LU study finds 60 per cent of young people not paid for overtime work
31 Oct 2022
According to a survey jointly conducted by the LU Institute of Policy Studies, the Centre for Cultural Research and Development, and Oxfam Hong Kong on the employment status of Hong Kong youth, their average weekly working hours range from 43.11 to 46.67 hours. Some interviewees work up to 60 hours per week, significantly more than the international average of 40. In addition, 60 per cent of young people reported that their employers did not compensate them for working overtime, and only 30 per cent said they received an allowance or compensatory time off.
The research team conducted in-depth interviews and sent out questionnaires to people aged between 18 and 29 with work experience from May to October this year. Thirty-six were interviewed in-depth, and 164 valid questionnaires were collected.
Many respondents have unstable jobs for an extended period of time, working as slashers, part-timers, and freelancers. They rarely sign contracts with their employers, nor are working hours specified, and the work culture of various industries means they work long periods of unpaid overtime.
The survey, according to Prof Pun Ngai, Head and Chair Professor of the Department of Cultural Studies at LU, concluded that young people in Hong Kong have precarious jobs, no employment contracts, long working hours, and low wages. “Hong Kong should catch up with international standards in legislating working hours as we are obviously lagging behind neighbouring countries and cities. If the young hold the future of society, we should explore ways to properly deal with the employment problem they are facing,” said Prof Pun.
Prof Pun Ngai, Head and Chair Professor of the Department of Cultural Studies at LU
Prof Leung Shi-chi, Assistant Professor (Research) at the Department of Cultural Studies at LU, pointed out that employment instability for young people has a profound effect on their physical and mental health, as well as on their future expectations. Many young people who participated in the in-depth interviews reported that after deducting their living expenses, they cannot save enough to purchase a home or plan for the future.
Prof Leung Shi-chi, Assistant Professor (Research) at the Department of Cultural Studies at LU
Click here for the study details.