Work hours committee to consult public twice

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 08 June, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 08 June, 2013, 4:16am

The government advisory committee on standard working hours will have two rounds of consultations before presenting its conclusions.

Chairman Dr Leong Che-hung said the first round would seek general public opinion, which the committee would compile and put to a second round of consultation.

He didn't give a specific time frame.

"Opinions are divided even between labour unions and different workers, not only among employers and employees," he said. "Even definitions, such as what are working hours, are not standardised yet, so there needs to be a wide-ranging public consultation."

Leong said the aim was to seek common ground, adding that the question of whether standard working hours should even be legislated had not even been decided.

Committee members might go to places such as Singapore and the US to study the situations there.

The committee also might employ consultants to collect and compute statistics and analyse work patterns across different jobs.

The 24-member committee, which includes representatives of workers, employers, academics and officials, was set up in early April to consider the benefits and disadvantages of standardising working hours.

Labour Party lawmaker Lee Cheuk-yan had earlier criticised setting Leong's term at three years, saying this meant the present government would not have time to act on any recommendations.

The committee, which met for the first time in May, will meet every two months, with the next date set for July 24.