The Hong Kong Legislative Council has finally passed the Employment (Amendment) Bill 2022 (Bill), which was introduced to address employment-related issues arising from the implementation of anti-epidemic measures.

The Bill will come into force on a date to be gazetted, and brings into law the following amendments:

  1. Failing to comply with a legitimate vaccination request will be a “valid reason” for dismissal or variation of contract;
  2. Failure to attend work due to compliance with a Cap 599 requirement – which is a requirement under the Prevention and Control of Disease Regulation (Cap 599A) or Prevention and Control of Disease (Compulsory Testing for Certain Persons) Regulation (Cap 599J) – will not be a “valid reason” for dismissal or variation of contract; and
  3. The definition of “sickness day” in the Employment Ordinance is expanded to include a day on which an employee is absent from work by reason of the employee’s compliance with a Cap 599 requirement.

The amendments will not have retrospective effect. Details of the above amendments can be found in our previous Legal Update.

Employers should take note of the amendments and adjust their internal policies accordingly.