The 2017 Bill is largely similar to the Employment (Amendment) Bill 2016 ("2016 Bill") introduced into the LegCo in March 2016, but lapsed following the end of the 2012-2016 LegCo term. The 2017 Bill aims to amend the Employment Ordinance (Cap. 57) to provide the Labour Tribunal with the power to order reinstatement or re-engagement in cases involving unreasonable or unlawful dismissal, without the need for the employer's agreement. This will change the status quo where any order for reinstatement or re-engagement requires the employee and the employer's consent.
The main difference between the 2017 Bill and the 2016 Bill is that the 2017 Bill provides that if an employer fails to reinstate or re-engage the employee following the Labour Tribunal's order, the employer will need to pay to the employee a further sum set at three times the employee's average monthly wages, subject to a cap of $72,500 (the proposed cap was HK$50,000 in the 2016 Bill). Such sum will be in addition to other remedies awarded to the employee.