If we could sum up 2020, it’s certainly been a roller coaster ride with a lot of ups and downs. However, there is plenty to look forward to in 2021, the most optimistic of which is that a COVID-Vaccine has already been discovered! Hence, it would be safe to assume that things would get better from here. With that in mind, we can start to plan for the public holidays coming up in 2021 once the global situation has settled.
If you are working or employing in Hong Kong, you would be glad to know that Hong Kong is one of Asian cities with the most Public Holidays in a year! Coming from Singapore, where we have just 11 Public Holidays, one of the lowest in the region, Hong Kong’s 17 Public Holidays is something worth celebrating.
However, not all employees enjoy these 17 Public Holidays. According to the General Holidays Ordinance, Public Holidays (or officially known as ‘General Holidays’), are holidays mandated for all banks, educational establishments, public offices and Government departments. On the other hand, employees’ holidays are stipulated under the Employment Ordinance, which entitles employees to enjoy 12 days of Statutory Holidays.
|2021 Statutory Holidays||Date|
|New Year’s Day||1 January, Friday|
|Lunar New Year’s Day||12 February, Friday|
|The second day of Lunar New Year||13 February, Saturday|
|The fourth day of Lunar New Year||15 February, Monday|
|Ching Ming Festival||4 April, Sunday|
|Labour Day||1 May, Saturday|
|Tuen Ng Festival||14 June, Monday|
|Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day||1 July, Thursday|
The day following
Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival
|22 September, Wednesday|
|National Day||1 October, Friday|
|Chung Yeung Festival||14 October, Thursday|
Chinese Winter Solstice Festival or
Christmas Day (at the option of employer)
21 December, Tuesday or
25 December, Saturday
For the list of 2021 Hong Kong Public Holiday, view here.
For 2021 Hong Kong Statutory/Public Holiday calendar, download here.
Employment Ordinance Compliance on Statutory Holidays in Hong Kong
In Hong Kong, all employees that are covered by the Employment Ordinance are entitled to Statutory Holidays irrespective of the length of service. If employees are required to work on a Statutory Holiday, or if a Statutory Holiday falls on a rest day, employers have to arrange a substitute off-in-lieu for their employees.
Statutory Holiday Pay should be given to employees if they have been employed under a continuous contract for at least 3 months. The daily rate of Holiday Pay is equivalent to the daily average wages earned by the employee in the 12-month period preceding the holiday.
These requirements for Statutory Holidays under the Employment Ordinance are not mentioned for other Public Holidays specified in the Schedule within the General Holidays Ordinance.
General Practice for Businesses in Hong Kong
While 17 Public Holidays in addition to Sundays are meant for banks, educational establishments, public offices and Government departments, many businesses that are not categorised under the aforementioned organisations still grant paid leaves to their employees on all the Public Holidays. Such an arrangement would be upon contractual agreement only, since the Public Holidays outside of the Statutory Holidays are not covered under the Employment Ordinance.
Traditionally, Statutory Holidays are entitlements mostly associated with ‘blue-collar’ workers, but that’s not always the case. Some employers in “blue-collar” industries allow employees to enjoy 17 Public Holidays as well.
2021 Public Holidays and Long Weekends in Hong Kong
If you love a good vacation, 2021 may offer you plenty of opportunities to enjoy longer leisure time out! If your company follows the Public Holiday calendar, you would be delighted to find out that there are 6 long weekends you will enjoy throughout the year. If you plan your annual leave carefully, you may even get 8 long weekends in total for more rest and relaxation!
|2021 Public Calendar Long Weekends||Total off days|
|1st weekend of January||3 (Friday to Sunday)|
|2nd weekend of February||4 (Friday to Monday)|
|1st weekend of April||5 (Friday to Tuesday)|
|2nd weekend of June||3 (Saturday to Monday)|
|1st weekend of October||3 (Friday to Sunday)|
|4th weekend of December||3 (Saturday to Monday)|
|2021 Public Calendar Long Weekends with Annual Leave||Days of Annual|
Leave to be taken
|Total off days|
|1st weekend of July||1 (Friday)||4 (Thursday to Sunday)|
|3rd weekend of October||1 (Friday)||4 (Thursday to Sunday)|
Plan your 2021 Holidays Wisely for Better Work-Life Balance
With so many gazetted holidays and long weekends in 2021, you will be wise to plan your year wisely. Whether you are an employee hoping to leverage the paid holidays for better pay or leisure, or a manager looking to streamline your HR responsibilities; strategic planning and careful deployment of tools and software can surely ensure greater success and lessen your workload. After all, what we all want is a work-life balance and smoother sailing year in 2021!
Information About Hong Kong Government Support During COVID-19
As a business owner based in HK, it is imperative that you know the financial assistance that are available to you in order to keep your business running during these uncertain times. For your convenience, we have compiled together a free e-book for you to download to find out more information about the various government support schemes that can benefit your business. You may download it here. Alternatively, book a consultation with us for more info or if you have any inquiries on how JustLogin’s HR module can improve your HR processes.
For happy HR, bosses and employees, you want a platform that can help your team remain productive and focused, while providing excellent employee experiences that impresses and retains talent. JustLogin is the HR employee experience platform that delivers both through a comprehensive suite of HR applications.