Work hours and holidays vary depending on the nature of the work. Regular wages, overtime and holiday pay are fixed by the employer but must not be less than as described by the Labour Department. The minimum wage varies by location of the work place but every employee is entitled to sick leave (not more than 30 working days per year) and entitled to worker's compensation if an employee suffers injury, sickness, or death in the course of work. Likewise, a female employee who has been in continuous employment by the same employer for a period of at least 180 days is entitled to maternity leave and shall be entitled to receive the ordinary wage for not more than 30 days.

The law also requires an employer to provide welfare facilities, including medical and sanitary facilities. Employment of women and children is restricted by the authority of the Ministry of the Interior.

Regular employees are entitled to severance pay and the conditions for their termination of employment are also set forth. Employees' Associations and Labour Unions may be established and registered with the Labour Department but an operation license is required. Finally, there is a Labour Court on Arbitration to deal specifically with employment disputes.

NOTE: The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

If you would like further advice please contact: David Ellis, Johnson Stokes & Master, 16th Floor, Princes Building, 10 Chater Road, Hong Kong; Tel 2843 4226; Fax no. : 2845 9121. Alternatively do a text search "Johnson Stokes and Master" and "Business Monitor".