On 8 May 2009, the revised Code of Practice on Employment under the Race Discrimination Ordinance ("the Code"), issued by the Equal Opportunities Commission ("EOC"), was presented to the Legislative Council. Currently, it is being further amended by sub-committees set up by the Council. Subject to approval by negative vetting, it is expected that the Code will become effective at the same time as the Ordinance is brought into full effect in the latter part of this year.
The Code is intended to help employers understand and comply with the Ordinance. Even though failure to observe the Code will not itself lead to any liability, the Courts will take into account any relevant parts of the Code in deciding cases. Employers are therefore advised to study the relevant recommendations of the Code in order to reduce the chance of an adverse decision by the Courts.
In addition, the Race Discrimination Ordinance (Formal Investigation) Rules and the Racial Discrimination Ordinance (Investigation and Conciliation) Rules have been presented to the Legislative Council on 8 May 2009. These rules will provide guidance on procedures for lodging a complaint at the EOC, and for conducting a formal investigation and conciliation.