Date
17 December 2017
Many Hongkongers, especially professionals and managers, remain in the office long after the end of the official work day. Photo: HKEJ
Many Hongkongers, especially professionals and managers, remain in the office long after the end of the official work day. Photo: HKEJ

36% of HK employees work more than 9 hours of overtime a week

More than one in three Hong Kong employees (36 percent) have to work more than nine hours of overtime each week, Sky Post reported Wednesday, citing a survey released by the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions.

Professionals, such as lawyers and teachers, are the most affected, the poll showed.

In the survey, 916 employees were interviewed online from April to August.

It found that 85.4 percent of those who work the extra hours feel increasing pressure.

Nearly four-fifths of the overtime workers are professionals or in management, it said.

An auditor, Ms. Chen, was quoted as saying she has to work until 12 midnight in March and April when the auditing cycle peaks. Sometimes she has to work overnight with less than two hours’ sleep.

Mr. Yu, a primary school teacher, said he usually works 12 hours a day, then when he gets home he still needs to spend time correcting homework, the report said.

Dr. Chung Kim-wah, deputy director of the Centre for Social Policy Studies at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, said it is easier to apply standardized working hours to blue-collar workers in manufacturing or employees in service industries.

Employers should compensate them for their overtime hours, Chung said.

However, it is hard to identify extra hours for knowledge workers, he said.

Chung said most people consider working overtime to be a sign of striving hard. This makes for an increasingly competitive environment that puts pressure on those who leave work on time.

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KZ/AC/FL

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