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Standard Working Hours Committee holds second meeting

The following is issued on behalf of the Standard Working Hours Committee:

     The Standard Working Hours (SWH) Committee held its second meeting today (July 24). At the meeting, members received a further briefing from relevant government departments on the working hours statistics published in the Policy Study Report on SWH as well as discussing and endorsing the future workplan of the Committee.

     The Chairperson of the Committee, Dr Leong Che-hung, said after the meeting, "Members had a frank and constructive exchange on the future workplan. To promote an in-depth, informed and objective discussion of the community on working hours with a view to building consensus and identifying the way forward during the Committee's term, the Committee will roll out and organise activities in four major areas, namely: (i) enhancing public understanding on working hours issues; (ii) collection of relevant information, including more comprehensive working hours statistics and further research into the working hours regimes of other places; (iii) adoption of an evidence-based approach for discussion on the basis of 'a basket of factors' for a working hours regime; and (iv) launching public engagement and building consensus.

     "As the subject of working hours is complex and controversial, members agree to commission a research consultant to conduct a dedicated working hours survey in 2014 to support an evidence-based approach for an objective discussion and identification of policy options, and conduct a two-stage public engagement and consultation.

     "Furthermore, the Committee agrees to form two working groups (WGs) on 'Working Hours Consultation' and 'Working Hours Study'. Convened by Mr Ng Chau-pei, the WG on Working Hours Consultation will explore and formulate the arrangements and modes of public consultation, while the WG on Working Hours Study, convened by Mr Stanley Lau, will work on working hours surveys and identification of 'a basket of factors'. Recommendations of the WGs will be reported to the Committee for consideration and discussion," Dr Leong said.

     "The subject of working hours carries widespread and significant implications for the overall labour market, manpower demand, employment relations, work culture, business environment, economic development and business competitiveness. I welcome various sectors of the community to actively give views through the platform of the Committee, and jointly explore and work out policy options that suit the circumstances and future development of Hong Kong," he said.

     The SWH Committee comprises a Chairperson and 23 members, including 12 serving members (employer and employee representatives) of the Labour Advisory Board. Of the remaining 11 members, one each comes from the labour sector and the business field, and three each come from academia, the community and the Government.

Ends/Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Issued at HKT 18:39


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