Labour Advisory Board Report 2009-2010Chapter 3. Activities during the 2009-2010 Term

3.1 Introduction
  The Labour Advisory Board (LAB) met 10 times during the period from 1 January 2009 to 31 December 2010. The Chairman of LAB consulted members on labour legislation, administrative and enforcement measures on labour matters as well as other issues.

3.2 Consultation on Labour Legislation
  LAB discussed four items of labour legislation relating to the welfare of Hong Kong workers. Details of the items and their position as at 31 December 2010 are listed below:

Employment Ordinance
  • To enhance the enforcement of Labour Tribunal / Minor Employment Claims Adjudication Board awards.
    • LAB first endorsed the proposal on 10 December 2008. LAB held discussion again on 12 January 2010 upon gazettal of the Employment (Amendment) Bill 2009 and subsequent deliberations at the Legislative Council (LegCo) Bills Committee.
    • The Employment (Amendment) Bill 2009 was passed by LegCo on 28 April 2010 and became the Employment (Amendment) Ordinance 2010 which has come into operation with effect from 29 October 2010.
Protection of Wages on Insolvency Ordinance
  • To expand the scope of the Protection of Wages on Insolvency Fund to cover pay for untaken annual leave and statutory holidays under the Employment Ordinance.
    • LAB endorsed the proposal to cover pay for untaken annual leave on 25 May 2009 and the revised proposal to further cover pay for untaken statutory holidays on 22 March 2010.
Employees' Compensation Ordinance & Pneumoconiosis and Mesothelioma (Compensation) Ordinance
  • To increase the amounts of five compensation items under the Employees' Compensation Ordinance (ECO) by 2.34%, in accordance with the review findings of the cumulative growth in the Nominal Wage Index, and to maintain the existing levels of compensation for other items under ECO and the various compensation items under the Pneumoconiosis and Mesothelioma (Compensation) Ordinance that should be revised downwards according to the review findings.
    • LAB endorsed the proposal on 12 January 2010.
    • The amendment resolution made under section 48A of ECO was passed by LegCo on 30 June 2010. The new levels of compensation have come into operation with effect from 1 August 2010.
Minimum Wage Ordinance
  • To introduce legislation on a statutory minimum wage (SMW).
    • LAB discussed a series of practical issues relevant to the introduction of SMW including the views of stakeholders on the special arrangement for persons with disabilities, coverage of employees and exemption of employees on student internship under the SMW legislation. LAB visited workplaces of persons with disabilities in February 2009 to enhance understanding on the working situation of different categories of persons with disabilities and the difference in their productivity.
    • LAB supported the proposal regarding the criteria for approved assessors and methods of assessment in relation to the productivity assessment of persons with disabilities on 6 December 2010.
    • The Minimum Wage Ordinance was passed by LegCo on 17 July 2010. The initial SMW rate would come into force on 1 May 2011.

3.3 Consultation on Administrative / Enforcement Measures on Labour Matters
  LAB was consulted on the following administrative / enforcement measures on labour matters:
  • LAB noted and gave views on the measures adopted by the Labour Department (LD) in tackling false self-employment and the protection for employees so engaged.
  • LAB noted the results of the Thematic Survey on Importance of Age Factor in Employment conducted by the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD).
  • LAB noted the major findings of the 2009 Annual Earnings and Hours Survey conducted by C&SD. The survey supported the implementation of SMW and provided detailed statistical data on wage, employment and demographic profiles of employees in Hong Kong.
  • LAB noted and gave views on the draft reference guidelines on SMW for employers and employees drawn up by LD.

3.4 Consultation on Other Legislation / Measures
  LAB was briefed or consulted on other legislation or measures of relevance to labour matters, as given below:
  • LAB gave its views on the public consultation paper for the Review of Corporate Rescue Procedure Legislative Proposals, launched by the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau (FSTB), in respect of, inter alia, provisional supervision and the options on the handling of employees' outstanding entitlements.
  • LAB gave its views on the public consultation paper for the Companies Ordinance Rewrite *Draft Companies Bill First Phase Consultation, launched by FSTB, in respect of, inter alia, the headcount test, disclosure of directors' residential addresses and the identification numbers of directors and company secretaries.
  • LAB gave its views on the public consultation document for the Revised Code of Practice on Employment under the Disability Discrimination Ordinance published by the Equal Opportunities Commission.
  • LAB gave its views on the review findings of the minimum and maximum relevant income levels for Mandatory Provident Fund Contributions conducted by the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority.

3.5 Monitoring the Supplementary Labour Scheme
  LAB is responsible for monitoring the Supplementary Labour Scheme (SLS) and vetting applications for importation of labour submitted thereunder. Operating on the principle of according priority of employment to local workers, SLS allows the entry of imported workers at technician level or below to take up jobs which cannot be filled locally. During the 2009-2010 term, LAB vetted some 1 100 applications.

Since August 1996, a working group on SLS has been formed under LAB to consider the vetting guidelines for processing applications under SLS and to discuss the applications for which LAB members have differing views during vetting.

To ensure the effective attainment of the policy objective of SLS, the Government, in consultation with LAB, regularly reviews the operation of SLS.

The terms of reference, composition and membership of the working group are at Appendix VI.

3.6 Participating in the International Labour Conference
  Apart from advising the Commissioner for Labour on labour matters, LAB members also attend the annual International Labour Conference in Geneva, Switzerland as part of the Chinese delegation.

The Conference provides a valuable forum for LAB members to meet with delegates from different member States of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) so as to exchange views, share experience and establish contacts, thereby enhancing their exposure to and understanding of international labour issues.

The 98th Session of the International Labour Conference

The 98th Session of the International Labour Conference was held from 3 to 19 June 2009. The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) sent a tripartite team to the Conference as part of the Chinese delegation. Members of the team were:

Government
Representatives
  Employer
Representatives
  Employee
Representatives
Mr Alan Wong Kwok Lun, JP
Deputy Commissioner for Labour
(Labour Administration)
  Mr Ho Sai Chu, GBS, JP   Ms Ng Wai Yee, MH
Mrs Tonia Leung So Suk Ching, JP
Assistant Commissioner for Labour
  Mr Stanley Lau Chin Ho, BBS, MH, JP   Mr Tsui Sai Cheung
Mr Raymond Leung Kwok Kee
Senior Labour Officer
  Mr Cheung Sing Hung, BBS   Mr Cheng Kai Ming
Mr David Tam Siu Mun
Labour Officer
       
Miss Gloria Kam Wing Yin
Labour Officer
       


Representatives of the HKSAR attend the 98th Session of the International Labour Conference.
Representatives of the HKSAR attend the 98th Session of the International Labour Conference.

Representatives of the HKSAR attend the plenary session of the International Labour Conference together with the tripartite members of the Chinese delegation, including the Vice Minister of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, Mr Wang Xiaochu (2nd from right in first row), Vice Chairman of All China Federation of Trade Unions, Mr Xu Zhenhuan (2nd from left in the first row), and Vice President of China Enterprise Confederation, Mr Chen Lantong (1st from left in front row).
Representatives of the HKSAR attend the plenary session of the International Labour Conference together with the tripartite members of the Chinese delegation, including the Vice Minister of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, Mr Wang Xiaochu (2nd from right in first row), Vice Chairman of All China Federation of Trade Unions, Mr Xu Zhenhuan (2nd from left in the first row), and Vice President of China Enterprise Confederation, Mr Chen Lantong (1st from left in front row).

The Conference was attended by more than 4 000 government, employer and employee delegates and advisers from 183 member States of ILO. The HKSAR representatives attended the ILO Summit of the Global Jobs Crisis, the plenary sessions of the Conference and meetings of the Committee on the Application of Standards, Committee on HIV/AIDS, Committee on Gender Equality and Committee of the Whole on Crisis Responses.

The 99th Session of the International Labour Conference

The 99th Session of the International Labour Conference was held from 2 to 18 June 2010. The HKSAR also sent a tripartite team to the Conference as part of the Chinese delegation. Members of the team were:

Government
Representatives
Employer
Representatives
Employee
Representatives
Mrs Cherry Tse Ling Kit Ching, JP
Commissioner for Labour
  Mr Ho Sai Chu, GBS, JP   Mr Leung Chau Ting
Mr Byron Ng Kwok Keung, JP
Assistant Commissioner for Labour
  Mr Stanley Hui Hon Chung, JP   Mr Chung Kwok Sing
Miss Drew Lai Sai Ming
Senior Administrative Officer
  Mr Irons Sze, JP   Mr Lee Tak Ming
Mr Raymond Leung Kwok Kee
Senior Labour Officer
       
Mr David Tam Siu Mun
Labour Officer
       


Representatives of the HKSAR attend the 99th Session of the International Labour Conference.
Representatives of the HKSAR attend the 99th Session of the International Labour Conference.

Over 5 000 government, employer and employee delegates and advisers from 183 member States of ILO participated in the Conference. The HKSAR representatives attended the plenary sessions of the Conference and meetings of the Committee on the Application of Standards, Committee on Domestic Workers, Committee on HIV/AIDS, Committee for the Recurrent Discussion on Employment and Committee on the 1998 Declaration.

3.7 Contacts with ILO
  LAB also maintained liaison and interflow with ILO officials.

September 2010

Visit by ILO officials

The Regional Director of ILO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Dr Sachiko Yamamoto, and the Director of ILO Country Office for China and Mongolia, Ms Ann Herbert, visited the HKSAR and shared with LAB members on regional priorities and challenges of the labour scene.

Commissioner for Labour, Mrs Cherry Tse Ling Kit Ching (6th from right), and LAB Members meet the Regional Director of ILO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Dr Sachiko Yamamoto (5th from right), and the Director of ILO Country Office for China and Mongolia, Ms Ann Herbert (6th from left).
Commissioner for Labour, Mrs Cherry Tse Ling Kit Ching (6th from right), and LAB Members meet the Regional Director of ILO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Dr Sachiko Yamamoto (5th from right), and the Director of ILO Country Office for China and Mongolia, Ms Ann Herbert (6th from left).