Hong Kong 2006
Chapter 6:
Labour Market Situation
Labour Administration and Services
Employment Services
Preparing People for Work
Labour Relations
Employees' Rights
and Benefits
Imported Workers
Occupational Safety
and Health
Occupational Safety
and Health Council
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Labour Administration and Services

The Labour Department is headed by the Permanent Secretary for Economic Development and Labour (Labour), who also assumes the role of the Commissioner for Labour. It formulates and implements labour policies, enforces labour legislation, provides free employment services to employers and job-seekers, promotes harmonious labour relations and responsible trade unionism, safeguards employees' rights and benefits and protects the occupational safety, health and welfare of the workforce.

Labour Legislation

The Labour Department administers Hong Kong's labour laws. Labour legislation has been enacted which, supplemented by administrative measures, enables Hong Kong to meet internationally accepted labour standards.

In 2006, the Employment Ordinance (EO) was amended to raise the maximum penalty for wage offences so as to increase its deterrent effect. The EO was also amended to recognise the medical treatment, examination and certification prescribed by registered Chinese medicine practitioners (CMPs) for the purpose of employees' entitlement to benefits under the EO. Related amendments in respect of registered CMPs were made to the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes (General) Regulation and the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes (Exemption) Regulation.

During 2006, there were 5 193 prosecutions for breaches of various ordinances and regulations administered by the Labour Department. Fines totalling $19,818,900 were imposed.

International Labour Affairs

Hong Kong applies 41 international labour conventions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO). These conventions prescribe international standards on various labour matters and have a significant influence on the formulation of Hong Kong's labour legislation.

In 2006, Hong Kong continued to participate actively in the activities of the ILO, including seminars and workshops, to keep abreast of the developments in international labour matters. In June, a tripartite team comprising government, employer and employee representatives from Hong Kong participated in the 95th Session of the International Labour Conference as part of the China delegation. In August, Hong Kong also sent a tripartite team to attend the 14th ILO Asian Regional Meeting held in Busan in the Republic of Korea.

Labour Advisory Board

The Labour Advisory Board is a high-level and fully representative tripartite advisory body with members from the employee and employer sectors as well as the Government. It advises the Permanent Secretary for Economic Development and Labour (Labour) on matters concerning labour, including legislation and conventions and recommendations of the ILO. The Labour Advisory Board comprises 12 members, six representing employers and six representing employees. The Permanent Secretary for Economic Development and Labour (Labour) is the ex officio chairman.

The board has five committees and one working group on special subjects which cover employees' compensation, employment services, occupational safety and health, labour relations, the implementation of international labour standards and the processing of applications for labour importation under the Supplementary Labour Scheme.

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