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The laws and regulations governing employment can be complex, confusing and contradictory, be they in Hong Kong, the provinces of the PRC or her own national legislation. The 2008 PRC Labour Law is considered a challenge by many employers. Hong Kong’s employment law is often deceptively simple. Many employment contracts now traverse both jurisdictions. There can be no two sets of employment legislations more further apart, both in its roots and perspective, than that of the mainland PRC and Hong Kong. The common law origins of Hong Kong drives squarely into the “cradle-to-grave employee-based” codified statutory law regime of the PRC.

At Vivien Chan & Co., we understand that business success requires legally sound, strategically-savvy labour policies and practices. Your policies need to constantly evolve with the plethora of local rules, regulations and practices of different provinces and locales in the PRC. Most of all, we recognise you want to hire good people, keep them motivated and reward them properly.

Our employment lawyers have been identified as Asia’s leading business lawyers in employment in consecutive AsiaLaw Leading Lawyer Surveys since 2006. Our firm has authored the Hong Kong and Chinese chapters of Getting the Deal Through: Labour & Employment since 2010, and is a contributor to the Employment Volume of the Hong Kong Encyclopedia of Forms and Precedents published by LexisNexis Butterworths UK.

How we can help

Employee benefits and executive compensation

Advise and design all types of employee benefits and executive compensation programmes to include:

  • Stock options
  • Retirement plans
  • Incentive plans
  • Tax saving plans
  • Equity based compensation plans

Labour Relations

  • Collective bargaining
  • Union rights
  • Crisis management
  • Industrial disputes
  • Approval of alternate working systems and contractual changes (wage and hours issues, changed working conditions)
  • Workforce reorganisation

Employment-related litigation

Defend or prosecute claims on:-

  • Wrongful discharge
  • Discrimination
  • Harassment
  • Whistleblower actions
  • Breach of contract
  • Enforcement of restrictive covenants
  • Settlement agreements

Business Immigration and Executive Transfer

  • Expatriate assignments and cross border issues on immigration and tax benefits planning
  • Work and dependant visas

Protection of employers' proprietary interests including

  • Intellectual property rights
  • Confidential information, trade secrets, restrictive covenants, staff policies and practices

Termination and layoffs

  • Separation agreements
  • Regulatory notice requirements
  • Negotiation with labour unions

Workplace Issues and Policies

Advise develop and enforce polices and investigations on:-

  • Sexual harassment
  • Discrimination
  • Substance abuse
  • Privacy
  • Social insurance
  • Social security

Occupational health and safety

  • Compliance advice
  • Implementation process and procedures
  • Best practice discipline
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Employee privacy



  • Employee and executive fraud
  • Diversion of business
  • Corporate theft
  • Misappropriation of intellectual property rights and trade secrets
  • Corruption and tax fraud
  • White collar crime

Managing confidentiality, restraint of trade and non-competes

  • Design policies
  • Data protection
  • Dispute resolution

Customised in-house training programmes and manuals

  • Develop tailored regular in-house programs and manuals for our corporate clients, their managers and employees in all aspects of employment law and practices

Representative experience

Advise a worldwide air cargo service provider on handling complaints filed by a former employee with Labour Department and with Equal Opportunities Commission on unreasonable dismissal based upon discrimination and insufficient payment on termination.

Advise global food and confectionary manufacturer with operations in PRC on prosperity plan for management staff upon retirement, covering issues of stock options, profit sharing, home country benefits, income calculation arising from different modes of termination, re-location and service period, and structure tax sheltering mechanism in respect of individual income and inheritance tax.

Advise multi-national companies on employees’ claims of unreasonable dismissal, unpaid bonus, overtime and severance payments.

Counsel to a digital security company on the enforcement of non-compete and confidentiality obligations.

Resolve employment issues pertaining to fraud, fidelity, restrictive covenants for PRC business.

Structure employment contracts for local and expatriate staff for listed and privately owned companies, employment manuals, grievance/disciplinary and secondment handbooks, code of ethics and corporate compliance programmes with a view to minimise exposure to claims for unfair/wrongful dismissal and liability of the management to unit crimes, and advise on means to overcome regulatory hurdles in the event of disputes.

Work with general counsel and business units of various multi-nationals in devising training manuals for staff in PRC on contract making, corporate governance rules and work ethics.