Legal update: Amendments to Employment Ordinance relating to sickness leave and vaccination requests take effect today17Jun2022
The Hong Kong Legislative Council had passed the Employment (Amendment) Bill 2022 on 15 June 2022.
The above Bill is gazetted today and becomes the Employment (Amendment) Ordinance 2022 (the “EAO”)which takes effect immediately. The EAO does not have a retrospective effect.
In short, the EAO amends the Employment Ordinance to:
- regard a day on which an employee is subject to any restriction on movement imposed by measures implemented under the Prevention and Control of Disease Ordinance (the “Affected Employee”) as a sickness day;
- provide for sickness allowance to be paid to the Affected Employee in circumstances where the criteria under the Employment Ordinance are fulfilled;
- provide that it is not a valid reason to dismiss an employee or vary the terms of his/ her employment contract on the ground that he/ she is an Affected Employee; and
- provide that it is a valid reason to dismiss an employee (other than those in certain categories) or vary his/ her employment contract if he/ she refuses to produce the specified vaccination proof if required by the employer.
Further details can be found in our previous article, “Legal Update: Employment (Amendment) Bill 2022 introduces proposed amendments relating to sickness and vaccination requests”. Employers should familiarise themselves with the new changes to the Employment Ordinance particularly given the potentially criminal consequences of i) dismissing an employee on a paid statutory sickness day (other than by summary dismissal) or ii) failing to pay statutory sickness pay. Employers should seek legal advice in case of any doubts or disputes where appropriate.
Russell Bennett & Mark Chiu
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Disclaimer: This publication is general in nature and is not intended to constitute legal advice. You should seek professional advice before taking any action in relation to the matters dealt with in this publication.