Minor Employment Claims Adjudication Board to hear cases involving dues not exceeding HK$15,000

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File photo of the Labour Department building.

Starting Friday, the Labour Department board tasked to rule on minor employment claims will begin hearing cases involving petitions below HK$15,000 in value.

A government announcement Friday said the Minor Employment Claims Adjudication Board (MECAB) has increased its jurisdiction from claims not exceeding HK$8,000 per claimant to not exceeding HK$15,000 per claimant.

Before, when parties fail to settle contractual disputes at the Labour Department, cases with claims valued at HK$8,000 below will be handled by the MECAB. Claims exceeding this value will be raffled off to the Labour Tribunal.

The MECAB was established to handle employment claims from disputes of statutory or contractual rights of employment involving not more than 10 claimants.

But the government clarified that the amendment only applies to a claim which is filed  on or after Sept. 17, 2021.  But cases involving claims valued at HK$8,000 below yet are filed before Sept. 17 will still be handled by the MECAB.

The Labour Tribunal hears cases involving breaches of a term of an employment contract. This includes wages for work done, severance pay, commission, unpaid wages of up to two months and payment for statutory holidays, annual leave or rest days.

The Small Claims Tribunal meanwhile deals with monetary claims not exceeding HK$75,000 which includes recovery of debts, service charges, damage to property, consumer claims and claims in relation to the sale of goods.

Minor employment claim hearings are conducted in public and no legal representation is allowed.