Hong Kong: Regulatory Changes May Be on the Horizon

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For global workforce strategies that place high importance on labor force education, literacy and tertiary education, as well as the potential for high productivity, Hong Kong presents an opportunity for a strong contingent labor program.

Recently, parental leave provisions for Hong Kong families came into the spotlight when one of Hong Kong’s largest employers rolled out revamped maternity- and paternity-leave provisions. In May, paid maternity leave was increased from 12 to 14 weeks, and paternity leave from one to two weeks. This employer’s leave provisions are notably more generous than the statutory requirements mandated by Hong Kong’s Labour Department, where employers are only required to provide up to 10 weeks paid maternity leave and three days of paternity leave at four-fifths of the employee’s salary.

Hong Kong may not appear to be a front-runner when considering the wage costs in this market compared with other markets in the APAC region. However, where the total cost of operating is concerned, Hong Kong remains a strong choice for contingent labor engagements. Partial parity requirements and no severance pay requirements, along with a smaller than average notice period and few contract restrictions, create an environment of relative ease of doing business. Hong Kong scored well geopolitically and is a less mature but more flexible market for contingent labor strategies.

With low regulatory factors, just under 50 percent English proficiency and a ranking of fifth in the APAC region for the Productivity metric, Hong Kong remains a favored global market for contingent labor programs.