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Employment and Labour Practices

Employment

At SmarTone, we strive to provide an engaging, respectful and caring work environment to our employees. We embrace two ways communication. We use different internal communication channels to create line of sight to engage our employees at all levels. We provide training and development platform to support employees’ career progression. We reward and recognize performance and behavior through pay, incentives and recognition award programs.

The Company care for the well-being of our employees. We encourage work-life balance through a variety of work practices. We implemented Flexi Working Hours since 2017 to support employees’ needs in reporting duty. We built staff lounges/breastfeeding rooms in the main offices to address the needs of new working mothers. We grant a half-day paid “Family Leave” once every quarter to allow employees time off to take care of their families. In response to the need for stress and emotional management as a result of social and pandemic disturbance, we put in place an Employee Assistant Program to provide psychological, work and family consultations to employees and their family members to maintain their psychological health.

The Company also held a variety of staff activities throughout the year, which include health talks, virtual Chinese New Year reunion, you-deserve-a-treat, etc.

The Group is an equal opportunity employer. All employees enjoy equal employment and career opportunities and no employee shall be disadvantaged because of sex, pregnancy, disability, marital status, family status, race, age, religious, beliefs or sexual orientation.

We believed that all employees have the right to work in an environment free of discrimination, harassment, vilification, and victimization. The Group will not tolerate such behavior under any circumstances.

Health and safety

The Group is committed to providing employees with a healthy, safe and secure work environment that is free from all recognized hazards.

We incorporate workplace safety in the design and operations of our premises and the way we conduct business. First aiders and first aid box administrators are assigned for each office, shop and facility of the Group. Employees can access information on occupational safety and hygiene awareness through a dedicated section in the Group’s intranet. All accidents at work are properly reported and handled with due care.

Given the outbreak of COVID-19 disease during the year, SmarTone has taken measures to safeguard the health of its employees. During the peak of the pandemic in the earlier part of the year, to reduce the risk of spreading the infection in the community and workplace, we arranged non-front line, non-customer facing employees to work remotely from home on roster basis. For those who need to report duty to the offices, we allowed them to shift their office hours starting and finishing time so as to minimize the human contact in congested public transports when commuting to work. The operating hours of our retail shops has also been shortened during the period.

Cleaning and sanitizing measures were strengthened for our retail shops and offices.

The Hong Kong Government launched a Universal Community Testing Program on COVID-19 in September 2020. The program aimed to better gauge the COVID-19 infection situation in Hong Kong and find asymptomatic patients as early as possible to achieve early identification, early isolation and early treatment, and to cut the virus transmission chain in the community. SmarTone supported this program and allowed the employees to attend the test during office hours.

The best way to fight against COVID-19 is taking vaccination. The Hong Kong Government launched COVID-19 vaccination program in March 2021 and has extended the Program to cover residents aged 16 or above since April 2021. To support employees who want to participate in the vaccination Program, employees are allowed to take the vaccination during office hours. In considering employees may need rest after the vaccination, SmarTone provides one day of paid leave to the employees on the following day after receiving each dose of the vaccination. To encourage employees to be vaccinated as early as possible, SmarTone has also contracted with CUHK Medical Centre to provide health check service for COVID-19 vaccination to release employees’ concern for vaccination due to personal circumstances.

Development and training

SmarTone is committed to offering learning and development opportunities for all staff members in meeting the Group and business needs.

On-boarding training and orientation are provided to help new recruits get familiar with SmarTone and equip them to handle their daily works. The Human Resources Department organizes numerous face-to-face and online training for employees in all ranks throughout the year, covering a wide range of topics including industry and business knowledge, legal and regulatory updates, communication skills, personal development, IT skills, etc. The Group also sponsors suitable employees to participate in external work-related training activities.

Download Environmental, Social & Governance Report 2020/21