Transcript of remarks by SLW on serious incident at Hong Kong Coliseum and heat stroke at media session

     Following is the transcript of remarks by the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Chris Sun, on the serious incident at Hong Kong Coliseum and heat stroke at a media session after attending a radio programme this morning (August 6):

Reporter: Mr Sun, can you explain if dancers of the concert signed a self-employed contract, is the Government trying to ascertain whether or not they are actually self-employed, and how does it work even if they signed such a self-employed contract?

Secretary for Labour and Welfare: We are helping them. It depends on the facts, rather than what kind of documents signed. So, right now the Labour Department is in the process of seeking information from the concerned companies and also liaising with the dancers. We hope that, with our mediation, they will be able to determine later on whether or not these dancers are self-employed or they are indeed employees. It depends on the facts. Ultimately, if they cannot come to a consensus about their status, eventually it has to be determined by court; but we hope, with our help and assistance, we will be able to find out what exactly their status is, i.e. they are employees or self-employed. 

Reporter: Mr Sun, with regards to heat stroke, can you explain why it should not be an occupational disease when workers working outside are actually working when they suffer from heat stroke?

Secretary for Labour and Welfare: For workers suffering from heat stroke, it is for sure a work injury, but it is a scientific issue to determine whether or not heat stroke should be classified as an occupational disease. For any disease to be classified as an occupational disease, the question we have to ask is: if you look at the ratio and probability of those being employed in a particular profession, are they being exposed to much higher risk of being infected or suffering from a particular disease as compared to the general public? That is the question we have to ask. If you look at heat stroke, the evidence so far we have in hand is very difficult for us to say that some of the workers in some professions or work types are more susceptible to heat stroke. The answer is no. Right now, based on the evidence available to us, we do not think there is a case for us to classify heat stroke as an occupational disease.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Saturday, August 6, 2022
Issued at HKT 12:27