Hong Kong’s hiring and employment compliance laws tie directly to its heritage. Formerly a British colony, the nation currently operates as a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of The People’s Republic of China. As a SAR, Hong Kong has its own recruiting and employment laws that protect both workers and employers.
Recruiting in Hong Kong
You have 2 main options for recruiting in Hong Kong: handling the tasks yourself or working with a hiring agency. You can post job vacancies with the Labor Department (LD) through the Interactive Employment Service. You can also advertise with the Employees Retraining Board (ERB) if you want to employ graduate trainees or individuals with disabilities. If you work with a hiring agency, make sure they’re licensed to do the work and able to provide the results you want.
Companies should consider ways to screen potential hires for the skills you require. You can also check past employment records, ask for a portfolio, or establish a trial period to make sure they can do the work required.
Craft your interview questions to ensure you can understand the employee’s qualifications and personality. Hiring for your Hong Kong-based business means choosing people you can work with every day. Make sure you feel confident in your new employee’s skills and qualifications, as well as their ability to fit with your team.
Laws against discrimination in Hong Kong
Because of the diverse workforce in this country regarding ethnicity, gender, and age, Hong Kong recruiting practices should eliminate discriminatory practices. It is unlawful to discriminate based on:
- Marital status
- Family status
- Sexual orientation
- Race or ethnicity
The Labor Department has guidelines on how to prevent forms of discrimination. These guidelines include the following:
- Use consistent selection material for hiring.
- Ensure equal opportunities and choose candidates based on skills, experience, and ability to perform the job.
- Train employees who will handle applications and interviews to avoid discriminatory questions or topics.
- Do not list age, gender, marital status, race, religion, or language requirements (unless it is justifiable due to the nature of the role) as employment qualifications in advertising materials.
- Avoid questions that could lead to discrimination.
- Ask only interview questions that relate to the job requirements.
- Professionally design any tests related to selection purposes so that they specifically relate to the job requirements.
How to hire employees in Hong Kong
The Employment Ordinance is Hong Kong’s main piece of legislation related to employment and labor laws. In addition to specifying time-off policies, minimum wage, and work hours, the ordinance also has recruitment guidelines to maintain diversity in Hong Kong’s workforce.
Hong Kong employment laws
Hong Kong has many employment laws outlined in the Employment Ordinance. To stay compliant, an employer should make sure it meets legal requirements, including rest days, wage protection, statutory paid holidays, annual leave, sick leave, and severance payments.
An employer needs to create either a written or verbal employment contract, although it is best practice to have a written employment contract that clearly outlines all essential terms of employment. Many statutory benefits and requirements apply to employees that work at least 18 hours a week for a period of at least 4 weeks (“continuous contracts”).
For example, employees in a continuous contract are entitled to no less than 1 full rest day every seven days. Additionally, such employees are entitled to 7 days of paid annual leave during their first year, which increases by 1 day every year until they hit a maximum of 14 days.
Onboarding in Hong Kong
Before you onboard employees, you’ll have to set up a subsidiary in Hong Kong to begin the hiring process. You’ll then need to fill out all required forms and create an employment contract. It’s especially helpful to outline what you expect of employees on the first day or the first week of training, and provide employees with any policies or a code of conduct.
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Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you recruit, hire, and onboard anyone, anywhere.