Regulating Working Hours in Hong Kong: Towards Temporal Autonomy
(2019) 49 Hong Kong Law Journal 1
28 Pages Posted: 10 Jun 2020
Date Written: April 25, 2019
The prolonged debate on introducing statutory rules on standard working hours (SWH) in Hong Kong has reached a deadlock between employers’ and labour representatives. Our article seeks to provide a critical analysis of this debate. We argue that the debate and the regulatory techniques proposed so far by various stakeholders overlook an important goal of advancing workers’ temporal autonomy, that is, the control they have over their working hours and organisation of working time. We put forward recommendations on how working time regulation in Hong Kong could be designed to incorporate the goal of temporal autonomy, which is attentive to the diversity in working time needs and preferences of workers and the asymmetry of bargaining power within employment relationships. We propose giving workers the right to request adjustments in working time, along with measures to strengthen minimum wage protections and collective bargaining.
Keywords: working time, working hours, Hong Kong, temporal autonomy, flexible work
JEL Classification: K31, J50, J81, J88
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation