HC Deb 02 March 1970 vol 797 c8W
67. Mr. Thornton

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if the Commissioner of Labour in Hong Kong has given permission for women to be employed on night shifts in industrial establishments in Hong Kong; and what is the policy of Her Majesty's Government on this issue in the Colony.

Mr. Luard

The Hong Kong Factories and Industrial Undertakings Regulations prohibit the employment of adult women aged eighteen or more, and of any persons between fourteen and seventeen, in industrial undertakings between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.

With the specific approval of the Commissioner of Labour about one thousand woman supervisors in selected industrial establishments are at present permitted to be employed on night work. In addition, the Commissioner has recently indicated that he is prepared to consider applications for the employment of women on work at night for a trial period on a voluntary basis in certain industries and establishments where there is a shortage of production workers, and subject to proper safeguards. Since this scheme only came into operation on March 1st, it is too early to state whether any such applications have been granted.

These proposals were discussed with Her Majesty's Government before they were introduced and Her Majesty's Government are satisfied that some night work under strictly controlled conditions can be accepted.