Hong Kong

Currency CurrencyHong Kong Dollar (HKD) Working Time Work Weekup to 50 hours Employer Taxes Employer Taxes 5%

Hire in Hong Kong

Get the best talent in Hong Kong. Let Lano do the heavy lifting. We’ll help you hire the best full-time employees or contractors, saving you from the pain of establishing a legal entity. No need to worry about complex local laws or tax requirements. From compliant contracts to global payroll, we’ve got you covered. 

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As there are no legal regulations on working hours or overtime, employees in Hong Kong are used to working long hours and staying late at the office in order to finish their tasks. In fact, Hong Kong ranks high among the countries with the longest working hours in the world, with studies showing that average working hours exceed 50 hours.  

If you are looking for an ambitious remote employee who is ready to get the job done, then Hong Kong for sure is a good place to start your search. On the other hand, offering possible recruits a good benefit package may just be what it takes to attract the right talent for your position.

Basic Facts about Hong Kong

  1. official state name Hong Kong SAR
  2. capital Hong Kong
  3. population 7.5 million
  4. languages Chinese, English, Cantonese
  5. currency Hong Kong Dollar (HKD)
  6. time zone UTC +8
  1. Show public holidays
    01 Jan New Year
    12 Feb Lunar New Year
    13 Feb Lunar New Year
    15 Feb Lunar New Year
    02 Apr Good Friday
    03 Apr Day following Good Friday
    05 Apr Day following Ching Ming Festival
    06 Apr Day following Easter Monday
    01 May Labour Day
    19 May Birthday of Buddha
    14 Jun Tuen Ng Festival
    01 Jul Hong Kong Day
    22 Sep Day following Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival
    01 Oct National Day
    14 Oct Chung Yeung Festival
    25 Dec Christmas Day
    27 Dec Weekday following Christmas Day

    Public holidays as determined by the Hong Kong government for 2021.

Employment Contract

Although not legally required, it is best practice to put a written employment contract in place which should outline the basic terms of employment including:

  • Identification of both parties 
  • Date of commencement (and employment duration for temporary contracts) 
  • Workplace
  • Job description, duties and responsibilities
  • Basic salary as well as other compensation or bonuses and payment details
  • Working hours 
  • Total number of holidays
  • Notice periods for employment termination
  • Probation

In case the employment agreement is concluded verbally, the employer is obligated to provide the newly hired employee with a written statement containing the relevant information mentioned above. Employment contracts in Hong Kong may either be in Chinese or English.

Probation Period

Probationary periods in Hong Kong usually range from one to three months. The exact duration is to be specified in the individual employment contract.

Working time

Working Hours and Breaks

The Employment Ordinance which mainly governs Hong Kong’s labour law regulations does not specify any restrictions on working hours – except for employees who are underage. The only legal requirement concerning working time is that employees should receive at least one day off per week.

Overtime

There are no legal regulations on overtime work either. 

Payroll

It is common practice to pay employees on a monthly basis. 

Minimum Wage

Hong Kong’s minimum hourly wage rate is currently set at HKD 37.50.  

Sick Pay

After four consecutive days of sickness-related absence from work, employees are entitled to sick pay equal to four fifths of their usual daily wages. However, it is mandatory to provide a medical certificate. 

The number of earned paid sick days depends on the employee’s length of service. It is two days for each month during the employee’s first year at the company and four days per month for every additional year. Unused paid sick days can be accumulated and used at a later occasion – capped at a total of 120 sick days.

Bonuses

Employees who are continuously employed by the same employer and who have completed at least one full year of employment are legally entitled to an annual bonus. Unless specified otherwise in the employment agreement, the annual bonus should equal a 13th salary.

Taxes and Social Security Contribution

Employees and employers in Hong Kong are subject to the following tax and social security contribution rates (as of 2021):

taxes
employers

8.25% / 16.5% corporate tax rate

no VAT (standard rate)

employees

individual income tax rates:

2% to 17% *

social security
employers

5% of employee’s monthly salary to mandatory provident fund (MPF)

employees

5% of employee’s monthly salary to mandatory provident fund (MPF)

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Individual income is taxed progressively based on the following tax brackets (percentage rates given only apply to income exceeding the respective tax bracket threshold):

– up to HKD 50,000: 2%

– HKD 50,000 to HKD 100,000: HKD 1,000 + 6% on excesses

– HKD 100,000 to HKD 150,000: HKD 4,000 + 10% on excesses

– HKD 150,000 to HKD 200,000: HKD 9,000 + 14% on excesses

– over HKD 200,000: HKD 16,000 + 17% on excesses

Employee Benefits

Annual Leave

Annual leave entitlements in Hong Kong increase progressively starting from seven days of paid leave during the first two years of service. After nine years of service, the employee receives 14 days off each year which is the maximum that can be granted. Unused leave can either be cashed out or carried over into the next year – pay in lieu of time off is only possible for that part of the leave exceeding ten days. 

Public holidays are not included in this scheme. Employees in Hong Kong enjoy 17 public holidays. Some companies grant their employees up to five additional holidays over Easter and Christmas.

Maternity Leave and Paternity Leave

Female employees who have completed at least 40 weeks of service and who have given their employers due notice of their pregnancy are entitled to 14 weeks of maternity leave – extendable by another four weeks in case of complicated births. Maternity leave can start either two or four weeks prior to the expected due date. 

During maternity, the employee should be paid four fifths of her usual wages. Employers have the option to be reimbursed by the government for payments issued during the eleventh and fourteenth week of maternity leave.  

Fathers are allowed to take five days of paternity leave if they give notice to their employer at least three months prior to the baby’s birth. While on leave, they receive four fifths of their regular daily pay.

Parental Leave

The Employment Ordinance does not provide for any further parental leave. 

Additional Leave and Benefits

Further leave entitlements or benefits are subject to the individual employment agreement.

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Employment termination

In addition to employment termination by default – i.e. in case of a fixed-term contract – resignation and mutual agreement, employment may be terminated due to one of the following reasons (non-exhaustive list):

  • redundancy or other economic reasons leading to the suppression of the employee’s position
  • summary dismissal due to severe misconduct or breach of employment contract
  • employee’s underperformance
  • employee’s long-term illness

Notice periods range from seven days to one month, depending on the employee’s length of service and whether or not the employment parties have agreed on special probation and notice periods. Notice should be given

  • at least seven days before the intended end date – after the first month of the probationary period and at any point thereafter if agreed upon in the employment contract
  • at least one month before the intended end date – after the trial period in cases where the employment contract does not define another notice period

During the first month of the employee’s probation period, neither the employer nor the employee have to give any notice. In case of a summary dismissal due to the employee’s behaviour, employers also have the right to dismiss an employee with immediate effect. Payment in lieu of notice is legally permitted.

Employees whose length of service exceeds 24 months and who are terminated due to redundancy are entitled to severance pay equal to two thirds of their monthly wages for each year of service they completed with the employer. Furthermore, employees with more than five continuous years of service who are dismissed by any reason but misconduct or redundancy have the right to a long service payment which is calculated in the same way as severance pay. 

All employees must receive any outstanding payments upon termination, regardless of the reason for dismissal.

Hiring in Hong Kong?

Not sure if you should start with a contractor or go ahead and hire a full-time teammate in Hong Kong? The Lano platform makes it easy to go from freelance to full-time employee. Get expert guidance from the Lano team to compare your options and keep growing.