President / Vice President’s Message

HR Journal (May & Jun 2020 Issue)

 

Developing Resilience in Economic Disruption

 

Dear Members,

 

 

Hong Kong’s economy suffered a severe blow from the coronavirus pandemic which continues to sweep across continents, with the local unemployment rate recorded at a staggering 4.2% for the January to March 2020 quarter, the highest in more than nine years.

 

To mitigate the financial impact from the Covid-19 outbreak, the HKSAR government launched a second round of the Anti-epidemic Fund in April. The second round of the Fund aims to stabilise the economy and maintain the people’s confidence through safeguarding jobs and supporting organisations. It encompasses the new Employment Support Scheme, which targets to benefit more than one million employees and give organisations the incentive to not lay off their staff. Furthermore, the HKSAR government plans to create 30,000 jobs in both the public and private sectors over the next two years, in a move to improve the business climate.

 

There are hopes that fewer firms have to resort to retrenchment further to the second round of the Fund. However, prior to this measure, there was great need among HR practitioners for implementing curtailment in response to the economic downturn, which instigated the Institute’s collaboration with legal firm Mayer Brown on the initiative entitled “Retrenchment at a Glance”. The initiative, a comprehensive look at how best to approach the delicate subject, is featured in this edition.

 

In the past few months of economic difficulties, HR practitioners confronted numerous challenges. In the midst of uncertainty and chaos, it is high time for HR professionals to communicate and engage with employees regularly, to cut through the noise to give them a sense of security. It is of equal importance for us to support management in providing clarity on business outlook to not only minimise staff anxiety, but also direct them to the newly aligned business goals. As we reassess digital readiness, the flexibility of working from home can become the new normal which allows organisations to attract the best talent in stiff competition.

 

Closer to home, April was the beginning of an era for the HKIHRM. We moved to a new office in the business strip in Kwun Tong, to an innovatively and thoughtfully designed space that can deliver a refreshing learning environment and experience to our members.

 

This issue of Human Resources is our last as a bi-monthly. Starting in July, our journal will be published as a quarterly. This transition from bi-monthly into quarterly will enable us to offer our readers a more in-depth look at the phenomena and trends that shape and define our HR community, and to establish bigger resonance with them. We also hope to provide more extensive coverage of insights on legal challenges and HR practices through interviews and features.

 

Lawrence Hung
Vice President of the HKIHRM


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