Hong Kong: 2000 civil servants quit in 2020-21, highest in 15 years

WION Web Team
New DelhiUpdated: May 15, 2021, 11:39 PM IST

Flags of China and Hong Kong (file photo) Photograph:(AFP)

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The number of civil servants choosing to leave the service has seen a steady increase since 2006-2007

In what has become the annual figure in 15 years, nearly 2000 civil servants quit working for Hong Kong government, as per report by South China Morning Post. The number of civil servants choosing to leave the service has seen a steady increase since 2006-2007 according to a paper prepared for legislators by the Civil Service Bureau which encompasses the past 15 years. 

However, the figure for 2020-21 represented 1.05 per cent. While the government argued that percentage-wise, the number leaving was insignificant, some lawmakers want civil servants to be offered better packages to stop the continuing exodus.

"In 2020-21, the wastage in the civil service was about 8,500, accounting for around 4.8 per cent of the strength," the Bureau said adding that "Retirement was the primary reason for departure of civil servants, while the other reasons, including resignation, completion of agreement and death, accounted for only a small proportion of wastage."

The bureau added that the majority of those who resigned left before the end of their probationary period. 

"It is understandable that probationers, who are at the initial stage of their civil service career, would leave the service during their probationary period if they find it unsuitable to develop a long-term career in the government," 

According to South China Morning Post, Unionist lawmaker Kwok Wai-keung, who chairs the panel on public service at the Legislative Council where the paper will be discussed next Monday, agreed that "given a 170,000-something-strong civil service, having 1,000-plus people leave in a year may not look a big deal".

But he said that it was not something to be taken "too lightly" and placed the blame for the rise in resignations on "new terms" introduced by the government in 2000, which said those joining the service after June that year would not be entitled to pension benefits, and medical and dental benefits after retirement.