An Overview of What Employees Are Entitled to in Hong Kong
Employers in Hong Kong will need to abide by the Employment Ordinance, a framework that outlines the strict benefits and compensation rules.
As an employer in Hong Kong, you must offer your employees the benefits they are entitled to. This will ensure your company stays compliant with the local law requirements. If there is something you are unsure of, it is best to contact a lawyer or full-service legal firm like 3E Accounting.
What Are Some of These Guaranteed Benefits?
Certain employee benefits in Hong Kong are guaranteed under the ordinance. These guaranteed benefits include the following:
- Access to public healthcare systems for all employees (insurance not required). The employee’s income should not be deducted for this.
- Life insurance and supplemental health benefits (to compensate for the long wait times often associated with the public healthcare system).
- Seven days of vacation annually (after one year of employment with the same company). One extra day is granted annually until the employee reaches 14 days. The 14-day mark will come after nine years of service.
- Employees can choose between vacation days or payment.
- Paid annual leave.
- Paid sick leave.
- Paid maternity leave.
- Paid paternity leave.
- Minimum termination notice.
- The right to make payments in lieu of notice.
Benefits should generally be up to 20% on top of what you have budgeted for your employee’s gross salary. The laws and requirements above are applicable to foreign nationals working in Hong Kong too.
Staying Compliant With the Law
It is important that all employers stay up-to-date about any changes in the employment laws to avoid the risk of non-compliance. You stay complaint, you must offer your employees all the mandatory benefits.
Hong Kong’s compensation laws are going to depend on what your employee’s category is. If your employee has worked for more than four weeks continuously, they will fall under the continuous employment category. This will be subject to separate compensation laws.
What Are Compensation Payments
Employees are entitled to compensation on the last day of every wage cycle. Employers must pay on or before the due date. You must make the payments no later than seven days after it is due.
Employers are encouraged as a best practice measure to offer their staff a 13-th month bonus. This generally coincides with the Chinese New Year celebrations.
Other Mandatory Laws That Apply
In addition to the employee benefits and local employment requirements above, other mandatory laws are applicable to anyone working in Hong Kong. These laws apply to those working in the country regardless of what their contractual choice of law provisions are in their employment contracts.
These laws include the following:
- Minimum Wage Ordinance (MWO)
- Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance (PDPO)
- Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Ordinance (MPFSO)
- Occupational Retirement Schemes Ordinance (ORSO)
- Occupational Safety and Health Ordinance (OSHO)
- Employees’ Compensation Ordinance (ECO)
- Companies (Winding-Up and Miscellaneous Provisions) Ordinance (CWUMPO)
- Sex Discrimination Ordinance (SDO)
- Disability Discrimination Ordinance (DDO)
- Family Status Discrimination Ordinance (FSDO)
- Race Discrimination Ordinance (RDO)
- Basic Law and Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance
- Labour Tribunal Ordinance (LTO)
- Prevention of Bribery Ordinance (POBO)
For more information and advice about the local employment law requirements in Hong Kong, contact 3E Accounting today.