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
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
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