When it comes to fundamental rights such as freedom of speech, Hong Kong people are all equal before the law. But when it comes to holidays, we are not. There is one law for some, another for the rest. The former British rulers set 12 paid statutory holidays for blue-collar workers, who were then mostly Chinese who toiled in factories, and five extra paid public holidays for office workers to celebrate the Queen's birthday, Easter and Christmas. After 1997, the Queen's birthday was replaced by Buddha's birthday. The 'one workforce, two sets of holiday' rule effectively treats some of the city's 3.5-million-plus workers as second-class citizens. As we report today, a lawmaker has decided to move a private member's bill in the Legislative Council for an increase in statutory holidays from 12 to 17 days a year. The Confederation of Trade Unions argues that Hong Kong already lags well behind international standards in the amount of statutory paid annual leave given to workers. The proposal deserves support from everyone in this city, one of the most advanced economies in the world. To be fair, that is the least non-office workers could reasonably ask for. Despite the transition of our economy to services and information, non-office workers still typically work six days a week - often including unpaid overtime - compared with five or five-and-a-half days for office workers. The government's move to encourage a five-day week by introducing it for civil servants has been followed by public bodies and big firms but resisted by small- and medium-sized enterprises, which fear loss of productivity and competitiveness. This newspaper has strongly supported efforts to promote a better work-life balance, as it is positive for workers' health and strengthens families. Overseas experience shows a five-day week and other family-friendly practices such as flexitime, job-sharing and working from home need not affect the bottom line. Greater efforts are needed to educate employers in how to go about it. Granting the five extra days off would be a start. That would rid us of a colonial legacy that has no place in a fair society.