MPF team supports right to prosecute

PUBLISHED : Friday, 23 February, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 23 February, 2001, 12:00am

Plans to give the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority (MPFA) the right to prosecute employers who have not subscribed have won the backing of its advisers.

The approval comes as the authority moves to seek legal advice from government lawyers next week over the first batch of possible prosecutions.

Members of the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Advisory Committee had been asked for their opinion of the proposed move.

The MPF - launched on December 1 - requires all 251,000 companies without a pension plan to set up a scheme for staff.

At present the authority can only refer cases for prosecution to the Department of Justice through the police, who issue summonses. The process has not been helped by the requirement that prosecutions have to be launched within six months of the end of an investigation.

'Most of the committee members agreed that in order to effectively implement the MPF ordinance, the MPFA must be allowed to initiate prosecutions directly,' committee member and unionist Poon Siu-ping said.

'It is the only viable way to ensure employers are fully aware of their responsibilities to employees and stop this ridiculous trend of forcing contracted workers to become self-employed.'

The authority said it hoped to have the proposal ready for submission to lawmakers by July. A spokesman said it would speed up the process by three months.

The authority also confirmed that it would refer five cases to the Department of Justice next week to decide if there were grounds to prosecute.