1) What are the objectives of the Construction Workers Registration Ordinance (CWRO)?
CWRO stipulates registered construction workers to personally carry out construction works on construction sites, its objectives include:
2) Who/ which type of workers need to register?
All persons carrying out construction works at construction sites should register. The main target group of registration are workers in the construction industry (including building, civil and E&M engineering works), including Marine Construction Plant Operators who operate boom-grab bucket, boom-hook or derrick at sea. The list of designated trades and their required certificates / qualifications is appended in Schedule 1 of the CWRO.
If Registered Construction Worker carries out works which are regulated simultaneously by other legislation, they shall be conducted in accordance with the relevant statutory requirements apart from the Construction Workers Registration Ordinance.
General Welder(C318) who performs gas welding and flame cutting work must hold a valid certificate obtained after completing a recognized training course in accordance with the Factories and Industrial Undertakings (Gas Welding and Flame Cutting) Regulation.
If Refrigeration/Air-conditioning/Ventilation Mechanic (Electrical Control)(E314b) carries out works which involve live electrical work, they shall be carried out by Registered Electrical Worker and in accordance with the Electricity Ordinance.
3) How to define a “construction site”?
To put it simply, a construction site means a place where construction work is being, or will be, carried out while a completion certificate has not yet been issued for construction work conducted in this place (i.e. the construction work is not yet completed).
4) What is “construction work”?
There are specific and elaborated definitions of “construction work” under the CWRO. To put it simply, “construction work” refers to the works involved in any construction operation.
5) What are “Prohibition Provisions”? When will Prohibition Provisions come into effect officially?
The stipulations in Part 2 of the CWRO prohibit against unregistered construction workers carrying out construction works on construction sites and prohibit against employing unregistered construction workers to carry out construction works on construction sites. The first phase of Prohibition was implemented from 1 September 2007. The remaining phase of Prohibition "Designated workers for designated skills" will be put in force in April 2017.
6) If CIC finds unregistered workers working on construction sites, what actions will it take? Will those workers be prosecuted? What penalties will they face? (e.g. fine, imprisonment, summons, etc) Who, contractors or workers, will be liable if there is a prosecution or a fine?
If CIC finds unregistered workers working on construction sites, the workers concerned will be prosecuted. Workers will be liable on conviction to a fine at level 3 (a maximum fine of HK$10,000). Direct employers and main contractors of the workers concerned will also be liable to this. They will be liable on conviction to a fine at level 5 (a maximum fine of HK$50,000).
7) When should a registration card be brought along?
According to the CWRO, workers should bring along and present their registration cards when carrying out construction work on construction sites.
8) Why general workers, who are not required for specific qualifications, should obtain the workers registration cards when they have a “Green Card” already?
One of the objectives of the registration system is to obtain an accurate number of workers working on construction sites, while Green Card holders might not be construction workers or working on construction sites, therefore all general workers are required to get registered.
A workers Registration Card proves that the card holder is a registered construction worker. When the worker enters the construction site, his/her information will be verified by a card reader so that the contractor will be able to capture the information precisely. Besides combating against unlawful employment of workers, the system also helps reduce wage disputes between employers and employees. Green Card has no such function.
9) Is registration required when site supervisors and engineers enter construction sites? If they demonstrate shoveling, bar bending and fixing, etc. do they need register?
The CWRO is not applicable to other practitioners working at construction sites such as supervisors, technicians and engineers etc. If the concerned supervisors and engineers conduct work demonstration, they do not need registration. The former Construction Workers Registration Authority had issued “Administrative Guidelines on the Applicability of the Registration Requirements to Professional and Technical Personnel”, which can be downloaded from the Information Centre in this website.
10) How does the levy system work? Who is liable to pay the levy?
In accordance with Construction Workers Registration (Levy) Notice gazette on 3 December 2004, the former Construction Workers Registration Authority (CWRA) started collecting levy from construction operations, in Hong Kong or undertaken by Hong Kong contractors, with a total value of one million dollars and above at a rate of 0.03% since 24 February 2005. CIC continues to collect levy after the amalgamation of CIC and former CWRA on 1 January 2013.