Organisations and Government Departments

Information on the services available to job seekers in Hong Kong and the rules for finding work...

Immigration Department

Anyone arriving in Hong Kong with a work contract in place will already have dealt with the Immigration Department. This department must give permission for immigrant workers to work in Hong Kong even if the placement is the result of an internal company transfer. The employer must prove that the person in question brings particular skills with them that they have not been able to find in a local person.

Under certain circumstances an employment visa will not be necessary. This is as a result of a scheme known as the Quality Migrant Admission Scheme (QMAS). Under this scheme it is possible to arrive and then begin looking for work.

Dependents who have arrived in Hong Kong and wish to work should also check with the Immigration Department that there are no restrictions linked to their Hong Kong Identity Card (they will not be able to work until they have an ID card).

Labour Department

The Labour Department comes under the responsibility of the Permanent Secretary for Economic Development and Labour.

Its role includes determining and implementing labour policies, enforcing labour legislation and providing free-of-charge employment services to employers and job-seekers. It also oversees labour relations and trade union activity as well as safeguarding employees' rights and benefits. Safety and welfare at work are also the responsibility of the Labour Department.

The main piece of labour legislation is the Employment Ordinance. It outlines minimum wages, the conditions of service in general employment and includes provisions for paid holiday leave, sickness allowances and severance pay.

Social Welfare Department (SWD)

The SWD implements the Government's policies on social welfare and co-ordinates welfare services including social security and unemployment benefit.