An employer may terminate your employment in accordance with the employment contract and the Employment Ordinance. However, there are certain situations where an employee may not be able to exercise their right to terminate you, without suffering a harsh liability in doing so.
- During sick leave
Employees who are terminated while on sick leave are able to recover from employers (1) payment in lieu of notice of termination, (2) additional compensation wages and (3) the total sick leave payment they would have received if they had not been terminated while on sick leave.
Generally speaking, a employee who is pregnant and has served notice of her pregnancy to her employer cannot be terminated until the either (1) her maternity leave ends or (2) her pregnancy ceases other than due to birth of her child. Pregnant employees are also protected where notice of pregnancy is served after they have been served notice of termination by an employer who is unaware of the employee’s pregnancy, as the employer must in such circumstances withdraw the termination notice.
Employees who are terminated while on pregnant are able to recover from employers (1) payment in lieu of notice of termination, (2) additional compensation wages and (3) the total maternity leave payment they would have received if they had not been terminated.
Certain employees may also be able to claim unfair dismissal if they have been terminated while sick or pregnant. A successful unfair dismissal claim may lead to a compensation award from the Hong Kong Labour Tribunal. A discrimination claim may also be filed (e.g. on the grounds of discrimination due to illness, pregnancy, sex/gender, marital status, disability, race and so on).