President’s Message

From HR Journal Jun 2017 Issue

 

Dear members,

 

Riding on last year’s successes and achievements, the Institute is set to embark on the HR Excellence Awards programme for 2017-2018, and is inviting applications from organisations and individuals up to 4 August 2017 (early bird deadline - 5 July 2017). Launched in 2012, one year after the HKIHRM Professional Standards were introduced, the Awards programme has gained plaudits from businesses and organisations across various industries in both private and public sectors. The continued support and participation by HR practitioners has made this programme a distinguished competition in Hong Kong’s HR community. This year’s judging panel is chaired by Jasper Tsang Yok-sing, former president of the Legislative Council of the HKSAR Government, with other panelists coming from the HR profession, business community and academia.

 

The Awards programme is an excellent platform to recognise organisations and individuals who have achieved business results and organisational objectives through outstanding people management strategies and practices, it is also aimed at raising the HR professional standards to greater heights, while affirming the important role of the HR profession as a strategic business partner. New awards are being introduced to address emerging global and local HR trends and practices that today’s companies must embrace - such as diversity and inclusion in the workplace, family-friendly employment practices and measures, and social responsibility among others.  

 

In addition to the honour widely recognised in the HR and business communities, all entrants of the competition will be able to benchmark their organisations’ HR practices and strategies against standard of excellence in the HR profession. I would like to call on members to participate in the competition and spread the word about this eminent Awards programme through your connections and networks.

 

On the research front, the Institute has recently completed the January 2017 Pay Trend Survey, with key findings made public to the media. According to the findings, Hong Kong employees received an overall base pay adjustment of 2.9% on average in 2017, down by 0.6 percentage points when compared to the average pay rise projection of 3.5% released in November 2016. The results indicated that the ripple effect of the economic slowdown in the latter part of last year has caused employers to take stringent measures to control costs and, as a result, pay rises for employees have been adjusted downwards. Thanks to steadily increasing numbers of visitors to Hong Kong and the global economy stabilising, various business sectors in Hong Kong, especially those related to consumption and tourism, have seen an uptick in business confidence amid improving consumer spending. Hong Kong’s unemployment rate has continued to drop since the end of 2016.

 

As for the outlook of Hong Kong’s labour market in 2017, 54% of the organisations surveyed anticipated growth in the labour market while only 11% expected a reduction. With Hong Kong’s relatively low unemployment rate currently standing at 3.2%, our labour market is expected to remain stable for the second half of the year.

 

By the time when members read this message, the Executive Council of the HKSAR Government will have already made their recommendations on contractual working hours for workers with a monthly income of HK$11,000 or less, and the MPF offsetting arrangements for severance payment and long-service payment. The Institute earlier made submissions to the respective government departments to reflect members’ views on both subjects. For the Institute’s stance on MPF offsetting, we urge the government to adopt a holistic approach to addressing the matter by aligning with other employment-related policies and ordinances while ensuring adequate protection under any mechanism is provided to employees without any offsetting of their compensation. We will continue to be responsive to the developments of Hong Kong employment-related issues.


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