In April 2016, the Hong Kong Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data issued a Revised Code of Practice on Human Resource Management ("HRM Code") and new Guidelines on Monitoring and Personal Data Privacy at Work ("Monitoring Guidelines") under the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance ("Ordinance"). The HRM Code was issued together with a related Compliance Guide and Responses to Common Questions. The HRM Code is intended to provide practical guidance to employers on how to properly handle personal data for each phase of the employment process, from recruitment through to former employee.
Failure to abide by the mandatory provisions of the HRM Code will be considered, and could be viewed unfavorably, by the Privacy Commissioner in any case against the employer. The Monitoring Guidelines provide guidance to employers on the application of the provisions of the Ordinance to monitoring and collection of employee data and how and when such activity is appropriate. While not mandatory, the Monitoring Guidelines do provide suggested best practices for employers.
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