President / Vice President’s Message

HR Journal (Fourth Quarter 2020)

 

Staying Afloat in Unprecedented Times

 

Dear Members,

 

As Hong Kong fought the third wave of COVID-19 amid escalating US-China tensions, its GDP recorded a decline of 9.0% in the second quarter of 2020, following a 9.1% drop in the first quarter.  Exports of services, which experienced a 46.6% plunge in the second quarter, were particularly affected.  August witnessed the underemployment rate reaching a 17-year record high. The second tranche of the Employment Support Scheme, which will wrap up in November, is one of the HKSAR Government’s measures to resuscitate the flagging economy.

Alleviating unemployment under COVID-19 is one of the key areas which were covered in the HKIHRM submission to the 2020 Policy Address Consultation, an opportunity we are grateful for.  As increasing youth unemployment presents social challenges, we recommended giving employers incentives to offer college graduates job opportunities.  The Government can also keep investing in retraining the workforce to maintain their employability.  Other key areas included in our advocacy for the Consultation are safeguarding the gig economy and education, protecting public health and enterprises, advancing fairness in the workplace and revitalising Hong Kong’s competitiveness.

Speaking of maintaining our city’s competence, the HKIHRM HR Excellence Awards is a prime example.  Recognising organisations and individuals who had achieved business success through outstanding people strategies and practices, the 2019/20 Awards Results Announcement was held in September.  Congratulations and thanks to our winners, entrants, judges and organising committee members – we are certain the Awards will give them motivation in contributing to the HR community continuously.

As HR practitioners continue grappling with COVID-19’s impact, our Institute conducted a topical study entitled “HR Challenges in the New Normal” to dive deep into the obstacles confronting them.  The scope of the topical study comprises business continuity, managing remote working and virtual teams, flexible working, workforce planning after COVID-19, rebuilding staff morale and relationship, and HR practitioners as employees. We hope to bring insights to HR practitioners in the face of all the new work challenges.

In addition to the Training and Development Needs Seminar and the aforementioned HR Excellence Awards, the Pay Trend and Benefits Seminar and the Annual Conference will be held virtually for the first time in October and November respectively.  Not only does this new arrangement ensure the safe participation of our members, it enables us to keep serving them in these unprecedented times. 

While the road to economic recovery and a cure for COVID-19 is long and winding, we believe there will be better days awaiting Hong Kong.  As HR practitioners, we can deliver the support our organisations sorely need to stay afloat in a time of uncertainty. As 2020 draws to a close, we wish you all a year of renewed hope and fortune ahead.

 

Alice Wong 
Vice President of the HKIHRM


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