Director given suspended prison sentence for wage violations

Director also ordered to pay over half a million Hong Kong dollars

Director given suspended prison sentence for wage violations

The director of DME Microelectronics Limited has received a suspended prison sentence and an order to pay more than half a million Hong Kong dollars for wage-related breaches involving two employees.

The Shatin Magistrates' Courts sentenced the director to two months' imprisonment suspended for two years. It also ordered the director to pay about $510,000 to the two employees via the court, according to a press release from the Hong Kong government.

The penalties came after the director pleaded guilty to breaching various requirements of Hong Kong's Employment Ordinance.

Among the violations are failing to pay two employees their wages and payment in lieu of notice totalling about $445,000 within seven days after the termination of employment in accordance with the EO.

The company also failed to pay the awarded sums of about $510,000 to the two employees within 14 days after the date set by the Labour Tribunal.

The director was prosecuted and convicted for his "consent, connivance, or neglect," in the offences, according to the Hong Kong government.

Wage violations in Hong Kong

A spokesperson from Hong Kong's Labour Department said the judgement sends a "strong message" to employers in the financial hub.

"The judgment will disseminate a strong message to all employers, directors and responsible officers of companies that they have to pay wages to employees within the statutory time limit stipulated in the EO and the awarded sums as ordered by the LT or the Minor Employment Claims Adjudication Board," the spokesperson said in a statement.

"The LD will not tolerate these offences and will spare no effort in enforcing the law and safeguarding employees' statutory rights."

Hong Kong's Employment Ordinance mandates employers pay all termination payments "as soon as practicable and in any case not later than seven days after the date of termination or expiry of contract."

"An employer who wilfully and without reasonable excuse fails to pay termination payments when they become due is liable to prosecution and, upon conviction, to a fine of $350,000 and to imprisonment for three years," the EO read.

Last month, the director of two companies was also handed similar penalties after committing wage-related breaches in Hong Kong.

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