As 2020 nears an end, it’s no surprise that everyone is looking forward to 2021 with deserved optimism. As Hong Kong has among the most public holidays in the world, it’s no wonder that people are already interested in planning their annual leave ahead of time in case travel opens up again!
In this article, we look to provide an outline on all the Hong Kong public holidays in 2021 to help you get a head start in planning your calendar now. Taking into account when all the public holidays can even help you maximize your annual leave! We will also revisit the topic on the obligations Hong Kong employers’ have regarding how to handle their employees annual leave claims.
1 January (Friday) – The first day of January
12 February (Friday) – Lunar New Year’s Day
13 February (Saturday) – The second day of Lunar New Year
15 February (Monday) – The fourth day of Lunar New Year
2 April (Friday) – Good Friday
3 April (Saturday) – The day following Good Friday
5 April (Monday) – The day following Ching Ming Festival
6 April (Tuesday) – The day following Easter Monday
1 May (Saturday) – Labour Day
19 May (Wednesday) – Birthday of Buddha
14 June (Monday) – Tuen Ng Festival
1 July (Thursday) – Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day
22 September (Wednesday) – The day following the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival
1 October (Friday) – National Day
14 October (Thursday) – Chung Yeung Festival
25 December (Saturday) – Christmas Day
27 December (Monday) – The first weekday after Christmas Day
1. What Employees Should Consider
Employees looking to utilize their paid annual leave to fully take advantage of all the public holidays Hong Kong has to offer should consult their employers prior to claiming their entitled paid annual leave. Permission from an employer should be obtained for a period of no less than at least 14 days in advance. However, such a time period can be waived if mutually agreed upon by both parties.
2. What Should Employers Take Note of
Hong Kong employers have several points to consider when an employee uses their annual leave as annual leave ties in closely with payroll management. Proper management of a payroll process will not only ensure that employee wages are calculated accurately, but will also help a Hong Kong employer remain compliant with Hong Kong’s various employment regulations.
Firstly, Hong Kong employers should remember that they are required to maintain proper records of their employee’s wage and employment history, and all relevant accounting and payroll records must be maintained for at least seven years. In addition, employers must report all remuneration paid to employees on an annual basis.
In addition, in the event that an employee utilizes their annual leave on the same day as a Hong Kong public holiday, those days shall be counted as annual leave. If such a situation were to happen, the Hong Kong employer must provide their respective employee with another rest day or holiday. These employees will also be entitled to receive pay during their annual leave entitlements.
The daily rate of annual leave pay is equivalent to their average daily wages earned. If the respective employee has been employed for a period of less than 12 months, then their annual pay leave shall be the equivalent of their first day of employment.
There may be instances where an employee may choose not to utilize their annual pay leave, and instead receive payment. If an employee has utilized leave entitlement which exceeds 10 days, then they may receive payment.
3. How Can FastLane Help
Annual leave can impact a payroll system in several ways, especially when calculating the payments to be made to your employees. To the extent that a company’s HR team is not familiar with local employer regulations and the accounting treatment of staff expenses, they run the risk of non-compliance if they perform their roles incorrectly. Unfortunately, most business owners and HR staff don’t have the time to research and study Hong Kong’s constantly business evolving regulations.
By engaging the FastLane Group, a small business can take advantage of the resources and expertise that was previously available only to big companies. In addition to our payroll services, FastLane can assist our clients in maintaining their leave records to ensure that the information utilized in the payroll process is accurate.