Pro-labor groups in Hong Kong have been campaigning for a standard working hours law in Hong Kong. This would require that employers asking their employees to work over the standard hours pay more for each extra hour worked. The standard hours would be the same across all industries and occupations. Labor representatives even walked away from the Labour Advisory Board because they said neither the government nor the employer representatives had shown willingness to contemplate legislating standard working hours across the board. I am disappointed that labor groups appear to be more interested in money than in health issues and that they are reluctant to contemplate anything other than what they put on the table. It is true Hong Kong’s working hours are rather long, and that long working hours can harm people’s health and family life. But standard working hours legislation, without a ceiling on the hours worked, will not help. Health and family life may still give way to earnings. This will defeat the purpose of the legislation.
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