From hat etiquette to napping on the job, below we have highlighted six of the strangest international workplace rules.

Perhaps you’re thinking of taking a job abroad or you’re just curious about how your benefits compare to other areas of the world. From hat etiquette to napping on the job, below we have highlighted six of the strangest international workplace rules.

Zero tolerance for comedic hats in New Zealand 

It turns out New Zealand is pretty strict about their uniform code so you might want to forget trying to entertain your colleagues by wearing a funny hat. Employers take this matter so seriously that wearing one could see you being hit with a 10% pay cut. 

Japanese employers regularly monitor your waistline

In a bid to reduce obesity, Japan introduced the Metabo Law. This regulation means that employers must measure the waistlines of all their employees aged between 40 and 75 on a regular basis. An upper limit of 33.5 inches for men and 35.4 inches for women has been set and anyone who exceeds this and doesn’t lose the weight within three months, has to go to dieting classes.

Illegal overtime 

With more of us working longer hours than ever before, many countries around the world are starting to introduce measures to prevent workers from burning out. In Germany for example, if you work for the labour ministry, it’s illegal to work overtime and managers aren’t allowed to contact their staff outside of office hours. France also recently introduced a law which means that employees aren’t allowed to access their work emails outside of normal office hours. 

Belgian employees are given the right to travel

Many of us long to head off abroad and enjoy an extended trip away. For most of us however, our jobs mean this isn’t possible. In Belgium, employees are not only legally entitled to a year-long career break if they want it, they also receive full pay while they’re away. If that isn’t enough to tempt people to the sunny shores of Thailand, workers are also guaranteed to be able to return to their job once they return. 

Napping is perfectly acceptable for Japanese workers

Japanese employers may be strict about the circumference of your waist but they’re totally okay with you napping on the job. Because tiredness is seen as a sign that you’ve been working hard, taking a nap is even actively encouraged. Before you consider flying off to the other side of the world however, this perk may not be so appealing when you learn that no desk pillows are allowed and you have to remain upright while asleep. 

Gender-specific jobs still exist 

While the UK is actively promoting women getting into roles that have been typically male orientated (such as tech), other countries are lagging behind when it comes to gender equality. 

In China, women are prohibited from performing jobs the government deems ‘physically demanding.’ This includes mining, logging timber and high-altitude work that involves carrying anything that weighs more than 44 pounds. In Madagascar, women are also prohibited from working at night unless it’s in a family establishment. 

It’s not just women being discriminated against however. In Saudi Arabia, men aren’t allowed to work in lingerie shops. 

What’s the craziest workplace rule you’ve ever come across? Tweet us your stories to @Alpha_IT1. We would love to hear from you!