Measures to better protect rights of workers employed under public work projects or by Government's outsourced contractors will be put in place on May 1, Permanent Secretary for Economic Development & Labour Matthew Cheung says.
Mr Cheung reiterated today the Government's high concern over workers' rights, adding any exploitation of workers will not be tolerated. The Labour Department issued summonses against Dickson Construction for wage offences yesterday.
On measures to safeguard workers employed under public works projects, he said a computerised smart card system will be installed at construction sites to keep records of workers' attendance. All site workers have to enter into written employment contracts with their employers.
Bank auto-payment in respect of wages must be arranged while main contractors are required to submit copies of wage-payment records. Designated labour-relations officers will be hired to handle complaints on wage arrears, and it will step up monitoring of the number of subcontracting layers.
Mr Cheung said principal contractors are responsible for the wage arrears in their construction sites. After the Labour Tribunal has made an award in favour of workers, the Government has the right to make use of the contract fees to pay the workers owed wages. Workers should report the arrears of wages to the labour-relations officer within seven days after the wages come due.
Turning to workers employed by Government's outsourced contractors, Mr Cheung pointed out if a tenderer has received one conviction for offences under the Employment, Employees' Compensation, Immigration or Mandatory Provident Fund Scheme Ordinances, or received a total of three demerit points during the 12-month period prior to the tender-approval date, its bid will not be considered.
Contracts of contractors who have violated the regulations may be terminated. They may be removed from the Lists of Contractors for a maximum of five years from the date of conviction or from the date on which the third demerit point is awarded.
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