to eat chicken with your hands in the town of Gainesville, Georgia. In Arizona, a state law forbids having a donkey sleep in your bathtub, following a case in which a merchant allowed this to happen and the poor animal was washed away when a dam broke. It did survive thanks to the efforts of locals and thanks to the law there’s no more making an ass of donkeys in baths!
From chickens we move to light bulbs (no, not a joke this time) and a law in Victoria, Australia that allowed only registered electricians to change light bulbs. A fine of 10 dollars was the penalty for taking matters in your own hands. An amendment to the 1998 Electricity Safety Act does now permit residents to take this matter into their own hands fortunately! It’s also illegal to fly a kite in the same state if it bothers another person, so be considerate if you’re out in public partaking in this popular childhood activity.
Global laws – dogs, death and Dion!
Elsewhere in the world, a city regulation dating back to Austro-Hungarian times forced residents of Milan in Italy to smile at all times. Thankfully, the rule didn’t apply to funerals, hospitals or those tending to ill family members. From Lombardy to the Piedmont region and a local council law in Turin which stipulates that you must walk your dog at least three times a day. Fines of up to €500 can be enforced for those not taking their four-legged canine companions out for their walkies.
The mayor of Sarpourenx, Gerard Lalanne issued an edict to the 260 residents of the town in the south west of France that they had to buy a plot of land if they wanted to be buried in the overcrowded local cemetery. Meanwhile in Canada, radio stations have to play songs of their local artists for at least 35% of the time, Monday to Friday, from 6am to 6pm. You may need to invest in some earplugs if you don’t like Justin Bieber, Celine Dion or Michael Bublé!
In Samoa, forgetting your wife’s birthday is illegal. Although there is no punishment by law, we figure that Samoan men would not be allowed to forget their crime for a very long time. Elsewhere, you can’t chew gum in Singapore or run out petrol on the autobahn Germany and neither can you wear high heels to the Acropolis in Greece or wear any Winnie the Pooh clothes in Poland’s playgrounds. And don’t forget, it’s forbidden to take a selfie with a Buddha in Sri Lanka!
Get the support your recruitment business needs
While the above regulations may be amusing and out-dated, compliance is a serious matter, particularly when it comes to international contractor placements. Legislation is constantly changing as authorities adapt to the evolving world of international employment, and a small mistake from anyone in the contracting supply chain could expose your agency to significant risks.
It’s not only tax and compliance that you need to worry about if you’re a recruitment business looking to place contractors abroad. While we can’t advise you on every single local offence, we can help with all your contractor and risk management as well as expansion strategy needs in over 75 countries.