A Brief History of the Struggle for Standard Work Hours Legislation in Hong Kong

Yu Kwan (Kaxton) Siu

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    On 15 July 2010, the Legislative Council of the HKSAR passed the Minimum Wage Bill, symbolizing Hong Kong's great leap forward in perfecting its labour protection system. After passing the bill, the HKSAR government stated that it had been preparing for legislating standard work hours. However, at this stage when various parties are preparing for work-hours legislation, it is surprising that the literature on the legislation and the history of its related struggles are either fragmented or unsystematic. Hence, this article has two objectives: (a) by following Marx's strategy of analyzing work-hours legislation in the United Kingdom, it aims to reconstruct briefly the history of work-hours legislation in Hong Kong since 1842, explaining how and why Hong Kong missed the chance of the legislation in the past and pointing out how the history can shed light on today's post-industrial society in Hong Kong; (b) by comparing Hong Kong with some developed countries (United Kingdom, France and the United States) and developing countries (China and Vietnam) regarding work-hours legislation, it argues that Hong Kong's work-hours legislation is lagging behind not only developed countries, but also developing countries.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)17-39
    JournalHong Kong journal of Social Sciences
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


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