Summertime may be all sun and clear skies for those in the parts of the world where they have four seasons. However, for a country with a subtropical climate such as Hong Kong, the beginning of summer (June) up until mid-Autumn (October) marks the typhoon season, and the weather can be extremely unpredictable during this time.
This being the case, the government has been working on setting work arrangements that would protect both workers as well as employers on days when typhoon warnings or extreme weather is predicted to take place.
Revised Work Arrangement Code Released by HK Government
In line with this, the Labour Department has released a revised code of practice on work arrangements during typhoons and rainstorms, covering extreme conditions, as shared in a report by news.gov.hk.
‘The Code of Practice in times of Typhoons & Rainstorms’ released on June 3 (Monday) details the guidelines on work arrangements in the event of the Government issuing the new post-super typhoon extreme conditions announcement.
The announcement is among the new measures designed by the government following an inter-departmental review of the handling mechanism relating to super typhoons.
This announcement may be issued before Typhoon Warning Signal No. 8 is replaced with No. 3, covering conditions such as serious public transport service disruptions, extensive flooding, major landslides, or large-scale power outage after a super typhoon.
With the announcement of extreme conditions, other than the essential staff who need to be on duty, employees are advised to stay in the place they are in for at least two hours after Typhoon Warning Signal No. 8 has been recalled, instead of heading for work immediately.
During this time, the government will review the situation, and release an advisory to the public by the end of the two-hour period on whether the extreme conditions period will be extended or cancelled.
In line with this initiative, the department urged employers to be sympathetic and make flexible arrangements for their staff. They have also been urged to prioritize staff safety at all times.
To promote the revised work arrangements code, the department looks to boost publicity for employer associations, workers’ unions, and human resources practitioners.
For more updates on the government’s announcement on extreme weather conditions, residents may check with the government’s official weather advisory website.