Number of statutory holidays to increase from 2022

More than one million workers will have more days off starting from next year, after the Legislative Council on Wednesday passed a bill to increase the number of statutory holidays from 12 to 17, by 2030.

Currently, all workers are entitled to 12 statutory holidays each year but employers are not legally required to grant them leave on public holidays.

Under the plan, an additional statutory holiday will be added every two years starting from 2022.

The five new days off for everyone will be Buddha’s Birthday, the first weekday after Christmas Day, Easter Monday, Good Friday, and the day following Good Friday.

The Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Law Chi-kwong, said the matter had been debated in society for more than a decade and he was very happy that the benefits of more than one million workers will be improved.

Law noted that some people in the labour sector would like to see the number of holidays increase at a faster pace, but he said the government had to take into account the impact of the change on small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as employers of foreign domestic helpers.

He said he believes the current plan is a balanced solution.