Briefing Notes for Media following the 62nd EOC Meeting of 15 June 2006
Members of the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) met today (Thursday, 15 June 2006) and discussed matters related to the Commission's business as listed in the following:
- EOC Corporate Statement of Values, Strategies and Objective
- Equal Pay for Work of Equal Value
- Reports of the Legal & Complaints Committee (LCC), Community Participation & Publicity Committee (CPPC) and Administration & Finance Committee (A&FC)
- Interim Progress Report on the Feasibility of Establishing an Equal Opportunities Tribunal
Commission Members discussed the Consultancy Study on Equal Pay for Work of Equal Value (EPEV), with focus on how to take the subject forward. Basically, Members supported strengthening public education and training to promote the concept of EPEV and to remove gender stereotyping; improving existing Code of Practice on Employment (CoP) under the Sex Discrimination Ordinance (SDO) to explain more clearly the principles of EPEV; and encouraging employers to introduce family-friendly employment policies and practices, etc.
Members of the public could lodge a complaint with the EOC if they are discriminated against in respect of the terms & conditions of employment because of their sex. The EOC has received 2,119 employment-related complaints under the SDO since its establishment. None of these concerns unequal pay.
Relating to the establishment of an Equal Opportunities (E.O.) Tribunal, a new Working Group comprised of EOC Members, EOC Chairperson and Chief Legal Counsel was formed to look into the feasibility and the interface of the E.O. Tribunal with the role of the EOC. Two District Court Judges had agreed to serve on the Working Group in their personal capacity.
A research paper on the procedures of overseas tribunal in anti-discrimination jurisdictions and the issue of legal representation would be prepared for the Working Groups to discuss. A draft Terms of Reference would also be prepared for the Working Group's consideration.
Statistics for 5 months
The Commission has recorded an increase in the number of complaints received under the three anti-discrimination ordinances. From January to May 2006, a total of 305 complaints were received compared with 272 in the same period of last year, representing an increase of 12%. Complaints received under the Disability Discrimination Ordinance (DDO) grew by 6% to 172 in the first five months of 2006, compared with 163 in same period of last year. Under the Sex Discrimination Ordinance (SDO), 122 complaints were received in the same period of 2006 against 98 in 2005, representing an increase of 24%. Complaints received under the Family Status Discrimination Ordinance (FSDO) remained at the same level, 11 cases for the same period in both 2005 and 2006. By respective Ordinance, 56% of the complaints were on the DDO, 40% were on SDO and 4% were on (FSDO).
Minutes of the 62nd EOC meeting will be uploaded to the Commission's website at http://www.eoc.org.hk following Members' confirmation of its content at the next meeting on 14th September, 2006.
Media enquiries : Ms. Mariana LAW (Tel : 2106-2226).