Employers urged not to deduct wages for employees with Amber Codes, Labour Dept urged to intervene after salaries of FDHs used to pay for hotel accommodation during home medical surveillance

Michael Luk Chung-hung

12th August 2022 – (Hong Kong)   The Government announced on 8th August the addition of the Red Code and Amber Code into the Vaccine Pass to differentiate persons with higher risk of infection. Starting from 9th August, confirmed cases will be categorised as persons with a Red Code, and inbound persons from overseas places or Taiwan will be categorised as persons with an Amber Code. Their Vaccine Pass QR codes will be displayed in red or amber accordingly. Persons-in-charge of premises should deny entry of relevant persons to relevant premises in accordance with relevant rules.

Legislative Councillor Michael Luk Chung-hung said on a radio program this morning (12th) that he had received less than 10 requests from employees for help recently. They alleged that their respective employers had deducted wages or annual leave. Many employees with “Amber Codes” are requested not to work.

In response, Luk suggested that the government should increase explanations to avoid confusion. Employers should continue to pay employees with Amber Codes if they are requested to stop work.

With regards to some employers who deduct the salary of foreign domestic helpers who arrived in Hong Kong during the medical surveillance period, or use their salaries to pay for non-quarantine hotel accommodation expenses, Luk urged the Labour Department to formulate guidelines for this practice which may result in a strain in the employer-employee relationship.

Persons under the category of Amber Code cannot enter the following premises subject to “active checking” of the Vaccine Pass and other premises in the capacity of a customer or visitor. Premises regulated under Cap. 599F which are subject to “active checking” of the Vaccine Pass: Premises required to use the QR Code Verification Scanner and is regulated under Cap. 599F, i.e. catering business premises (including bars or pubs), amusement game centres, bathhouses, fitness centres, places of amusement, indoor places of public entertainment, party rooms, beauty parlours and massage establishments, club houses, clubs or nightclubs, karaoke establishments, mahjong-tin kau premises, indoor sports premises, swimming pools, cruise ships, indoor event premises, barber shops or hair salons and religious premises. Premises required to inspect the Vaccine Pass visually as far as feasible, i.e. outdoor places of public entertainment, outdoor sports premises and outdoor event premises. Other premises: RCHEs, RCHDs, schools and designated healthcare premises.