Articles

Employment Update: Work Arrangements during Typhoons and Rainstorms

One of the changes brought about by Covid-19 is a shift in work practices particularly in relation to working from home. This has brought to the fore the question of whether employees have to work in the case of adverse weather conditions such as Black Rainstorm warnings, Typhoon signal 8 (or above) and/or “extreme conditions” caused by super typhoons (“Adverse Weather”). In this article, we consider arrangements that employers may consider putting in place during Adverse Weather conditions.

Insolvencies in Hong Kong in a post-COVID-19 World

COVID-19 has created unforeseen challenges to businesses all over the world, resulting in many companies being unable to survive the pandemic. Hong Kong has been no exception. In Hong Kong, according to data published by the Hong Kong Government’s Official Receiver’s Office, in the first seven months of the year, 5219 compulsory bankruptcy petitions and 247 compulsory winding-up petitions were presented, representing 13.7% and 5.1% year-on-year increase respectively. The effect of COVID-19 may yet be fully reflected by these figures.

Employment Update: Second tranche of the Employment Support Scheme set to open for applications

The Government has announced that the application for the second tranche of the Employment Support Scheme (“ESS”) is set to open on 31 August 2020 until 13 September 2020 (“Application Period”). Employers who wish to apply for ESS relief must submit a new application for the second tranche.Self-employed individuals who have already received a one-off lump sum subsidy in the first tranche will not be able to apply for the second tranche of the ESS.

Why having two weddings can have unintended consequences

Since early 2020, the world has been experiencing an unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic which is affecting many aspects of people’s lives, including travelling plans and plans to get married. Some have postponed or cancelled their wedding plans, whilst others have decided to go through a simple marriage ceremony in their place of residence, to be followed by a wedding celebration in the same location or in a foreign location when the situation later permits.

COVID-19 Scams – What to do if you are defrauded

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, we have seen an overwhelming demand worldwide for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), which includes respirators, surgical masks, gloves and face shields. Regrettably, unscrupulous traders never miss an opportunity to capitalise on public fears and concerns.  Amid these difficult times, there has been a surge of fraud schemes associated with PPE transactions all around the globe. In Hong Kong, over 1,600 reports of online mask scams were received by the Hong Kong Police between January and March this year, consisting of more than 3,000 individual victims and local companies involving a total of HK$48.2 million. It has also been reported that fraudulent mask schemes totalling US$799 million were uncovered in United States in the last few months, and similar patterns have been observed across the Europe.

Employment Spotlight: Enhanced statutory maternity leave protection as the Legco passes the Employment (Amendment) Bill 2019

The Employment (Amendment) Bill 2019 (“Bill”) was passed by the Legislative Council on 9 July 2020. The Bill seeks to amend the Employment Ordinance (Cap. 57) “to extend the statutory maternity leave by 4 weeks; to introduce a cap on the maternity leave pay in respect of the extension of maternity leave; to shorten the period of pregnancy mentioned in the definition of miscarriage; to allow a certificate of attendance to be accepted as proof in respect of entitlement to sickness allowance for a day on which a female employee attends a medical examination in relation to her pregnancy; and to provide for transitional and related matters.” The details of the amendments to the Employment Ordinance (Cap. 57) have been have been discussed in our previous article which can be accessed here.

Hong Kong or UK: Where to Divorce?

Hong Kong has one of the highest percentage of expatriate populations in the world. Expatriates come to Hong Kong to explore opportunities. Unfortunately, Hong Kong also has the reputation as the ‘graveyard of marriages’.The question then becomes where should they file for divorce? Can they get a divorce in Hong Kong or do they have to return home? This article will set out the eligibility for filing for divorce in Hong Kong and examine the similarities and differences between the regime of the Hong Kong and the Courts of England and Wales.

The Benefits of Collaborative Law During COVID-19

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Hong Kong Courts were closed for several months and thousands of court hearings were adjourned during this General Adjourned Period (“GAP”). Although the Family Court has now reopened there are social distancing measures in place which mean that hearings are continuing to be adjourned. We expect this to be the ‘new normal’ for some time to come.