Is “Statutory Holidays” different from “General Holidays” and what are the statutory holidays and general holidays in Hong Kong in 2023?


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Hong Kong workers are most concerned about benefits and holidays. Labor leave is a topic that employers and employees alike need to be aware of. And the good news is that in 2023, the number of statutory holidays in Hong Kong will increase to 17. “Statutory holidays” and “general holidays” are also a type of labour holidays. This article will help you understand the classification of labour holidays in Hong Kong and the related rights and benefits, so that employers and employees can be more comfortable in their future leave arrangements!

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What is the difference between “statutory holidays” and “general holidays”?

2023 Hong Kong Statutory Holidays

2023 Hong Kong Public Holidays

What is the difference between “statutory holidays” and “general holidays”?

In Hong Kong, there are two main types of labour holidays: Statutory Holidays and General Holidays. There is a clear difference between the two, mainly in terms of coverage and protection.

Statutory Holidays

Statutory holidays are provided under the Employment Ordinance of Hong Kong (commonly known as labour holidays) and are enjoyed by all employees (including foreign domestic helpers) regardless of their length of service and whether they are under a “continuous contract”.

In addition, with the announcement of the Employment (Amendment) Ordinance, the number of statutory holidays in Hong Kong will be increased from 12 to 17 in 2023, including the Spring Festival, Ching Ming Festival, Labour Day, Dragon Boat Festival, Mid-Autumn Festival, Chung Yeung Festival and Winter Solstice (as detailed in the next paragraph). In order to benefit more employees, the Government will convert the original five general holidays into statutory holidays.

General Holidays

Public holidays are holidays other than statutory holidays, such as Easter, Christmas and New Year’s Day. In addition, the law also stipulates that every Sunday is also a general holiday. According to the General Holidays Ordinance, employees of all organizations are entitled to 13 days of “statutory holidays” and usually 17 days of paid “general holidays” per year (for government departments and certain enterprises).

The main purpose of general holidays is to allow people to spend time with their families, and not all employees are entitled to them. Generally, the entitlement of employees to general holidays is determined by company policy and individual contract (free version)

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