Working conditions of retail industry workers in Hong Kong

Fanny YF Young


This study investigated the relationship of working hour, work-life balance and mental health conditions in full-time retail industry workers in Hong Kong, an area without standard working hour legislation, in a follow up study during reduction in retail sales. Two questionnaire surveys were conducted, one in 2014 and the other one in 2015. Each survey comprised 100 retail industry workers in the same retail industry area in an anonymous basis.  In 2014 the working hour was long (51.92 hours per week). During this reduction in retail sales there was a significant reduction in the originally long working hours (from 51.92 hours to 47.25 hours, p<0.0001), an increase in daily hours of personal or private activities (3.06 hours to 3.606 hours, not statistical significant), a significant increase in self-perceived work-life balance (from 3.76 to 4.51, p=0.0009), a decrease in number of workers having problems due to disturbed work-life balance, and a significant decrease in the high mental health score (from 18.93 to 15.36, p=0.0003) indicating improvement in mental health conditions. The findings provide scientific evidence for policy making, the working hour in an area without standard working hour legislation could be long. Reduction in working hour resulted in an improvement in work-life balance and mental health conditions.

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