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More Holidays in Hong Kong

  • Hong Kong
  • Employment law

16-03-2021

Hong Kong employers will be familiar with two types of holidays: the 12 statutory holidays which are mandatory for all employees, and the additional five general holidays (often referred to as public holidays) which apply to a limited group. A bill was gazetted on 5 March 2021 to make these five public holidays mandatory for all employees by reclassifying them as statutory holidays.

The Employment (Amendment) Bill 2021 (the "Bill"), seeks to amend the Employment Ordinance to increase the number of statutory holidays from 12 days to 17 days in five stages from 2022 to 2030.

These five additional holidays are:

  • The Birthday of Buddha, being the eighth day of the fourth lunar month (effective from 1 January 2022);
  • The first weekday after Christmas Day (effective from 1 January 2024);
  • Easter Monday (effective from 1 January 2026);
  • Good Friday (effective from 1 January 2028); and
  • The day following Good Friday (effective from 1 January 2030).

Implications for Employers

For employers providing only statutory holidays (rather than public holidays) to their employees, they will have to revise their policies in the interim years to ensure that they grant all applicable statutory holidays to their employees.

Employers should also review their payroll systems to ensure that they make the accurate statutory holiday pay for the then current statutory holidays in accordance with the daily average wage formula in the Employment Ordinance.

After the changes have been fully implemented, there will no longer be any distinction between statutory holidays and public holidays.

The first reading of the Bill is scheduled to take place on 17 March 2021. We will report further when the Bill becomes law.