17 statutory holiday goal to take 10 years

Thursday, October 08, 2020

The government plans to increase the number of Hong Kong statutory holidays from 12 to 17 days in 10 years, sources said.

One statutory holiday will be added every two years, according to the plan.

There have been calls for an alignment of statutory holidays with general holidays. Many workers, in particular white-collar workers, have 17 general holidays, while others, mostly blue-collar workers, are entitled to 12 statutory holidays.

The employee representative of the Labour Advisory Board Tang Ka-piu questioned if 10 years is needed for Hong Kong’s economy to recover, and to add five statutory holidays.

The employer representatives of the Labour Advisory Board Jimmy Kwok Chun-wah, said the cost is minimal, but 10 years would allow a smooth transition for catering and travel industries.

Kwok said the government should focus on the epidemic and economy first before raising this proposal.

According to the source, the government would not provide a subsidy for increasing the statutory holidays unlike statutory maternity leave, where the subsidy is given to avoid women from facing unfair treatment when applying for jobs. 

Whereas a subsidy for increasing statutory holidays, if possible, would require a large amount of money and not feasible.

Currently, all 12 statutory holidays are general holidays and there are five days of general holidays which are not statutory holidays. They are Good Friday, the day following Good Friday, Easter Monday, the Buddha's Birthday, and the first weekday after Christmas Day.