The Employment (Amendment) Ordinance 2010, which was passed by the Legislative Council on 28 April 2010, has been gazetted to come into force on 29 October 2010.

Under the Ordinance, an employer who wilfully and without reasonable excuse fails to pay any sum awarded, comprising wages and entitlements, by the Labour Tribunal and Minor Employment Claims Adjudication Board within 14 days of its due date, will be liable to prosecution.

The maximum penalty for the new offence will be HK$350,000 and three years' imprisonment.

If an offence committed by a corporate body is proved to have been committed with the consent, connivance or neglect of a director or responsible person of the body corporate, the director or responsible person commits the same offence.

For the background to the introduction of the new offence, see our previous Legal Update - Employment (Amendment) Bill 2009 - Criminal Consequence for Non-Payment of Tribunal Awards.

The Ordinance will come into force on a day to be appointed by the Secretary for Labour and Welfare by notice published in the gazette.