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Hong Kong

Remote and Flexible Work Options

Learn about remote work policies and flexible work arrangements in Hong Kong

Remote work

Adapting existing legal frameworks for remote work in Hong Kong can be a complex task, as there's no single law governing this practice. However, the Employment Ordinance (Cap. 57) provides a foundation for establishing remote work arrangements through contracts, even though it doesn't explicitly address remote work. For employees working remotely overseas, tax residency and social security contributions might be affected. Therefore, employers should seek professional advice to ensure compliance with relevant tax regulations in both Hong Kong and the employee's remote location.

A robust technological infrastructure is essential for successful remote work. This includes reliable and high-bandwidth internet access, secure communication tools, and strong data security measures. Employers might need to consider internet stipends for employees in areas with limited connectivity.

In the absence of specific remote work regulations, employers have a responsibility to establish clear guidelines and policies. A formal remote work policy and employment contracts for remote workers can help protect both parties. Providing training on remote work tools, data security best practices, and time management techniques can equip employees for success while working remotely. Maintaining a positive work culture is also important, despite the physical distance.

Employers should also consider potential challenges employees might face regarding work-life balance in a remote work environment. Remote work can lead to feelings of isolation, so offering resources and support to promote employee well-being is crucial.

Flexible work arrangements

Part-Time Work

Part-time work is recognized under the Employment Ordinance (Cap. 57), with proportional adjustments to salary, benefits, and statutory entitlements based on working hours (Sections 27 & 28). The Ordinance doesn't mandate specific reimbursements for part-time workers. However, employers might provide equipment (laptops) or offer stipends for internet access depending on job requirements and the nature of the part-time role.


There are no statutory regulations for flexitime arrangements in Hong Kong. Employers can establish flexitime policies through agreements with employees. This could involve offering core working hours with flexibility in start and finish times. Similar to part-time work, reimbursements for equipment or internet access in a flexitime arrangement would be determined by the employer based on the specific role and responsibilities.

Job Sharing

The Employment Ordinance doesn't explicitly address job sharing. However, employers can establish such arrangements through contracts with two or more employees. This would involve splitting a full-time position's responsibilities and workload. Reimbursement policies for equipment or internet access would likely be similar to part-time roles, potentially with some adjustments depending on the job sharing agreement and responsibilities assigned to each employee.

Challenges and Considerations

Employers need to consider the specific needs of each flexible work arrangement and tailor equipment or expense reimbursements accordingly.

Data protection and privacy

In the era of remote work, employers have a responsibility to uphold data security and privacy. Key legislation such as the Personal Data Privacy Ordinance (PDPO) (Cap. 881) outlines principles for collecting, using, and disclosing personal data. Employers must comply with the PDPO, especially when facilitating remote work arrangements.

The employment contract should clearly define data protection protocols, acceptable use of technology, and employee responsibilities for data security. Employers also have a duty to implement reasonable security measures to safeguard employee data and company information. This includes encryption, access controls, and employee training on cybersecurity best practices.

Transparency and Accountability

Employers should be transparent with remote employees about what data is collected for work purposes, how it's used, and with whom it's shared. This aligns with the PDPO's Data Protection Principles.

Employee Rights

Employees have the right to access their personal data held by the employer and request corrections if necessary. They also have a right to expect their personal data to be kept confidential and used only for legitimate work purposes. Employees may have the right to object to the use of their data for specific purposes, especially for marketing or profiling.

Clear Communication

A formal remote work policy outlining data protection protocols, acceptable use of technology, and employee responsibilities can help manage expectations and ensure compliance with the PDPO. Providing training on data security best practices, identifying phishing attempts, and proper handling of sensitive information empowers employees to protect their data and the company's information systems.

Best Practices for Secure Remote Work

Implementing strong password policies and requiring regular password changes minimizes unauthorized access. Encrypting sensitive data, both at rest and in transit, adds an extra layer of security. Encouraging employees to maintain separate work and personal devices and accounts minimizes the risk of data breaches on personal devices. Establishing clear procedures for reporting data breaches or suspected privacy violations allows for prompt investigation and remediation.

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