The new Chief Executive, CY Leung, has followed through with his election manifesto promise to "establish a special taskforce to undertake a study on improving protection for workers in high-risk occupations in relation to insurance, compensation for work injuries, therapy and rehabilitation".
In his 2013 Policy Address, he announced that a Special Committee on Standard Working Hours (SWH) will be set up in the first quarter of 2013, comprising government officials, representatives of labour unions and employers' associations, academics and community leaders.
The role of the Special Committee will be to study the issues related to SWH and put forward policy recommendations that could best suit the overall interests of Hong Kong. The Special Committee also aims to provide a platform to various sectors of the community to "carry out an informed and in-depth discussion on working hours, build consensus and identify the way forward".
The establishment of this Special Committee follows the publication by the Labour Department of a Policy Study on Standard Working Hours in June 2012. The Policy Study examined:
the essential components of an SWH regime, including the definition of "working hours", the objectives of the working hours policy, overtime limit, overtime pay and exemptions from the regime;
the global implementation experience and challenges faced by 12 other countries in regulating working hours;
the latest working hours situation of employees in various sectors of Hong Kong;
the possible economic implication of introducing an SWH regime in Hong Kong; and
the key issues that required further discussion.
The Policy Study concludes that with an SWH threshold of 40 hours per week, the number of impacted employees would be 2.38 million (91.1% of the 2.61 million full-time employees).
If the weekly threshold is increased to 44 or 48 hours, 1.86 million or 1.32 million employees would be affected respectively.
Under the three hypothetical scenarios (40, 44 and 44 hours), the corresponding estimated increase in total wage bill for Hong Kong employers would range from $55.2 billion to $8.0 billion per annum. This equates to between 1.7% and 11.4% of the current total wage bill.
Mayer Brown is a global legal services organization
comprising legal practices that are separate entities (the Mayer
Brown Practices). The Mayer Brown Practices are: Mayer Brown LLP, a
limited liability partnership established in the United States;
Mayer Brown International LLP, a limited liability partnership
incorporated in England and Wales; Mayer Brown JSM, a Hong Kong
partnership, and its associated entities in Asia; and Tauil &
Chequer Advogados, a Brazilian law partnership with which Mayer
Brown is associated. "Mayer Brown" and the Mayer Brown
logo are the trademarks of the Mayer Brown Practices in their
This article provides information and comments on legal
issues and developments of interest. The foregoing is not a
comprehensive treatment of the subject matter covered and is not
intended to provide legal advice. Readers should seek specific
legal advice before taking any action with respect to the matters
discussed herein. Please also read the JSM legal publications
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
As the name implies, end of service gratuity is an amount of money that every employee is entitled to receive, and every employer is liable to pay, upon termination of an employment relationship in the UAE, provided that the employee meets the conditions set out in the Labour Law (UAE Federal Law No.8 of 1980).
Some comments from our readers… “The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable” “I often find critical information not available elsewhere” “As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”