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Hong Kong's Labour Advisory Board agrees to relax "continuous contract" requirement

Hong Kong's Labour Advisory Board agrees to relax "continuous contract" requirement

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Employees who have worked aggregately for 68 hours over four weeks are entitled to statutory employment benefits.

Hong Kong's Labour Advisory Board (LAB) has reached a consensus at a meeting last Thursday (1 February 2024) on the review of the "continuous contract" requirement (commonly referred to as the "418" requirement) under the Employment Ordinance. As such, employees who have worked aggregately for 68 hours over four weeks are entitled to statutory employment benefits.

Under the existing requirement, regardless of whether working full-time or part-time, employees employed by the same employer for four weeks or more, and having worked for 18 hours or more per week, are regarded as being engaged under a "continuous contract". Subject to the relevant eligibility criteria under the Employment Ordinance, these employees are entitled to a range of employment benefits, such as statutory holiday pay, paid annual leave, and sickness allowance.

After thorough and in-depth deliberations, the LAB has agreed to relax such requirements by using the aggregate working hours of four weeks as a counting unit, and setting the four-week working hour threshold at 68 hours.

This review is one of the labour support initiatives announced in "The Chief Executive’s 2023 Policy Address".

A government spokesperson said the amendments will contribute to enhanced protection of the rights and benefits of employees with shorter working hours. The Government will report the outcome to the Panel on Manpower of the Legislative Council (LegCo) later and commence the relevant legislative amendment work. An Amendment Bill will be introduced into the LegCo for scrutiny upon completion of drafting.


Lead photo / 123RF

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