Some employers engage “part-time” employees to meet operational needs. On the other hand, due to personal reasons such as further study and family commitments, some job-seekers prefer “part-time” work with fewer working hours. “Part-time” employment offers an alternative mode of employment to both employers and employees.
Protection under Labour Legislation
Many people may think that “part-time” employees are not protected by labour legislation. This is a misconception. In fact, labour legislation does not differentiate between part-time and full-time employees. Employees, no matter whether they are designated as “full-time” or “part-time”, are protected by labour legislation.
Protection under the Employment Ordinance
The Employment Ordinance is the main piece of legislation governing employment conditions in Hong Kong. It lays down the minimum employment standards. Employers and employees may enter into employment terms more favourable than those provided in the Ordinance.
Employees, except for those to whom the Employment Ordinance does not apply be they designated as full-time, “part-time”, casual or substitute employees, and irrespective of their working hours, are entitled to the following rights and benefits under the Ordinance:
Wage payment protection
Restriction on deductions from wages
Maternity protection (prohibition of assignment of heavy, hazardous or harmful work)
Employment protection (unreasonable and unlawful dismissal)
Provision of information on conditions of service by employers
Protection against anti-union discrimination, etc
Under the Employment Ordinance, an employee who has been employed continuously by the same employer for 4 weeks or more, with at least 18 hours worked in each week, is regarded as being employed under a “continuous contract”. An employee, who is employed under a “continuous contract” and meets the qualifying conditions stated in the Employment Ordinance, is also entitled to the following rights and benefits in addition to those mentioned in the preceding paragraph:
Pay for statutory holidays
Annual leave with pay
Maternity protection (maternity leave, payment for maternity leave, protection of a pregnant employee against termination of employment)
Long service payment
Employment protection, etc
For further information: Please get on touch with: Labour Department or call them on their Hotline: 2717 1771 (the hotline is handled by “1823”)