Tag Archives: China

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Bonnie Vegetables and Fruit Wholesale Limited and its director convicted again for causing noise annoyance in branches

     Bonnie Vegetables and Fruit Wholesale Limited, which operated a chain of vegetable stalls, was prosecuted for three of their branches causing noise annoyance to nearby residents with loudspeakers persistently playing promotional recordings. The company was convicted and fined a total of $27,000 at the Fanling Magistrates’ Courts today (July 16) for contravening the Noise Control Ordinance (NCO). The company’s director also held criminal liability and was fined $12,000 for contravening the NCO repeatedly.

     A spokesman for the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) said that during the inspections in December last year the department discovered three branches of Bonnie Vegetables and Fruit Wholesale Limited on Kwong Fuk Road and Heung Sze Wui Street in Tai Po as well as Hop Choi Street in Yuen Long were playing promotional recordings loudly and repeatedly with loudspeakers, causing noise annoyance. The EPD prosecuted the company and its director under the NCO. Since last year, the department has taken a series of law enforcement actions against noise annoyance caused by broadcasting from shops in various districts. Bonnie Vegetables and Fruit Wholesale Limited and the director were convicted for their branches violating NCO with fines more than $110,000 in total.

     After a series of law enforcement actions taken by the EPD, the number of noise complaints against the shops in Tai Po and Yuen Long has largely reduced. The EPD will closely monitor the situation and conduct stringent enforcement against such irregularities. The spokesman reminded the responsible persons of retail shops and market stalls that when they play promotional recordings to sell goods, they should contain the noise level within their shop area and should not cause annoyance to people outside their shops or nearby residents. Otherwise, it constitutes an offence. Offenders are liable to a maximum fine of $10,000 for each offence. For repeat offenders, the relevant operators will also be criminally liable for the offences once convicted. read more

Hong Kong resident employer and her company convicted for employing illegal worker

      A Hong Kong resident employer and her company that employed an illegal worker were jailed and fined at Shatin Magistrates’ Courts yesterday (July 15).
 
      During a joint operation conducted by the Immigration Department (ImmD) and the Hong Kong Police Force codenamed “Champion” on September 13, 2018, enforcement officers raided a restaurant in Mong Kok. A female Indonesian illegal worker was arrested for working as a dish washing worker. The Hong Kong resident employer of the illegal worker was also arrested.
 
      The illegal worker was jailed by Shatin Magistrates’ Courts earlier. The Hong Kong resident employer was charged at Shatin Magistrates’ Courts yesterday with being an employer of a person who was not lawfully employable as she did not take all practicable steps to ascertain whether the applicant was lawfully employable prior to employment. She pleaded guilty to the charge and was sentenced to six weeks’ imprisonment. In addition, the company holding the restaurant was also charged with employing a person not lawfully employable and was fined $8,000.
 
      The ImmD spokesman reiterated that it is a serious offence to employ people who are not lawfully employable. The maximum penalty is imprisonment for three years and a fine of $350,000. The High Court has laid down sentencing guidelines that the employer of an illegal worker should be given an immediate custodial sentence. According to the court sentencing, employers must take all practicable steps to determine whether a person is lawfully employable prior to employment. Apart from inspecting a prospective employee’s identity card, the employer has the explicit duty to make enquiries regarding the person and ensure that the answers would not cast any reasonable doubt concerning the lawful employability of the person. The court will not accept failure to do so as a defence in proceedings. It is also an offence if an employer fails to inspect the job seeker’s valid travel document if the job seeker does not have a Hong Kong permanent identity card. The maximum penalty for failing to inspect such a document is imprisonment for one year and a fine of $150,000. read more

LegCo Secretariat releases Research Brief on “Opportunities and challenges facing maternal workforce in Hong Kong”

The following is issued on behalf of the Legislative Council Secretariat:

     The Legislative Council Secretariat (the Secretariat) today (July 16) released a Research Brief on “Opportunities and challenges facing maternal workforce in Hong Kong”.

     Between 1997 and 2018, labour force in Hong Kong has gone up by a total of 567 000 to 3.66 million. Females take up nine-tenths of incremental growth in labour force, significantly lifting the proportion of females in total workforce from 37 per cent to 45 per cent. The additional female workforce has replenished the manpower gap upon progressive retirement of ageing male workforce and enlarged its contribution to the local economy.

     While work participation rate of women at prime working age of 25-54 leaped from 59.7 per cent to 72.7 per cent in 21 years, some 458 000 of females at prime age were not working in 2018 and amongst them, about four-fifths were held back by housework and childcare responsibilities. Incentivizing women to work could mitigate the downward pressure on manpower supply, improve the livelihood of grassroots families and promote social mobility.

     However, there are persistent concerns that inadequate policy support to local working mothers is restraining female employment. Work participation of younger mothers aged 25-39 has receded during 2007-2018, partly because childcare services are highly inadequate. Moreover, childcare services cannot entirely meet user requirements due to their short caring hours, low affordability and location mismatch. Overseas experience suggests that accessible childcare services are one of the “most effective ways to tackle barriers to female employment”. Despite a few policy pledges to enhance childcare services made in the 2019-20 Budget, the Government is facing land constraints that result in long implementation time for some of the services.

     Rigid workplace arrangements also held back mothers from work. At least 50 000 homemakers aged 30-59 indicated their willingness to work if “suitable jobs” with conditions such as flexible working hours come up. Although the Government has been promoting family-friendly employment practices, it is largely a voluntary campaign and feedback from employers is reportedly rather lukewarm. Meanwhile, there are complaints about “motherhood penalty” in face of implicit discrimination on the grounds of family status at the workplace.

     The subjects of women employment and childcare services fall within the policy areas of the Legislative Council (LegCo) Panel on Manpower and the LegCo Panel on Welfare Services.

     The Research Brief is prepared by the Secretariat’s Research Office of the Information Services Division with a view to enhancing information support for Members. It is a concise summary aiming at explaining a subject matter which may be of interest to Members and the general public.

     The Research Brief is now available on the LegCo Website at www.legco.gov.hk/research-publications/english/1819rb02-opportunities-and-challenges-facing-maternal-workforce-in-hong-kong-20190716-e.pdf. read more

Scheme for Admission of Hong Kong Students to Mainland Higher Education Institutions enters admission stage

     The Education Bureau (EDB) today (July 16) reminded students who have completed online enrolment and on-site verification for the Scheme for Admission of Hong Kong Students to Mainland Higher Education Institutions (the Admission Scheme) that they should log on to the designated website during the period from July 24 to August 1 to check their admission results, as well as submit and check supplementary enrolment results.

     Students concerned should log on to the website of the Education Examinations Authority of Guangdong Province (eea.gd.gov.cn) (Chinese version only), choose “Admission of Hong Kong Students” under the “Application and Examination” menu, click “Hong Kong Students Admission (Student Login)”, and then log on to the system of the Admission Scheme for 2019 with their candidate numbers and passwords for checking whether they have been admitted by the institutions they have applied for. Institutions will release first-round admission results in batches in order of priority as follows:

     1. Release of first priority admission results by institutions – 8am on July 24
     2. Release of second priority admission results by institutions – 8am on July 26
     3. Release of third priority admission results by institutions – 8am on July 27
     4. Release of fourth priority admission results by institutions – 8am on July 28

     Students who are not admitted during the first round but meet the minimum entrance requirements can complete their supplementary enrolment through the admission system from 10am on July 28 to 3pm on July 29. During the supplementary enrolment stage, students can choose two institutions and, for each institution, make four programme choices. Students who have completed their supplementary enrolment can log on to the admission system from July 31 to August 1 to check whether they have been admitted by the institutions. Institutions will release supplementary enrolment results in batches in order of priority as follows:

     1. Release of first priority supplementary enrolment results by institutions – 8am on July 31
     2. Release of second priority supplementary enrolment results by institutions – 8am on August 1

     Students who have been admitted during the first round or supplementary enrolment stage should receive an acceptance letter from their respective institutions by post before September 1. Students who have not received an acceptance letter by the said date may contact the relevant institutions directly for enquiry. Contact information of the student admission offices of the institutions are listed in the programme directory of the Admission Scheme for 2019 (Chinese version only) on the EDB’s website (www.edb.gov.hk/expo18).  read more