Public Consultation on the Revision of the Code of Practice on Employment under the Disability Discrimination Ordinance
The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) announced today (8 April 2010) that a revision of the Code of Practice on Employment (the Code) under the Disability Discrimination Ordinance (DDO) has been published for public consultation.
The EOC issued the Disability Discrimination Ordinance : Code of Practice on Employment in 1997 in accordance with the DDO, which provided guidelines to employers in Hong Kong on implementing equality of employment opportunities for persons with disabilities. Over the past years, there have been expansions in legal jurisprudence, emergence of new case laws and the public has gained better and wider knowledge of the law. These developments have prompted for a revision of the Code so as to keep it as an updated and useful reference tool for employers, employees and human resources practitioners.
“Throughout the years, relevant facts from complaints and case laws have revealed better practices in human resources management issues, such as sick leave management and work injury issues. It is, therefore, timely to revise the code so that it continues to encourage and nourish a healthy partnership between employers and employees on working towards an equitable workplace for all,” said Mr. LAM Woon-kwong, Chairperson of the EOC.
The Code provides employers with practical guidance on how to prevent disability discrimination, harassment and vilification to better implement the concept of equal opportunities in the workplace. It also helps employees understand their rights and responsibilities under the law. Although the Code is not in itself an authoritative statement of the law, it is a statutory code to provide recommendations for good employment procedures and practices. Implementing the recommendations in the Code helps employers reduce the risk of committing unlawful act(s) and limit chances of incurring vicarious liability.
Mr. LAM emphasized, “There is indeed a close link between providing equal opportunities in organizations and good employment practices. Organizations which mainstream equal opportunity practices into their organizational strategy will gain benefits by maximizing the potentials of all employees. We believe the Code will not only provide guidelines on preventing discrimination but also help organizations achieve better employment relationships and better use of human resources. ”
In revising this Code, the EOC has consulted members from representative NGO groups and human resources practitioners representing employers of all sizes and government agencies.
The draft Code is being widely distributed to stakeholders, employers’ federations, employees’ groups, rehabilitation organizations and public organizations for comments. Public consultation meetings will be organized from April to June 2010. Members of the public can obtain copies of the Code from the Public Enquiry Service Centres of the Home Affairs Department, the Equal Opportunities Commission and on its website (http://www.eoc.org.hk).
“Public views and comments will be appropriately incorporated in the revised Code before it is tabled at the Legislative Council. Subject to the Legislative Council’s decision, it is hoped that the revised Code can come into effect at the end of this year,” Mr. LAM said.
The public consultation will last for a period of three months from 8 April 2010 to 8 July 2010.
For media enquiry, please contact Ms. Mariana LAW at 2106-2226.
8 April 2010
Equal Opportunities Commission