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HR tips: Is sickness allowance applicable for close contacts?


The number of confirmed cases has exceeded 10,000 following the fifth wave of the epidemic in Hong Kong that there is always one positive case nearby. Many employees have the experiences of tested “positive” or became ‘‘close contacts’’ that must quarantine involuntarily. Under this situation, can they get salary protection? Is it legal if the employer refuses to pay?


According to the "Employment (Amendment) Ordinance 2022" which came into effect on June 17, 2022, if the employer is restricted by an isolation or quarantine order under the Prevention and Control of Disease Ordinance (Cap. 599), he/she can receive sickness allowance from employers.


Among them, eligible employees are:

 Employed under a continuous contract of employment (Regulation 418, part-time employment also apply)

 Take no less than 4 consecutive days of sick leave

 Accumulated enough paid sick leave (that is, the employment contract needs to be effective for at least 3 months or more)

 Employees are required to provide paper or electronic copies of government documents


Since the current quarantine order issued by the government lasts for 5 days, as long as they comply with Regulation 418 and have accumulated enough paid sick leave, full-time or part-time employees are entitled to sickness allowances that are at least four-fifths of their salary!

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