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Guide to Hiring Employees in Hong Kong

Updated: Jul 15

Guide to Hiring Employees in Hong Kong | Bestar
Guide to Hiring Employees in Hong Kong | Bestar

Guide to Hiring Employees in Hong Kong

Hiring employees in Hong Kong can be a smooth process with the right preparation. Here's a quick guide to get you started:

General Considerations:

  • Legal Entity: You'll need a legal business entity in Hong Kong to hire employees.

  • Employment Contracts:  These should include details like job title, start date, working hours, probation period, benefits, and termination clauses.

Hiring Requirements:

  • Age: The legal working age is 18, with restrictions for those between 13-17.

  • Non-discrimination: Hong Kong law prohibits discrimination based on factors like race, gender, or disability.

Foreign Employees:

  • Work Visas: Foreigners need valid work visas to be employed. There are different categories for skilled professionals and semi-skilled workers. You may need to sponsor the visa application.

Key Employment Aspects:

  • Compensation: Clearly communicate salary, allowances, bonuses, and how often they'll be paid.

  • Leave: Employees are entitled to annual leave, statutory holidays, and sick leave. Define how these will be accrued and used in the contract.

  • Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF):  Hong Kong has a mandatory pension scheme. Employers and employees contribute to the MPF.

Deep Dive into Hiring Employees in Hong Kong

Here's a more detailed look at the aspects of hiring employees in Hong Kong:


  • Understanding Labor Laws: Familiarize yourself with the Employment Ordinance, which outlines employee rights and employer obligations.

  • Work Visa Sponsorship:  For foreign hires, research the different work visa categories (General Employment Visa, Investment Visa) and understand the sponsorship process. Immigration Department resources can help:]

Employment Contract & Compensation

  • Contractual Details:  Beyond basics like job title and salary, consider including:

    • Probation period (usually 3-6 months)

    • Notice period for termination (length varies by contract type)

    • Confidentiality clauses (if applicable)

    • Training and development provisions

    • Overtime pay calculations (if applicable)

  • Competitive Salary & Benefits: Research market rates for similar positions to ensure a competitive offer. Common benefits include:

    • Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) contributions (employer 5%, employee 5%)

    • Medical insurance

    • Paid leave (annual leave, statutory holidays, sick leave)

    • Mandatory paternity leave (5 days)


  • Payroll & Mandatory Contributions: Set up a payroll system to handle salary payments, MPF contributions, and tax deductions (progressive income tax system).

  • Employee Onboarding & Training:  Provide proper induction for new hires, including company policies, benefits details, and relevant training.

  • Performance Management: Implement a system for performance reviews and feedback to motivate employees and ensure they're meeting expectations.

Additional Considerations

  • Labor Unions: While not as prevalent as some countries,  labor unions do exist in Hong Kong. Be prepared to handle interactions with a union representative if necessary.

  • Termination: Understand the legal requirements for terminating employment, including severance pay calculations and proper notice periods.

Additional Resources:

For a deeper dive, consider these resources:

How Bestar Can Help When Hiring in Hong Kong

Guide to Hiring Employees in Hong Kong

Hiring employees in Hong Kong involves legal and administrative complexities. Here's how Bestar can be a valuable asset:

  • Contract Review & Drafting: Bestar can help ensure your employment contracts comply with Hong Kong labor laws and protect your business interests. This includes details like termination clauses, confidentiality agreements, and intellectual property rights.

  • Work Visa Applications: Navigating the work visa process for foreign hires can be tricky. Bestar can handle the legalities, easing the burden on your company.

  • Staying Up-to-Date on Labor Laws:  Labor laws are subject to change. Bestar can keep you informed on any updates or amendments that may impact your hiring practices.

  • Recruitment & Onboarding: Bestar can assist with advertising open positions, and screening resumes. We can also help with onboarding new hires, ensuring a smooth transition into the company.

  • Payroll & Benefits Administration:  Bestar can handle payroll processing, MPF contributions, and other benefits administration tasks, freeing up your time to focus on core business functions.

  • Compliance & Training: Bestar can ensure compliance with labor regulations and advise on best practices for employee relations. We can also develop training programs on topics like sexual harassment prevention and workplace safety.

  • Cost-Effectiveness: Hiring a full-time HR professional might not be feasible for smaller businesses. Bestar offers a cost-effective solution, providing access to HR expertise on an as-needed basis.

Choose Bestar:

  • Complexity of Hiring: If your hiring needs are complex, or involve a high volume of foreign workers.

  • Ongoing Support: If you need continuous guidance with general HR tasks like payroll and employee relations.

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