Guide to employment, payroll and benefits in

Hong Kong

Rivermate offers complete payroll, benefits and compliance services for

Hong Kong

01. Overview

Last updated: 

August 19, 2021

Hong Kong Dollar
Ease of doing business
GDP growth

02. Grow your team in

Hong Kong

with Rivermate

Payroll, benefits, taxes, and compliance can be difficult to manage in

Hong Kong

, particularly if you don't have established local relationships. You can hire employees in

Hong Kong

effectively, conveniently, and in full compliance with all relevant labor laws using Rivermate's global employment solution. We handle the responsibilities and legal risks associated with foreign employment so you can concentrate on growing your company.

03. Summary

Hong Kong, officially the People's Republic of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, is a metropolitan area and special administrative region of the People's Republic of China located on the Pearl River Delta in the South China Sea. Hong Kong is one of the most heavily populated areas on the planet, with over 7.5 million people of different nationalities living in a 1,104-square-kilometer area. After the Qing Empire ceded Hong Kong Island to the British Empire at the end of the First Opium War in 1842, Hong Kong became a British colony. Following the Second Opium War in 1860, the colony was enlarged to include the Kowloon Peninsula, and in 1898, Britain secured a 99-year lease on the New Territories. In 1997, China took over the whole territory. Under the concept of "one nation, two systems," Hong Kong maintains a distinct governance and economic structure from mainland China. Originally a sparsely populated area of farming and fishing villages, the territory has developed into one of the world's most important financial centers and commercial ports. It is the tenth largest exporter and ninth largest importer in the world. Hong Kong has a large capitalist service economy with low taxes and open trade, and its currency, the Hong Kong dollar, is the world's eighth most traded currency. Hong Kong has the second-highest concentration of billionaires in the world, the highest concentration of ultra-high-net-worth individuals in Asia, and the second-highest concentration of billionaires in the world. Despite having one of the highest per capita incomes in the world, the city's population suffers from extreme income inequality. Hong Kong is a highly industrialized territory that ranks fourth on the UN Human Development Index. The city has the most skyscrapers of any city on the planet, and its inhabitants have some of the world's longest life expectancies. The dense population resulted in a well-developed transportation network, with public transportation use exceeding 90%. In the Global Financial Centres Index, Hong Kong is ranked fifth.

04. Public holidays

05. Types of leave

Paid time off

Every 12 months, an employee is entitled to paid annual leave if they have been working on a continuous contract. According to years of service, annual leave allowance grows from 7 days to a limit of 14 days:1 year – 7 days2 years – 7 days3 years – 8 days4 years – 9 days5 years – 10 days6 years – 11 days7 years – 12 days8 years – 13 days9+ years – 14 days

Public holidays

Statutory vacations are available to all staff. Most bosses, on the other hand, offer employees access to all general holidays. There are 12 formal holidays and 5 non-statutory holidays in the year.

Sick days

Employer-provided sickness allowance eligibilityAn employee working on a continuous contract is entitled to sick pay if (1) the sick leave is taken for at least four days, (2) the sick leave is accompanied by a valid medical card, and (3) the employee has accrued a minimum amount of paid sick days.Amount of paid sick days accruedAfter working for a period of time on a continuous contract, an employee may accrue paid sick days. Paid sick days are accrued at a rate of two paid sick days per completed month for the first 12 months, and four paid sick days for each completed month after that.Paid sick days may be accrued over the course of a job, but they cannot reach 120 days at any given time.Allowance for illnessThe daily rate of sickness allowance is equal to 4/5 (80%) of an employee's total daily earnings received in the 12-month period prior to the sickness day.

Maternity leave

Dimensions14 weeks which will begin anywhere between two and four weeks before the child's anticipated due date.Employer reimbursementWhen the employee has been working under a continuous contract for at least 40 weeks immediately prior to the start of planned maternity leave, she is eligible for maternity leave pay.The regular rate of maternity leave pay is equal to 4/5 (80%) of an employee's total daily salary paid in the 12-month period preceding the start of maternity leave.

Paternity leave

DimensionsEmployees who are fathers are entitled to five days of parental leave.Employer reimbursementWhen the employee has been working under a continuous contract for at least 40 weeks directly prior to paternity leave, he is qualified for paternity leave compensation.Employer reimbursementThe regular rate of paternity leave pay is equal to 4/5 (80%) of an employee's total daily earnings paid in the 12-month period preceding the day of paternity leave.

Parental leave

There are currently no statutory laws or regulations regarding parental leave in Hong Kong.

Other leave

06. Employment termination

Termination process

Employers or employees may terminate an employment contract by providing the other party with reasonable notice or money in lieu of notice.

Employers are not permitted to discharge an employee for the following reasons: maternity protection, paid sick leave, providing evidence or information to authorities, trade union activity, workplace injury, or employment protection.

Unreasonable dismissal, unreasonable change of the terms of the employment contract, and unreasonable and unlawful dismissal are all scenarios in which an employee may seek redress against an employer.

Notice period

The employer is not required to provide any notification to the employee during the first month of the probation period. The notice time is determined by an agreement between the employer and the employee after the first month, when the contract specifies the appropriate length of notice. After the first month, if the contract does not provide for it, the notice period should not be shorter than seven days. If the contract provides for a notice term of no less than 7 days after the employee's probation period, the notice period should be at least one month. If the contract does not provide for a notice period, the notice period should be at least one month.

Severance pay

Employees who meet the following criteria are eligible for severance pay or long service pay. The qualifying term for severance payments cannot be shorter than 24 months under a continuous payment. Severance payment criteria include the following: the basis for dismissal must be redundancy, the contract must end without renewal due to redundancy, and the employee is laid off. Additionally, the long service reward has a qualifying period of not less than five years on a continuous contract.

The following conditions apply to the long service payment: employee is terminated but not for serious misconduct; employee is terminated but not for redundancy; employee's employment contract expires without being renewed; employee dies; employee resigns due to ill health; and employee resigns due to old age. Employees will not be entitled to both long service and severance pay concurrently. The payout amount is determined by increasing the previous month's salary by two-thirds and then multiplying the result by the reckonable years of service. Additionally, an employee may elect to utilize his or her average wage for the twelve months preceding the termination of employment contract. The total amount should not exceed two-thirds of 22,500 Hong Kong dollars, or just 15,000. The maximum sum payable as severance or lengthy service is HK$ 390,000.

Probation period

There is no statutory probationary period in Hong Kong.

07. Working hours


In Hong Kong, there are no set working hours, and the number of hours worked by an employee varies according to position and industry. Employees, on the other hand, frequently work 44 hours per week. The employment contract should specify the number of working hours and days, as well as rest periods and overtime.

A continuous contract employee is entitled to at least one rest day every seven days. Employers and employees must agree on whether or not to pay for rest days. In general, Hong Kong pays for rest days.

There are no special restrictions on shift workers' working hours or rest breaks.

Regardless of their work hours, all employees covered by the Employment Ordinance are entitled to basic protection under the Ordinance. Employees who work for the same employer on a continuous contract for four weeks or more and work at least 18 hours per week are also entitled to additional benefits.


Overtime work in Hong Kong is optional.

08. Minimum wage


The minimum wage in Hong Kong is set at 37.50 Hong Kong Dollars per hour.

09. Employee benefits


Hong Kong's health-care system is a mix of public and private providers. All Hong Kong residents have access to the public health-care system, and neither insurance nor payroll deductions are required. The public system offers excellent coverage at a low cost, but there are frequently long waits and few English-speaking providers.

Employees are frequently provided with health and life insurance as a supplemental benefit. Most executives request additional health and life insurance; smaller businesses may provide a stipend in lieu of arranging insurance.

10. Why Rivermate as your Employer of Record / PEO?

Establishing an entity in

Hong Kong

to hire a team takes time, money, and effort. The labor law in

Hong Kong

has strong worker employment protection, requiring great attention to details and a thorough awareness of local best practices. Rivermate makes expanding into

Hong Kong

simple and effortless. We can assist you with hiring your preferred talent, managing HR and payroll, and ensuring compliance with local legislation without the hassle of establishing a foreign branch office or subsidiary. Our PEO and Global Employer of Record solutions in

Hong Kong

give you peace of mind so you can focus on running your business.

Please contact us if you'd like to learn more about how Rivermate can help you hire employees in

Hong Kong

via our Employer of Record / PEO solution.

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