As corporate staff and human resources managers, you may have encountered "tough" human resources issues. In this one-day workshop, the speaker will analyze some common HR challenges using a number of recent relevant court cases, and advise on how employers and HR managers should formulate legal and enforceable policies.
The workshop will cover the following questions:
1. Criminal offence under the Immigration Ordinance: According to the Immigration Department statistics, in 2019, there were 243 employers/related managers prosecuted for employing illegal workers, violating sections 17I and 17J of the Immigration Ordinance. In the light of these cases, what defence measures should employers and human resources professionals implement to prevent employers, executive directors or managers from being convicted?
2. In the later stage of the epidemic, how could an employer re-discuss the revised terms of employment contracts with employees in order to reflect the latest employment conditions and work arrangements? According to the common law, what amendments could be implemented unilaterally by employers without employees' consent?
3. In recent court cases, some companies sent salary adjustment invitations to employees to consult them on their willingness towards deduction of wages. However, mistakes were made during execution and the companies were held criminally liable. When consulting employees on adjustment of wages or welfare, what are the implications of these cases? How could employers ensure that their conducts are legal and manage the risks?
4. How could employers handle employees taking excessive sick leaves according to the law? What is the guidance from court cases?
5. Forcing employees to work on rest days is a criminal offence. Where employees volunteered to work on rest days and are leaving the company, how to ensure compliance of the law and that they will not demand compensation from employers claiming they were "compelled" to work on rest days? What is the guidance from court cases?
6. Where employees commit misconduct or tortious acts during employment, for instance, inappropriately disclosing clients' information or violating the Discrimination Ordinances,
how could employers avoid "vicarious liability" under the common law, What is the guidance from court cases?
7. In face of employees' poor work performance, employers may compensate the employees with payment in lieu of notice for dismissal of the relevant employees. Yet, the employees may still accuse the employer of unreasonable dismissal based on section 32K of the Employment Ordinance. What guidance did court cases give to employers to ensure that "reasonable dismissal" is executed according to law?
8. Amid the current economic environment, underperforming employees often take the initiative to report to their employers that they have suffered from various diseases, such as depression and panic disorder. What do court cases reveal on how employers could legally dismiss the relevant employees, without violating the Discrimination Ordinance?
9. Where an employee committed serious misconduct and was summarily dismissed, how could the employer ensure that the action is deemed as reasonable dismissal by court? What is the guidance from recent court cases, including a case in the Final Court of Appeal where an employee claimed 14 million dollars as compensation?
10. Where a frontline manager accidentally and mistakenly dismissed an employee with work injury, who is pregnant or on sick leave, what steps should the employer or the HR Department take to handle such unlawful dismissal?
11. According to the Employment Ordinance, if there are sufficient justifications and evidence, an employer can dismiss or summarily dismiss a pregnant employee who has committed serious misconduct or breached the employment contract. In the past few years, relevant court cases, where employers won or lost their cases, have important implications on how employers could avoid criminal charges of unlawful dismissal and violation of the Discrimination Ordinances.
12. The effective establishment of "restriction covenant" can better protect the rights of employers. What are the important implications of formulating effective restriction covenant clauses in several "springboard injunction" disputes in 2019?
13. How could employers legally handle suspected dishonest work injury cases or where employees constantly change doctors to dishonestly acquire work injury leave? A 2018 court case has important guidance on alerting employees to the abuse of work injury leave and sick leave issue.
14. How could employers make good use of mediation to handle employees' complaints alleging violation of the Discrimination Ordinances? How should the investigations be handled? What are the common violations of legal principles that lead to successful prosecution of employers? What is the guidance from court cases?
15. What are the common misconducts or acts that amount to a breach of employment contract during employment or after the employee has left? How could employers handle these acts in accordance with the law? How should employers remind employees of the risk and criminal liability of violating other laws? What is the guidance from court cases?
16. What important implications does the implementation of the "Apology Ordinance" have for HR Department in handling employee disputes and problems? How could an employer apologize without taking legal responsibility?
17. How could the HR Department formulate an effective "Social Media Policy" to manage employees' online and personal speech? What legal principles should be included in the policy? (Note: Sample reference on Social Media Policy will be provided)
18. If a company has not met the requirements under the Employment (Amendment) Ordinance (7-13), what are the legal and financial risks? What are the possible ways of rectification? What are the strategies?
To minimize the risk of spreading the coronavirus, this informative session will be conducted in the format of a webinar.