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-   -   Misinformation about the "RACE DISCRIMINATION ORDINANCE" and expat T&C's (https://www.pprune.org/fragrant-harbour/434513-misinformation-about-race-discrimination-ordinance-expat-t-cs.html)

404 Titan 21st Nov 2010 15:54

Misinformation about the "RACE DISCRIMINATION ORDINANCE" and expat T&C's
Let me start by saying I am all for cadets getting a housing allowance but there is a lot of misinformation flying about regarding the Hong Kong Governments “Race Discrimination Ordinance” and how this affects expat terms and conditions. The company is certainly playing on this ignorance and misinformation to the point I’m beginning to wonder whether anyone in the AOA has actually read it. In your genuinely worthwhile effort to try and get housing for cadets, you have fallen into a trap of wrongfully using the RDO to support your case. Let me make it very clear to the AOA GC. There is absolutely nothing in the RDO that forbids companies based in Hong Kong employing expatriates on expat terms now or in the future. Section: 13. Exception for employment of person with special skills, knowledge or experience, Paragraph (1), (c), (i) & (ii) specifically allows for it and Section: 14. Exception for existing employment on local and overseas terms of employment, allows for existing contracts to continue even if they are in violation of the ordinance. CX unfortunately, has deliberately chosen to interpret the RDO in a way that means they are unwilling to pay expat terms to new hire DE expat pilots that in the past would have been employed on expat terms and conditions because they were bringing skills, knowledge and experience to Hong Kong that was readily available here.

This is how a mate of mine who works for a large law firm in Hong Kong recently put it to me:

The differential treatment for employees on “local terms” from their colleagues on “expat terms” continue to be allowed if those terms of employment existed when the RDO came into force. For new hires, differential terms must be justified on the basis of the expatriate employee having skills, knowledge or experience not readily available in Hong Kong.
This is all assuming of course that all cadets are Hong Kong Chinese which we all know they aren’t. This raises the question, is the RDO really relevant at all in this case as the different terms of conditions wasn’t based on ones race but was based on ones employment stream.


Sqwak7700 21st Nov 2010 16:17

I think you answered the question yourself 404.

By employing expats as cadets, Cathay can claim they have no "skills, knowledge or experience not readily available in Hong Kong."

So they slap a cadet label on an experienced pilot, they shorten the course to save even more money, and voila. Our current situation.

At least that is my understanding of the process.

404 Titan 21st Nov 2010 16:36


We all know that is what the company is doing. The point is that they are doing it under the auspice of the RDO which is legally incorrect. Nothing legally has changed for CX since the introduction of the RDO in July last year. They can still employ DE expat pilots on expat terms now just as they did prior to July last year and they can still employ cadets on local terms. They have just chosen to deliberately misuse it for their own financial gain by calling everyone cadets and employing them on local terms. That is the point of my post.

bobrun 21st Nov 2010 18:01

This raises the question, is the RDO really relevant at all in this case as the different terms of conditions wasn’t based on ones race but was based on ones employment stream.
Ah! Exactly. I've always thought that using the race issue to push for housing to the cadets didn't make much sense.

SMOC 22nd Nov 2010 00:24

I think the problem is when a DEFO decides to come to HK for expat terms.

If he wasn't required to come to HK how can he be offered expat terms and if he was then a cadet who's also on a base and now has "those skills" can apply for the same job, or for that matter a cadet in HK on the Airbus can say I have the skills for that 744 position on expat terms.

Returning for Command however is different I believe and expat terms can be paid, but assume it will eventually have similar problems for those wishing to return from a base.

This is all applicable to those hired after the RDO came into force, but as soon as the first cadet gets a better deal the rest are surely going to request it.

It's called a racial discrimination ordinance but it's probably better to call it a skills discrimination ordinance.

404 Titan 22nd Nov 2010 02:02


Firstly, DEFO’s on the pax fleet are very much in the minority. Even DEFO’s on the freighter are in the minority. You are making the assumption that DEFO’s only joined the company because they could do it on a base. That is certainly true for some but there are many that joined based on the fact that once they served their required time on the base could come to Hong Kong on full expat T&C’s. They wouldn’t have joined if this wasn’t the case. Just because they signed a based contract when they first joined is also irrelevant as they sign a new contract once they come to HK and the RDO takes this into account

Now getting on to what is currently happening with those that were in the hold file for DESO for the last two years. Two years ago they would have joined on expat T&C’s because they were deemed to be bringing to HK skills and experience that weren’t readily available here in HK yet today they are being offered local T&C’s because the company has chosen to, in my opinion, deliberately misinterpret the RDO to suit their own financial gain. Section 13 clearly states that expat T&C’s can still be paid to expats if they bring skills and experience to HK that isn’t readily available here.

It's called a racial discrimination ordinance but it's probably better to call it a skills discrimination ordinance.
I strongly disagree. The first paragraph in the RDO clearly states its purpose and that is to stamp out discrimination on the grounds of race. Cadets in the past were employed on their right to live in HK, not on their race as is clearly evident by the fact that a lot of cadets weren’t HK Chinese. They were employed on local terms based on their employment stream and the RDO makes no mention of this, therefore in my opinion is irrelevant.

An Ordinance to render discrimination, harassment and vilification, on the ground of race, unlawful; to prohibit serious vilification of persons on that ground; to extend the jurisdiction of the Equal Opportunities Commission to include such unlawful acts; to confer on the Commission the function of eliminating such discrimination, harassment and vilification and promoting equality and harmony between people of different races; to amend certain definitions, and the provisions on discrimination against contract workers, in existing anti-discrimination legislation as well as the provision on unlawful sexual harassment by creating a hostile or intimidating environment in the Sex Discrimination Ordinance for alignment with corresponding provisions in this Ordinance; to make other consequential and related amendments to enactments; and for related purposes.

Liam Gallagher 22nd Nov 2010 07:11

I totally agree with your opening post. Both the company and the AOA seemed to be using the RDO, shamelessly, as a fig leaf to hide some fairly predictable agendas.

I suspect the RDO is part of Hong Kong's policy of localization, so to that extent it is perhaps admirable. However, as you point out the intent of the RDO may be one thing, but the wording is quite another. One phrase that confuses me is "existing contracts". The company seems to be playing upon this, in that contracts awarded before the RDO are fine in their eyes, however new contracts (ie New Joiners) are not and therefore, reluctantly:rolleyes: they cannot offer expat terms to them... how convenient?

Putting all that to one side. How can the Cadet Scheme be deemed to be organized along racial grounds and therefore fall foul of the RDO? Examination of the scheme, in both word and deed, show the cadets are, by design, not selected along racial grounds, nor is the system rigged or fudged that only one racial group is selected. They are indeed a racially diverse bunch.

The final sentence of your opening posts appears spot on to me FWIW.

404 Titan 22nd Nov 2010 14:15

Liam Gallagher

The company is choosing to ignore Section 13 all together and is only taking into account section 14. All applicants that have been on the DESO hold file for the last 2 years and have recently been contacted offering them positions on local terms and all cadets that have done the 3 month short course should have been offered positions on expat terms because Section 13 allows new contracts on expat terms if they bring skills and experience to Hong Kong that wouldn’t readily be available here. As I said the company have deliberately chosen to ignore Section 13 so they have an argument to only offer local terms. The company’s position is wrong and needs to be point out to them by the AOA. Unfortunately I believe some on the AOA committee may have the same misinterpretation of the RDO as the company.

Adam GoodJob 23rd Nov 2010 11:31

Gallagher (aka Scouse yob who can only do impersonations of the Beatles),

What possible agenda can the AOA have that prompts you to lump them in with Cathay management when it comes to "hiding behind" the RDO?


You're sounding like yet another squeaky-mouse hide-behind-anonymity know-all yellow-belly non-member and it's utterly, pitifully pathetic.

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