Employment law in Hong Kong - an overview
30 March 2020
With its historical ties with the West and reputation as a “gateway” to Mainland China, it is not surprising that Hong Kong is already home for many Western companies and is top of the list for those wishing to expand into Asia Pacific. This in-brief provides an overview of employment law in Hong Kong.
The employment law landscape
Although Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region of China, the employment law environment in both regions in many ways remains poles apart. This is consistent with the concept of “one country, two systems” under which Hong Kong has been granted a degree of autonomy in certain areas since Britain handed back sovereignty to China in 1997.
Employment in Hong Kong is significantly less regulated than in China, and indeed many other jurisdictions. Unlike China, Hong Kong has a common law system under which its courts refer to precedents of other common law jurisdictions when making decisions. Hong Kong’s labour market is also a lot more flexible than China’s. Although certain minimum benefits are provided by statute, freedom of contract largely remains the guiding principle.
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Legal update: It’s a T8 – should employees have the day off when WFH? Katy Lee and Tanya Mirchandani comment for Human Resources Online27 August 2020
Many employers in Hong Kong follow the Labour Department’s “Code of Practice in Times of Typhoons and Rainstorms”, companies have put in place extreme weather policies that explain what employees are expected to do in the event of an extreme weather warning. Katy Lee and Tanya Mirchandani comment further in this article for Human Resouces Online.
Employment law across APAC
Our Hong Kong office offers a high quality and cost-effective service for all employment law needs across Asia Pacific.