23 February 2016
Hong Kong's Employment (Amendment) Bill 2016 (the Bill) was gazetted on 12 February 2016.
The Bill, if passed in its current form, will amend the Employment Ordinance (Cap. 57) to provide that where an employee is unreasonably and unlawfully dismissed, the Labour Tribunal may make a reinstatement or re-engagement order without the consent of the employer. (Currently, the Tribunal can only make such an order if the employer consents, which would be extraordinary!)
If an employer refuses to re-engage a dismissed employee, then it will need to pay the employee a maximum sum of three times the employee's average monthly wages, subject to a cap of HK$50,000. This sum is on top of the monetary remedies payable to the employee currently provided in the Employment Ordinance.
An order for re-engagement can be satisfied by an associated company if the dismissed employee agrees.
The Bill will be introduced to the Legislative Council for first and second readings on 2 March 2016.