Standard Working Hours Committee held its 13th meeting

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

     The Standard Working Hours Committee (SWHC) held its thirteenth meeting today (July 22).

     The Chairperson of SWHC, Dr Leong Che-hung, said after the meeting, "On the basis of the previous discussions of SWHC, and with reference to the findings of the dedicated working hours survey as well as the public engagement and consultation on working hours, SWHC has agreed in principle to recommend a legislative approach to implement a policy relating to working hours of employees. Having regard to the varied circumstances of different trades and occupations, a working hours policy should provide the necessary flexibility and hence SWHC considers that an 'across-the-board' legislative approach would be inappropriate. SWHC has agreed in principle to recommend a legislative approach to mandatorily require employers and employees in general to enter into written employment contracts specifying clearly such terms relating to working hours e.g. the number of working hours, overtime work arrangements and methods of overtime compensation (i.e., the 'big frame'), and on this premise to explore whether there is a need for other suitable measure(s) to protect grassroots employees with lower income, lower skills and less bargaining power (i.e., the 'small frame')."

     "At the meeting today, SWHC members have further deliberated relevant issues of the 'big frame' and received a briefing by the secretariat on the proposed frameworks for conducting relevant data analyses and an impact assessment under the 'small frame'. To explore whether the "small frame" should be used on the premise of the "big frame" for further protecting grassroots employees with lower income, lower skills and less bargaining power, SWHC will use the following parameters solely for reference in conducting some data analyses and impact assessment: (i) monthly wages of employees not exceeding $10,000, $12,000 and $15,000; (ii) weekly working hours exceeding 44, 48 and 52; and (iii) overtime pay rates (i.e. the multiples of overtime hourly pay over the original hourly pay) of 1.0, 1.3 and 1.5 times.

     Dr Leong added, "In contemplating a working hours policy, SWHC will carefully consider various factors including employees' overtime work situation, as well as the possible impacts of SWHC's recommendations on employees, employers, enterprises (particularly small and medium-sized enterprises), trades and the overall economy with a view to building community consensus and formulating appropriate and feasible working hours policy options."

     "SWHC plans to further consult relevant stakeholding organisations on preliminary recommendations on working hours policy directions to be suggested later, so as to collect views for SWHC's reference in preparing its report."

     Chaired by Dr Leong, SWHC comprises members drawn from the labour and business sectors, academia, the community and the Government. For details, please refer to the SWHC website (

Ends/Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Issued at HKT 20:30