HR Legal Highlight - 2015

 

Remarks: The information is excerpted from the official journal of the HKIHRM - 《Human Resources 人才薈萃》and for reference only. Please refer to related government departments for updated regulations.

 

HR Legal Highlight - 2015

 

 

 

 

 

2015 Dec Competition Ordinance Brings Changes to Ingrained HR Practices
2015 Nov Enforcement of Third Party Contractual Rights and its Implications for Employers
2015 Oct Lawful Collection of Biometric Data Should be a Priority for Employers
2015 Sep Reference Letters: How to Navigate the Legal Minefield
2015 Jul/Aug Terminating Underperforming Employees in Hong Kong
2015 Jun On the Move: The PDPO’s Section 33 and Cross-Border Data Protection
2015 May How To Handle Workplace Relationships
2015 Apr Paternity Leave for Working Fathers
2015 Mar Legal Compliance and Best Practices in Conducting Employee Investigations
2015 Jan/Feb The Uncertain Distinction Between Employees and Independent Contractors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 2015 Dec - Competition Ordinance Brings Changes to Ingrained HR Practices

Ahead of the implementation of the Ordinance, employers are advised to start reviewing their practices and procedures, in particular their interactions with competitors.

It would be wise to provide compliance training to employees and put internal policies and guidelines in place even at this early stage.

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 2015 Nov - Enforcement of Third Party Contractual Rights and its Implications for Employers

The Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Ordinance will come into force on 1 January 2016. The Ordinance changes the application of the common law doctrine of privity of contract, which allows only the contracting parties to have the benefit and burden of the terms of the contract, and will allow certain third parties to enforce contracts to which they are not a part.

As a clear exception to the broad approach, the Ordinance does not provide a third party with the right to enforce the terms of a “contract of employment” against an employee. It does, however, provide a third party with the right to enforce the terms of the contract of employment against an employer.

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 2015 Oct - Lawful Collection of Biometric Data Should be a Priority for Employers

Collecting personal biometric data needs to be justified, and checking staff attendance is not a reason good enough for collecting such data.

Employers should carefully explain the reason for collecting the data, get buy-in from the employees, keep the data to a minimum, ensure data security and regularly purge data which is not required anymore.

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 2015 Sep - Reference Letters: How to Navigate the Legal Minefield

While reference letters are generally provided at or after the completion of employment, employers should be aware of the legal risks involved in providing them and what to include.

Reference letters are required to be true, accurate and not misleading.

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 2015 Jul/Aug - Terminating Underperforming Employees in Hong Kong

While Hong Kong has no statutory regime for underperformance terminations, employers should address the legal risks and produce clear evidence before easing out poor-performing employees.

Organisations need to sort out termination payments and other legal obligations in a timely fashion and weight potential employee claims before ending a work contract with an underperformer.

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2015 Jun - On the Move: The PDPO’s Section 33 and Cross-Border Data Protection

Section 33 of the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance, which covers the transfer of personal data outside of Hong Kong, has remained dormant since the PDPO was first introduced almost two decades ago.

A recent Guidance Note from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (PCPD) advises users to prepare for the implementation of section 33, which means that employers should take reasonable measures to ensure not just compliance but also sound business practice.

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2015 May - How To Handle Workplace Relationships

Office romances can be a source of concern and expose employers to legal risks, but with sensible guidelines and prudent management, these relationships do not have to negatively affect the business.

HR professionals and managers should make it clear to employees that they can safely report interactions and behaviours that are unwelcome or cause discomfort, allowing organisations to stop potential legal trouble before it even starts.

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2015 Apr - Paternity Leave for Working Fathers

A recent amendment to the Employment Ordinance introducing a statutory regime for paternity leave has come into force, entitling male employees to three days’ leave at 80% pay if certain preconditions are met.

To ensure compliance with the new law, employers should review and revise their policies as well as use suitable channels to share information about paternity leave procedures and benefits with employees. 

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2015 Mar - Legal Compliance and Best Practices in Conducting Employee Investigations

Internal investigations can help organisations spot potential problems and address them before they grow into serious trouble.

Companies need well-established compliance guidelines to protect their reputation and culture during the investigation process, as well as to balance the rights of employees with the interests of employers.

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2015 Jan/Feb - The Uncertain Distinction Between Employees and Independent Contractors

Many organisations tap the services of consultants and independent contractors, but confusion about their status may appear – are they considered employees or not?

Because there are no statutory requirements that differentiate an employee from an independent contractor, assessment exercises and tests have been designed to assist in analysing cases wherein there are uncertainties surrounding the relationship between employer and worker.

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