Equal rights even the score

AS THE Legislative Council considers a private member's Equal Opportunities Bill put forward by Anna Wu Hung-yuk, the United States and Australia have long established Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) legislation.

The EEO is undeniably a revolution of industrial relations, allowing affirmative action to eradicate discrimination in both recruiting and other employment malpractices. Employer associations unanimously agree with the legislation, which requires employers to modify their internal career planning (such as promotions, training and compensation schemes) to alleviate discrimination.

From the judicial perspective, a tribunal has to be established to arbitrate complaints. They can also be preventive check lists for employers to justify their recruitment system.

The EEO can also help employers determine the number of minority employees they can have without depriving themselves of manpower and still achieving the organisation's goals.

In Western countries, an EEO officer is a compulsory position set up in an organisation to handle this specific issue.

In Hong Kong, Ms Wu's bill tackles discrimination on the basis of age, sex, sexual preference, religion, disability and race. As physical disability is always the excuse to reject the recruitment of lower-ranked women, physical-ability tests can objectively assess their capacities.


Expatriate employees have a relatively higher income and better fringe benefits than locals. The legislation can appease the discontent and equalise career development through training, promotion and pay increments.

YVONNE HOU FUNG-LIN University Of New England Australia