Criminal liability often requires law enforcement organizations to prove the criminal conduct and intent of the offender (i.e. the employer) to be convicted. However, under "strict liability offences", when it is proved that the employer or his representative, including the line managers or human resources manager, has committed a criminal act, even with no intention of committing a crime, careless mistakes or lacking legal knowledge cannot be used as a statutory defence, which may result in criminal conviction. In recent years, executive directors, managing staff, human resources managers, have been convicted of crimes due to reckless or ill-informed decisions, lacking legal knowledge or being misled by law enforcement organizations. For example, according to 2018 Immigration Department figures, there were 283 criminal offence cases for the wrongful employment of a person (Immigration Ordinance sections 17I and 17J), resulting in employers or managers being convicted on criminal offence relating to strict liability.
This seminar is aimed at raising awareness of employers and human resources professionals on "strict liability offences" in various human resources related legislations. It allows participants to understand potential risks concerned, and implement human resources measures ahead of time to justify and exonerate the potential legal liability in the event of related litigations.
1. What is a "strict liability offence"?
2. In the following human resources-related legislations, which part is strict legal liability (i.e. employers or human resources need to set higher standards and measures, and must not make mistakes)?
• Immigration Ordinance
• Employment Ordinance
• Employees' Compensation Ordinance
• Inland revenue Ordinance
• Personal Data Privacy Ordinance
3. Recent court case sharing on human resources/managers committing strict liability offences and resulting in employers to bear criminal responsibility
4. Statutory defence by employers and human resources
Most of the "strict liability offences" can be excused by the court before being convicted, i.e. whether the employer or human resources department has taken practical measures to prevent the offence as a statutory defence. What guidelines and lessons can be learnt from court cases from which employers or human resources need to take to avoid potential criminal liability?
5. Questions and Answers and Sharing
To minimize the risk of spreading the coronavirus, this informative session will be conducted in the format of a webinar. Upon successful registration, registrants will receive a confirmation email with a specific link to access the webinar 1 day before the event.