The Harbour Plaza Hotel - President Jiang Zemin's choice when he is in Hong Kong - is asking its 500 workers to take up to two days unpaid leave each month to help cut costs. General manager Sean Murray said yesterday the five-star Hunghom hotel, like many, had suffered in the economic downturn. The occupancy rate had remained about the same as last year at 80 to 90 per cent, but the hotel, owned by property tycoon Li Ka-shing, had cut its rates. 'The new unpaid leave plan is the least painful option compared with all the other options that other hotels have taken,' Mr Murray said. 'We have no plans to lay off staff.' He said the plan was temporary.