LegCo wants HK statutory holidays increased from 12 to 17 days
The Legislative Council (LegCo) on Wednesday (January 9) passed a non-binding motion calling on the government to increase the number of Hong Kong statutory holidays from 12 to 17 days.
The motion was initiated by LegCo member Poon Siu Ping, who wanted the government to declare September 3 as a statutory holiday as it marks the “Victory Day of the Chinese People’s War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression” during World War II, according to the Hong Kong Standard.
The motion, however, was amended to just add five more days to the 12 current statutory holidays so that blue-collar workers would also enjoy the same number of holidays as white-collar professionals.
Currently, blue collar workers like foreign domestic workers only have 12 statutory holidays while professionals can enjoy all the 17 general holidays of HK.
Based on the amendment of LegCo member Fernando Cheung, the motion called for the government to also declare Good Friday, the day following Good Friday, Easter Monday, the Birthday of the Buddha, and the first weekday after Christmas Day as statutory holiday.
However, Labour and Welfare Secretary Law Chi-kwong said that it was not prudent to add additional statutory holidays before employers and employees have an agreement on the issue.
He added that Hong Kong was not behind other countries when it comes to the number of statutory holidays. Government will have to agree first before there can be any additional statutory holiday.
According to the Labour Department, the 12 statutory holidays for 2019 are: the first day of January (January 1), Lunar New Year’s Day (February 5), the second day of Lunar New Year (February 6), the third day of Lunar New Year (February 7), Ching Ming Festival (April 5), Labour Day (May 1), Tuen Ng Festival (June 7), Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day (July 1), the day following the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival (September 14), National Day (October 1), Chung Yeung Festival (October 7), and either the Chinese Winter Solstice Festival (December 22) or Christmas Day (December 25).