Last year, as part of the Hong Kong Government’s anti-epidemic measures, the Employment Ordinance (“EO”) was amended to stipulate that it would not be unlawful to dismiss an employee who failed to comply with a Legitimate Vaccination Request (which is a vaccination request that satisfies the requirements set out under the EO) made by his/her employer. The amendment was subject to a sunset clause which provided that the relevant provisions would be repealed when COVID-19 is no longer a matter of public health concern.

Following the lifting of the statutory vaccine pass requirement earlier this year, and with Hong Kong society returning to normal, the Hong Kong Government has announced that it will repeal the vaccination-related provisions under the EO with effect from 16 June 2023.

This means that with effect from 16 June 2023, there will be no process under the EO for making Legitimate Vaccination Requests and any Legitimate Vaccination Requests already made would cease to have effect from that date. It also means that non-compliance with a Legitimate Vaccination Request will no longer constitute a valid reason for dismissal.

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