Special Holiday (3 September 2015) Bill passed by Legislative Council

     The Legislative Council passed the Special Holiday (3 September 2015) Bill today (July 9) to designate September 3, 2015 (Thursday) on a one-off basis as an additional General Holiday (GH) and Statutory Holiday (SH).

     A government spokesman said, "September 3, 2015 is the 70th anniversary day of the victory of the Chinese people's war of resistance against Japanese aggression. It will be a GH under the General Holidays Ordinance so that all banks, educational establishments, public offices and government departments need not open on that day. The day will also be an SH under the Employment Ordinance (EO), and employers of all employees covered by the EO, including those of imported workers and foreign domestic helpers, irrespective of the hours of work or length of service, should arrange for their employees to take an SH on that day. Those who have been employed under a continuous contract for three months or more before the SH will furthermore be entitled to holiday pay."

     The spokesman added that an employer who cannot arrange for an employee to have a holiday on the day of an SH may arrange an alternative holiday or substitute holiday in the manner specified by the EO. In this respect, the EO has stipulations on making various arrangements which include requiring an employer to notify his employee not less than 48 hours before the relevant SH that an alternative holiday would be arranged for him, and to grant the employee the alternative holiday within 60 days after the SH, and so on. Failure to grant an SH or holiday pay to an employee is a prosecutable offence, with a maximum penalty of $50,000.

     The Special Holiday (3 September 2015) Ordinance will be published in the Gazette on July 17.

     Employers and employees may refer to "A Concise Guide to the Employment Ordinance" for more information about SH and holiday pay. The Concise Guide is available at the branch offices of the department's Labour Relations Division, and may also be downloaded from the department's homepage: www.labour.gov.hk or www.labour.gov.hk/eng/public/ConciseGuide.htm. For further information, employers and employees may call the enquiry hotline at 2717 1771 (handled by 1823).

Ends/Thursday, July 9, 2015
Issued at HKT 13:27