How Changes in Labour Laws Have Impacted Payroll Compliances in Hong Kong

As one of the last destinations in the world still following a strict set of Covid-19 related rules and regulations, Hong Kong is finally set towards embarking on reconnecting with the rest of the world with the easing of rules slowly but surely. HR teams and Recruiters around Asia’s World City gear up as the easing of restrictions and lifting of borders means more business opportunities across different industries in the city. The past few years have seen some extensive changes in Hong Kong’s labour laws, with fresh ones being introduced since the global pandemic hit. For example, civil servants are now required to show a proof of vaccination, employers can fire employees who refuse to get vaccinated, and sickness allowances will include anti-epidemic measures.

With payroll being a core HR function in any company, some of these laws majorly impact payroll and how you comply with it. What are some changes in Hong Kong’s labour laws that affect payroll? Let’s take a look.

What are some key changes to Hong Kong’s Labour Laws? Are you up to date with them?

Below are a few examples of laws that have been further amended or newly introduced since the start of the year:

  • Civil Servants to Require COVID-19 Vaccination Proof
  • Progressive Increase of Statutory Holidays from 2022
  • Vaccine Pass Comes into Effect 24 February 2022
  • Tax filing of Employer’s Returns Extended to 1 June 2022
  • Major Amendments to Employment Ordinance 2022 Under Anti-epidemic Measures Comes into Effect on 17 June 2022
  • Employees’ Compensation Protection Extended to Employees Commuting to or From Work Under “Extreme Conditions”

How do these changes affect payroll compliances in Hong Kong?

To ensure you are abiding by the law, it is crucial to stay up to date with these changes. But what do they mean for those in charge of a company’s payroll? Let us look at them:

  • Tax deadlines – The tax deadline for employer returns in 2022 was extended to 1st June from the initial date, 31st March 2022. Employer returns here refer to an annual form that states what your employees receive in salary and benefits. While extensions are great in that they allow for more time, you must still remember to keep track of the new date as failure to file your returns by then will lead to penalisation.

  • More statutory leave – An increase in statutory leave, such as the progressive increase of statutory holidays in 2022 mentioned in Q1, means more paid time off for employees. For payroll managers, be sure to update your leave systems to prevent any miscalculations and unlawful deductions.

  • Support schemes – Schemes such as the Employment Support Scheme which provide wage subsidies for employee’ subsidies will also impact your payroll processes. Depending on the employee’s wage range, the subsidies will either be full or half of the employee’s wage.

  • Terminations – With the tabling of the Bill to allow employers to fire employees who refuse to get vaccinated against Covid-19, employees may be let off lawfully if this does become an Act in Parliament. On that note, you will need to keep track of these dismissals to have the names on your payroll updated.

  • Compensations – With the extension of the employee compensation protection for those commuting to and from work under extreme conditions, be sure to include it in addition to any other compensations your employees are receiving if this is applicable to your work environment.

These are just a few ways labour laws that can impact your payroll processes and compliance, and while staying up to date with all these laws can be a bit taxing, we’ve got some good news for you!

Sign up for our FREE webinar on labour laws and payroll compliances!

Keeping track of all these laws at the same time is no easy feat but we are here to help! Want to know more about how you can stay compliant with Hong Kong’s labour laws? Sign up for our free webinar and join us as we shed light on the ins and outs of employment law and payroll! During the webinar, we will go through the following laws in-depth and further discuss the other major laws that have been amended or taken into effect. To read more on older legal updates, click here.

The one-hour webinar will kick off on October 12th, 2022, at 11AM HKT and include an interactive Q&A session – so if you have any labour law and payroll questions, feel free to ask them then!

The webinar be hosted by Jamie Lee, a Payroll Manager at Links International’s Hong Kong Branch. Jamie is responsible for implementing payroll services and HCM integrations to clients and has over 15 years of experience in HR and Payroll services.

Sign up HERE to join – we look forward to seeing you there!

Key Speaker:

Jamie Lee

Payroll Manager

Event Details:

Date:Wednesday October 12th 2022
Time:11:00AM – 12:00PM HKT
Venue:Online (Zoom) Webinar