Workers would face difficulties pursuing unpaid wages from their employers if the government tightens public access to the Company Registry, a unionist says.
A representative of small and medium enterprises also worries that companies can no longer check the background of their business clients to pursue unsettled payments.
The government proposes to restrict the public from accessing the residential addresses and full identification numbers of directors and company secretaries in company registry searches.
The chief executive of the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions, Mung Siu-tat, said on a radio program yesterday that he worries the proposed restriction would affect employees' rights in recovering their unpaid wages.
He explained that the union would usually help affected workers by looking up their employers and tracking them down in order to seek for an explanation and payment.
He added that the proposed restriction would enable employers to exploit employees, as the proposed display of partial rather than full identification numbers could hinder the search for employers.
Danny Lau Tat-pong, honorary chairman of the Hong Kong Small and Medium Enterprises Association, said on the same radio program that enterprises often conduct searches on other companies that they want to do business with to understand their backgrounds, such as the director's name and address.
He added that if companies used their business addresses as correspondence addresses, this would make it difficult to find business clients directly when the client's company shuts down.