The Employment (Amendment) Bill 2017 (the "Bill") was gazetted on 5 May 2017.
The Bill aims to give the court or Labour Tribunal power to order reinstatement or re-engagement without the consent of the employer if requested by an employee who has been unreasonably and unlawfully dismissed and the court or Labour Tribunal considers such order to be appropriate and practicable. A similar bill was introduced in 2016 but subsequently lapsed at the end of the last term of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong (LegCo). See our In Brief dated 6 July 2016.
The main difference between the Bill and the 2016 bill is that the Bill proposes that if an employer refuses to comply with an order to reinstate or re-engage the dismissed employee, it will need to pay to the employee a further sum (in addition to other monetary remedies awarded to the employee) of three times the employee's average monthly wages up to a maximum of HK$72,500 (the "Sum"). The maximum amount of the further sum in the 2016 bill was HK$50,000. It is proposed that it will be an offence for an employer to wilfully and without reasonable excuse fail to pay the further sum.
The Bill will be introduced into the Legislative Council for first and second readings on 17 May 2017.