Hong Kong not implementing FWAs across all organisations

The city will not be employing hybrid work arrangements on a government-level due to various reasons.
By: | April 23, 2024

With more discussion of flexible working arrangements gaining traction across different countries, one region is steering clear of adopting flexible work arrangements in their employment policies: Hong Kong.

This was the opinion of recruitment and human resources experts within the city, after news of Singapore announcing their new guidelines on flexible employment policies, which allow employees to ask for four-day workweeks, more work-from-home days and staggered hours starting from 1 December, requests which employers have to give due consideration

“I think at the moment [a four-day workweek] would be seen as a good retention tool [and] recruitment tool. But I think the cost of doing it might be seen as prohibitive,” said Nick Marsh, Managing Director, Meraki Executive Search & Consulting.

However, Marsh, along with other HR experts, agreed that this would be able to start the dialogue to review working arrangements in Hong Kong, with calls to the executive government and trade associations to offer incentives that help businesses with IT upgrades as companies transition to new ways of working, reported South China Morning Post.

Challenges that HR experts have brought up with adopting the four-day workweek fully include worries about productivity output, client satisfaction, and costs.

The Civil Service Bureau has announced that the Hong Kong government currently has no plan to implement a four-day workweek arrangement for civil servants, adding that it needed to consider and strike a balance among different factors when it came to any change to the work schedule of its employees.

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These factors include impact on the level and quality of services to residents, public finances and the need to maintain a family-friendly environment for civil servants.

The Labour Department of Hong Kong has shared that they encourage employers to adopt “employee-oriented” measures, including flexible work arrangements and additional leave benefits to achieve work-life balance, but did not comment if employees from private sectors had asked for a four-day workweek.