Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Email this article
Young job seekers reminded to be aware of job traps and work safety

     The Labour Department has reminded school leavers and summer job seekers to be aware of job traps and to pay attention to the relevant protection under labour laws and occupational safety matters.

     "When looking for jobs, school leavers and summer job seekers should be pragmatic and cautious. They should be aware of dubious recruitment advertisements, especially those for highly paid jobs with no specific requirements as to skills or academic qualifications," a spokesperson for the department said today (May 19).

     "They should also pay attention to the main provisions of the Employment Ordinance and the Minimum Wage Ordinance to understand their employment rights and benefits, so as to avoid wage defaults and unnecessary labour disputes," he said.

     "It should also be noted that, unless otherwise specified, the Statutory Minimum Wage applies to all employees, whether they are full-time, part-time or casual employees. Exemption arrangements are provided under the Minimum Wage Ordinance for specified student interns and work experience students.

     "Before signing an employment contract, they should make sure they understand and accept all the contract terms. If the employer proposes to vary the terms of employment or work nature after a contract has been signed, they should understand these changes in detail before considering whether to accept them."

     The spokesperson stressed that job seekers must decline job offers that may involve unlawful or immoral behaviour, such as selling counterfeit goods or employment relating to vice activities. They must be vigilant to any demands from an employer to pay registration fees or training fees, and any invitation from an employer to take part in investment or to pay fees for the purchase of goods.

     "Job seekers should also beware of situations in which swindlers, under the pretext of recruitment, may obtain their personal data, such as information on identity cards, bank accounts and credit cards, for unlawful purposes," he said.

     "If they have any doubts or problems, they should immediately consult their parents or teachers, or seek assistance from relevant authorities such as the Police and the Consumer Council."

     Under the Employment Ordinance, all employees covered by the Ordinance are entitled to basic protection such as payment of wages, restrictions on wage deductions, granting of statutory holidays and so on.

     He said that certain industries or establishments might request job seekers to take up jobs in the capacity of "self-employed persons". Given that self-employed persons are not covered by the Employment Ordinance nor the Minimum Wage Ordinance, job seekers are reminded to clarify whether they are engaged as employees or self-employed persons before taking up a job so as to safeguard their rights and benefits.

     Except under special circumstances prescribed by the law, if an employee or employer wants to terminate an employment contract, the party terminating the contract should give due notice or wages in lieu of notice to the other party in accordance with the Employment Ordinance and terms of the employment contract.

     The spokesperson said that under the Employment Ordinance and the Minimum Wage Ordinance, employers had to pay wages to employees within seven days upon the expiry of a wage period or termination of an employment contract, and that wages payable to employees shall not be less than Statutory Minimum Wage. Employees who are owed wages or are underpaid should approach the nearest branch office of the Labour Relations Division as soon as possible for assistance.

     The spokesperson took the opportunity to remind young job seekers to pay particular attention to occupational safety and health to avoid work injuries.

     "They should carefully assess their own capabilities before taking up a job and pay close attention to the work environment, and understand the inherent hazards. They should also follow the safety guidelines provided by their employers to prevent work injuries," the spokesperson said.

     He pointed out that the most common accidents involving summer job workers were slips or trips, contact with hot surfaces or substances, striking against objects, injuries caused whilst lifting or carrying objects and laceration by hand tools.

     "Those who work in food and beverage services establishments should exercise extra care to avoid work injuries as they may be required to work on a slippery floor, use sharp knives, come into contact with hot cooking equipment or carry heavy objects," he said.

     "Potentially hazardous jobs, such as those involving the operation of woodworking tools or dangerous machinery and the handling of chemicals may not be suitable for school leavers or summer job seekers, who are inexperienced and have not received proper training."

     Under the law, people under 18 years of age are not allowed to operate any power-driven lifting appliances or load-shifting machinery, or to be the signaller for lifting operation. They are also not allowed to work on suspended working platforms or inside confined spaces. The law also forbids untrained people under the age of 18 from working on construction sites.

     To advise school leavers and summer job seekers to stay alert to job traps, the Labour Department has stepped up promotional activities that include production of posters for display and leaflets for distribution at secondary schools, higher education institutes, public libraries, youth centres and the Home Affairs Department's district offices, and more. All relevant information has been uploaded to the Website on Summer Jobs Employment (

     Guidebooks titled "Employment Ordinance at a Glance" and "A Concise Guide to the Employment Ordinance", setting out in simple terms the main provisions of the Employment Ordinance, as well as different reference materials on Statutory Minimum Wage published by the department, are available at branch offices of the Labour Department's Labour Relations Division and the Home Affairs Department's district offices. The information can also be downloaded from the Labour Department's websites at and

     Publicity messages to remind young job seekers to beware of job traps are being broadcast on the radio and television and at Job Centres of the Labour Department. The department will also make use of the Internet, outdoor televisions and newspapers to drive the message home.

     Moreover, the Labour Department has published a number of leaflets providing guidance to summer job seekers on occupational safety and health. They can be obtained from the department's Occupational Safety and Health Branch offices or downloaded from its websites at and Radio announcements in the public interest on summer job seekers' occupational safety and health are also being broadcast.

     Enquiries can be made at the department's hotline on 2717 1771 (the hotline is handled by 1823).

Ends/Monday, May 19, 2014
Issued at HKT 11:29


Print this page