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Hong Kong civil servants could lose pay over strike

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The repercussions of Hong Kong’s citywide strike on Monday continue with the possibility that some civil servants could have their pay docked for the day.

The Civil Service Bureau has announced that employees who refused to perform their work duties during Monday’s strike could lose part of their salaries.

The bureau asked various government departments if the strike affected their services as a result of their staff facing difficulties in getting to work because of traffic chaos and morning closures to several key MTR rail lines.

“The government has the responsibility to understand the operation of various government departments on Monday, as well as the impact the public transport service disruption had on colleagues not going to work,” a bureau spokesperson told The Standard.

“If a civil servant refuses to perform any or part of the daily duties, based on the ‘no work, no pay’ principle, the management can proportionately deduct the wages of the employee depending on the circumstances.”

Carol Ng Man-yee, chairwoman of the Confederation of Trade Unions, said an estimated 350,000 people participated in the general strike on Monday.

Speaking on a local radio programme, she said the aviation sector was one of the most supportive industries, with an estimated 1500 employees from Cathay Pacific participating in the strike – around half of the manpower the airline needs on a daily basis.

Ng urged employers to show understanding and not take action against employees who participated in the strike, adding that while it’s understandable that employers may deduct employees’ wages for the day, it’s unacceptable if they deduct bonuses, issue a warning letter or sack them.

For more on employment law considerations during protest and strike action, be sure to read the upcoming feature by our legal contributor, Kathryn Weaver, in the next issue of Human Resources magazine, which will be published next month.

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