Equal Opportunities Commission


Press Releases

Press Releases

Rules and Regulation Made under the Family Status Discrimination Ordinance


The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) announces today (25 September 1997) that it intends to make two sets of rules under the new Family Status Discrimination Ordinance (FSDO) to facilitate its investigation work. The two sets of rules to be made are the Family Status Discrimination (Investigation and Conciliation) Rules and the Family Status Discrimination (Formal Investigations) Rules.

Speaking at a press briefing after an EOC meeting, Dr. Fanny Cheung Mui-ching, Chairperson of the EOC, said, "The two sets of rules provide for procedures which the EOC will follow in conducting investigations and conciliation, and formal investigations under the FSDO."

Dr. Cheung said that the Secretary for Home Affairs will be making regulation under the FSDO to empower the EOC to bring proceedings in its own name.

"The proposed regulation will enable the EOC to bring proceedings where the case raises a question of principle; and it is in the interest of justice to do so, and it appears to the EOC that the claim of the person is well founded," Dr. Cheung added.

"Our understanding is that the Government intends to bring the FSDO into force in November this year. The rules and regulation under the FSDO are also likely to be brought into force at the same time," Dr. Cheung said.

To enable employers and employees to have a better understanding of their responsibilities under the FSDO, the EOC will issue a Code of Practice on Employment. Dr. Cheung said, "We intend to conduct a wide public consultation on the draft code before submitting it to the Provisional Legislative Council."

At the press briefing, Dr. Cheung also reported that for the one year period up to 18 September 1997, the EOC has received 4658 enquiries and 421 complaints from the public. Of the 421 complaints, 118 were for investigation and conciliation while 303 were 'other complaints'.

Of the 118 complaints for investigation and conciliation, five complaints under the SDO and six under the DDO had been settled by conciliation. Six complaints under the SDO and ten under the DDO had been discontinued.

Of the 303 'other complaints', 284 related to discriminatory advertisements of which 188 were resolved following warning letters being issued to the publishers and five where the EOC has recently instituted legal proceedings under the SDO. In those five cases, the publishers have published discriminatory advertisements in contravention of s.43 of the SDO.

Enquiry: EOC Hotline 25118211