Hong Kong company, directors fined for failing to pay employees' wages

Labour Department says case is 'strong warning' to employers to pay workers

Hong Kong company, directors fined for failing to pay employees' wages

Lucky Linkage Ltd and its two directors were fined with a total of $126,000 on Thursday after failing to pay two employees their wages.

The now-dissolved Hong Kong firm didn't pay two of its employees at total of about $320,000 within seven days after the expiry of the wage periods and termination of their employment contracts, the Labour Department said.

They also didn't pay the awarded sum totalling about $420,000 within the 14 days after the date set by the Labour Tribunal.

The Labour Department initiated prosecution against the firm for breaching the Employment Ordinance, and against two of its directors for their consent, connivance, and neglect over the situation.

The company and its two directors pleaded guilty on Thursday at the Kwun Tong Magistrates' Courts.

They were each fined by $42,000 and were ordered to pay the employees and outstanding sum of about $420,000.

Employment Ordinance

Hong Kong's Employment Ordinance (EO) states that an employer shall pay all termination payments, except for severance payment, to the employee "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," Hong Kong's EO read.

A spokesman for the Labour Department said the judgment is a "strong message" to all employers and directors that they must pay their employees on time.

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

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