Loopholes will emerge in Hong Kong's employment laws to allow bosses to exploit workers if the government introduces a five-day working week, unionists warned yesterday. Ip Wai-ming, of the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions, said unless amendments were made, bosses could legally make employees work on statutory holidays, provided they were allowed two days off a week. 'We see loopholes by which employers could ask their workers to take only two days off each week even if they are entitled to [extra] statutory holidays during the week,' he said. 'Workers would not be able to say a thing as it would not be illegal.' Mr Ip led union representatives in the catering and logistics and transport industries to meet Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, the permanent secretary for economic development and labour, to discuss related issues. He warned that workers in these industries - which demand frequent overtime - might be most vulnerable without changes to existing laws. And although the five-day work proposal was intended for good ends, it must not allow employers to deprive workers of their 12 statutory days off each year. 'The rationale behind the five-day work proposal is to let workers take more rest and give them extra time to enjoy their family and social life. But we see more workers in these industries are being made to work during holidays by their bosses.' Mr Ip said workers made to work on their days off must get compensation days instead of extra cash. 'If paying a worker to work on a holiday is justified, there is no way workers can resist the pressure from their bosses to work more.' Mr Cheung said he understood the workers' worries and would look into the issues.