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In view of the current business environment, new statutory requirements and the new norm of employee management, business management and human resources management personnel face difficult and controversial human resources management issues. This course aims to provide suggestions on how to handle such tough issues effectively in accordance with the law with reference to the latest court cases as well as the landmark cases. Participants will learn how to protect employers' rights and be able to avoid unnecessary legal risks.

A. Tough issues arisen from statutory amendments related to human resources management

1. The Legislation on MPF offsetting abolishmentis passed in June 2022, the abolishment of MPF offsetting will take effect in a few years later. What are the details and the principles of not being qualified for subsidy during the transition period, what should employers and human resources management be aware and prepare for the policies?

2. In the post-pandemic era, how should employers and human resources management draft an employment contract that provides more protection to the employer and balances employee's needs under the new legal requirements with reference to various court cases? (Note: Speaker will provide a new contract template)
    • How to insert appropriate clauses according to the Employment (Amendment) Bill 2022 to make legitimate vaccination requests, and under what circumstances may the dismissal considered not unreasonable when the employees cannot fulfill the request?
    • How to request the presentation of rapid antigen tests from employees to ascertain workplace safety?
    • How to insert a prior consent clause in the contract so that employees may unilaterally amend the extra benefits, discretionary salary and benefits aside from those stipulated by statutory, to allow for a more flexible protection of employers' rights and interests, as well as operation costs? (Various cases will be provided as reference)
    • Is it possible to insert a force majeure clause in employment contracts?

B. Current tough human resources management topics

3. As countries relax their oversea immigrant restrictions, backbone staff of corporations emigrate in mass. Employers may want to hire those staff as overseas contractor, some legal issues have therefore arisen:
    • How to draft a genuine outsourcing contract that withstands pressure tests which case law has imposed? (Note: Speaker shall provide a legally enforceable overseas outsourcing contract template for reference)
    • Legal issues to be aware of when handling overseas employees or contractors, including tax declarations.

4. Unlawful deduction of wages attracts criminal liability. In recent years' cases, mistakes were made by the human resources management, leading to criminal convictions of employers, including incorrect contract clauses, incorrect commission system and wrongful deductions of advanced benefits. How could human resources avoid such risks and avoid employers attracting unnecessary legal risks?

5. In some recent lawsuits, senior staff led their entire departments to resign and join the employers' competitors, causing the business to suffer a loss. How could employers and human resources management draft a Springboard Benefit Clause to better protect employers' rights? What effective strategies should the employers deploy in cases? (Note: Speaker shall provide a Springboard Benefit clause sample for employers to protect their rights)

6. Discretionary bonuses held to be contractual bonuses by the court, employers therefore face claims from the employees: In recent landmark cases, simple discretionary bonuses could not exclude employers' legal liability in terms of contractual bonuses. How to deal with genuine discretionary bonuses, for the avoidance of legal risks for the employers? (Note: Speaker shall provide a genuine discretionary bonus/ commission clause template for reference)

7. Various cases show that the disclosure of confidential information may only be restricted within a reasonable period after termination, e.g. 6-month; after that period, the restrictions would be removed. But according to classic common law cases, a clear definition of trade secret and its non-disclosure clause may bind the employee in all time after his resignation. How to handle the relevant trade secrete clause to better protect the business interests of the employers? (Note: Speaker shall provide template of relevant clauses for reference)

C. Handling underperforming and troublesome employees

8. After terminating employees with poor performances, employers may want to avoid being caught by unnecessary and time-consuming lawsuits. Employers may give out extra compensation during termination and sign a settlement agreement with the employee. In a 2022 court case, the High Court held that an effective settlement agreement needs to fulfill several legal principles. How should the human resources management handle such agreement according to this recent court case? (Note: Speaker shall provide a detailed agreement template for reference)

9. In recent years, there are cases that employees utilize various work injuries as their safety net, such that even if they perform poorly at work, they could still avoid being terminated. They would continue troubling the employers and how should corporate and human resources management deal with these issues according to the law?

10. In recent High Court judgment related to summary dismissal case, what are the legal principles that employers and human resources should bear in mind and execute to make sure they could win in potential summary dismissal lawsuits?

11. When faced with an employee with extremely poor work performance, the employer may suspend him of his partial duties, and make a huge pay cut as the final warning. In 2021, the High Court held that the employer won the relevant case. What are the rationales behind this case, and how could human resources execute it? (Note: Speaker shall provide relevant policy template for reference)

12. Sexual harassment has always been a tough issue for the human resources to handle. In a 2022 sexual harassment case, the court held that the male colleague who was terminated and subjected to tortious act to have won his case. The court held that he was subjected to sex discrimination. What are the implications of the case to the employers?

D. Handling tough employee holiday issues

13. Case law often helps to clarify what the statutory law clearly stipulates. In terms of several grey areas in the Employment Ordinance regarding tough employee holiday issues, employers and human resources management should deal with the issues with reference to case law:
    • For employees who are paid monthly, when their statutory paid sick leave span across Saturday and Sunday, should the sick leave allowance of those two rest days be paid in 5/5 or 4/5?
    • Are rests day paid during unpaid sick leave?
    • For employees on unpaid leave, how should their entitlements including rest days, statutory holiday, accumulated annual leave, accumulated statutory sick leave allowance and end-of-year payment be calculated?
    • To retain talented staff, corporations introduce Sabbatical Leave, what are the legal issues to be handled?
    • For contractual annual leave and bank holiday, can they not be calculated according to 12-month average wages as per case law?

E. Sensitive human resources policies (Note: Relevant policy templates will be provided for reference)

14. How to draft a work at home policy as per case law that can protect employers' rights but at the same time not in breach of various legal risks such as work injury, discrimination and the Occupational Safety and Health Ordinance?

15. How to draft a mental health policy as per case law that can better protect employers' rights and showcase employers' fulfillment of duty of care towards the employees to avoid the legal risks of being accused of committing disability discrimination and potential common law damages claims?

16. How to draft a work injury policy that can effectively handle suspicious work injury claim and deter employees from making fraudulent work injury claims or changing practitioner non-stop to extent their work injury leaves according to the statutory and case law?

Coronavirus Containment Measure:
- To prevent the spread of Covid-19, we kindly ask that all event participants wear a mask when attending the event.
- Attendees, who feel unwell are advised against in-person attendance at the Chamber. If attendees are required to undergo compulsory testing, please kindly bring along a negative PCR or RAT test result when attending physically.
- To prevent the spread of Covid-19, food and beverages will not be provided during the event.
- All visitors must scan the "LeaveHomeSafe" QR code at the entrance and undergo body temperature checks.

DISCLAIMER
Speakers' presentations at this event are intended for educational purposes only and do not replace independent professional judgment. Statements of fact and opinions expressed during this event are those of the speakers and participants and, unless expressly stated to the contrary, are not the opinion or position of the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, its members, or its committees. The Chamber does not endorse or approve, and assumes no responsibility for, the content, accuracy or completeness of the information presented. Attendees should note that, with the approval of speakers, this event may be recorded, and possibly published on the Chamber's website in audio and/or video formats without further notice.

Recording, duplication or distribution of the contents of the online event is prohibited without prior written permission from the Chamber.

Speaker(s)

Raymond Fung, Principal Consultant, Strategic Consulting Ltd

Raymond Fung has implemented various human resources management projects for over 270 US, European and Mainland corporate clients in the past 22 years. He has assisted clients in handling a large number of human resources disputes and litigations with their legal teams in the Labour Tribunal, District Court and High Court, supported by his deep understanding of the law concerning human resources. Raymond has conducted over 270 public seminars on human resources related laws in the past 22 years. He has taught in many enterprises, local and overseas universities, tertiary institutions and professional organizations. He has trained more than 80,000 managerial staff and professionals, and is a three-time winner of the Award for Excellence in Training and Development. Raymond graduated from two prestigious universities in the UK and holds a double Master’s Degree in Industrial Relations, and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. He was the Director of Training, Director of Human Resources, and General Manager of listed companies, and possesses extensive experience in human resources and corporate management.

Language Cantonese
Date and Time 2022/10/07 09:30 to 17:30
Venue Chamber Theatre, 22/F United Centre
Media Closed to media
Enquiries Cathy Chan
Tel: 2823 1282
Email: cathy@chamber.org.hk
Fee Members @ HK$1,800 / Non-Members @ HK$2,300
+$50 for booking offline
Members enjoy 30% discount with BOC HKGCC VISA Card
Notes - Bookings are only confirmed upon receipt of payment, on a first come first served basis.
- Booking transfer is allowed for corporate members with advanced notice, walk-ins are normally not accepted.
- The Chamber reserves the right to decline any booking or cancel the event. In such case, a full refund of the participation fee will be issued.
- No refund will be made for last minute cancellations or no-shows. If the booking is cancelled at least 7 days before the event, and in such cases the refund will be subjected to a 10% administration fee, or HK$100 deduction, whichever is higher.
- Members paying with their BOC HKGCC Visa Card will enjoy a 30% discount on their reservation. The discount is only applicable to the card holder, and does not extend to their guests. The discount cannot be used in conjunction with Chamber Coupons.
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- Priority is given to corporate members. The decision to accept or decline any booking shall be at sole discretion of the Chamber.
- Participants agree to indemnify the Chamber and the hosting party all liabilities for property damage, physical injury or death in relation to this event. Participants are advised to take their own insurance against all risks.

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