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Sunday, Oct 02, 2022

Union urges govt to enact laws to protect workers from inclement weather

Union urges govt to enact laws to protect workers from inclement weather

The Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions has on Wednesday morning urged authorities to introduce laws to better protect workers from inclement weather.
The call came as the No 3 storm signal was issued on Tuesday with Tropical Storm Mulan edging closer to the city.

The labor group said the new law should outline the working arrangements for the city’s workers under inclement weather, including giving non-essential workers inclement weather leave.

It also suggested changes to the Employees' Compensation Ordinance to better protect workers commuting between work after the lifting of storm or rainstorm signals.

The group pointed out that the government’s newly revised “Code of Practice in times of Typhoons and Rainstorms” is only a guideline and is not legally binding. They also found it appropriate for workers in the service trade such as restaurant staffers and cleaners to work under severe weather warnings.

The new legislation should ensure employees not getting any deductions from their remuneration, paid leaves, or dismissals for skipping work due to natural disasters or emergency situations, according to the group.

“The government should enact new laws prohibiting all workers (except essential workers) from getting to work once any signal higher than the No 8 storm signal is hoisted.”

“Employers must provide the ‘essential workers’ with safe transportation getting to work,” the group added.

Separately, the group advised that workers who were injured while commuting to work under inclement weather should be treated as work injuries, thus, covered by the Employees' Compensation Ordinance.

Workers should also be insured when commuting to and from work within two hours after the lifting of a No 8 storm signal or black rainstorm signal, the group noted.
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