Employment

The Summary Court is responsible for the hearing of all claims and references made under the Employment Protection Ordinance, (the Ordinance). The Ordinance governs the relationship between the employer and employee. Employers and employees have various rights, duties and liabilities to each other in law. The Employment Protection Ordinance sets these out and indicates when a party may refer or apply to the Summary Court if either the employee or employer are not fulfilling those rights, duties or liabilities.

When hearing a matter relating to the Ordinance, the Summary Court will sit as a bench of three Justices of the Peace. The extent of their jurisidction is determined by the Ordinance. The proceedure for bringing a claim varies dependent upon the type of matter being disputed. Technically this is done either by a "reference" to the Summary Court or by laying a "complaint" before the Summary Court. In either case the person bringing the claim would need to complete the same form, which can be found here.

Upon receipt of the form the Court will send a copy to the other party and list the matter for an initial pre-hearing review. Directions on issue are likely to be made to ensure that the parties respond within a reasonable time frame. These are likely to consider issues such as whether further particulars of the alleged breach of right, duty are liability are necessary and the requirement for a written response from the other party to the claim prior to pre-hearing review.

Any hearing of an employment dispute before the Summary Court will be held in public and reasons for any determination will be provided to the parties. The way in which any established breach of rights, duties or liabilities under the Ordinance will be addressed depends upon the type of breach that has occured. The court may award compensation, order an alteration of terms of employment or in some cases may order the reinstatement of an employee to his role.

Some claims are required to be made within a three month time limit and the court may only vary this time limit if it is satisfied that there is good reason for doing so. Where a party wishes to bring a claim outside the three month limit the relevant box at the end of the claim form must be completed to show why an extension is required.

Under the Ordinance no award for costs of representation of a party by a legal practitioner can be made. A party may be be eligible for assistance under the civil advice and assistance scheme. Proceedings under the Ordinance are excluded from funding under the civil representation scheme without the consent of the Senior Magistrate.

There is no fee to be paid on application at this current time.

Any appeal of a decision of the Summary Court under the Ordinance will be heard by the Supreme Court. Please contact the Court Office for procedural advice.