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Hong Kong Intelligence Report #105 Cancel the 418 Rule - 香港勞動者階級該取消418規則

Updated: Aug 11, 2023

Open-source intelligence (OSINT)

Hong Kong Intelligence Report #105 Cancel the 418 Rule - 香港勞動者階級該取消418規則
FILE PHOTO: A Worker © Envato

🔻 IMPORTANT 【重要】


結論:香港勞動者階級該追求的是取消418規則! 將所有勞動者及其雇用型態一視同仁!418規則的改動方案乃進一步惡化勞動環境的新自由主義!


最大影響整個勞動環境的418限制是個雇用條例的最大缺陷,是因為勞基法都普遍以不加分別地將所有勞動者及其雇用型態一視同仁。然而,在港,只要不符合418規則,那就不在整個雇用條例的福祉和保護之內。這就甚於正規員工與非正規員工的歧視。2023年8月7日有報導。勞工處以及勞顧會將提出418規則的改動方案。即以4週來計算法定總工時(而非每一個週來計算其總工時),並將適用雇用條例的門檻改為4週總工時滿72、68、64或60小時等4個工時方案。 其實,這個改動不會幫助散工,臨時工等短時工作者。4週72小時跟現正418規則毫無分別,也不會增加任何雇用或工作時間上的保護


Conclusion: What the working class in Hong Kong should pursue is the abolition of the 418-rule! Treat all workers and their types of employment equally! The 418-rule change is a neo-liberalism that further exacerbates the labor environment!

The 418-restriction, which has the greatest impact on the entire labor environment, is the biggest flaw in the employment laws because the Labor Standards Act generally treats all workers and their types of employment the same without distinction. However, in Hong Kong, as long as they do not comply with the 418 rule, they are not covered by the well-being and protection of the entire employment ordinance. This is even more so than the discrimination between regular and non-regular employees as reported on August 7, 2023, The Labor Department and the LAB will propose a change to the 418-rule. That is to say, they will use 4 weeks to calculate the total statutory working hours (instead of each week to calculate the total working hours) and will change the threshold for the application of the Employment Ordinance to 4 working hour options, such as 4 weeks of 72, 68, 64, or 60 hours of total working hours. In fact, this change will not help casual, temporary, and other short-term workers, and the 4-week 72-hour period is no different from the current 418-rule, nor will it add any additional employment or work-hour protection.


Hong Kong Intelligence Report #105 Cancel the 418 Rule - 香港勞動者階級該取消418規則

🔻 NEWS / FACTs 【事實關係】


僱員如連續受僱於同一僱主4星期或以上,而每星期最少工作18小時,他的僱傭合約便屬「連續性合約」。


An employee who has been employed continuously by the same employer for four weeks or more, with at least 18 hours worked in each week is regarded as being employed under a continuous contract.



符合連續性合約的條件後,僱主需要為僱員提供以下權益:

Upon meeting the conditions of a continuous contract, the employer is required to provide the employee with the following benefits:

- Rest days

- Holiday pay on statutory holidays after 3 months of a continuous contract

- Holiday pay for statutory holidays after 3 months of a continuous contract. Annual leave with pay after 12 months of continuous contract

- Sickness allowance

- Maternity leave

- Paternity leave

- Payment of redundancy payment or long service payment upon termination of employment

- Employment protection against dismissal or changes in employment contract



稻苗飲食專業學會會長徐汶緯認為,現時未必是合適時機檢討《僱傭條例》下俗稱「418」的連續性僱傭合約規定。


他解釋現時飲食業界大約兩成人手是兼職或「炒散」,即每周工作少於18小時,如果根據勞顧會成員引述勞工處提出的4個檢討方案,只要僱員在4周內工作滿72、68、64或60小時,僱員就可享有「勞假」、「年假」等法定福利,僱主必須讓員工放有薪假期,期間需要聘請其他員工暫代工作崗位,會增加僱主的營運成本。


徐汶緯說,疫後通關復常至今只是大約半年,業界生意仍未恢復,勞工人手亦不足,加上通脹令成本上升,認為待明年、甚至2025年才檢討會比較好。如果真的要修訂,改為「4周內工作滿 72小時」對業界的衝擊會比較少。


Chui, Rayman Man Wai, President of the Institute of Dining Professionals, opined that it might not be the right time to review the continuous employment contract requirement commonly known as "418" under the Employment Ordinance.


He explained that at present, about 20% of the employees in the catering industry are working part-time or "casual", i.e. working less than 18 hours a week. If, according to the four review proposals put forward by the Labour Department as quoted by members of the LAB, as long as an employee has worked for a minimum of 72, 68, 64 or 60 hours in a four-week period, he or she will be entitled to statutory benefits such as "statutory holidays" and "annual leave", and the employer is required to allow his or her employees to take paid holidays during which he or she will need to employ other employees, this will result in a loss of job opportunities for the employee. Employers will have to allow their employees to take paid leave and hire other staff to take over their positions during this period, which will increase the operating costs of employers.

Chui, Rayman Man Wai said that it has only been about half a year since the resumption of customs clearance after the epidemic, the industry has not yet resumed business and there is a shortage of labor, coupled with the rising cost due to inflation. It is better to wait until next year, or even 2025, to review the situation. If the amendment is really necessary, the change to "72 hours of work within four weeks" will have less impact on the industry.



資本早就如此回應了,4週72小時較好,是因為完全與現在的418規則一模一樣。甚至,無論總工時及其計算方式如何,資本依然可以一樣把臨時工的總工時調整在418規則要求之下。誠然,這並不是總工時和計算方式本身的問題,而是應該取消418規則本身的問題。


目前的四個方案只是修辭,語言詐術而已。


4週滿72小時=每週18小時(現時418規則)

4週滿68小時=每週17小時

4週滿64小時=每週16小時

4週滿60小時=每週15小時


換言之,資本維持418規則本身,這命題本身是為了維持418規則或類似適用雇用條例的門檻。其政策的階級本質是資本階級的。勞工處在終極維持418規則或類似門檻之下,照樣僅在量上做出調整總工時要求的意思是為了臨時工微微降低門檻,但同時這只會加劇目前的欺貧人事安排的卑劣手段,即資本會更降低目前散工的總工時而已(恐變為一週少於15小時)。結局,顯然易見,散工只會更加‘散工’,更加不穩定。


Capital responded that 4 weeks of 72 hours is better because it is exactly the same as the current 418 rule. Even regardless of the total number of hours worked and the way they are calculated, capital can still adjust the total number of hours worked by temporary workers under the 418-rule requirement. Admittedly, this is not a question of the total number of hours worked and the method of calculation per se, but rather a question of abolishing the 418-rule itself.

The current four options are just rhetorical and linguistic tricks.

4 weeks of 72 hours = 18 hours per week (current 418 rule)

4 weeks of 68 hours = 17 hours per week

4 weeks of 64 hours = 16 hours per week

4 weeks of 60 hours = 15 hours per week

In other words, capital maintains the 418-rule itself, and the proposition itself is designed to maintain the threshold for the 418-rule or similar applicable employment regulations. The class nature of the policy is capitalist. By maintaining the 418-rule or similar thresholds in the final draft, the Labor Department is only quantitatively adjusting the total number of hours worked, meaning that it is slightly lowering the threshold for temporary workers, but at the same time, this will only exacerbate the underhanded tactics of the present deceptive staffing arrangements, i.e., the employer will lower the total number of hours worked by the present casual workers even more than it is doing now (maybe less than 15 hours per week). The result is obvious: casual workers will only become more 'casual' and more unstable.

🔻 COMMENT 【評語】


總之,若真正為被系統化地排在雇用條例保護和福祉外的散工著想,中共,港府和整個本港勞動者階級則應該取消418規則及其類似的門檻本身。而應該讓所有的勞動者及其雇用型態都得到雇用條例的保護和福祉。誠然,所謂418規則的不同方案只不過是官僚,資本和勞動貴族的偽命題而已。香港官僚,資本,勞動貴族,媒體都善於公關伎倆,而不善於實招實幹。


In short, if we are truly concerned about the casual workers who are systematically excluded from the protection and benefits of the Employment Ordinance, the Communist Party of China, the Hong Kong Government and the entire working class in Hong Kong should abolish the 418-rule and its similar thresholds per se. Instead, all workers and their types of employment should be afforded the protection and benefits of the Employment Ordinance. Admittedly, the so-called 418-rule alternatives are nothing more than pseudo-propositions of the bureaucratic, capitalist, and laborist aristocracy. Hong Kong's bureaucrats, capitalists, labor aristocrats, and media are all better at public relations tricks than they are at doing the real thing.



Hong Kong Intelligence Report #105 Cancel the 418 Rule - 香港勞動者階級該取消418規則


 

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