Any employee under a continuous contract is entitled to not less than one rest day in each seven-day period. Rest days may be regular (e.g., a designated day in each week) or irregular (e.g., a roster of reporting duties).
Currently, Hong Kong law stipulates that all employees are entitled to enjoy 12 statutory holidays in each calendar year. Statutory holidays are not equal to public holidays because there are 17 public holidays in 2021 and only 12 out of the 17 public holidays are statutory holidays. Therefore, if the employment contract provides that the employee may only enjoy the statutory holidays rather than the public holidays, the employer may require the employee to work on public holidays which are not statutory holidays without salary compensation. However, most white-collar employees in Hong Kong are allowed to enjoy the public holidays. Statutory holidays (which are less than public holidays currently) are traditionally applied to blue-collar jobs.
As said above, the number of statutory holidays will be increased from 12 to 17 by 2030 in the following schedule:-
- the Birthday of the Buddha, being the eighth day of the fourth lunar month (starting from 2022);
- the first weekday after Christmas Day (starting from 2024);
- Easter Monday (starting from 2026);
- Good Friday (starting from 2028); and
- the day following Good Friday (starting from 2030).