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Dismantling the question of paid annual leave: How many days of paid annual leave does an employee have in a year? How should employers arrange for employees to take paid annual leave?

When the year-end holiday is over, many employers and employees are busy dealing with the issue of annual leave. How many days of paid annual leave can an average employee be entitled to under the Employment Ordinance? Are there any restrictions on the required paid annual leave? How should annual leave pay be calculated? Some common questions about paid annual leave will be introduced in this article. I hope that employees can learn more about labor laws and protect their annual leave rights.

How many days of paid annual leave are employees entitled to?

According to the Hong Kong Employment Ordinance, employees are eligible for paid annual leave if they have been employed under a continuous contract for 12 months.

The number of days of paid annual leave an employee is entitled to each year depends on the length of service they have been employed. The first two years are 7 days of paid annual leave each year, followed by an increase of 1 day each year, up to a maximum of 14 days each year. The following is the number of paid annual leave for eligible employees:

• Employees employed for 1-2 years: 7 days of paid annual leave;

• Employees who have been employed for 3 years: 8 days of paid annual leave;

• Employees who have been employed for 4 years: 9 days of paid annual leave;

• Employees who have been employed for 5 years: 10 days of paid annual leave;

• Employees who have been employed for 6 years: 11 days of paid annual leave;

• Employees who have been employed for 7 years: 12 days of paid annual leave;

• Employees who have been employed for 8 years: 13 days of paid annual leave;

• Employees employed for 9 years or more: 14 days of paid annual leave;

How to arrange for employees to take paid annual leave?

If the employee has been employed for 12 months, he is eligible to take paid annual leave in the following 12 months. However, if the employer adopts a common holiday year (i.e. all employees use the same period of annual leave), employees who have not been employed for 12 months can still take pro-rata annual leave.

An employee may designate the date of annual leave entitlement by his representative or himself. The employer must notify the employee in writing of the date of the annual leave at least 14 days before the start of the holiday; if both parties agree, shorter notice may be given.

Annual leave must be an uninterrupted period; however, if requested by the employee, the employer may grant annual leave as follows:

• The number of annual leave is within 10 days: the leave of no more than 3 days can be divided into separate payments, and the remaining annual leave shall be issued continuously.

• Annual leave exceeds 10 days: A minimum of 7 consecutive days of annual leave shall be issued, and the remaining annual leave can be issued separately.

Once an annual holiday falls on a rest day or a statutory holiday, that day should be regarded as annual leave, and the employer must make another holiday for the employee

holiday or statutory holiday.

How should the salary of paid annual leave be calculated?

As specified in the Employment Ordinance, in calculating annual leave pay, the daily amount should be equal to the average daily wages earned by the employee for the preceding 12 months:

• One day of annual leave: Calculated on the salary of the day of annual leave;

• Annual leave more than one day in a row: Calculated at the salary of the first day of annual leave.

Once the employee has been employed for less than 12 months, the shorter period shall be used. It should be noted that the calculation of the average daily wages should exclude unpaid wages, including holidays such as rest days and statutory holidays. On the first payday, employers should also pay employees annual leave pay.

The above information is for reference only. If you have any questions about paid annual leave, labor law, the Employment Ordinance, or accounting, we welcome your inquiries.

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