How to hire remote employees in

Hong Kong

There’s plenty of great talent in Hong Kong. But navigating the legal frameworks to actually hire those people? That’s a different ball game. Which is what we’re for: By the end of this page, you’ll learn how you can hire people in Hong Kong—without establishing your own physical presence there or paying thousands in fees.

Country snapshot

CURRENCY
Hong Kong Dollar (HKD)
EMPLOYER TAXES
5.00%
PAYROLL FREQUENCY
Monthly
OFFICIAL LANGUAGE
Chinese, English

What to know before you hire in 

Hong Kong

Laws about hiring are complicated, and the same is true in Hong Kong. But there are ways to sidestep the headaches—if your company hasn’t already established a physical presence in Hong Kong, you have two real options when it comes to hiring. We’ll detail both below.

If you want to successfully hire in 

Hong Kong

, you have two options:

Hire talent as contractors

Laws about hiring contractors are significantly more simple in 

Hong Kong

. Onboarding talent takes days, not weeks or months. Both you, the company, and your talent have more flexibility. And in many cases, since you’re remote, the talent you’re hiring is better classified as a contractor, anyway. Of course, it’s not possible in every case, but it’s what we built Panther for.

Hire talent as employees

This is the long route. You can either establish a physical presence with an entity and register as an employer, or you can use an Employer-of-Record (EOR) solution. Odds are, you’ll find using an EOR to be the easier route. Still, using an EOR in 

Hong Kong

 is expensive—it can often be $500 per month per employee—and sometimes prone to lengthy onboarding times.

Why hire independent contractors in 

Hong Kong

Hiring contractors is normally the easier, faster, more flexible choice—but don’t just take it from us. Below are the specific benefits and drawbacks to hiring contractors in 

Hong Kong

.

It’s the fastest way to hire globally

Hiring employees takes months, at the minimum. When you hire with Panther’s locally-generated contracts, it’s a matter of days or weeks. This means you can hire the best talent, fast, without losing them to a hellish procession of paperwork.

It’s a lot cheaper

It costs just $0 to sign up for Panther, then $49 per month to hire your contractors with Panther. If you hired employees manually (or did contracting on your own), you’d likely be on the hook for thousands of dollars each month. Setting up an entity alone can cost tens of thousands of dollars.

It’s more flexible for you & your team

Hiring contractors in 

Hong Kong

 means you’re generally not on the hook for things like health insurance and paid time off. This makes hiring flexible for you, and it gives your talent more options.

It’s less risky than hiring employees

Hiring employees is a bigger commitment, and generally puts you at a bigger risk for legal fees. When you hire contractors overseas, your biggest risk is misclassification—but even then, misclassification penalties are often minimal and just require you to pay off any compensation that the person would have been owed as an employee.

Some people want to be employees

The contractor life isn’t for everyone—some people want the security that being an employee often appears to provide. Though it’s rare, this does happen, and it’s one disadvantage of manage an all-contractor team.

You might not have as much control over your talent

Most countries’ contractor-employer relationship laws stipulate that the employer can’t set fixed working hours, among other things. These laws give contractors more freedom over how and when they do their work than an employee would have. In reality, however, most contractors are willing & able to work on the company’s schedule—it’s a matter of setting expectations beforehand.

How can I pay people in 

Hong Kong

?

If you’re hiring contractors in 

Hong Kong

, you can pay them with Panther in a single click. You won’t need to worry about complicated wire transfers, fees, or currency conversions. We’ll take care of it all. Just make a click and your contractor will get paid in their currency of choice. This is a valuable bonus for talent in countries where the local currency is particularly weak—most people appreciate the ability to receive their payment in stronger currencies.

Hiring and paying your team in 

Hong Kong

Hire and pay with Panther

Pay everyone with a single click
Get great currency conversion rates
Pay $0 in platform fees
Run payroll in seconds
Let Panther automatically create & store invoices
Let Panther automatically write locally-compliant contracts
Let Panther automatically file local tax documents

Hire and pay without Panther

Pay all your contractors individually
Do all currency conversions yourself
Shoulder the burden of platform fees
Spend hours each month making payments
Manually track & store invoices
Manually write & sign contracts
Manually file relevant tax documents

Let Panther save you from hiring headaches.

Sign up today for $0

If you want to hire employees in 

Hong Kong

If you’ve read up until this point, you’ll know that it’s easier, cheaper, and more flexible to hire contractors in Hong Kong than employees. Still, there are valid reasons why you might want to hire employees instead. The content below is for you—we’ll cover employer taxes and obligations in Hong Kong.

Taxes in 

Hong Kong

Employer tax

Employer Contributions

  • 5.00%

Individual tax

Leave

Paid Time Off (PTO)

An employee is entitled to annual leave with pay after having been employed under a continuous contract for every 12 months. Annual leave entitlement increases progressively from 7 days to a maximum of 14 days according to years of service:

  • 1 year – 7 days
  • 2 years – 7 days
  • 3 years – 8 days
  • 4 years – 9 days
  • 5 years – 10 days
  • 6 years – 11 days
  • 7 years – 12 days
  • 8 years – 13 days
  • 9+ years – 14 days

Public Holidays

All employees are entitled to statutory holidays. Most employers however extend entitlement to all general holidays. There are 12 statutory holidays and 5 general holidays.

Sick Days

  • All employees are entitled to statutory holidays. Most employers however extend entitlement to all general holidays. There are 12 statutory holidays and 5 general holidays.
  • Accumulation of paid sickness days. An employee can accumulate paid sickness days after having been employed under a continuous contract. Paid sickness days are accumulated at the rate of two paid sickness days for each completed month during the first 12 months, and four paid sickness days for each completed month thereafter.

    Paid sickness days can be accumulated throughout the whole employment period but shall not exceed 120 days at any one time
  • Sickness allowance. The daily rate of sickness allowance is a sum equivalent to 4/5 (80%) of the average daily wages earned by an employee in the 12-month period preceding the sickness day.

Maternity Leave

Length

14 weeks and can begin at any time between two and four weeks before the expected date of birth of the child.

Payment by employer

The employee is eligible for maternity leave pay if she has been employed under a continuous contract for not less than 40 weeks immediately before the commencement of scheduled maternity leave.

The daily rate of maternity leave pay is a sum equivalent to 4/5 (80%) of the average daily wages earned by an employee in the 12-month period preceding the first day of maternity leave.

Paternity Leave

Length

Male employees are entitled to 5 days’ paternity leave.

Payment by employer

The employee is eligible for paternity leave pay if he has been employed under a continuous contract for not less than 40 weeks immediately before the day of paternity leave.

Payment by employer

The daily rate of paternity leave pay is a sum equivalent to 4/5 (80%) of the average daily wages earned by an employee in the 12-month period preceding the day of paternity leave.

Parental Leave

No statutory laws or regulations.

Other Leave

None.

Marriage Leave

None.

Bereavement Leave

None.

Termination

Termination Process

A contract of employment may be terminated by the employer or employee by giving the other party due notice or payment in lieu of notice.

Statutory restrictions on termination

An employer shall not dismiss an employee under the following circumstances:

  • Maternity protection
  • Paid sick leave
  • Giving evidence or information to the authorities
  • Trade Union activities
  • Employment protection

An employee may claim for remedies against an employer under the following situations:

  • Unreasonable dismissal
  • Unreasonable variation of the terms of the employment contract
  • Unreasonable and unlawful dismissal

Notice Period

During Probation Period

1. Within first month: not required
2. After the first month where a contract makes provision for the required length of notice: as per the agreement
3. After the first month where the contract doesn’t make provision: not less than 7 days notice

For continuous contract / After probation period

1.Where contract makes provision: as per the agreement, no less than 7 days.
2.Where the contract doesn’t make provision: not less than 1 month.

Severance Pay

An employee is eligible for severance payment or long service payment subject to the following conditions:

Severance Payment
Qualifying Period:
not less than 24 months under a continuous payment


Requirements:
a.) employee is dismissed by reason of redundancy
b) contract expires without being renewed by reason of redundancy
c) The employee is laid off

Long Service Payment
Qualifying Period:
not less than 5 years under a continuous contract

Requirements:
a) employee is dismissed but not due to serious misconduct
b) dismissal is not due to the reason of redundancy
c) employment contract expired without being renewed
d) employee dies
e) employee reigns on ill-health
f) employee resigns on grounds of old age

An employee will not be simultaneously entitled to both long service payment and severance payment.

Amount of payment

(last month wages* x 2/3)# x reckonable years of services
* An employee may also elect to use his average wages in the 12 months immediately preceding the termination of the employment contract
# The sum should not exceed 2/3 of HK$ 22,500 (i.e. HK$ 15,000)

Maximum Amount
The maximum amount of severance payment or long service payment is HK$ 390,000.

Probation Period

None.

Employee requirements in 

Hong Kong

Working Hours

There are generally no restrictions on working hours, except in relation to young persons (under 18 years of age) for whom the maximum working period is usually eight hours per day or 48 hours per week.

Rest Day: An employee employed under a continuous contract is entitled to no less than one rest day in every period of seven days. Whether rest day is paid or not is to be agreed by employers and employees. In general, the rest day is paid in Hong Kong.

There are no special restrictions applicable to the working hours or rest breaks for shift workers.

All employees covered by the Employment Ordinance, irrespective of their hours of work, are entitled to basic protections under the Ordinance. Employees who are employed under a continuous contract by the same employer for four weeks or more, with at least 18 hours worked in each week are further entitled to additional benefits.

Overtime

Optional (as long as minimum wages are respected overall).

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