Despite holding attributes to be successful, women have been paid less than their male counterparts over the last five years.
A government bill has been passed to allow employers to sack workers who refuse to receive a COVID-19 vaccination without a reasonable excuse.
The scheme subsidises the wages of some 1.2 million workers up to HK$8,000 over the months of May, June, and July.
About 160,000 employers are expected to apply for the latest round of pandemic wage subsidies under the employment support scheme (ESS).
About 440,000 additional workers will benefit from the government’s more inclusive revised Employment Support Scheme (ESS).
With almost 180,000 applications in the first launch days, Chief Executive Carrie Lam has said there will be no upper limit on the overall funds distributed.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 4.5% in the period from December 2021 to February 2022, from 7.2% in the same period the year prior.
The subsidy package will cover a monthly subsidy of HK$8,000 for each full-time employee, spanning a three-month period between May and July.
A proposed amendment to the employment law will ensure that workers undergoing isolation or quarantine can enjoy sick leave.
Secretary for Labour and Welfare Law Chi-kwong has said the minimum wage, frozen at HK$37.50 (US$4.8) since 2019, may be raised this year.
The handouts will exclude workers who lost their jobs before the current wave of outbreaks began last December.
The Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) said the proposed increase in the national minimum wage to RM1,500 (US$359) will shutter struggling businesses.
Prior to this, the authorities had said that those who were unemployed could get help from existing social welfare schemes.
Many public employees are expected to work remotely as some government departments may temporarily cut back on some services.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam has said that the government is preparing another round of subsidies for businesses impacted by the Omicron outbreaks.
Across most sectors, the unemployment rates fell in the September-November quarter as compared with the preceding three month period.
Unvaccinated government staff may need to get tested for COVID-19 every week instead of once every two weeks.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam noted that it was important to retain mothers in the workforce while offering them better childcare support.
The jobless rate in Hong Kong fell from 4.7% in the June-August period to 4.5% in the July-September quarter, the lowest since the first quarter last year.
The schemes have so far granted a total of HK$170 billion (US$21.8 billion) in loans to 67,000 applicants, which include 41,600 companies.
The improved business sentiment has been attributed to the global economic recovery and the improved local COVID-19 situation.
Civil servants, teachers and healthcare workers must get inoculated against COVID-19 or pay for regular testing.
Some 213,000 people are still out of jobs, but this is 20,200 fewer than the preceding quarter, as Hong Kong's labour market continues to recover.
In the first half this year, 56,253 local companies have registered their businesses, bringing the total number to 1.38 million.
Hong Kong’s jobless rate fell for three consecutive months to a one-year low in May, as the economy continues to recover from the pandemic.
Employees who face discrimination if they refused to be vaccinated may be able to mount a legal challenge, depending if it is "reasonable or necessary."
This will apply to all government employees, which includes civil servants, non-civil service contract staff and post-retirement service contract staff.
The minimum wage in Hong Kong has been frozen for the first time since the Minimum Wage Ordinance came into effect in 2011.
This comes amid fears that the salaries of civil servants could suffer a cut this year as Hong Kong continues to be impacted by the pandemic.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam has affirmed her commitment to create jobs, improve employee welfare and boost protection of workers’ interests.