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1. Summary dismissal

An employer has a right to terminate the employment of an employee without notice on any ground on which he would be entitled to terminate the contract without notice at common law. Such ground arises when there is repudiation or fundamental breach of contract by an employee, such as serious misconduct.


Section 9 of the Employment Ordinance reiterates the employers’ right of summary dismissal at common law. It also provides that employers may summarily dismiss their employees without advance notice or wages in lieu of notice if their employees:


  1. wilfully disobey any lawful and reasonable orders;
  2. are guilty of misconduct;
  3. are guilty of fraud or dishonesty; or
  4. are habitually neglectful in their duties.


The fact that an employee takes part in a strike does not entitle his employer to terminate under the above statutory provisions the employee’s contract of employment; however, the word “strike” in this context only has the meaning assigned to it by section 2 of the Trade Unions Ordinance.


Upon summary dismissal, the employer would not need to make a payment in lieu of notice, pro rata annual leave pay, pro rata end of year payment, severance payment or long service payment. However, the employer would still be required to pay accrued wages, holiday pay, accrued annual leave pay and accrued end of year payments.