Firm, officials fined nearly $100,000 for flouting Hong Kong's wage rules

Employer fails to pay about $645,000 to four employees

Firm, officials fined nearly $100,000 for flouting Hong Kong's wage rules

An organisation and its two officials have been fined a total of $92,500 for a wage-related breach under Hong Kong's Employment Ordinance (EO).

Rayland International Cooperation Limited failed to pay about $645,000 in wages to four employees within seven days after their wage periods ended and their employment contracts were terminated.

The company "wilfully and without reasonable excuse contravened the requirement of the EO," according to the Hong Kong government's press release.

The two officials involved, a manager and a director, were also prosecuted for their consent, connivance, or neglect in the offences.

Rayland International Cooperation and the officials pleaded guilty at the Kwun Tong Magistrates' Courts on Thursday.

"The ruling helps disseminate a strong message to all employers, directors, managers, and responsible officers of companies that they have to pay wages to employees within the statutory time limit stipulated in the EO," a spokesperson from the Labour Department 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."

Wage rules in Hong Kong

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.

Similar breaches to the ordinance have been made in the past months, with some organisations and their officials' fines hitting more than $100,000.

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