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Hong Kong Disneyland changes retirement policy

Hong Kong Disneyland changes retirement policy
January 4, 2019

As part of a growing trend in Hong Kong to retain older workers, Hong Kong Disneyland is to offer permanent contracts to 130 of its full-time workers turning 60 or above this year.

As reported by the South China Morning Post, Hong Kong Disneyland has about 7,000 employees of which 5,000 are full time and 2,000 part time. About 430 full-timers are currently between the ages of 55 and 60. Only full-time workers will benefit from the change.

Previously those over 60 had their existing contracts updated each year if they were able to keep working. The new policy provides open-ended contracts with no termination date.

Leung Shu-wah, a 58-year-old food and beverage executive sous-chef at the theme park’s department for Chinese cuisine, stood to take advantage.

Leung, who has been with the company since 2005, explains “it relieves the pressure of retiring and lets us work in a familiar and comfortable environment at the park."

His department has about 60 full-time employees, and 60% have been with the park since its opening in 2005.

Leung said most supported the change, advising "the new policy provides equal opportunities for those over 60, who can now decide when to retire according to their health and working capabilities."

Eleanor Fung Siu-lin, Disneyland’s 59-year-old head of cleaning operations, added “it is difficult for those over 60 to find new jobs. The policy helps those who are still capable of working to keep living on their own.

“I had planned to stay at home after retiring, but now I can keep working at the park as long as I’m capable."

Local lawmaker Luk Chung-hung, of the Federation of Trade Unions, welcomed Disney’s move, commented “gone are the days when Hong Kong’s elderly workers were regarded as poorly educated or unskilled.

“I am not sure that we should define 60 as old nowadays. Many are still healthy, and it would be a waste of human resources if we forced this group to stop working.”

Luk said the city was playing catch-up with other developed economies on this issue, and local employers needed to recognise what older workers brought to the table, concluding "the important thing is that employees be allowed a choice."

In her 2017 policy speech, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said the change was “to tie in with the goal of expanding the labour force”.

Cathay Pacific Airways, Hong Kong’s flagship airline, last year agreed to raise the retirement age for cabin crew from 55 to 60.

Related Articles

14th December 2018 - Hong Kong Disneyland announces appointment of new Managing Director

26th September 2018 - International Council on Active Aging introduces wellness business summit for executives

23rd November 2016 - Multi-Year expansion announced for Hong Kong Disneyland

17th April 2016 - Hong Kong Disneyland redundancies a concern for the city’s tourism industry

5th February 2016 - Disney to price Shanghai theme park tickets cheaper than Hong Kong

14th May 2015 - Hong Kong Disneyland to develop schools program

19th January 2015 - New Disney hotel underlines importance of Hong Kong tourism

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