DEFINITION: Every economy has established a complex system of laws and institutions intended to protect the interests of workers and to guarantee a minimum standard of living for its population. The OECD Job Study and the International Encyclopedia for Labour Law and Industrial Relations identify 4 areas subject to statutory regulation in all countries: employment, social security, industrial relations and occupational health and safety. Doing Business focuses on the regulation of employment, specifically the hiring and firing of workers and the rigidity of working hours. This year data on social security payments by the employer and pension benefits, including the mandatory retirement age, have been added. The data on hiring and firing workers are based on a detailed survey of employment and social security regulations. The survey is completed by local law firms. The employment laws of most countries are available online in the NATLEX database, published by the International Labour Organization. In all cases both actual laws and secondary sources are used to ensure accuracy. Conflicting answers are further checked against 2 additional sources, including a local legal treatise on employment regulation. NOTE: This is a ranking derived from several indicators, 1 being the best (ranked first). The higher the number on this graph, the lower their overall ranking. Invert this graph by clicking on 'Amount' at the top. Consult source for details on methodology.