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Standard Working Hours Committee holds 16th meeting

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

     The Standard Working Hours Committee (SWHC) held its 16th meeting today (October 28).

     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'). Besides the 'big frame', the SWHC is also exploring the feasibility of providing further protection for grass-roots employees with lower income, lower skills and less bargaining power (i.e. the 'small frame').

     "At the meeting today, the SWHC reviewed the major findings of the public consultation and working hours survey conducted last year, the basic principles of the SWHC in exploring working hours policy directions, key features of the 'big frame' under consideration, as well as the social factors which, among others, included employees' health, work-life balance and labour relations, and the preliminary key results of the impact assessment of the 'small frame'. In addition to the different parameter combinations for studying the 'small frame' as discussed in the previous meetings, the SWHC agreed that detailed data analysis in respect of employees with monthly wages not exceeding $25,000, weekly working hours exceeding 44 hours and overtime pay rate at 1:1.5 would be carried out for SWHC's reference.

     "The SWHC will, upon further deliberating the relevant data, consider taking forward the work on further consultation with major employer associations, major labour organisations, relevant trades and professional bodies, etc, so as to collect views for the SWHC's reference in preparing its report."

     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 small and medium-sized enterprises), trades, the overall economy and the labour market with a view to building community consensus and formulating appropriate and feasible working hours policy options."

     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, October 28, 2015
Issued at HKT 15:20


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