• 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.

Social media 

  • 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.

Disciplinary

  • How to deal with employee arrests.
  • Workplace tensions and leaving politics at the door.
  • Avoid knee jerk reactions