Social Responsibilities

Trade Union Relation


Article 27 of the Basic Law guarantees that Hong Kong residents have freedom of association; and the right and freedom to form and join trade unions.


The Employment Ordinance (EO) provides that every employee shall as between himself and his employer have the following rights:

  • the right to associate with other persons for the purpose of forming or applying for the registration of a trade union in accordance with the provisions of the Trade Unions Ordinance (TUO);

  • the right to be a member / an officer of a trade union registered under the TUO; and

  • where he is a member or an officer of any such trade union, the right, at any appropriate time, to take part in the activities of the trade union. Appropriate time means, in relation to an employee taking part in any activities of a trade union, time which either is outside his working hours; or is a time within his working hours at which, in accordance with arrangements agreed with or consent given by or on behalf of his employer, it is permissible for him to take part in those activities.


The University shall not:

  • prevent or deter an employee from exercising any of the above rights;

  • dismiss, penalize or discriminate against an employee for exercising the above rights;

  • make it a condition in an offer of employment that an employee must not exercise the above rights.


Child Labour and Forced Labour Policy


Lingnan University sets the basic rights of employees and guidelines for environmental stewardship based on internationally recognized standards. We have zero tolerance for any form of modern slavery, including child labour, forced labour and human trafficking. 


Based on the internationally recognized standards of the International Labour Organization (ILO), child labour is the work that deprives children of their childhood, their potential and their dignity and is harmful to their physical and mental development.  The worst forms of child labor involve enslavement, separation of children from their families and exposure to hazardous conditions.


In keeping with the ILO Convention 138, employment of children who are under 15 years of age and have not completed compulsory schooling is not allowed.  In addition, work that jeopardizes their physical, mental or psychological well-being may not be carried out by persons under the age of 18.  The University will verify the age of applicants for employment by requiring presentation of valid identification issued by an official authority prior to employment.  A copy of such identification and all other legally required documentation are kept on file during the period of employment.


In accordance with the ILO Convention No. 29, forced labour refers to any work or service performed involuntarily under threat of penalty.  The University takes a firm stand against all forms of forced labour and lives up to its sense of social responsibility.  The no forced labour policy is enforced for all types of employment.


Pay Scale Equity


The University is an equal opportunities employer, and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any kind.  All employment decisions are based on operational needs, job requirements, individual qualifications and work performance, without regard to race, colour, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, marital status, disability or other non-merit factor.


The University follows the principles of Equal Pay for Equal Work (EPEW) and Equal Pay for Work of Equal Value (EPEV).


Under EPEW, a female employee is entitled to equal pay when she is doing the “same work” or “like work” as that of a male employee, even though the job titles or contractual obligations are different.  “Like work” means work which is of a broadly similar nature and where the differences in task performed are indiscernible and not of practical importance as far as the demands on the worker are concerned.


Under EPEV, there should be a consistent criteria to be used in determining the terms and conditions of employment for the treatment of men and women performing work of equal value for the same employer.


The University conducted an Equal Pay analysis in 2021 to review the pay gaps between female and male employees in the University as a whole. The findings showed that the overall average salary gap between female and male employees was 3%. Similar analysis was conducted in 2023, and the findings showed that the overall average salary gap between female and male employees was insignificant (below 1%).


The University’s pay policy supports EPEW and EPEV and adopts the job evaluation system as a basis for the grading and pay structure.  The job evaluation system is a systematic and gender-neutral method for assessing and comparing the value of different jobs objectively, and provides a means to check and demonstrate we are providing EPEW and EPEV.


Equal Opportunities, Diversity and Inclusion


The University is committed to strengthening the compliance with the anti-discrimination legislation, ensuring equal opportunities, valuing diversity and promoting a culture of inclusion.  In line with the commitment and to enhance staff members’ understanding of the related ordinances, all staff members are required to complete the online training on Anti-discrimination Ordinances and Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) Seminars are conducted for staff members annually. 


Outsourcing Activities


As a publicly-funded institution and a responsible employer, the University strives to provide a safe and healthy working environment to its employees. There shall be a general prohibition on contracting out for services and functions that can be performed by University staff. Under exigent and limited circumstances when an outside contract is a solution of last resort, the University commits to exercising due care in considering the outsourcing proposals and putting in place proper mechanism to select and monitor the performance of the contractors, whose workers also deserve fair compensation.


The labour conditions of the outsourcing workers shall be protected by ensuring they receive wages and benefits at market value, and with proper terms and conditions meeting statutory requirements. The contractors should endeavour to maintain a harmonious labour relation and safeguard labour rights of the outsourced workers.


The University must remain vigilant in ensuring its use of contract workers does not contribute to the rise of poverty-level jobs, thereby exacerbating growing economic inequality. Contracting out should be used sparingly and treated as an option of last resort to address temporary needs, not as a means to replace employees with lower-wage contractors.


Last update: October 2023