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Hong Kong Statutory Holidays To Increase From 12 to 17

Source: Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government (HKSAR)
Posted: Tuesday, January 19, 2021
Most recent follow-up news item: July 7, 2021

Hong Kong's Secretary of Labour and Welfare, Law Chi-Kwong, is now on record as stating that the increase of annual statutory holidays in Hong Kong, from 12 to 17, by 2030, "is the most acceptable proposal for employers and workers".

The annual listings of non-working public holidays in Hong Kong is broken down into 12 statutory holidays and 5 non-statutory holidays (2019-12-29, 2019-05-31, 2018-05-11, 2017-05-05, 2016-05-01, 2015-05-09, 2014-04-25, 2013-04-19 and 2012-04-29).

On the 5 annual non-statutory holidays, Hong Kong employers can decide whether to give their employees a day off, or not, a situation which is generally to the advantage of white-collar employees. Currently, these 5 non-statutory holidays are Buddha’s Birthday, Good Friday, Easter Saturday, Easter Monday, and Boxing Day.

The current Hong Kong government's plan is to make Buddha’s Birthday a statutory holiday in 2022, and then convert one additional public holiday into a statutory holiday every 2 years, ending the process in 2030.

Secretary Law Chi-Kwong, responding to lawmakers in a panel in the Legislative Council, was taken to task by lawmaker Kwok Wai-Keung of the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions, who questioned why the process should last until 2030 ("The difference of five days in the statutory holidays is a discrimination to blue-collar workers stemming from the colonial era … Why take so long? Why don’t you give us a more aggressive proposal?").

Contrary arguments were put forward by lawmaker Siu Ka-Fai of the wholesale and retail functional sector, who argued that "You could as well add five statutory holidays in three days. It would just force many dying companies to shut down. Everyone would become jobless … Do you think it is easy to find a job nowadays?".

Secretary Law's closing comments were that "Although the proposal cannot satisfy everyone, it is a fair one".

Links and References

Below are links to the news stories referred to in the above "Hong Kong Statutory Holidays To Increase From 12 to 17" news story, as well as links to subsequents news stories which refer to the present news story.