rainstorm warnings in Hong Kong


Though all the rainstorm warnings have now been cancelled, employers should make flexible work arrangements for staff during such situations.

Earlier this morning (13 May 2022), the Hong Kong Observatory issued the Red Rainstorm Warning Signal and then downgraded this to the Amber signal post 7am.

Though all the rainstorm warnings have now been cancelled, the Labour Department (LD) reminded employers to make flexible work arrangements for staff post rainstorm situations.

To ensure the safety of employees while balancing the operational needs of organisations, employers should consider road and traffic conditions and other factors, and make practical and reasonable work arrangements for staff to resume work or work from home after a rainstorm warning is cancelled.

"For staff who have practical difficulties in resuming work on time upon cancellation of a rainstorm warning, employers should give due consideration to the situations of individual employees and handle each case flexibly. For example, employers may permit employees who have difficulties in returning to workplaces to work from home or allow more time for them to report for duty and resume work," said the LD spokesman.

Employers should not withhold employees’ wages, good attendance bonus or allowances without reasons, nor penalise or dismiss the employee concerned rashly if they could not report for duty or resume duty on time due to adverse weather conditions.

Meanwhile, employers should not deduct the annual leave, statutory holidays or rest days to which employees are entitled under the Employment Ordinance so as to compensate for the loss of working hours resulting from employees' failure to report for duty upon the issuance of a Black Rainstorm Warning Signal. Employers will be liable to prosecution for failing to comply with relevant provisions under the Employment Ordinance without reasonable excuse.

Employers could refer to the "Code of Practice in times of Typhoons and Rainstorms" and the "Guide on Safety at Work in times of Inclement Weather" issued by the LD, and observe the statutory liabilities and requirements under the Employment Ordinance, the Occupational Safety and Health Ordinance, the Factories and Industrial Undertakings Ordinance, the Employees' Compensation Ordinance and the Minimum Wage Ordinance.

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