Draft legislation has been proposed to introduce changes to the Labour Tribunal Ordinance.
The most significant proposed change is that the Labour Tribunal will be given the general power to order a party to give security for payment of an award.
Under section 30 of the Labour Tribunal Ordinance, the power of the Labour Tribunal to order a party to provide security for payment of an award is very restricted. Security may only be ordered against a defendant if there is an adjournment of a hearing and the adjournment may result in prejudice to the claimant because of the disposal of assets by the defendant.
Under the draft legislation, the Labour Tribunal will be given the general power to order a party to give security for payment of an award.
Possible circumstances for ordering security from a party may include the following:
i. Where there is a real risk that payment of the award will be obstructed or delayed because of dissipation of assets;
ii. Where a party unreasonably delays or abuses the Tribunal process;
iii. Where a party fails to comply with any award, order or direction without reasonable excuse;
iv. Where an application for a review of the Tribunal award is devoid of merit.
Beware: If a party fails to give security, this may result in its case being dismissed or suspended, or judgment may be entered against that party.