Chief Executive Carrie Lam has affirmed her commitment to create jobs, improve employee welfare and boost protection of workers’ interests.
Lam said this in her speech marking International Workers’ Day, which fell on Saturday, where she thanked workers for their contribution to Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability.
Hong Kong’s labour market has been pummelled by both the 2019 social unrest and the current pandemic. As such, Lam said the government has deployed a slew of measures to stabilise employment, including multiple rounds of anti-pandemic funds and over HK$300 billion (US$38.62 billion) in economic relief packages.
In addition, she said the government is working to improve labour welfare, including submitting a bill to the Legislative Council to increase statutory holidays from 12 to 17 days in phases.
The government is also working to improve the mandatory provident fund schemes to meet workers’ retirement needs, and increase the penalty for violations of the occupational safety and health regulation to better protect workers.
Currently, she said pandemic control is still the top priority for the government, urging the public to receive the COVID-19 vaccine early in order to let Hong Kong’s social and economic activities return to normal as soon as possible, according to Xinhua.