Hire employees
and contractors in Hong Kong

Remote’s guide to employing in Hong Kong.

Capital city
Hong Kong SAR
Currency
Hong Kong Dollar (HKD)
Languages spoken
Chinese (Mandarin), English, Cantonese
Population size
7,500,700 (2019)
01

Facts & stats

Hong Kong is a special administrative region of the People’s Republic of China, nestled just off its southeastern coast.

For a territory of less than eight million, Hong Kong hosts a vibrant economy built on one of the world’s strongest financial services labor markets, a robust tourism sector, and a leading professional services sector.

Combined with its 4th place ranking on the human development index and a GDP that is several times the size of comparative nations, Hong Kong offers an attractive option for companies looking to build a presence in Asia with strong global connections.

Hong Kong Map
  • Capital city
    Hong Kong SAR
  • Currency
    Hong Kong Dollar (HKD)
  • Languages spoken
    Chinese (Mandarin), English, Cantonese
  • Population size
    7,500,700 (est. 2019)
  • Ease of doing business
    Very Easy (2020)
  • Cost of living index
    79.94 (2021)
  • Payroll frequency
    Monthly
  • VAT - standard rate
    0%
  • GDP - real growth rate
    -1.2% (2019)
02

Grow your team in Hong Kong with Remote

To employ in Hong Kong, companies must own a local legal entity in the country or work with a global employment solution. Managing payroll, benefits, taxes, and compliance in Hong Kong can get complicated, especially without established local relationships.

Remote’s global employment solution makes it easy for your company to employ workers in Hong Kong quickly, efficiently, and in full compliance with all applicable labor laws. We take on the responsibility and legal risks of international employment so you can focus on hiring great talent and growing your business.

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Hong Kong risks illustration

Risks of misclassification

Like many other countries, Hong Kong treats self-employed individuals or contractors and full-time workers differently depending on the level of influence the employer exerts on the working relationship. As a result, there are risks associated with misclassifying employees.

03

Employing in Hong Kong

Since its enactment in 1968, the Employment Ordinance has served as the comprehensive body of statutes guiding employment relationships in Hong Kong, covering everything from wage protections to union privileges.

Common questions during the hiring process may be regarding minimum wage, overtime rates, and guaranteed paid time off. Remote can help you offer a complete, competitive, and compliant benefits package to your employees in Hong Kong.

Public holidays

All employees are entitled to statutory holidays. Most employers extend entitlement to all general holidays, but there is no legal obligation to do so. There are 12 statutory holidays and five general holidays.

Date Holiday Name Extra information
The first day of January
Lunar New Year’s Day
The second day of Lunar New Year
The fourth day of Lunar New Year
Ching Ming Festival
Labour Day
Tuen Ng Festival
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day
Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival The day after the festival
National Day
Chung Yeung Festival
Chinese Winter Solstice Festival Christmas Day may be offered as an alternative at the option of the employer

General holidays

Date Holiday name
Good Friday
Day after Good Friday
Day after Easter Monday
Birthday of the Buddha
First weekday after Christmas Day
Minimum
Wage

Effective since the last increase in May 2019, the Hong Kongese minimum wage has been fixed at HK$ 37.5 per hour or around $4.83 per hour.

Payroll
Cycle
For customers of Remote, all employee payments will be made in equal monthly instalments on or before the last working day of each calendar month, payable in arrears.
Onboarding
Time
We can help you get a new employee started in Hong Kong fast. The minimum onboarding time we need is only two weeks.

Our team ensures your employees are onboarded and paid as quickly as possible while keeping your business compliant with all local employment legislation. The minimum onboarding time begins after the employee submits all required information onto the Remote platform. The onboarding timeline is also dependent upon registration with local authorities.

For all non-nationals of the country of employment, the Right to Work assessment (if applicable) will add three extra days to the total time to onboard. There may be extra time required if we need to follow-up on the right to work assessment.

Please note, payroll cut-off dates can impact the actual first day of employment. Remote has a payroll cut-off date of the 10th of the month unless otherwise specified.

04

Competitive benefits package in Hong Kong

Remote can help you provide a competitive and compliant benefits package for your employees in Hong Kong. If you have questions or would like to offer a custom benefit, let us know and we can help.

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05

Taxes in Hong Kong

Learn how employment taxes affect your payroll and your employees’ paychecks in Hong Kong.

  • Employer Mandatory Provident Fund Rates

    • Less than $7,100 - relevant income x 5%
    • $7,100 to $30,000 - relevant income x 5%
    • more than $30,000 - $1,500
  • Employee Mandatory Provident Fund Rates

    • Less than $7,100 - no contribution is required
    • $7,100 to $30,000 - relevant income x 5%
    • more than $30,000 - $1,500
  • Net chargeable income tax rate

    • On the First $50,000 - 2%
    • $50,000 to $100,000 - 6%
    • $100,000 to $150,000 - 10%
    • $150,000 to 200,000 - 14%
    • $200,000 and above - 17%
06

Types of leave

Paid
time off

Hong Kongese employees are entitled to at least seven vacation days after working with an employer for a year. This increases and caps out at 14 paid days off annually after nine years with an employer.

Public
holidays

Employees are entitled to take 12 paid public holidays off and can only be required to work on a public holiday if notified at least 48 hours in advance. Should a public holiday fall on a rest day (say, Sunday) the employee will be guaranteed a working day off in place of the statutory holiday.

In return, employers must provide a replacement holiday 60 days before or after the public holiday instance and cannot make a monetary replacement for the holiday forfeited.

Sick
leave

Hong Kongese labor law guarantees employees under a continuous employment contract 80% of their prior wages, starting from the 4th day of an illness, provided the employee provides medical certification for confirmation.

Unused sickness days can be accumulated at the rate of two per month for the first year of an employee’s contract and then 4 per month for the rest of the employee’s stay with the employee - without exceeding the sick day accumulation cap of 120 days.

Maternity
leave

Female Hong Kongese employees are entitled to 14 weeks of paid leave, at 80% of their average salary for the duration they have worked with an employer.

Paternity
leave

A father can take five paid days of paternity leave, anywhere from four weeks before an expected child’s delivery to 14 weeks post-delivery.

The five-day paternity leave can be taken at a stretch or split up into individual days, paid at 80% of the employee’s average pay.

Other
leave

Hong Kongese labor law limits the mandated leave entitlements to those mentioned above, excluding adoption leaves, education leaves, and a small number of other specific leave types.

07

Employment
termination

Termination process

An employee can be terminated for misconduct, negligence, disobedience of reasonable regulations, and generally, violating the employment.

An employee cannot be terminated for pregnancy, taking maternity leave, getting injured at work, joining a union, exercising their sick leave, or taking time off work to fulfill civil responsibilities like jury duty, etc.

Notice period

The employment contract spells out the notice period an employer should provide before laying off an employee and should be at least seven days.

If there’s no notice period specified in the employment contract, an employer must inform an employer at least 30 days before their employment is terminated.

Notice period required during the probation period

  • within the first month, no notice period is required
  • after the first month where a contract makes provision for a required length of notice, the period is as per agreement
  • after the first month where a contract does not make provision, the notice period should not be less than seven days

Notice period for a continuous contract / after the probation period

  • where the contract makes provision, the notice period is as per agreement, not less than seven days
  • where the contract does not make provision, the notice period should not be less than one month

Severance pay

According to the Hong Kong Employment Ordinance, an exiting employee is entitled to a severance package equal to 2/3 of the last full month’s salary or HK$ 22,500 multiplied by the number of years of employment with the employer.

The calculation for an employee that is paid on a monthly basis:

  • (the previous full month’s wages * 2/3) * reckonable years of service
  • the sum should not exceed 2/3 of $22,500 (i.e. $15,000)

Probation periods

Probation periods in Hong Kong last anywhere from one to three months and should be clearly defined in the employment contract.

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