Firms and workers closer on MPF deal

Local | Charlotte Luo 14 Jun 2018

Employer and employee representatives have reached an initial consensus on scrapping the MPF offsetting mechanism.

Employer representative Jimmy Kwok Chun-wah said they do not object to the removal of the mechanism.

Since the MPF launched 18 years ago, the city's employers have been allowed to dip into contributions from staff accounts to offset severance and long-service payments of employees. The employers offset a total of HK$3.85 billion.

The government earlier proposed eliminating the offsetting mechanism, which would require employers to open an account to contribute one percent of workers' salaries each month.

Although the government agreed to subsidize HK$17.2 billion to the employers for 12 years, the proposal was previously opposed by the business sector as it feared it would harm small and medium enterprises and deter young people from starting their own businesses.

After the three-hour meeting yesterday, Kwok asked the government to submit a new proposal.

"We hope this new proposal will share long-term responsibility, and especially focus on small and medium companies, to eliminate their concerns over the system of the new arrangement."

Kwok said there is still confusion over what constitutes long term, but said that it will depend on the government's new plan.

Former legislator Bill Tang Ka-piu, who represented the employees, hoped the government would respond to the requests and concerns from different sectors.

"The government has a responsibility to speed up after this meeting, to listen to more opinions from different sectors, including the business sector, labor sector, or other sectors, and eventually come up with a detailed plan for the Labour Advisory Board to discuss."

Tang described the initial consensus as beneficial for both the employers and employees.

Charlotte Luo

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