- Since March 2019, Hong Kong has seen an ongoing series of protests and demonstrations.
- There has been a steady increase in the frequency and impact of the protests, creating unique business risks for HR professionals and senior leadership in Hong Kong/Asia.
- Employees and HR are at the front and centre of these concerns.
Health and safety
- Duty to provide a workplace that is safe and without risk to health (so far as is reasonably practicable).
- Risk of requiring employees to attend work in circumstances that could potentially endanger health.
- Can be personal liability for managers and senior officers in certain circumstances.
- Developing strong business continuity plan is key.
- Flexible work arrangements highly recommended.
- Protecting against workplace tensions and employee concerns around their safety.
- Workplace mental health an increasing concern.
Time off work
- Right to strike protected under Basic Law and Hong Kong Bill of Rights but limited in scope and unlikely to apply.
- Discrimination on grounds of political belief not protected under Hong Kong law.
- Unauthorised absence creates grounds for disciplinary proceedings.
- Sick leave must be genuine absence and supported by medical certificates.
- Employees are entitled to spend time outside of work/annual leave as they choose, but subject to conduct that would bring the company or its business into disrepute.
- Mental health issues.
- Do you have a social media policy? Is it up-to-date and cover the current climate? Do employees know about it?
- The line between personal and professional postings can be difficult to draw.
- Postings being leaked to media and employers.
- The problem of fake news.
- How to deal with employee arrests.
- Workplace tensions and leaving politics at the door.
- Avoid knee jerk reactions