Standard Working Hours Committee holds 15th meeting

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

     The Standard Working Hours Committee (SWHC) held its 15th meeting today (September 30).

     The Chairperson of the SWHC, Dr Leong Che-hung, said after the meeting, "On the basis of the previous discussions of the SWHC, and with reference to the findings of the dedicated working hours survey as well as the public engagement and consultation on working hours, the SWHC has agreed in principle to recommend exploring 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').

     "At the meeting today, in respect of the 'big frame', the SWHC members have further deliberated the draft employment contract template, which includes specified employment terms relating to working hours and other relevant issues. The secretariat will take follow-up actions as appropriate.

     "On the premise of the 'big frame', the SWHC continues to explore whether there is a need to further protect grassroots employees with lower income, lower skills and less bargaining power (i.e. the 'small frame'). Further to the discussion at the last meeting on the impact assessment results of various combinations of parameters on employers and enterprises (particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)), the SWHC has received a briefing by the secretariat at the meeting today on the possible impacts of these combinations of parameters on the medium- and long-term macroeconomic situation of Hong Kong." (Key findings are in the Appendix)

     Dr Leong also said, "In contemplating a working hours policy, the SWHC needs to carefully consider various factors including employees' overtime work situation, as well as the possible impacts of different scenarios on employees, employers, enterprises (particularly SMEs), trades, the overall economy and the labour market with a view to building community consensus and formulating appropriate and feasible working hours policy options.

     "The SWHC has agreed to further consult major employer associations, major labour organisations, relevant trades and professional bodies, etc, on preliminary recommendations on working hours policy directions to be suggested later, so as to collect views for the SWHC's reference in preparing its report."
     Chaired by Dr Leong Che-hung, the 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, September 30, 2015
Issued at HKT 17:44