Friday, 12 May 2017
Hong Kong Updates- Employment Disputes/ Same-sex Marriage/ Minimum Wage
Employment Disputes - Reinstatement of EmployeesThe Employment (Amendment) Bill 2017 , which was gazetted on 5th May, 2017, includes provision for reinstatement of employees who have been unfairly dismissed. The previous draft has been changed, however, to increase the penalty on an employer for refusal to reinstate to HK$72,500.
Although the number of cases where employees seek reinstatement has been low in the past, the increase in the penalty may provide more incentive for employees to do so.
Hong Kong’s Court of First Instance has recognised same-sex marriage in a narrowly defined case (but the Department of Justice is appealing the ruling). In essence, the case applies to cases where the term “spouse” is used in legislation without being defined so as to exclude same-sex marriage (unlike Hong Kong’s Marriage Ordinance, which defines marriage as being between non-same-sex partners, or the Inland Revenue Ordinance, which refers to “husband and wife”).
However, the Equal Opportunity Commission’s Code of Practice against Discrimination in Employment on the Ground of Sexual Orientation proposes good practices in the workplace, including not discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation.
As previously reported, the Statutory Minimum Wage rate has increased from HK$32.5 per hour to HK$34.5 per hour with effect from 1st May 2017.
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