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Employers, workers urged to agree on substitute day for Chung Yeung holiday

16 October 2020

By The SUN 

Chung Yeung is traditionally marked with grave sweeping and family gatherings at cemeteries

The Labour Department has appealed to employers to start talking with their employees on having an alternative holiday for the Chung Yeung Festival which falls this year on Oct 25, a Sunday.

The advisory was issued today, Oct 16, as part of the effort to avoid overcrowding in public places to reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission.

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Chung Yeung, a statutory holiday, is traditionally spent by locals sweeping and visiting their ancestors’ graves and laying out food offerings. Another popular custom is to hike to high places to welcome good fortune.

According to the Labour advisory, employers may help stagger the grave-sweeping activities by encouraging their employers to take their holiday on another day.

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“This will help maintain good labour-management relations and protect the health of employees as well as the community,” said the Labour Department’s statement.

Under the Employment Ordinance, if a holiday falls on the employee’s rest day, the employer should grant a holiday on the next day, meaning Oct 26, Monday, in this case.

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The same rule applies to foreign domestic workers, who are normally off on Sundays.

But the EO also allows employers to arrange an alternative holiday with the employee within 60 days before or after the statutory holiday.

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“Moreover, with the mutual consent of the employer and the employee, any day within 30 days before or after the statutory holiday or alternative holiday may be taken by the employee as a substituted holiday,” said the statement.      

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For any enquiries, please contact the LD through its 24-hour enquiry hotline, 2717 1771 (provided by 1823) or by email at enquiry@labour.gov.hk. Details of the EO are also available on the LD's homepage (www.labour.gov.hk). 

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