Labour Advisory Board Report 2011-2012 Image
Membership
Labour Advisory Board
Activities in the 2011-2012 Term
Committee on Employees' Compensation
Committee on Empolyment Services
Committee on the Implementation of International Labour Standards
Committee on Labour Relations
Committee on Occupational Safety and Health
Appendices

Chapter 3. Activities in the 2011-2012 Term

3.1 Introduction
  The  Labour  Advisory Board  (LAB)  met  eight  times during the period from 1 January 2011 to 31 December 2012. Members advised the Chairman of LAB on labour legislation, administrative and enforcement measures on labour matters as well as other issues.

3.2 Consultation on Labour Legislation
  LAB discussed seven items of labour legislation. Details of the items and their position as at 31 December 2012 are listed below:

General Holidays Ordinance (GHO) and Employment Ordinance (EO)
  • To amend the GHO and the EO to the effect that should any of the first three days of Lunar New Year or the day following the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival fall on a Sunday, the day immediately after instead of before the said holiday will be designated as a holiday in substitution.
    • The  relevant  bill  was  passed  by   the  Legislative  Council  (LegCo)  on
      14 December 2011 to become the General Holidays and Employment Legislation (Substitution of Holidays) (Amendment) Ordinance 2011, which has come into operation on 24 February 2012. Since the Lunar New Year’s Day in 2013 (10 February) fell on a Sunday, the fourth day of Lunar New Year (13 February) was designated as statutory holiday in substitution accordingly.
Employment Ordinance
  • To make further amendments to the proposed reinstatement and re-engagement provisions of the EO.
    • The additional financial relief for non-compliance with the proposed compulsory order for reinstatement / re-engagement in the form of a “further sum” set at three times the monthly wages of the concerned employee (subject to a maximum of $50,000) was previously endorsed by LAB. After the enactment of the Employment (Amendment) Ordinance 2010 (E(A)O 2010), handling of non-payment of the “further sum” was discussed by LAB. It was agreed that non-payment of the proposed “further sum” should be criminalised just as criminal sanction imposed for non-payment of the awards made by the Labour Tribunal under the E(A)O 2010.
  • To legislate for paternity leave (PL).
    • After three rounds of discussion, the mainstream opinion of LAB was to legislate for three days of PL with pay at four-fifths of the employee’s average daily wages.
Protection of Wages on Insolvency Ordinance
  • To expand the scope of the Protection of Wages on Insolvency Fund (PWIF) to cover pay for untaken annual leave and untaken statutory holidays under the EO.
    • The relevant bill was passed by LegCo on 18 April 2012 to become the Protection of Wages on Insolvency (Amendment) Ordinance 2012. It has come into operation on 29 June 2012.
  • To revise the rate of business registration certificate levy for the PWIF.
    • LAB endorsed a proposal of the Protection of Wages on Insolvency Fund Board to reduce the levy rate from $450 to $250.
Employees’ Compensation Ordinance, Pneumoconiosis and Mesothelioma (Compensation) Ordinance and Occupational Deafness (Compensation) Ordinance
  • To increase the amount of 15 compensation items under the three Ordinances in line with the review findings for 2009 to 2011.
    • The compensation levels are normally adjusted every two years in line with the wage and price movements.  A three-year review for 2009 to 2011 was conducted as against the very special circumstances of the substantive wage growth brought by the implementation of Statutory Minimum Wage (SMW) since May 2011, and also the rising trend in price level and funeral expenses in the period.
    • Relevant resolutions were passed by LegCo on 17 July 2012.  The new levels of compensation have come into operation on 21 July 2012.
Pneumoconiosis and Mesothelioma (Compensation) Ordinance and Construction Industry Council Ordinance
  • To lower the levy rate from 0.25% to 0.15% under the Pneumoconiosis and Mesothelioma (Compensation) Ordinance and increase the levy rate from 0.4% to 0.5% under the Construction Industry Council Ordinance, with the overall levy rate remaining unchanged, such that the Construction Industry Council could have additional resources to implement new initiatives for supporting the development of the construction industry.
    • Relevant resolutions were passed by LegCo on 17 July 2012.  The new levy rates have come into operation on 20 August 2012.

3.3 Consultation on Administrative and
      Enforcement Measures on Labour Matters
  LAB was briefed or consulted on the following administrative and enforcement measures on labour matters:
  • the review by the Labour Department (LD) on the existing mandatory safety training system and the proposed improvement measures.
  • measures adopted by LD in tackling false self-employment, the protection and services provided to employees involved in disputes of false self-employment, and the analysis carried out in respect of such cases.
  • findings of the inter-bureaux / departmental working group on the study to recognise or not medical certificates issued by chiropractors under labour legislation.
  • results of the Special Topic Enquiry on employees engaged under employment contracts with short duration or working hours conducted by the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD).  The enquiry provided information on the distribution and proportion of the employees concerned in the labour market, the industry and occupation they were engaged in, etc.
  • major findings of the 2011 Report on Annual Earnings and Hours Survey conducted by C&SD. The survey supported the implementation of SMW and provided detailed statistical data on the level and distribution of wages, employment and demographic characteristics of employees in Hong Kong.
  • progress of the implementation of SMW and the LegCo Brief on sub-legislation under the Minimum Wage Ordinance.
  • major findings of LD’s Report of the Policy Study on Standard Working Hours.
  • statistics and review on the enhanced mechanism on admission of professionals for employment under the General Employment Policy. The enhanced mechanism was implemented to strengthen communication between the Immigration Department and LD in administering different labour importation schemes.
3.4 Consultation on Other Legislation and Measures
  LAB noted the proposed amendments to the Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) legislation to enhance the enforcement measures of the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority for better protecting the interests of employees and scheme members under the MPF system.

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 in 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 2011-2012 term, LAB vetted 1 460 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 on 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, would review the operation of SLS when necessary.

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

3.6 Participating in the International Labour Conference
  LAB members also attend the annual International Labour Conference in Geneva, Switzerland as part of the delegation of the People’s Republic of China.

The Conference provides a valuable forum for LAB members to exchange views, share experience and establish contacts with delegates from different member States of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

The 100th Session of the International Labour Conference

The  100th  Session  of  the  International  Labour  Conference  was  held  from 1 to 17 June 2011.  The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) sent a tripartite team to the Conference as part of the delegation of the People’s Republic of China.  Members of the team were:

Government
Representatives
  Employer
Representatives
  Employee
Representatives
Mr Cheuk Wing Hing, JP
Commissioner for Labour
  Mr Ho Sai Chu, GBS, JP   Ms Ng Wai Yee, MH
Mr Byron Ng Kwok Keung, JP
Assistant Commissioner for Labour
  Mr Stanley Lau Chin Ho, BBS, MH, JP   Mr Ng Chau Pei
Mr Raymond Leung Kwok Kee
Senior Labour Officer
  Mr Cheung Sing Hung, BBS   Mr Cheng Kai Ming
Ms Samantha Lam Yick Wah
Labour Officer
       
Ms Janny Lau Sau Ki
Labour Officer
       


Members of Labour Advisory Board

Representatives of the HKSAR attending the 100th Session of the
International Labour Conference


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 plenary sessions of the Conference and meetings of the Committee on the Application of Standards, Committee on Domestic Workers, Committee on Labour Administration and Committee for the Recurrent Discussion on Social Protection.

The 101st Session of the International Labour Conference

The 101st Session of the International Labour Conference was held from 30 May to 14 June 2012.  The HKSAR also sent a tripartite team to the Conference as part of the delegation of the People’s Republic of China.  Members of the team were:

Government
Representatives
Employer
Representatives
Employee
Representatives
Mr Byron Ng Kwok Keung, JP
Deputy Commissioner for Labour
  Mr Ho Sai Chu, GBS, JP   Mr Leung Chau Ting
Ms Melody Luk Wai Ling
Chief Labour Officer
  Mr Stanley Hui Hon Chung, JP   Mr Lee Tak Ming
Ms Crystal Lam Chin Kiu
Senior Administrative Officer
  Mr Irons Sze, JP   Mr Cheng Kai Ming
Mr Raymond Leung Kwok Kee
Senior Labour Officer
       
Ms Samantha Lam Yick Wah
Labour Officer
       
Ms Jenny Wu Ching Han
Labour Officer
       



Representatives of the HKSAR attending the 101th Session of the
International Labour Conference


Over 5 000 government, employer and employee delegates and advisers from 185 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 the Social Protection Floor, Committee on Youth Employment and Committee for the Recurrent Discussion on Fundamental Principles and Rights.

3.7 Participating in the 15th Asia and the Pacific Regional Meeting
  LAB Members also attended the 15th Asia and the Pacific Regional Meeting (APRM) of ILO held in Kyoto, Japan from 4 to 7 December 2011.  APRM was held periodically to discuss matters and problems specific to the Asian region.

A tripartite team from the HKSAR attended the meeting in the name of “Hong Kong, China”.  Members of the team were:

Government
Representatives
Employer
Representative
Employee
Representative
Mrs Tonia Leung So Suk Ching, JP
Assistant Commissioner for Labour
Mr Irons Sze, JP Mr Cheng Kai Ming
Mr Gary Wong Kwok Lok
Labour Officer
   



Representatives of the HKSAR attending
the 15th Asia and the Pacific Regional Meeting


3.8 Contacts with other Labour Administrations
  LAB also maintains liaison and interflow with other labour administrations.

With a view to collecting firsthand information on the implementation of regulation of working hours, a delegation of LAB visited the United Kingdom (UK) from 24 to 28 May 2012 to  study  the  experience  in  statutory regulation  of  working hours in the UK since 1998.  The delegation comprised 15 members, including:

Government
Representatives
Employer
Representatives
Employee
Representatives
Mr Cheuk Wing Hing, JP
Commissioner for Labour
  Mr Ho Sai Chu, GBS, JP   Mr Leung Chau Ting
Mr Nicholas Chan Chun Tak
Assistant Commissioner for Labour
  Dr Kim Mak Kin Wah, BBS, JP   Ms Ng Wai Yee, MH
Ms Reddy Ng Wai Lan, JP
Principal Economist,
Financial Secretary’s Office
  Mr Stanley Lau Chin Ho, BBS, MH, JP   Mr Lee Tak Ming
Ms Samantha Lam Yick Wah
Labour Officer
  Mr Irons Sze, JP   Mr Ng Chau Pei
Mr Tony Chiu Man Yiu
Assistant Labour Officer I
  Mr Cheung Sing Hung, BBS   Mr Cheng Kai Ming



Members of the study mission to the UK on working hours regulation



Mr Cheuk Wing Hing, Commissioner for Labour (second from left), Mr Ho Sai Chu, employer representative (first from right) and Mr Leung Chau Ting, employee representative (first from left), presenting a souvenir to the representative of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills of the UK