On 7 July 2021, the Legislative Council of Hong Kong passed the Employment (Amendment) Bill 2021 which increases the number of statutory holidays under the Employment Ordinance (the "EO") by five days, starting with the Birthday of the Buddha holiday in May 2022. Please see our Legal Update Hong Kong's Employment (Amendment) Bill 2021 for details.
What Should Employers Do?
- An employee who has been employed under a continuous contract for not less than three months by the employer is entitled to statutory holiday pay. The EO prescribes a rate of statutory holiday pay which is generally the average wage earned in the 12 months immediately before the statutory holiday. Employers should review their calculations and update their systems to ensure that they pay not less than the prescribed statutory holiday pay in respect of the additional statutory holidays.
- If an employee is required to work on a statutory holiday, then the employer must ensure that it complies with obligations under the EO to give notice of and grant an alternative holiday or substituted holiday within the prescribed timeframes. If the statutory holiday falls on a statutory rest day, an employer must grant a holiday on the next day that is not a statutory, alternative or substituted holiday or statutory rest day. Employers should review its arrangements taking into account the additional statutory holidays to ensure that they comply with the EO.
- Employers should also review and update their contracts of employment and relevant holiday policies to reflect the increase in statutory holidays, if necessary.