What the long-awaited law will cover

PUBLISHED : Friday, 10 July, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 10 July, 2009, 12:00am

Direct discrimination

Example: a fluent Cantonese speaker of Pakistani origin who uses a Chinese name applies by phone for a sales job and is invited for an interview. When he arrives, staff, because of his appearance, lie that the job has been filled. This is less favourable treatment on grounds of race if another applicant, not of Pakistani origin, is not turned away.

Indirect discrimination

Example: a food-packaging factory bans beards on health and safety grounds. If the ban cannot be justified - for example, because workers can wear masks to meet health standards - it constitutes indirect discrimination against ethnic groups such as Sikhs (who, by custom, must have beards).

Discrimination by victimisation

Example: a manager of Nepali origin complains he was paid a smaller annual bonus than a fellow manager of Chinese origin on grounds of race, and his employer dismisses him for complaining.

Racial harassment is communicating with someone in an offensive or disparaging way because of their race, or name calling which certain races may find offensive or impolite.

Racially hostile environments is display of graffiti, slogans or other objects offensive to some groups.

Racial vilification is public activity which incites hatred, serious contempt for, or severe ridicule of, a person because of their race. If it involves threats of physical harm to them, their property or premises, it is considered serious vilification and is punishable by up to two years' jail and a fine of up to HK$100,000.

Source: Equal Opportunities Commission