Equal Opportunities Commission


Press Releases

Press Releases

EOC Welcomes the Discrimination Legislation (Miscellaneous Amendments) Ordinance 2020 Coming into Force


The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) welcomes the gazettal of the Discrimination Legislation (Miscellaneous Amendments) Ordinance 2020 (“Ordinance”) today (19 June 2020), following the passage of the Discrimination Legislation (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 2018 by the Legislative Council on 11 June 2020. All provisions in the Ordinance came into force today, except the provisions making breastfeeding discrimination unlawful. Those provisions will come into force one year later on 19 June 2021.

The Ordinance enhances the protection from discrimination and harassment in the four anti-discrimination Ordinances: the Sex Discrimination Ordinance (“SDO”), Disability Discrimination Ordinance (“DDO”), Family Status Discrimination Ordinance (“FSDO”) and Race Discrimination Ordinance (“RDO”).

The Ordinance implements the following amendments:

  • providing protection from direct and indirect discrimination, as well as victimisation for breastfeeding women in key sectors, such as employment, the provision of services and facilities, and education under the SDO;
  • providing protection from sexual, racial and disability harassment in common workplaces where there is no employment relationship (eg consignment workers, volunteers and interns) under the SDO, RDO and DDO;
  • providing protection from racial and disability harassment where customers harass service providers, including where such acts occur on Hong Kong registered aircraft or ships and while they are overseas under the RDO and DDO;
  • introducing protection from direct and indirect racial discrimination and racial harassment by imputation under the RDO;
  • protecting an associate of a person from direct racial discrimination and racial harassment under the RDO;
  • providing protection from sexual and disability harassment for members and prospective members of clubs, by the management of the clubs; and
  • repealing requirements of an intention to discriminate as a pre-condition to awarding damages for acts of indirect discrimination under the SDO, FSDO and RDO.

“It is an important milestone in the history of Hong Kong’s anti-discrimination legislation,” said Mr Ricky CHU Man-kin, Chairperson of the EOC. “It marks a significant step to modernise and harmonise the anti-discrimination legislation in Hong Kong. We are very pleased that eight of the EOC’s recommendations made in the Discrimination Law Review (“DLR”) have been accepted by the Government and the Legislative Council. In the DLR Report submitted to the Government in 2016, the EOC proposed a number of recommendations on how the protections from discrimination and harassment under the four anti-discrimination Ordinances should be improved. These amendments are the culmination of the DLR, including a four-month public consultation that concluded on 31 October 2014.”

Mr CHU continued, “We will shortly be publishing a series of Guidance to help relevant stakeholders (such as employers, employees, service providers, management of clubs, providers of education, and those managing premises), understand the effect of and comply with the new provisions. We will also enhance public awareness on the new provisions through public education, publicity, and training efforts.”

“Though the Sex Discrimination (Amendment) Bill 2020, which proposes to amend the SDO to provide protection from harassment for breastfeeding women, could not be passed at the Legislative Council in the current session, we look forward to seeing the Government introduce this proposed amendment as soon as possible in the next session, so that legal protection for breastfeeding women can be enhanced,” Mr CHU supplemented.

For full content of the Ordinance, please click the link below:


Equal Opportunities Commission
19 June 2020


Discrimination Legislation (Miscellaneous Amendments) Ordinance 2020 is now in force!

Discrimination Legislation (Miscellaneous Amendments) Ordinance 2020 is now in force!