Civil servant resignation rate hits 14-year high

The government says more than 1,800 civil servants resigned in the last financial year – the highest figure since 2006.

In a document submitted to the Legislative Council, the Civil Service Bureau said those who quit between April 2020 and March 2021 accounted for about one percent of the government’s 178,000-strong workforce.

Officials said even though there had been a moderate increase in the number of resignations in recent years, the percentage remained at a low level.

“The majority of the resignees left before the end of their probationary period,” the bureau said in the document.

“It is understandable that probationers, who are at the initial stage of their civil service career, would leave the service during their probationary period if they find it unsuitable to develop a long-term career in the government.”

In January, the government ordered its workers to declare their loyalty to the SAR and pledge to uphold the Basic Law, to avoid the sack.

In the end, about 130 civil servants refused to sign the government’s declaration form.

Civil service chief Patrick Nip told the Legislative Council last month that some of those who refused to sign the document disagreed with its content, while others thought the arrangement undermines freedom of speech, or said it was in conflict with their foreign nationalities.

Nip stressed that none of these reasons were accepted, and these workers would be terminated.