Hong Kong: Director Liability for Wage Offenses
Asia Television Limited (ATV) failed to pay employees within 7 days of the end of the wage period or the termination date of employment and, as a result, contravened local labor laws.
Directors of Hong Kong companies can be personally liable where there is evidence of ‘consent, connivance or neglect.' In this case, the Court held that the director of ATV operated in this fashion and it fined him $150,000.
The case is important for two reasons. It highlights how seriously the local regulators view a breach of salary payment regulations and also the willingness to prosecute directors. It is therefore important for organizations operating in Hong Kong to operate disciplined payroll practices to ensure that company directors are not placed at risk and ensure that directors are made aware of their personal responsibilities and potential liabilities attaching to their appointment.