Government maps out general framework on working hours policy (with photos/video)
The proposed policy framework and measures include:
(1) to adopt a monthly wage line of not exceeding $11,000 for defining the "lower-income grass-roots employees", and legislate to mandate employers to enter into written employment contracts with working hours and overtime (OT) compensation terms with these lower-income grass-roots employees;
(2) to use the same wage line in (1) above for defining the lower-income grass-roots employees who shall be entitled to statutory OT compensation by way of OT pay at a rate no less than the rate of the agreed wages (Note), or the equivalent time off in lieu;
(3) to make use of the Labour Advisory Board (LAB) as a platform for employer and employee representatives to thrash out the implementation arrangements and review the effectiveness of the SWHC's recommendations after two years of implementation of the proposed legislative measures;
(4) to draw up 11 sector-specific working hours guidelines through the Labour Department's industry-based tripartite committees; and
(5) to introduce supportive measures to enhance public understanding of working hours policy and make preparation as per the request of the LAB in monitoring the effectiveness of the SWHC's recommendations.
The proposed legislative measures in (1) and (2) above shall not cover persons to whom the Employment Ordinance (Chapter 57) (EO) and the Minimum Wage Ordinance (Chapter 608) do not currently apply.
The Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Stephen Sui, said, "The above recommendations are the best deal that can be reached after over three years of endeavours in promoting informed and in-depth discussion of the community on working hours issues by the SWHC. Having fully considered the SWHC's report, the working hours situation in Hong Kong, views of the community, and data analysis and impact assessment conducted in connection with relevant recommendations, the Government agrees that the recommendations have strived to strike a proper and prudent balance between enhancing employees' employment benefits and employers' affordability, without unduly undermining labour market flexibility and affecting the sustainable development of the economy.
"Implementing recommendations (1) and (2) could serve as a useful start in improving our working hours policy by providing a working hours management framework to enhance the transparency of the working hours terms and put in place appropriate and fair OT compensation arrangements. Adopting the SWHC's recommendations marks an important and positive step forward in shaping the working hours policy in Hong Kong."
Mr Sui paid warm tribute to the Chairperson, Dr Leong Che-hung, and Members of the SWHC for their untiring efforts over a period of more than three years.
The Labour and Welfare Bureau will brief Members of the Legislative Council at the meeting of the Panel on Manpower on June 20 on the SWHC's report and recommendations as well as the follow-up work.
The full text of the SWHC's report, with details of the SWHC's deliberation and recommendations, can be accessed via the Labour Department's website (www.labour.gov.hk/eng/plan/whp.htm).
Note: It refers to the wage rate calculated based on the agreed wages. "Agreed wages" means wages as defined under the EO but excludes OT pay.
Ends/Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Issued at HKT 18:00
Issued at HKT 18:00
Audio / Video
Press conference on general framework on working hours policy