What are the rights and interests of workers/employees when the weather is unstable in recent months and the severe weather is such as Typhoon No. 8? What migrant workers are most concerned about must be the arrangement of work. For example, can you leave work early? Will my salary be deducted? There is also a situation that often occurs in Hong Kong. Once the typhoon signal No. 8 is suddenly forwarded or the relevant weather warning is cancelled during working hours, how will the resumption of work be arranged? Even if there are many doubts about the typhoon, this article will refer to the guidance of the Labour Department to answer them one by one:
When Typhoon Signal No. 8 is hoisted, what should employers do?
According to the Labour Department, the “Code of Practice under Typhoon and Rainstorm Warning” stipulates that as long as severe weather warnings such as Typhoon Signal No. 8/warning or signal is hoisted, employers should make the following work arrangements for employees:
If the severe weather warning is issued before working hours:
• Employers should not require employees to work unless there is a pre-agreed work arrangement;
• If an employee is unable to go to work due to bad weather, the employee should stay in a safe place for shelter;
• Once an employee encounters difficulties and is unable to go to work, the employer should notify the employer as soon as possible, and the employer should deal with it as appropriate.
• Employers should agree working arrangements with employees as early as possible before severe weather warnings are issued;
If the severe weather warning is issued during working hours:
• Employers should arrange employees to leave work in batches as soon as possible to minimize the number of people on duty, except for certain essential personnel;
• Among them, priority and flexibility should be given to employees with special needs (eg pregnancy, disability, inconvenient residence or other needy employees).
• Once the inclement weather causes the public transport service to be blocked, etc., so that the employee cannot leave work, the employer should arrange a suitable and safe place for the employee to rest at the workplace.
When severe weather warnings such as Typhoon Signal No. 8 are no longer hoisted, the affected public transport services may be delayed. Employees will generally be required to work when practical conditions permit.
Work-from-home arrangements under Typhoon Signal 8?
According to the “Occupational Safety and Health Ordinance”, if the road or public transport services in individual areas cannot be restored immediately under “extreme conditions” such as typhoon signal No. 8 and the cancellation of the black rainstorm warning signal, employees may not need to resume work or arrange for the time being home work.
In other words, only employers have the responsibility to provide employees with a safe working environment, so employers in general can be flexible and allow employees to work from home. However, if the employee believes that the home is not a safe working environment to a certain extent, and theoretically cannot be required to continue to work there, the two parties should work out a working arrangement.
Absence arrangements for Typhoon Signal No. 8?
In general, if the employees have arrived at the workplace when the typhoon signal No. 8 is issued at the Observatory, they should work as usual. However, employees who work outdoors and in open spaces should suspend all outdoor work and take shelter in a safe place.
However, in “extreme circumstances”, such as 2 hours after the cancellation of Typhoon Signal No. 8, employees should stay in a safe place, subject to whether the government will extend the period of “extreme circumstances”;
In addition, if typhoon signal No. 8 is cancelled 3 hours or more before the end of working hours, employees should try their best to return to work within 2 hours, that is, after the end of signal No. 8, it is less than 3 hours before the end of get off work time, and employees do not need to return to work.
Will the typhoon signal number 8 be deducted by the company?
If an employee is absent from work without providing a reasonable explanation when the typhoon signal No. 8 is hoisted, the employer may deduct the salary in proportion to the time of absence.
Employers should be considerate of the actual situation encountered by employees, and should be flexible in handling them. The annual leave, statutory holidays or rest days guaranteed to employees under the Employment Ordinance shall not be deducted for working hours that cannot be used as compensation.
The Employees’ Compensation Ordinance stipulates that if an employee suffers an accidental injury or death on the way to and from the workplace and home within 4 hours before the start of work or within 4 hours after the termination of work, the employer must be liable for compensation.