Census findings on 2.5m private-sector employees contradict a recent survey About half of Hong Kong's 2.5 million non-government employees worked eight hours or less a day last year, which contradicts a recent survey on working hours. The surprise figure comes from a Census and Statistics Department survey of 11,000 households from July to September last year, with the results released yesterday. They show 46.2 per cent of employees worked eight hours or less a day, while 39.5 per cent worked between eight and 10 and 14.3 per cent more than 10. But a recent survey of 170 companies by the Hong Kong Institute of Human Resource Management found employees worked an average of 44.5 hours a week this year, compared with 42.9 in 2001. They were also required to work an average of 13 hours of unpaid overtime a week. The institute warned that overwork could lead to loss of talented workers and set up a barrier to creativity and innovation. Legislator Wong Kwok-hing, who represents the labour constituency, said the government survey did not reflect the present working environment. 'Because the survey was done last year, I guess that the situation of long working hours has worsened,' he said. 'This is because while the economy is reviving, employers are reluctant to employ more staff, thereby leaving those they have to work longer.' Mr Wong also said people working in the banking sector were required to work longer hours this year. 'They are required to promote the banks' credit cards or other investment plans at weekends,' he said. He could bring the matter of lengthening working hours into the Legislative Council before the chief executive delivers his policy address in January, he said. The government figures show that of the 143,100 part-time employees, 54 per cent were female, and part-time employees tended to be aged 15 to 19 and older than 60. Meanwhile, the housing and labour departments have stepped into the row between security staff at Wong Chuk Hang Estate and their future employer over their contracts. Starting from next year, Onward Security Company will take over Centurion Facility Company in providing security services. The 51 Centurion Facility Company staff working at the estate are expected to be transferred to Onward Security Company. But staff were not satisfied with the new contracts, which split salaries into different allowances. Twelve complained to the Federation of Trade Unions and met representatives from the Housing Department on Wednesday. Federation senior secretary Yip Wai-ming said staff were told they could be docked between $50 and $800 for improper dress. Chief housing manager Lee Kang-sum said Onward Security had agreed to redraft its contracts and put them to the departments.