Hong Kong 2024 Public Holidays play a very significant role not only to local businesses, but also foreign ones since they can affect the business flow, income and labor rights. This type of holidays often cause many people to be on leave, hence possible distractions and slow down in business affairs.
Thus, having good knowledge about such holidays is essential. It also makes it possible for the management and employees of business organizations to plan adequately and create awareness on their rights as well as responsibilities during these periods.
This blog helps you find useful facts on Hong Kong’s public holidays and central themes of rights and duties in the process of doing business with Harbour City.
The 14 statutory holidays for 2024 are:
|The first day of January
|Lunar New Year’s Day
|The third day of Lunar New Year
|The fourth day of Lunar New Year
|Ching Ming Festival
|The Birthday of the Buddha
|Tuen Ng Festival
|Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day
|The day following the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival
|Chung Yeung Festival
|Chinese Winter Solstice Festival or Christmas Day (at the option of the employer)
|21 December or 25 December
|The first weekday after Christmas Day*
In accordance with the Employment Ordinance, if Lunar New Year’s Day or the second day of Lunar New Year or third day of Lunar New Year falls on a Sunday, then this fourth day occurrence is considered a substitute statutory holiday. Likewise, if the day subsequent to Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival falls on a Sunday, then day thereafter (17th day of 8 th month according to Lunar Calendar) is entitled as alternative statutory holiday. By 2024, when the second day of Lunar New Year is on Sunday, then fourth day of Lunar New Year be held as a statutory holiday.
These statutory holidays are enjoyed by all employees. Where a statutory holiday falls with rest day, the employer should grant on the following day, one of the holidays when such days are not statutory holidays and alternative or substituted or rest day. Where the employee has a continuous employment contract of not less than three months he or she shall receive holiday pay equivalent to average daily wages earned in the previous twelve month period before the holidays.
The added statutory holidays since 2026 are covered in the table below.
|Newly added statutory holiday
|Total number of statutory holidays
|Starting from 2026
|Starting from 2028
|Starting from 2030
|The day following Good Friday
Hong Kong 2024 Public Holidays Definition
The topic of Hong Kong public holidays often leaves many foreigners investors and business owner feeling bewildered, mainly due to the confusion surrounding the terms: Public holidays, general holidays and statutory
For better clarification, let us explore means of differentiating these terms.
2024 Public Holidays
Public holidays, also referred to as General holidays, are a set of holidays observed by the entire Hong Kong population. These holidays encompass a mix of traditional Chinese festivals and international holidays.
It is common for schools, businesses, and government offices in Hong Kong to be closed on public holidays.
2024 Statutory Holidays
Hong Kong’s Employment Ordinance sets legal holidays called statutory holidays. These special days entitle employees to paid time off.
There are 13 days statutory holidays in a year. If an employee needs to work on statutory leave, he or she may be entitled to additional leave as compensation.
In summary, public holidays are observed by the general public, while statutory holidays are legally recognized holidays with specific rights and privileges for employees.
Are statutory holidays paid or unpaid?
Employees employed on a permanent contract for less than three months immediately preceding the statutory break are entitled to holiday pay.
Vacation pay is equal to the ordinary wage that employees would receive if they worked a full day. Daily leave pay is the amount equal to the daily wage received by an employee for the 12 months preceding or immediately preceding the leave. If an employee has been employed for less than a month 12, the account will be temporary.
Employees who in normal circumstances work only half a day on a Sunday and are paid for their half day are entitled to the full pay of the working day as holiday pay if the statutory holiday falls on a Sunday.
How is holiday pay calculated? When should it be paid?
Statutory daily leave pay is the amount of the employee’s average daily wage for the 12 months preceding the statutory holiday or the first day of a statutory holiday (if more than statutory leave 1 a) equals . If an employee has been employed for less than 12 months, calculations will be based on the shorter period.
In the allocation of daily wages, the employer excludes (i) periods during which an employee is not paid full wages or salary, including holidays, statutory holidays, annual leave, sick days, maternity leave, paternity leave, sick leave leave for work includes injury or leave taken under the employer’s contract, and f any normal working day on which the employer does not employ the employee and (ii) the amount paid to the employee up to that time.
Statutory holiday pay must not be paid to an employee later than the day after his or her statutory rest is due.
Can an employer require an employee to work on statutory holidays?
Yes. Employers are required to give their employees at least 48 hours’ notice that they will be working on a statutory holiday. The employer must then provide additional leave within 60 days before or after the statutory leave. If the employer and the employee agree, the employee may take any of the 30 days of statutory or optional leave as substitute leave. In this case, the employer is advised to maintain a clear record of the voluntary or substitute leave taken by an employee.
Can an employer pay an employee instead of a statutory holiday?
No, an employer does not have to pay any amount to an employee in lieu of legal leave.
An employer that violates this provision is subject to prosecution and a fine of HK$50,000 if found guilty.
If a statutory holiday lands on an employee’s rest day, must the employer provide an additional holiday?
If a public holiday falls on an employee’s day of rest, he is given off-in-lieu the following day that does not fall on a public holiday or another scheduled rest day.
If you’re an employer in Hong Kong
You are required by law to give your employees their 13 days statutory holiday.
Under special circumstances, you may require an employee to work on a statutory holiday. But you will have to grant other days of rest as compensation
The employee is also required to give notice at least 48 hours in advance that they will be required to work on a statutory holiday.
It is illegal for employers to pay employees instead of providing a holiday.
If you’re an employee in Hong Kong
Understanding your rights regarding statutory holidays is crucial. Here are the key aspects that you should be aware of:
- Under the law, employees have a right to a statutory holiday. Hong Kong has 13 statutory holidays, and the information is accessible on the government’s website.
- Employees are entitled to an alternative day off within 60 days if they work on a statutory holiday. An employer is supposed to inform an employee 48 hours in advance, before the actual work on the holiday.
- Employees should receive the average daily wage of the previous 12 months in case of pay on statutory holidays.
- An employee should be given a compensatory day off during the next working day if a statutory holiday occurs on the employee’s rest day.
- To have a full comprehension of their statutory holiday rights, employees should consult their contract of employment, especially the clauses concerning the arrangements for holidays and payment.
Establishing a business in Hong Kong is not an easy thing as many may think. Throughout the year, there are many dates that are important and need to be remembered.
It may be difficult to determine leaves and 2024 public holidays when it comes to the right entitlements and pay rates. This is where the HR payroll services of FastLane Group can prove to be very useful as it takes into account all the statutory holidays and public holidays that are applicable in Hong Kong while making any calculations. Though an additional requirement at the first step, it simplifies the process of compliance significantly in the long term.
Do you need more useful materials? Please see our Payroll Processing and Administration Guide in Hong Kong
Address your payroll, personnel, and productivity needs effectively with our smart management system ideal for successful small and medium businesses in Hong Kong.