Editorial : Working hours regulation: things have come full circle

【明報專訊】THE LABOUR ADVISORY BOARD has decided to shelve the contractual working hours proposal. In its stead, the government is planning to issue guidelines on working hours for 11 industries before 2020 and review their effectiveness around 2023, after which the government will study its working hours policy direction. In 2013, the then government set up the Standard Working Hours Committee to study the possibility of introducing legislation on standard working hours. After all the hubbub over the last five years, the authorities are now back where they were in this matter. Given the fact that the guidelines on working hours for the 11 industries will only be reviewed 5 years later, it is obvious that the current government does not intend to make any major move concerning employees' working hours. It is never easy to narrow the differences between workers and management on working hours, but the government, being duty-bound, must have the political will to tackle the issue.