Creating a comprehensive employment contract is crucial for establishing a strong work relationship in Hong Kong. By clearly defining rules and guidelines, it ensures that both businesses and employees are aware of what is expected of them and promotes effective collaboration.

In Hong Kong, businesses prioritize the creation of employment contracts that adhere to the standards set by the Hong Kong Employment Ordinance and recommended practices. However, drafting such a contract can be challenging, especially for new businesses or those unfamiliar with Hong Kong labor laws.

To assist your business in the contract drafting process, we have created a visual blog that provides a thorough understanding of this essential document, so you can handle it with ease and confidence.

Overview of employment contract in Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, an employment contract serves as a crucial agreement between a business and its employee, as outlined by the Employment Ordinance.

While this contract can be verbal, it is highly recommended to have it in written form or physical form in general for enhanced clarity and easy reference. The contract is signed and sealed by all relevant parties involved. Conveniently in Hong Kong, electronic signatures are utilized as they hold the same legal validity as hand-signed signatures.

Purpose of drafting an employment contract

Besides serving as an agreement to both business and employees, an employment contract can also:

  • Establish a clear legal framework that outlines the rights and obligations of both the employer and employees, reducing the risk of disputes and legal challenges.
  • Protects sensitive company information, trade secrets, and proprietary knowledge from unauthorized disclosure or misuse by employees.
  • Specify notice periods, severance pay, and other termination terms in compliance with labor laws. This helps ensure that employment relationships can be concluded smoothly.
  • Include methods for resolving disputes, such as arbitration or mediation clauses, which provide alternative ways to resolve conflicts without costly legal action.
  • Provide employees, whether local or foreign, with legal protections by clearly outlining their rights and entitlements under Hong Kong’s labor laws. This includes crucial aspects such as minimum wage, working hours, and statutory benefits.
  • Ensure clarity in job roles, responsibilities, and expectations to minimize misunderstandings and foster a transparent employment relationship.

To ensure compliance with Hong Kong’s regulations, the following conditions must be met when drafting a contract of employment:

  • Both parties must acknowledge and, if in written form, sign the document.
  • Essential details such as salary, job description, confidentiality, and contract termination must be included.
  • Businesses must adhere to the guidelines set by the Employment Ordinance (EO) and Minimum Wage Ordinance (MWO) when drafting the contract.
  • If the contract is in written form, a copy must be provided to the employee, and any modifications must be approved by both parties.
  • Any clauses that attempt to undermine the rights granted by the EO or MWO are considered invalid.

Employment contracts for foreign talents

When building a diverse workforce, many businesses in Hong Kong consider hiring foreign talents to bring in unique skills and perspectives.

However, it is crucial for employers to understand the requirements surrounding employment contracts for foreigners, one of which is the Hong Kong employment visa.

Unlike local hires who can enter into an employment contract without any additional conditions, foreign workers must obtain a valid work visa from the Hong Kong Immigration Department. This visa serves as evidence that the individual possesses the specific skills or qualifications required for the job role they are being hired for.

So if you are planning to hire international talents for your business, make sure that they have suitable visas so that you can draft the contract successfully.

For further details about the terms of the contract, please refer to Chapter 2: Contract of Employment from the Hong Kong Labour Department.


In conclusion, the employment contract plays a crucial role in defining the relationship between employers and employees in Hong Kong.

It’s essential for employers to transparently convey the contract’s details to their staff, especially the terms mandated by the Employment Ordinance.

By ensuring a clear understanding and effective communication of these terms, both parties can be aware of their rights and responsibilities, fostering a harmonious working relationship.

If you are considering incorporating a company in Hong Kong, our support team is ready to provide further information. Feel free to contact our support team for more information via

Disclaimer: While BBCIncorp strives to make the information on this website as timely and accurate as possible, the information itself is for reference purposes only. You should not substitute the information provided in this article for competent legal advice. Feel free to contact BBCIncorp’s customer services for advice on your specific cases.

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