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HK government looks at progressive increase of statutory holidays

16 October 2020

 By The SUN 

If things go according to plan, FDHs will enjoy an extra additional statutory holiday by 2022

The government has announced that the Labour Advisory Board has begun discussing the proposal of Chief Executive Carrie Lam to make the number of statutory holidays (SH) at par with that of general holidays (GH).

The proposal was one of the 10 new initiatives on improving people’s livelihood that the Chief Executive announced on Jan 14 this year.

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At present, the Employment Ordinance provides for only 12 SHs, while the Holidays Ordinance specifies 17 days of GHs, in addition to Sundays.

The plan is to start adding one statutory holiday every two years year starting in 2022, so that there will be an alignment of the holidays by 2030.

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Among those who will benefit from implementing the proposal are foreign domestic workers who are allowed to take the day off on all SHs, in addition to their weekly holiday.

Unlike other employees in the city, however, they do not get to take a day off on GHs which are not declared as SHs.

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A government statement said the LAB discussed the proposal early on Wednesday, Oct 14, and members agreed to consult the trades and organizations they represent afterwards.

The LAB will then hold another meeting to discuss the proposal further, then consult the manpower panel of the Legislative Council.

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“Depending on the outcome of deliberations, we will work on the enabling legislation in a bid to introduce it into LegCo within 2021,” said a statement issued by the government after the meeting.

“Subject to smooth passage of the enabling legislation, the Government aims to designate the first additional SH in 2022 and achieve the alignment of the number of SHs and GHs by 2030.”

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The LAB is a tripartite consultative body comprising representatives of employees and employers that advises the Commissioner for Labour on labour matters.

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